Your Guide to Slab Jacking Concrete (Common Methods)

April 21, 2023

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Slab jacking concrete is an excellent choice for damaged slab foundations and settled homes. If your home needs foundation repair, it’s helpful to learn a bit more about this process. You can then better understand your contractor’s repair recommendations! With that in mind, check out some details about what slab jacking a concrete foundation includes.

What Is Slab Jacking and Why Is It Necessary?

In brief, slab jacking concrete refers to “jacking up” a slab concrete foundation. Typically, this process involves injecting special materials under that slab. These materials expand slightly as they dry and harden, floating a structure back into place.

To perform his process, the contractor creates excavations around the home’s foundation or drills right through the slab. Next, he or she injects the jacking materials into those pits or openings.

In some cases, the contractor might use specialty hydraulic equipment to lift the home into position. Once finished, the contractor fills in those excavations and performs any necessary cleanup.

Contractors often recommend slab jacking for homes that have settled on a weak foundation. Those injected materials provide support for that foundation over the years. Lifting the home also closes secondary cracks so they’re ready for patching.

slab jacking concrete

Slab Jacking Concrete Methods

There are two common slab jacking methods a contractor might recommend: polyurethane foam and mud. Note some details about each of these, so you understand their differences.

Polyurethane foam slab jacking

Polyurethane foam is a synthetic or manmade foam that expands as it dries and hardens. One reason contractors might use this material when slab jacking concrete is that it fills in cracks and gaps as it expands. Two, it’s lightweight, so it’s not likely to sink again after installation.

Also, polyurethane dries more quickly than other materials. In turn, you can often resume foot traffic in your home within hours of repairs!

Additionally, your contractor might not need heavy equipment for polyurethane injections since it’s so much lighter and easier to inject. This can mean less mess and disruption during repairs.

On the downside, manmade polyurethane might leak harmful chemicals into the ground. Also, it’s not a permanent solution as it does break down over time. Lastly, some contractors might feel that it’s not as strong as mud jacking, so it’s not used for larger homes or extensive damage.

Mud jacking

Mud jacking involves a specialty slurry injected into those holes or excavations. That slurry fills in cracks and gaps and then dries and hardens. In many cases, a contractor will also use hydraulic equipment to raise the foundation into position. This also helps to close cracks and allows the mud to create needed patching.

One advantage of mud jacking is that it’s often far cheaper than polyurethane foam. Two, most mud jacking slurries contain natural compounds, including gravel and sand. In turn, it’s not typically harmful to the environment as it breaks down.

On the downside, mud jacking repairs often take longer than polyurethane. First, a contractor will typically mix the slurry on site, so he or she can adjust it according to your property’s damage. Second, the mud takes longer to dry, so your contractor might suggest waiting up to 72 hours before using your home again.

However, contractors often prefer mud jacking when lifting a heavier foundation or property. The thicker, stronger material provides more support for that weight than polyurethane. Your contractor can tell you if mud is the better option for your home versus polyurethane.

contractors doing slab jacking concrete

What is Slab Replacement, and When Is It Necessary?

Extremely damaged slab foundations might need replacement rather than slab jacking concrete repair. Rest assured, this doesn’t mean a contractor somehow lifts your home and “swaps out” that foundation!

Instead, your contractor will drill through or under the slab and remove broken pieces. Next, he or she will inject new concrete, not mud or polyurethane, into those areas.

Slab replacement is an excellent choice for extremely damaged or weak slabs, as said. In those cases, slab jacking might not offer enough support for the structure. Also, foundation replacement lasts far longer than slab jacking.

Moreover, remember that a home’s foundation affects its overall value. In turn, you might consider foundation replacement if slab jacking concrete won’t offer enough fixes to protect the property’s value. A real estate appraiser might suggest a replacement, especially if you’re thinking of putting the home on the market.

How to Find the Right Slab Jacking Concrete Service Contractor

Now that you know how a contractor performs slab jacking, it’s vital to understand how to choose the right professional. First, find a company that specializes in foundation repair to ensure they offer the needed expertise.

Second, they should also have at least a decade of experience. After all, they can’t learn about foundation repair in a book but only through hands-on experience!

Also, a reliable contractor typically starts a project with a free inspection and price quote. The inspection allows them to see the damage extent and determine the right process for your property. Without an inspection, they can’t create a reliable estimate!

Above all, every foundation contractor should offer a guarantee for their work. This might vary according to the repair method chosen. However, avoid any contractor who won’t guarantee in writing that you can trust their labor and materials.

Peoria Foundation Repair & Waterproofing Pros is happy to help explain slab jacking concrete repair methods. Hopefully, you’ve found this post useful and informative! If so, be sure to visit our blog for even more helpful tips and hints. Also, call our Peoria foundation repair contractors when you’re in the market for expert, reliable services. We offer a wide range of repairs, all backed by a full guarantee. For more information, contact us today.

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