How Concrete Leveling Works

At Liftech, our mission is to bring stability and reliability back to your concrete flatwork; whether your driveway, garage floor, basement, walkway, patio, or porch, you will feel safe and comfortable knowing your concrete has been repaired utilizing the most advanced leveling technology available today. There’s no one better in Colorado than Liftech when it comes to concrete leveling services.

When choosing concrete leveling services, it’s important to know how the process works and the pros/cons of each to make the best decision for you and your family. At Liftech, we’re one of three companies in all of Colorado licensed and insured to install NCFI polyurethane systems (the original patented system used for decades). The concrete leveling products and services we offer are the best in the industry – we never settle for second best, and neither should you!

We offer FREE on-site concrete leveling estimates so you understand the timeline and price for your project before we ever start work.

How Does Mudjacking Work?

The ultimate goal of mudjacking is to raise sunken concrete back to its original position. Mudjacking can be done for a fraction of the cost of replacing your current concrete; however replacing it doesn’t address the issue at hand. The soil beneath the concrete is often loose and poorly compacted, causing the failure. Mudjacking is one means for lifting the concrete back into place while compressing the poorly compacted soil under the it.

Mudjacking raises the concrete by pumping a slurry or “mud” mixture beneath it (i.e., sand, water and cement). The purpose of the thick and heavy mixture is to reduce air pockets and compact the soil beneath. This reinforces the already strong concrete slab, as well as the soil beneath it.

Typically, a concrete slab that sinks is “floating,” which means it was poured independent of the home’s foundation. As it sinks, typically due to poor compaction combined with environmental factors like water infiltration under the slab, the concrete becomes uneven and causes more issues. This often creates tripping hazards, water drainage towards your home instead of away from it, and of course the concrete eventually starts cracking and breaking which will ultimately cost more if you ultimately have to replace it.

To get the “mud” beneath the concrete, large 2-3 inch holes are drilled in your concrete, and the mixture is pumped beneath it with hydraulic pressure to slowly raise the slab. This process can take anywhere between a few hours to a few days, depending on the size of the project. Once the “mud” is pumped beneath the concrete that settled, the “pop-can” sized holes are filled with concrete (which rarely matches the rest of your concrete). Since this is a water-based mixture, the drying process can take a few days. You can’t use your concrete until the “mud” beneath it has dried.

How Does Polyurethane Leveling Work?

Polyurethane achieves the same goal of leveling your concrete, but that is really the only commonality it shares with mudjacking. Polyurethane is a polymer/chemical-based solution that’s both eco-friendly and durable. While the initial cost of polyurethane can be more than mudjacking, as the old saying goes, “You get what you pay for!” Polyurethane typically lasts decades longer than mudjacking. And compared to replacing your concrete, it often half or less than half the cost.

The only natural cause that will break down polyurethane is direct sunlight exposure (UV radiation). Obviously the polyurethane is protected by the concrete it sits under, so that is not an issue. Alternatively, a mudjacking slurry is just like soil and with freezing, thawing and moisture intrusion, it will break down just as the soils that were originally holding your concrete in place failed and caused it to sink.

Polyurethane requires smaller holes to inject the material under the concrete, which adds less stress to the slab and reduces the chance of cracking the slab during a project. With the rapid cure time, polyurethane is very easy to manipulate and manage, allowing balanced and precise lifting of slabs without twisting and breaking them. What’s more, polyurethane is a strong, durable material that cures days faster than mudjacking. In fact, our customers use their leveled concrete within minutes of completing their projects. It’s so durable that you can park your car on your concrete when we drive away!

After the polyurethane is injected beneath the concrete and it is leveled, the holes are filled with a quickset concrete grout that cures within an hour. Our leveling process won’t disrupt the surrounding landscaping nor harm adjacent structures. All excess materials are hauled away, and your yard, flower beds, and more are left unscathed.

Concrete Leveling FAQs: Mudjacking vs. Polyurethane

How Long Should Concrete Leveling Take?

Most concrete leveling projects are completed in one day or less, regardless of the material you use. However, mudjacking can take a few hours to a few days to cure, depending on the project size. Polyurethane is fully cured within 15 minutes regardless of the scope of the project, making your concrete serviceable again by the time we clean up and drive away!

What Are The Main Benefits of Concrete Leveling?

Concrete leveling can help you avoid the costly and messy alternative of replacing your concrete. Uneven slabs create tripping hazards, drainage issues and other immediate issues that may lead to long term problems in and around your home. When you level your concrete, you preserve your existing concrete, alleviate dangerous and unsightly conditions, and save money for other home improvement projects instead of spending much more to replace your concrete.

