When listing a residential or industrial property, realtors often find sunken concrete in sidewalks, warehouse floors, loading areas, pool decks, and patios, along with tilting or uneven concrete steps. These are trip hazards and potential buyers will quickly shy away from these issues when the question of how to fix it looks expensive. Most sinking slab problems only get worse in time as the soil beneath the slab continues to shift and settle.
In the past, contractors used the obsolete practice of mud jacking. Mud jacking is expensive, messy, and doesn’t always maintain the lift necessary to keep the area safe. The mud injected under the slab was subjected to the same conditions that made the slab sink in the first place. Water moving through the ground under the slabs can wash away the soils that support the concrete. As soil washout continues, it creates voids and empty space under the slab. Because mud jacking uses the same type of soil that already washed away, over time, the property owner will find the concrete begin to sink again.
Replacing the concrete is another option that is disruptive and expensive for the seller or potential buyer. First the slabs must be jackhammered to break them apart and then the broken concrete must be hauled away. Then, weather permitting, the new concrete must be poured and given time to cure. This process could result in damage to the lawn and landscaping and the color of the original concrete may not match the new slabs. For interior slabs, everything in the room must be removed, along with baseboards and the lower portion of the walls. A new floor is then poured and must be allowed to cure for at least two weeks before the interior walls can be rebuilt and floor coverings re-installed to make the room usable again. Either inside or outside, both are extremely expensive and can cause major disruption to the property.
So, if mud jacking doesn’t work and slab replacement is too expensive, what’s the solution?
Quality 1st Contracting offers the PolyLevel Lifting & Leveling System which takes the original concept of mud jacking and combines it with modern knowledge and technology. A light weight polymer foam, PolyLevel is injected under the slab through dime size holes, weighs only about 4 pounds per cubic foot and is environmentally safe. It is strong enough to support substantial loads and can be driven on within 15 minutes after installation. The high capacity strength of PolyLevel has a lifting force from 2,000 to 4,000 pounds per square foot. It can lift very heavy structures and has been used on roads, bridges, industrial buildings, warehouses, and railroads with great success. It is also the perfect solution for residential homes as it has a very clean installation and works great for interior slabs, driveways, sidewalks, pool decks and porches. The PolyLevel Lifting & Leveling System comes with a warranty and completely eliminates the need to remove and replace slabs, making it much more cost effective for the property owner. This lifting and leveling system, not only results in a permanent solution that looks better and lasts longer, it is less destructive to the applied surface. PolyLevel is a quick, affordable solution that will eliminate trip hazards and restore property value.
Tom Roman is the owner of Quality 1st Contracting. He has been helping realtors, property managers, and homeowners fix their homes “the right way the FIRST time” since 1986. His expertise in leveling sinking slabs, along with basement waterproofing, and foundation and crawl space repairs has made him a leader in the industry.