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Concrete Leveling: The Ultimate Guide

Concrete forms the backbone of various outdoor structures like sidewalks, driveways, patios, and pool decks. Despite its robustness, concrete isn’t immune to damage over the years, necessitating proper repair techniques.

This guide is designed to introduce you to concrete leveling, a key solution for repairing uneven or sinking concrete surfaces. We’ll cover the essentials of concrete leveling, including its definition, the process, and various techniques employed.

This guide aims to assist both homeowners and business owners in deciding if concrete leveling is the appropriate solution for their situation.

What Exactly is Concrete Leveling?

Concrete leveling addresses the issue of uneven or sinking concrete by lifting it to its original state, ending the tripping hazards associated with its unevenness. This repair not only boosts safety and functionality but also improves the visual appeal of the concrete space.

Concrete leveling is recognized by several names, including:

  • Concrete Repair
  • Concrete Lifting
  • Slabjacking
  • Slab Lifting
  • Concrete Jacking
  • Cement Jacking

Specifically, our method, PolyRenewal™, also known as Polylifting, Polyjacking, or Polyurethane Foam Leveling, represents a modern approach to concrete leveling. Other common methods include:

  • Mudjacking
  • Stone Grout Slurry Leveling
  • Self-Leveling Concrete

How Concrete Leveling Works

leveled concrete driveway

Concrete leveling efficiently raises and levels sunken concrete surfaces, restoring their original placement. This process not only enhances the area’s safety and functionality but also its aesthetics.

Techniques vary, and the right one for your home should be selected based on specific needs and outcomes.

Professional assessment is crucial when considering concrete leveling. Even if your concrete is only recently starting to show damage, consulting with a professional can help determine the right plan of action.

The 4 Most Popular Methods of Concrete Leveling

Several methods are available to achieve a level concrete surface.

Each method offers distinct advantages and is chosen based on factors such as the severity of the sinking, the condition of the soil, and the desired outcome of the repair.

Below is a ranked list from the most effective to the least:

1. Polyurethane Foam Concrete Leveling

polylifting injector in concrete

Polyurethane foam concrete leveling is a quick and effective method for correcting sunken concrete surfaces.

It involves injecting high-density foam through small holes in the concrete, which then expands to lift and stabilize the slab.

This technique is less invasive and more eco-friendly than traditional methods, requiring minimal downtime. The foam’s lightweight nature prevents further soil compression, while its resistance to water and chemicals ensures durable repair.

2. Mudjacking

slurry from mudjacking

Mudjacking, also known as slabjacking, is an older method for lifting and stabilizing sunken concrete slabs.

This process involves pumping a slurry mixture, typically made of water, soil, sand, and cement, underneath the concrete through holes drilled on its surface. The pressure from the slurry fills voids and raises the slab back to its original level.

Though it can get pricey and messy, mudjacking is a cost-effective alternative to complete concrete replacement. It is more invasive than methods like polyurethane foam injection and the weight of the slurry can contribute to further soil compression over time.

3. Cement or Stone Slurry Concrete Leveling

Similar to mudjacking, this technique involves injecting a dense slurry made primarily of cement or a mixture of cement and fine stones into the ground underneath the affected concrete through strategically drilled holes. The slurry then hardens, lifting the concrete slab back to its original position.

While it shares some of the invasive qualities of traditional mudjacking, the durability and load-bearing capacity of the cement or stone slurry make it a preferred choice. However, the process can be more costly and time-consuming than other leveling methods, given the materials and labor involved.

4. Self-Leveling Concrete

Self-leveling concrete is a highly fluid and polymer-modified cement that spreads out evenly on its own to create a smooth, level surface without the need for extensive manual spreading and leveling. This method is used for correcting uneven floors inside buildings.

The mixture is designed to flow and fill in low spots, creating a flat and uniform surface upon curing.

Although it offers a quick and aesthetically pleasing finish, it’s primarily used indoors.

The Benefits and Drawbacks of Using PolyRenewal™ for Concrete Leveling

When it comes to PolyRenewal™ as a method for leveling concrete, it stands out as a superior option for tackling a wide range of concrete issues.

PolyRenewal™ provides a twofold benefit: it not only corrects the elevation of concrete slabs but also strengthens the foundation underneath.

Here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons associated with using PolyRenewal™ for concrete restoration.

Benefits

  • Cost-Effectiveness: Presents an affordable repair solution.
  • Efficiency: Drastically cuts down on the time required for completion.
  • Simplicity: Offers a straightforward application process.
  • Consistency: Delivers uniform results.
  • Cleanliness: Keeps the site tidy throughout the procedure.
  • Eco-Friendliness: Showcases a commitment to environmental sustainability.

Drawbacks

  • Leveling Precision: While highly effective, it might not provide perfect leveling.
  • Crack Visibility: It does not always conceal existing cracks after treatment.
  • Sensitivity to Soil Conditions: The effectiveness may be impacted by the state of the soil beneath.

Despite a few potential drawbacks, PolyRenewal™’s comprehensive advantages make it an outstanding choice for concrete leveling and stabilization projects, meeting the high standards of quality and eco-consciousness expected by professionals.

