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Leveling a Concrete Driveway: Methods, Prevention, & DIY

The role of a driveway in our daily routines is important, though often overlooked. Regular exposure to the elements can cause significant wear, leading to cracks and uneven slabs. 

For homeowners, the impact of a compromised driveway goes beyond just curb appeal—it presents safety hazards, may lower property value, and risks damage to vehicles. 

The solution? Concrete leveling. This process involves injecting a specialized material underneath the concrete to elevate it back to its original level. 

In this guide, we’ll explore various driveway repair and leveling methods, discussing the benefits and limitations of each, and highlight the importance of seeking professional concrete leveling services. 

Top 4 Methods for Driveway Leveling 

A dependable driveway relies on a solid foundation, primarily the stability of the soil beneath it. Over time, any shift or erosion in this soil can create voids, resulting in a sinking driveway. 

Therefore, ensuring the soil’s stability is crucial for the effective repair or leveling of your driveway. Keep this in mind as you choose the best repair approach. 

1. Mudjacking

What it is:

Also known as “slabjacking ,” mudjacking uses a slurry formula (cement, water, soil, and sand mixture) which is pumped underneath sunken concrete to raise it back to level.  

Pros:

  • Fills up gaps and forms a sturdy base for concrete  

Cons:

  • Requires large holes  
  • Does not fully fill voids  
  • Difficult to control material flow  
  • Long cure time  
  • Cannot use concrete for several days  
  • Added weight on top of soil  
  • Temporary solution 

2. Polyurethane Foam Injection 

What it is:

Also known as “polyjacking,” “polylifting,” or PolyRenewal™ (our method), Polyurethane injection involves injecting a specially formulated foam material under the concrete which expands and lifts the slab.  

Pros:

  • Lightweight foam  
  • Smaller drill holes  
  • Completely fills voids  
  • Cures quickly (within 30 minutes)  
  • Environmentally friendly 
  • Stabilizes underlying soil  
  • Smooth finish  
  • Lasting results  

Cons:

  • Slabs may not be 100% level  
  • Visible cracks may remain  
  • Variable soil conditions can impact its stability  

3. Replacement

What it is:

Driveway replacement involves demolishing old slabs and repouring cement  in its place which may be necessary with severely damaged, crumbling, pitting, flaking, or staining concrete  

Pros:

  • Brand new concrete slabs  
  • Smooth finish  

Cons:

  • Requires heavy equipment and excavation  
  • Extended downtime (long cure time and inability to use driveway)  
  • Heavy cement on top of unstable soil  
  • Future soil and slab settlement likely  
  • Expensive (sometimes costing $5,000 or more)

4. Asphalt Overlay  

What it is:

Asphalt overlay is used for minor sinking and cracks.  An epoxy and sand slurry used to fill voids and level the surface on top.  

Pros:

  • Relatively inexpensive  
  • Less disruptive method  
  • Can be used to fill potholes  
  • Smooth, consistent finish  

Cons:

  • Added weight to soil  
  • Worsens underlying issues  
  • Not suitable for severely damaged slabs  
  • Concrete’s expansion joints can cause shifting asphalt over time, leading to cracks and bumps  

Can I Fix My Sunken Driveway Myself? 

Tackling driveway repair yourself might sound tempting, but honestly, it’s a job that really benefits from a professional installation. 

Trying to level your driveway on your own can be quite tricky. You’d need special tools and materials that aren’t just lying around in the average garage, and they can get pretty pricey. Plus, using heavy equipment without the right skills can be risky. 

To keep things safe and sound, it’s smart to bring in the experts. Contact Innovative Basement Authority. We offer a free inspection and estimate, all customized to the specific needs of your driveway.  

3 Strategies to Prevent Driveway Damage 

Driveway issues are not uncommon, but proactive measures can significantly stop concrete damage from getting worse: 

  • Balanced Weight Distribution: Prevent stress and potential cracking or sinking by avoiding the continuous placement of heavy loads in one spot on your driveway. 
  • Optimal Drainage: Ensure that your gutters and landscape design effectively divert water away from your driveway to prevent water-induced damage. 
  • Routine Inspection and Upkeep: Monitor your driveway for early signs of wear or damage. Promptly addressing these signs with the expertise of concrete specialists can help avoid more extensive problems. 

Choose Professional Driveway Leveling with Innovative Basement Authority 

Your driveway plays a big part in keeping your home safe, looking good, and holding its value. Small problems can quickly turn into big, costly ones if they’re ignored.  

That’s where Innovative Basement Authority comes in. We offer expert advice and free inspections to help get your driveway back in top shape. 

With nearly 20 years of experience, we’re the go-to experts that homeowners trust for thorough evaluations, tailored repair solutions, and results that last. 

Get in touch with us today.  

FAQs

While many can, extreme damage or concrete crumbling may require replacement. A professional assessment can determine the best course of action. 

Methods like polyurethane foam injection are considered eco-friendly due to the materials used and the process’s ability to conserve the existing concrete.  

Leveling can close or significantly reduce the appearance of cracks, but some may still be visible. Additional cosmetic repairs can be done to close the cracks.

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 many cases lifted, by means of PolyRenewal™ polyurethane foam. Innovative Basement Authority does not guarantee that PolyRenewal™ can make your concrete perfectly level.    

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