For anyone in the construction industry, there’s a good chance you’ve encountered uneven, sinking, or damaged concrete. Perhaps it’s a sinking driveway at home, an uneven patio in your backyard, or even sidewalks that have lost their level stance over time. Replacing concrete can be time-consuming, costly, and not to mention disruptive. But what if we told you there’s a simpler solution? Enter concrete lifting.
What is Concrete Lifting?
Concrete lifting, also known as “slabjacking” or “mudjacking,” is a method used to raise and level sunken concrete slabs. Instead of the daunting task of tearing out old slabs and pouring new ones, technicians drill small holes into the existing concrete and inject a special mixture underneath. This mixture fills any voids beneath the slab and exerts an upward pressure, causing the concrete to rise and level out.
Advantages of Concrete Lifting
- Cost-Effective: One of the most appealing benefits of concrete lifting is its cost-effectiveness. It’s generally less expensive than complete replacement. You don’t have to purchase new materials or hire a crew for demolition and repouring. It’s a straightforward fix that saves you money in the long run.
- Time-Saving: Time is money, especially in the construction industry. Concrete lifting can often be done in just a few hours, depending on the size and scope of the project. No more waiting days for the concrete to cure.
- Environmentally Friendly: Instead of dumping the old concrete and creating waste, you’re simply repairing what’s already there. Plus, many of the materials used in the lifting process are eco-friendly.
- Maintains Integrity: Structures and areas like patios, driveways, and sidewalks maintain their original look. There’s no visible difference between the old and new sections as it’s the same slab being adjusted.
- Minimal Disruption: Only a few small holes (usually the size of a coin) are drilled into the slab for the lifting process. This means minimal mess and disruption to the surrounding area. Once the procedure is completed, these holes are patched up, and it’s almost impossible to tell any work has been done.
- Improves Drainage: Correcting the angle and level of sunken concrete can help redirect water, preventing puddles and reducing potential water damage.
Are There Any Disadvantages to Concrete Lifting?
While concrete lifting is a fantastic solution in many cases, it’s essential to be aware of a few potential downsides:
- Not Always Permanent: The material used for lifting can sometimes wash out or deteriorate over time. This could lead to the concrete sinking again. It’s essential to ensure the underlying problem causing the sinking is addressed during the lifting process.
- Limited to Weight: Concrete lifting has its limits. It’s more suitable for residential or light commercial slabs. Heavy structures or those with significant sinking might need a more robust solution.
- Aesthetics: The small holes drilled for the lifting process are patched up post-operation. While they blend in over time, there might be a short period where they are noticeable.
Is Concrete Lifting Right for Your Project?
To determine if concrete lifting is the right solution, consider the following:
- Assess the Damage: If the concrete is severely cracked, broken, or crumbled, lifting might not be the best solution. In such cases, replacement could be a better option.
- Underlying Issue: Determine the cause of the sinking. For instance, if it’s due to soil erosion, you might need to address that first to ensure a long-lasting repair.
- Consult Professionals: Always get a professional opinion. A specialist will help gauge the severity of the issue and recommend the best course of action.
In conclusion, concrete lifting is an excellent solution for those looking to fix sunken concrete without the hassle, cost, and time of complete replacement. While it might not be the answer for every scenario, it’s undeniably a game-changer for many in the construction industry. The next time you come across an uneven pathway or driveway, remember there’s a simpler way to get things back on the level!
Suggested read: How to Pour a Concrete Slab