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Thursday, May 21st, 2020 by Kal Aldrich
Your home’s concrete, whether it is your driveway, sidewalk, or patio, is the first thing that visitors or neighbors will see when they approach your home, and it is likely that the first thing they will observe is its quality. As homeowners, it is a given that we want to keep our homes looking neat and organized, which includes our concrete. Usually, homeowners are stuck between getting their concrete replaced or repaired, but in the long run, the repair method is typically the best option.
Mudjacking, also known as slab jacking, is the process of injecting a mixture of water, soil, sand, and cement called slurry or mud underneath concrete slabs that have settled to lift it. But with a recent polyurethane foam that solves concrete problems in much easier way brings about the question: What is more effective?
Before we go into what concrete lifting is, we need to understand why concrete slabs sink in the first place. Concrete is a solid and stable base, but it is only as durable as the soil that lies beneath it. With time, that soil can condense or wash away due to a variety of factors, such as rain, drought, or the soil fill that was poured when your home was built was not packed well enough.
When the soil condenses or washes away, it leaves divots and voids enabling the concrete slab to sink. These divots must be filled to raise the sunken slabs back to their original position. At this point, homeowners should choose which system to use: mudjacking or PolyLevel foam jacking.
When deciding what approach to take, mudjacking seems like an efficient solution. If soil has condensed or washed away beneath your concrete, it only makes sense to add more soil or a mixture of soil-like substance to replace it, right? It is a good idea in theory, but it can have its problems.
The first concern is in its own name: Mud. Mud is dirty and can get messy. Mudjacking is a dirty process. It is dirty when it is combined, when it is pumped, and it when it shoots out from underneath the slab. Will you trust your contractor to clean up the mess when they are finished?
Along with being dirty, mud is a wet substance because of all the water in it. With that said, when it dries, it will shrink because the space that was once filled with water becomes empty. This means that your slabs could sink down again, sending you back to where you were before. Another thing to consider is, what happens to dry dirt when it gets wet again? It turns right back into mud. If you have a heavy rainstorm, the water can run underneath the concrete, turning that dry material right back to mud, leaving voids for your concrete to settle.
The main problem with mudjacking is that it does not fix the issue as to why your concrete settled in the first place. As mentioned before, poorly compressed soil causes your concrete slabs to sink, therefore, when large portions of mud get pumped underneath your concrete, you have added more pressure to the unstable soil. This will cause your patio, sidewalk, or driveway to sink even more.
At American Waterworks, we have plenty of trained concrete repair crews, and we provide expert concrete repair solutions using the PolyLevel system. PolyLevel is an expanding foam that gets injected beneath the concrete to fill the gaps that are caused by soil erosion and raises the concrete surface. It is most commonly injected in the spring, summer and fall seasons since those are the warmest times of the year within the Midwest.
PolyLevel is a lightweight, durable, concentrated polyurethane foam, which was brought about by our subcontractor, Supportworks. PolyLevel gets pumped beneath concrete slabs through tiny holes about the size of a marble. Since it is a noninvasive foam, it is able to fill the smallest cracks and confined areas within your soil. It adjusts and hardens quickly, enabling the concrete to lift and compact its soil all at the same time. Another good thing about PolyLevel is that it is waterproof. Once it is cured, it will not wash away or diminish due to any temperature or climate changes. Along with that, it cures quickly, so you can typically use your concrete the same day once the project is completed!
Concrete lifting with PolyLevel does not just raise the concrete, but it also compresses the soil, making it stable and level, and will ensure that it stays that way for years to come. With that said, it is also environmentally friendly. Since it will corrode over time, it will not release destructive chemicals into the surrounding soils.
The bottom line is, when you are considering whether to go with PolyLevel or mudjacking, since mudjacking causes your concrete to sink and settle over time, you will most likely need to have it lifted over and over again. Overall, mudjacking is messy and can make your concrete problems worse. Concrete lifting with PolyLevel is clean, cures quickly, and takes care of your problems more efficiently. If you are ready for these repairs to be done on your home with our PolyLevel and concrete repair products, give us a call at 1-844-801-9520 and schedule a FREE Estimate before the damage worsens.
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