Wondering how much does concrete leveling cost? If so, you’ve landed on the right page because that’s what we’re going to talk about in this article. We’re also going to cover what concrete leveling is, what factors determine the cost of concrete leveling, the two types of concrete leveling, the concrete leveling process, and more.
What Is Concrete Leveling?
Concrete leveling is a procedure for lifting and releveling an uneven concrete slab – such as a sidewalk or driveway – by injecting something under it. This could be either a cement slurry or polyurethane foam. Concrete leveling is an alternative to digging up and replacing the slab, which is a lengthy and more expensive process. For more information, see Frequently Asked Questions About Concrete Leveling.
Types Of Concrete Leveling: Mudjacking vs. Polyurethane Foam Injection
There are two types of concrete leveling: mudjacking and polyurethane foam injection.
Mudjacking is the old-school way of releveling a sunken concrete slab. Mudjacking involves using a cement slurry (cement, soil, sand, etc.) to raise and relevel the slab. Here’s how the process works:
- Holes – from 1-3 inches in diameter – are drilled into the affected slab.
- The cement slurry is injected under the slab through the holes, raising the slab.
- The holes are patched with a compound that matches the color of the slab.
If you want to raise an uneven slab, mudjacking certainly works. However, there are some drawbacks:
- The cement slurry is heavy and adds a lot of weight to the soil. If the slab became uneven because the soil was having trouble supporting it, adding more weight to the soil in the form of a cement slurry isn’t going to help. It could even make the problem worse.
- Mudjacking is messy.
- The cement slurry used in mudjacking is prone to erosion because of its composition. Therefore, mudjacking doesn’t usually last more than 10 years at most.
- The slurry used in mudjacking needs time to dry and harden. During this time, the slab can’t be used. Therefore, mudjacking always involves some amount of downtime.
While mudjacking is still being done, polyurethane foam injection is more popular today for releveling sunken slabs.
Polyurethane Foam Injection
Today, polyurethane foam injection is the most common method for raising and leveling an uneven concrete slab. The procedure is as follows:
- Dime-sizes holes are drilled into the affected slab
- The polyurethane foam is injected under the slab via the holes.
- The foam immediately begins to expand, filling voids and raising the slab.
- Finally, the holes are patched with a compound that matches the slab.
Lifting an uneven concrete slab via polyurethane foam injection is a quick procedure. Most jobs can be completed in only a few hours, and then the slab is ready for use again.
Why Does Concrete Become Unlevel?
Concrete slabs can become unlevel for various reasons, including:
- Soil that wasn’t adequately compacted before the slab was poured.
- Expansive soil – This is clay-rich soil that expands as it soaks up moisture and then shrinks as it dries out. This swelling-shrinking cycle creates movement under the slab that can cause it to eventually become uneven.
- Soil that’s prone to erosion – This kind of soil can erode and leave behind voids into which the slab sinks.
- Invasive tree roots – We’ve all seen examples of tree roots pushing up on a slab and causing it to become uneven.
How Much Does Concrete Leveling Cost Compared To Replacing A Slab?
Digging up and replacing a slab by pouring fresh concrete costs more than concrete leveling. It also takes longer. When you tear up and replace a slab, there will be some downtime before you can use the slab again because the new concrete needs time to dry and harden.
Concrete leveling via polyurethane foam injection takes just a few hours in most cases, and then the slab is ready for use again.
How Much Does Concrete Leveling Cost
The cost of concrete leveling using polyurethane foam injection depends on various factors, including:
- The size of the affected area because this determines how much foam is needed
- Ease of access
- Your geographical location
The only way to know for sure how much concrete leveling will cost is to contact a professional who does concrete lifting and ask for an evaluation and repair estimate.
How Long Does Concrete Leveling Last?
Polyurethane foam injection lasts longer than mudjacking because it’s waterproof and not subject to erosion. It won’t break down over time. However, good drainage around and under the slab is essential. If there’s a drainage problem, it needs to be solved before you level the slab. Failure to correct a drainage problem will cause the slab to become unlevel again.
Benefits of Concrete Leveling
The benefits of concrete leveling include the following:
- It’s less expensive than tearing up an uneven slab and replacing it by pouring new concrete. You could save up to 50% with concrete leveling.
- Concrete leveling using polyurethane foam injection usually takes just a few hours, and then you can immediately begin using the slab again.
- Concrete leveling is a minimally-invasive repair. Compare drilling a few small holes in a slab to digging up the slab and pouring a new one.
- Polyurethane foam is extremely lightweight and won’t add weight to soil that may already be having trouble supporting a heavy concrete slab.
- Polyurethane foam is waterproof and not prone to erosion. It also won’t leach harmful chemicals into the soil.
If you’re tired of looking at an unsightly, uneven concrete slab and are in our service area in Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, or Missouri, contact us today for an evaluation and concrete leveling estimate.