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PolyLevel vs. Mudjacking

Concrete Leveling with PolyLevel.
Uneven concrete is not only just an eyesore, it can also pose a potential safety concern. Concrete slabs that have heaved or settled in your driveway, sidewalk, or pool deck can create significant tripping hazards that can lead to serious injuries for yourself and others.

When you first observe the initial signs that your concrete has become uneven, you may already know how important it is to address the situation right away before it worsens. Potential risk for injuries aside, delaying concrete repairs can also escalate costs over time and even result in irreparable damage, potentially necessitating a full concrete replacement. 

Different methods for leveling uneven concrete have been utilized over the years, with varying degrees of their effectiveness. Innovative technological advances have paved the way for more effective methods that surpass older procedures, potentially surprising those accustomed to the more traditional solutions.

Mudjacking has historically been a common method for leveling settled concrete. However, the advent of modern methods like PolyLevel, which utilizes polyurethane foam injections, has dramatically altered the concrete leveling repair landscape.

The question that may come to mind is which method is more effective and why? Let’s take a deeper look into each method and the pros and cons of each.

Mudjacking for Concrete Leveling

In use since the early 20th century, mudjacking, known also as slab jacking, is a method that involves injecting a grout slurry mixture of different components such as cement, soil, water, and other elements under concrete in order to lift and level settling slabs. The grout will fill the voids in the soil beneath the concrete caused by erosion, lifting the slab back to its proper level. Once dried, it will provide stable support for the concrete slab.

For the better part of a century, the mudjacking method has been the primary technique used by concrete repair contractors. It has been employed to level concrete surfaces such as driveways, sidewalks, and patios, and even utilized to some extent for foundations.

However, mudjacking comes with several drawbacks, and its initial perception of cost-effectiveness may actually result in higher costs over time.

Mujacking Drawbacks

While the mudjacking method may seem practical, especially considering its long history of use, it is not without its flaws. Many of the features that initially make mudjacking effective also simultaneously create additional issues.

First, mudjacking is very messy. After all, it has mud in the name. Because the slurry mixture that is pumped under the concrete slabs contains water, the substance reacts in the same way as actual mud. When the slurry fills the voids underneath, it tends to shoot out through the injection port under pressure, creating an unpleasant mess that will need to be cleaned up immediately before drying can take place.

Additionally, when the water dries out the substance will contract under the concrete, creating even more voids under the concrete. This, in turn, reintroduces the original problem of settling concrete slabs that mudjacking was intended to solve. What’s more is if the slurry under the concrete gets wet again, it will turn right back into mud that will likely wash out. Kind of defeats the purpose, doesn’t it?

It's worth noting that when addressing poorly compacted soil beneath concrete - which causes slabs to sink - mudjacking only adds more weight on top of that soil. The heavy amount of mudjacking slurry that is injected does not stabilize the soil, it only adds more compounding pressure. It is a safe bet at this point that the concrete of your driveway, pool deck, or patio will likely sink again sooner rather than later.

PolyLevel® for Concrete Leveling and Stabilization

As years went by, it was widely believed across the concrete repair industry that a more efficient way to level and stabilize concrete was needed. An alternative method that wasn’t so cumbersome and offered a true long-term solution had to be developed. 

Enter PolyLevel: a lightweight polyurethane foam offered exclusively by Supportworks dealers that is injected directly underneath concrete through tiny ports to lift and level settling slabs. Initially injected in liquid form, the PolyLevel foam quickly expands and solidifies, filling voids in the soil underneath while also providing the necessary support to elevate sunken concrete. 

Simultaneously, PolyLevel will not only raise concrete slabs but will also work to stabilize the surrounding soil. Its lightweight, waterproof, and environmentally friendly material ensures that the concrete above it will remain level for many years to come, without placing undo pressure on the soil underneath. 

Another great advantage of PolyLevel is its quick curing time. While mudjacking has historically been a lengthy process with a curing time that could take many days, concrete leveled with PolyLevel may be used normally in as little as a couple of hours after application. Once the job is complete, the tiny injection ports are carefully concealed on the surface, unlike the larger, unsightly ports used for mudjacking.

The Final Debate

The truth is, there clearly is little debate. The messy, inconvenient process of mudjacking has shown over time to not be a permanent solution. With future settlement issues almost guaranteed later down the road, opting for mudjacking's cheaper option will not only cost more in the long run due to repeated repairs but can also cause harm to the surrounding environment.

PolyLevel’s quick, clean, and long-term effectiveness makes it the obvious choice for modern concrete lifting services. Provided by LRE Foundation Repair for your concrete repair needs, learn more about how PolyLevel is the right solution for you by scheduling a free inspection today.

 

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