What’s Mudjacking?

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Mudjacking is the process of lifting concrete slabs by pumping a mixture of water, earth, and concrete underneath. It can solve problems like settling foundations, crumbling curbs, and sagging sidewalks. The process involves drilling holes, pumping in the slurry, and filling the holes with concrete. Only experienced professionals should perform mudjacking to avoid further damage. It is a cheaper and faster alternative to replacing concrete and results in a more structurally sound slab.

Mudjacking is the process of pumping a mixture of water, earth and concrete under a concrete slab to lift it up. This mixture is called slurry. The exact ingredients vary from company to company and from job to job. Mudjacking can be the solution to many homeowners’ real-world problems, including settling foundations, crumbling curbs, and repairing sagging sidewalks. It can also be called concrete leveling, pressure grouting, or platejacking.

Concrete can sink or settle for a variety of reasons. If the original concrete was placed on poorly compacted soil, the slab will begin to settle within a few years. Soil erosion is another big contributor and is quite common in parts of the United States. Earth also settles naturally over time, so if the slab is more than seven or ten years old, that could be the natural progression of things. Either way, once concrete begins to sag or sink, it can cause walking hazards, unwanted water runoff, or serious foundation problems.

The whole process is quite simple. First, small holes are made in the concrete slab to be lifted. The slurry is then pumped into these holes under pressure, filling any gaps under the slab. As the gaps are filled, the slurry becomes pressurized and hydraulically lifts the slab to the required height. In the final stage, the originally drilled holes are then filled with a concrete mix.

Mudjacking isn’t a complicated process, but it’s still not for the amateurs. Only experienced professionals can perform this procedure to avoid doing even greater damage. Amateur work can cause irreparable damage to the concrete that can cost more to repair or replace than the original damage.

Mudjacking is a more efficient alternative to replacing concrete. Stripping old concrete and laying new requires more equipment and more workers than mudjacking. This makes the replacement cost nearly double that of mudjacking. Not only is it cheaper, but it fixes faster too. Some concrete castings can take days to fully set, while concrete that has been muddled can be ready in hours. You also don’t have to disturb the landscaping or adjacent plants, making the whole endeavor a much cleaner process.

Once the uplift is complete, both the concrete slab and the underlying soil will be much more structurally sound. The fact that mudjacking uses the concrete slab itself is another plus. Aged concrete is structurally superior to new concrete. As long as sinking is the only problem, repairing the old slab is better than making a new one.

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