The Process of Getting a Level Concrete Slab
Concrete leveling services are one of the core services that Concrete Floor Systems offers our commercial and our residential customers.
Over time, a concrete surface may start to sink and settle, which leads to the surface becoming uneven and cracked. Not only is this aesthetically displeasing, but it can also be a safety hazard.
Whether it’s an external sidewalk, the floor inside a shop, or even a garage floor, concrete surfaces that are uneven can become a litigation issue aside from causing severe injuries.
Still, it is expensive to replace the concrete, including time and money. No one likes waiting multiple days for the floors to get replaced or for the sidewalk in front of your business to be accessible to the public.
Based on these reasons, the best and most cost-effective solution is often times concrete leveling. It’s about 50 percent of the cost of a replacement. You can also start allowing traffic on the surface within minutes.
There are multiple reasons why your concrete slabs can become damaged. Regardless of how it occurred, it’s not a problem that you want to let fester. Knowing these factors can keep you one step ahead and help you to prevent your concrete from deteriorating. It can also help you understand when it’s time to address problems with an existing concrete slab. Here are the most common factors:
Soil Erosion: Soil susceptible to erosion can wash away, creating a void beneath the concrete slab. Eventually, the concrete slab begins to sink into these voids, producing an uneven concrete surface.
Expansive Soil: Expansive soil is your standard soil that has a lot of clay mixed into it. Therefore, when it expands, it absorbs moisture and shrinks after it releases the moisture and gets dried out.
This cycle of swelling and shrinking causes movement beneath the sunken slab, which makes it uneven. For homeowners, this can result in serious foundation problems.
Shifting Soil Can Result in Uneven Concrete That Requires Leveling
Soil that was too lightly compacted before construction: You must pack the soil down before pouring the concrete on top. If the technician doesn’t perform this task correctly, the concrete settlement will be uneven.
Tree roots: Tree roots present a problem for outdoor concrete pours – like a sidewalk or a concrete driveway. Aside from unruly tree roots pushing through the concrete, they can also suck the water from the soil beneath the concrete. In these cases, voids will be left behind, which leads to the concrete caving in and becoming unlevel.
Drought: If the soil beneath the concrete slab gets dried out, it can make the surface uneven. Droughts dramatically and negatively affect concrete because the soil shrinks when it’s dry and expands when it rains.
Earthquakes: When a significant earthquake occurs, there will be noticeable damage to the concrete, but people overlook the more minor earthquakes. The damage isn’t as apparent, but smaller earthquakes cause fractures, lines, and splits in the concrete.
Concrete leveling means repairing uneven, cracked, or sunken concrete slabs surrounding your business or home.
While it’s costly to tear up the uneven pavement and do a concrete replacement, a standard concrete leveling job only takes a few hours, and you’ll be good to go.
Multiple problems can arise in your home or business if you allow the uneven concrete to stay damaged. You’ll want to contact a professional immediately so that they can inspect the surface and level it off for you.
Here are the signs to be aware of that may indicate your home or business needs a foundation repair:
- Your deck or porch seems to be misaligned or starts to pull away from your home.
- There are cracks in your chimney.
- The hardwood floors in your home are starting to warp.
- The concrete floor starts sinking, lifting, or cracking.
- The walls in your home or business are unsealing from the floors, which causes a gap, or there are hairline cracks from the walls to the floors.
- You have cracks in the driveway or concrete steps.
- The external siding or brick on your home is becoming misaligned or cracked.
- You notice the concrete raising on the sidewalk.
If you notice any of these signs, it’s good to contact a technician immediately so that they can help you before it gets dangerous.
There are many different ways to perform concrete leveling work; however, some methods are more practical than others. It depends on the budget and region.
Mudjacking is the traditional way that technicians perform concrete leveling. This method uses cement slurry to level the uneven slab by lifting it.
Mudjacking slurry is a mixture of cement, water, soil, and sand. The slurry resembles mud, thus the term “mud jacking.” Although this method is still getting used, it’s not commonly used as it was once before.
The proper steps to mudjacking are as follows:
- Drill one to two-inch holes in the slab you intend to lift
- Inject the curry under the slab through the holes
- The cement liquid will fill the voids and raise the slab to the desired levels.
- The holes are then patched up with a formula that looks like the color of the concrete.
Mudjacking is an untidy procedure, and the cement slurry is not erosion resistant. Additionally, the holes you need for the mixture are more extensive than what you need for polyurethane foam injection.
You should also anticipate some downtime as you wait for the mixture to solidify.
Although mudjacking is cheaper than concrete lifting foam, the slab has a higher chance of sinking again, which means spending more money to get another repair.
Since mudjacking consists of a heavy cement slurry to lift the slab, it’s possible the problem could worsen.
Conversely, concrete lifting foam is very lightweight and won’t weigh the soil down with additional weight. Therefore, your lifted slab will stay lifted.
Polyurethane foam uses a synthetic-proof material to lift and level the slab instead of cement slurry. The concrete foam leveling method is the most popular way to do concrete leveling.
Here’s how to perform this procedure:
- Drill dime-sized holes in the concrete slab that you’re going to lift and level.
- Next, you’ll insert the foam beneath the concrete slab into the holes.
- In seconds, you’ll begin to notice that the foam has started expanding and filling in the empty spaces beneath the uneven slab. This action will lift and level the material.
- Using a compound that is similar in appearance to the concrete, the holes get sealed and patched accordingly.
- Much less disruptive and cheaper
- Cures quickly, allowing areas that have been treated to get back to service immediately.
- The holes in the concrete are significantly smaller than the holes used in standard mudjacking.
- Lightweight material not cumbersome to the settling soil
- Concrete slabs may be able to hold more weight.
- Polyurethane won’t wash away under the slab-like mudjacking material.
We’re able to remove low or high spots in your floor as well as fill holes in your concrete slab with our industrial strength pump. With our leveling process we’re able to lift and level the concrete floor back to its desired position.
Your floor will be ready for foot traffic in just three hours, and you’ll be able to apply a floor covering in just 24-26 hours. See our concrete leveling page for more details.
Here are the factors that technicians consider when evaluating how much you’ll pay for concrete repair:
- The set price per square foot
- The location of the project
- The larger the concrete slab, the more of the foam you’ll need to use
- How difficult it is to access the sunken concrete slab
Due to all these variables, it’s challenging to say how much you’ll end up paying to get the work completed. There has to be an inspection first to determine the extent of the work that the building owner needs to be completed.