When you first notice your concrete settling it is a concern, when someone trips and falls it becomes a liability.
In addition to a potential lawsuit, settling concrete can create wet basements, foundation settlement and frozen puddles. Fixing theses issues starts to make financial sense when compared to lawsuits and structural problems down the road.
So, what are the options?
Do nothing – sometimes ignoring the problem is an acceptable solution. If the settlement is less than 1/2″ (1/4″ for businesses) it generally doesn’t require repair.
Replace it – you can expect to pay between $8-12 a square foot for standard broom finished concrete. This large range of price is due to several factors, both of the removal and the replacement. Was there rebar? How thick was the slab? Are there recycling facilities for the old slab? Is the new slab going to have structural reinforcement? How thick will the new slab be? How is the access to the site? And many more. Generally figure $10 for rip and replace and you won’t be far off. Of course replacement has a few drawbacks beside being the most costly option. You won’t be able to use your concrete for a week or two while the concrete is placed and then given ample time to cure. You can expect some landscape damage from the forms, concrete trucks and general worksite related issues and it can be a several day operation.
Mudjack it – A method going back to the 1930’s Mudjacking pumps a mud slurry through a hole drilled in your slab to hydraulically raise the concrete. This method is a perfectly acceptable method to raise settled concrete. The primary complaint about this method is the large holes needed, 1-2″ diameter and the large number of them since the material doesn’t flow very far from the pumping location. Price is typically half or less of replacement.
Slabjack it – With polyurethane injection. This is basically Mudjacking brought into the twenty first century. Better methods, better material, better end result. Material injected through a much smaller 5/8″ hole and far fewer of them leaves a much better appearance when completed. Material can be formulated for incredible lift for very heavy porches and structures or formulated for filling voids with little lift generated. The ability to have materials available for a wide range of uses is incredibly advantageous compared to Mudjacking. Cost is comparable to Mudjacking due to the efficiency of the method even though the material is more costly.
When should I replace and when to raise? As a general rule if your slabs are in good condition you should raise them. If your slabs have many cracks or if the top of the concrete is spalling replacement is probably your best option.
Here at Slabjack Geotechnical we have a motto- a job needs to meet three criteria, first it needs to be doable, second it needs to be profitable and third IT NEEDS TO BE IN THE CUSTOMERS BEST INTEREST. We will not do a job, no matter the profit to us, if it is not in our customers best interest to do so.
We are so confident in our service we offer a limited five year warranty.
Superior technology, Superior polymers, Superior results.