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When a concrete slab or your concrete driveway begins to sink, sag, crumble, or crack – it’s almost always due to a lack of support beneath it. Over time, the surface begins to succumb to the pressures of vehicular traffic, foot traffic, or just plain gravity. Fortunately, you can either use concrete lifting foam or mudjacking to fix this kind of problem.
You have two options for the concrete repair: mudjacking with concrete slurry or spraying expanding foam such as polyurethane – a lightweight, strong, high-density foam. In this blog, we’ll explore the process of using concrete lifting foam – including its pros and cons.
Keep in mind that a smooth and level driveway will help give a good first impression to your guests and potential home buyers – adding significantly to your home’s value and your curb appeal.
What is polyurethane concrete lifting?
Foam lifting or foam jacking aka polyfoam jacking is a less invasive variation of mudjacking. Basically, polyurethane foam is used to lift up and level any sunken concrete surface.
This repair technique is not only faster and cleaner than mudjacking, but it also lasts longer. And, it’s definitely a better and cheaper option than a complete driveway replacement. In fact, foam slab jacking costs less than half the price of a new driveway.
How much does concrete lifting foam cost?
Foam concrete lifting costs $5 to $25 per square foot, while mudjacking costs $3 to $6. Keep in mind that the total cost of concrete leveling is determined by the size and condition of the slab, as well as the soil conditions.
Here are some rough cost estimates for concrete lifting foam:
Concrete Repair Project Approximate Cost Square Feet Sidewalk $800 – $1,800 100 Patio or Porch $1,100 – $2,300 150 Garage Floor $2,500 – $5,400 360 Pool Deck $2,800 – $6,000 400 Driveway $3,000 – $7,000 450 Basement Floor $5,000 – $12,000 800
How does concrete lifting foam work?
The process entails contractors drilling a hole in the concrete and injecting a filling material such as high-density polyurethane foam (or a sand slurry in the case of mudjacking) to eliminate any gaps, level as well as elevate the concrete surface.
They locate the areas that have an uneven surface or dips and use a masonry bit to drill a few small holes. Next, a tapered delivery port is installed into the hole. Then, the foam is injected into the surface with the help of special equipment such as an injection gun. The foam expands and hardens over time – filling all voids and leveling the surface. The holes are then filled up with concrete. The best part is, that the entire process typically takes less than an hour. In fact, the lifting foam fully expands within 10-15 seconds.
Concrete lifting foam vs mudjacking
While mudjacking may be more suitable for concrete slabs, driveways, patios, porches, pathways, pool decks, and steps, foam lifting is ideal for load-bearing concrete which requires extra support, such as foundations, basement floors, and garage floors.
Mudjacking necessitates the use of heavier materials and more cleanup for lifting the concrete. But, using concrete lifting foam is less messy and quicker. Polyurethane foam injections cure in 15 minutes, whereas mudjacking takes a full day. Moreover, because foam lifting involves fewer and smaller drilling holes, it is less invasive.
Most importantly, while mudjacking is cheaper, it typically lasts two to five years. Polyurethane foam, on the other hand, can last eight to 10 years if properly maintained. Sometimes, even more.
Concrete lifting foam pros and cons
Before you hire a contractor to replace your sinking driveway, patio, or pool deck, you should understand the benefits and drawbacks of using concrete lifting foam.
Pros Cons Cheaper and easier than replacing concrete May leave some unfilled gaps or air pockets beneath the concrete structure Requires fewer drill holes than mudjacking May contain potentially harmful additives and man-made chemicals Shorter drying or curing time Costs more (four to five times more) compared to mudjacking Looks great, and addresses the underlying issues Is not as environmentally friendly as traditional mud jacking
If your concrete driveway, pool deck, or basement floor has a lot of cracks in it, you may consider using foam beneath the slab as a modern methodology to fill in the cracks, elevate the surface, and level your concrete floor.
As compared to concrete replacement, polyurethane concrete raising is cheaper, easier, and quicker!