When to Level Your Concrete

Determining the right time to level your concrete is crucial for maintaining the integrity and appearance of your property. Here are key indicators that suggest it’s time to consider concrete leveling:

  • Visible Unevenness: When you notice uneven surfaces on your driveways, sidewalks, or patios, indicating a potential trip hazard.
  • Water Pooling: If water pools in certain areas of your concrete slabs after rain, it suggests improper slope and drainage, which leveling can correct.
  • Cracks Formation: The appearance of cracks in your concrete is a telltale sign that the underlying soil is settling unevenly, necessitating leveling.
  • Aesthetic Concerns: If the look of your cracked or uneven concrete is diminishing the curb appeal of your property, leveling can restore its appearance.

Addressing these issues promptly with concrete leveling can prevent further damage, reduce safety hazards, and enhance the overall value of your property.

When To Call the Professionals

Innovative Basement Authority is your best choice when repairing uneven or sinking concrete issues. Backed by nearly 20 years of expertise in navigating our region’s unique soil compositions, our extensive experience has cemented our status as the go-to experts for concrete solutions.

We go beyond mere temporary fixes to address the underlying causes of each issue, ensuring we offer solutions that stand the test of time.

Our commitment is to provide not only effective solutions but also to ensure the safety and integrity of your property. Schedule a free inspection.

When Concrete Leveling Isn’t the Answer

Opting for concrete lifting is not always the best course of action, especially at the two extremes of concrete damage: minimal or very severe.

Small, fine cracks in your concrete are pretty normal as it settles and dries out. These little imperfections often stay the same and can be easily touched up with a bit of cosmetic work, without needing concrete lifting.

On the flip side, if your concrete has seen better days and is really starting to show its age with pieces breaking off or edges that are crumbling, that’s a whole different ball game. This kind of damage isn’t just an eyesore; it can actually be dangerous and weaken the whole structure. In cases like this, a simple fix or lift won’t cut it, and replacing the concrete is the best bet to keep everything safe and sound.

Understanding the Costs Involved in Concrete Leveling

The cost of concrete leveling can differ significantly based on several key factors:

  • Size of Area: The larger the area that needs leveling, the higher the cost will likely be.
  • Leveling Method: Different techniques, such as polyurethane foam injection or mudjacking, have varying prices.
  • Concrete Condition: More extensive damage or severe sinking can increase the complexity and cost of the job.
  • Location: Prices for concrete leveling services can vary from one region to another, influenced by local labor and material costs.

Overall, while concrete leveling is generally more affordable than a full replacement, the final cost depends on these specific factors. It’s important to get a custom quote for your project to understand the expected expenses fully.

Concrete Leveling vs. Replacement: Evaluating Costs

When facing concrete problems, it may feel like you have two main choices: level it or opt for a complete replacement. 

Here’s a look at the costs: 

Opting for early intervention and leveling, especially using a method like PolyRenewal™, can be a real money-saver. It’s not just quick; it’s also cost-effective. 

However, when dealing with severely worn-out concrete, replacement might seem like the only option. But be warned, starting from scratch with new concrete is not only a hassle timewise, but it’ll also make a significant dent in your finances. Plus, without addressing the underlying issue, even new concrete might eventually start to sink. 

The cost difference is stark: Replacements can cost upwards of $5,000, whereas early, proactive leveling repairs average around $1,000.

So, how much does concrete leveling cost?

  • Driveways: Given their daily car traffic, repairing driveways can range from $800 to $4,000. 
  • Patios: These areas might see less wear and tear from vehicles but expect to pay between $800 and $3,000 for leveling. Porches requiring more intensive fixes, like piering, might exceed $5,000. 
  • Walkways: These frequently trodden paths could cost you between $500 to $2,000 to level. 

In summary, leveling is usually the best bet for both your time and money if it’s an option.

Concrete Leveling FAQs

While some minor concrete work can be a DIY project, professional services are recommended for leveling or more complex jobs to ensure durability and safety.

A professional inspection can determine the best method based on the condition of your concrete and the underlying soil.

he holes are filled with a material that matches the surrounding concrete as closely as possible, making them less noticeable.

Choose Innovative Basement Authority for Concrete Leveling Needs

IBA concrete leveling technicians

Choosing Innovative Basement Authority for your concrete leveling needs means you’re teaming up with experienced professionals dedicated to delivering top-notch service, quality, and customer service.

Armed with extensive know-how in tackling diverse soil types and weather patterns, we’ve honed our concrete leveling techniques to ensure durable outcomes.

Our use of cutting-edge methods, like PolyRenewal™ injection, not only raises and secures your concrete but also targets the root problems causing the dips and unevenness.

Choosing Innovative Basement Authority guarantees a smooth process that enhances the safety and beauty of your home. Book your free inspection today.

Leah Leitow

Leah Leitow

Content Writer

Leah is a Content Writer for Groundworks with nearly ten years of experience working in the foundation repair industry. Her experience ranges from working with homeowners to find the right solution to training inspectors and staff. In her background as a Michigan journalist, she gained invaluable insight into people's lives throughout our state. Leah lives in metro Detroit with her husband and two sons.

Disclaimer: “Concrete leveling” means the process by which cracked, uneven concrete is stabilized, and in most cases lifted, by means of PolyRenewal™ polyurethane foam. Innovative Basement Authority does not guarantee that PolyRenewal™ can make any and/or every square inch of your concrete perfectly level.    

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