How Long Before I Can Use My Newly Leveled Concrete?

All materials have a set or cure time before you can stand, walk or drive on your concrete after being repaired. Cure times vary widely though based on the material being used:

  • Mudjacking: 1-5 days, depending on ambient temperature, weather and other factors
  • Polyurethane: 15 minutes

Does Concrete Move After Being Leveled?

No one can offer a 100% guarantee of your concrete never moving again. Soils underneath the concrete “breathe” seasonally and will rise and fall naturally, due to the make-up of Colorado soils and water content. This is natural and nothing to worry about. However, if the concrete sinks more than ½ inch or more and stays there, that’s a good sign that the soils have continued settling (and most reputable companies including Liftech offer warranties to protect you against recurring failures).

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Concrete Leveling Cost

At first glance, concrete leveling can look like a more expensive option for fixing your sunken or cracked concrete slab, whether it’s your driveway, garage floor, walkway, patio, porch, or basement. But, if you take a look at the numbers, you’ll find that replacing your concrete is typically much more expensive, and definitely more invasive. Review the cost to repair, replace, or ignore below:

If you decide to replace your concrete, it can take between 1-3 weeks, as well as having to deal with the disruption to your landscaping and surrounding structures. This often involves not having access to parts of your home that you stand, walk or drive on daily for prolonged periods of time. The cost of replacing concrete is also typically thousands of dollars or more, as shown in the information above.

Concrete leveling with polyurethane usually costs a fraction of replacing your concrete.

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Why Your Concrete Shifts and Settles

You may be wondering why your concrete shifts and settles. You paid thousands to have it poured, and now you’re concerned if the job was done correctly. Concrete shifts and settles based on how well or poorly the soil underneath it was compacted, the type of soils in your area, and a few other factors listed below:

Reason #1. Compaction

The whole concept around compaction is to get as much air out of the soil as possible so it doesn’t settle over time. Homes in Colorado typically have basements, which means massive holes are dug to accommodate the foundations that sit under the home. The holes are “over-excavated” to allow for the forming and pouring of the basement walls. Once the foundation walls are cured, the loose dirt is backfilled around the basement walls. Ultimately, this loose dirt settles around the envelope inside and outside of the foundation walls. The area immediately around the perimeter of the home is typically where the soil and concrete sitting on top of that soil sinks. Poor compaction = sunken concrete.

Reason #2. Water

Water causes soil to compact. As water infiltrates the soil, it evacuates the air pockets in the soil, which causes the dirt and soil to “sink” as it dries out. Poor drainage, rain, and snowmelt can all cause the soil around your home (and even beneath it) to move, which results in uneven and cracked concrete.

Reason #3. Drainage

You may think that gutters are only used to keep the water out of your garden or away from your walkways, but they serve a deeper purpose. Gutters redirect water away from your home to keep water from saturating and shifting the soil around your home. Homes where the soil has been poorly compacted will ultimately be impacted the most by water draining into and around the foundation. As the soils continue to settle and the concrete sinks towards the foundation instead of away from it, that can lead to more sinister problems affecting the integrity of the foundation itself. Before the structural integrity of your home is compromised, call Liftech today for a FREE on-site quote!

Schedule Your On-Site Quote Today!

Mudjacking or Polyurethane: Which Should You Choose?

At Liftech, we offer the best concrete leveling service available. As one of three companies in Colorado licensed and certified to inject NCFI polyurethanes, we believe in using proven technology and products that are effective, quick, and easy to install, as well as deliver a long-lasting solution to an immediate problem.

Mudjacking is one of the available solutions to repair sunken concrete slabs, but the benefits of polyurethane heavily outweigh it. When it comes to efficiency, effectiveness, longevity, invasiveness, and serviceability, polyurethane wins every time.

How to Choose a Concrete Leveling Company

It can be tough to choose a concrete leveling company in Colorado. You have numerous options to choose from. However, it’s important to consider the reputation, years of experience, customer results, and specific certifications and licenses that make a trustworthy company.

Liftech is the highest rated concrete stabilization company in Colorado, with over 95% of our customers giving us a perfect 5 Star or A+ rating across the board. Our systems are not only the best technology available, but proven technologies. Our team is comprised of prior home builders, general contractors, engineers, and related industries who have real world experience working with concrete structures for decades.

Don’t wait until it’s too late. Call Liftech today to schedule your FREE on-site concrete leveling quote!

Schedule Your On-Site Quote Today!