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A Starter Guide to Concrete Leveling

Concrete is all over our properties—sidewalks, patios, pool decks, and even slab floors and foundations. Builders and contractors use it so much because of its durability. Even though it’s strong, it can fall victim to damage over the years. 

Damaged concrete not only makes your property look bad, but it jeopardizes your family’s safety. It’s important to repair it with the best solution as soon as you notice a problem. Concrete leveling is a widely used repair method for restoring sinking and uneven concrete slabs to like new. 

In this guide, you’ll learn more about concrete leveling, when it is needed, different approaches, who can help you, and how much it will cost. 

Concrete Leveling: The Basics 

One type of repair used to fix sunken or uneven surfaces is concrete leveling. Raising and leveling the concrete is necessary to put it back in place and get rid of the risks that the unevenness created. The concrete area’s appearance, usefulness, and safety are all enhanced by this approach. 

You may have also heard one of the following terms used to describe concrete leveling: 

  • Concrete raising 
  • Concrete lifting 
  • Concrete repair 
  • Slab lifting 
  • Slabjacking 
  • Cement jacking 
  • Concrete jacking 

How Concrete Leveling Works 

Concrete leveling restores concrete to its original position by adding various materials underneath the sunken slabs. This improves safety, function, and appearance. There are various methods that can be used, and the optimal one depends on the situation and desired result. 

To determine if concrete leveling is necessary, examine your surfaces for significant unevenness, sinking, or hazards. If you suspect your concrete is damaged, consult a professional about leveling options. Even if surfaces seem to be in good condition, meeting with an expert can help decide if leveling would be beneficial. 

The price of the project varies based on factors such as the size of the area affected, damage severity, repair technique, and scope of work. It’s wise to obtain quotes from reputable contractors for an accurate estimate. Compared to full replacement, concrete leveling is a cost-effective solution. Consider the advantages and disadvantages, your needs, and professional advice to make the best decision. 

Top 4 Concrete Leveling Methods 

There are four primary methods used to level concrete: polyurethane foam leveling, mudjacking, cement or stone slurry concrete leveling, and self-leveling concrete. The table below details each one, including their pros and cons, in order from best to worst method. 

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  

Common Types of Concrete that Need Leveling 

You might find damage on a variety of concrete surface around your property, including: 

But what should you look for? 

Signs You Need Concrete Leveling 

Concrete problems on these areas come in all shapes and sizes. 

The easiest way to tell if your home needs concrete leveling is if you notice the presence of sinking and uneven slabs that don’t match up or result in a surface that is no longer smooth. This unevenness is dangerous, as it creates tripping hazards. 

You might also notice cracking concrete and vehicular issues as your car struggles to navigate lopsided garage or driveway slabs. 

Who Can Help with Concrete Leveling 

Some damage may not seem severe enough to call for a professional, but we do not recommend that you try to DIY concrete leveling or similar repairs. It can quickly get out of hand, become dangerous, and cost a lot to fix. 

The best way to level problematic concrete around your home is to seek expert advice from local pros like Indiana Foundation Service. Our team has 30 years of experience with leveling concrete throughout Central and Southern Indiana. Homeowners know they can count on our expertise, quality materials, exceptional customer care, and lasting results. 

Our process starts with a thorough, free inspection of your property to pinpoint what’s causing the damage. This enables us to design tailored solutions specific to your needs. We take pride in recommending the optimal concrete lifting techniques and materials for robust, long-lasting repairs built to endure. 

Signs You May Not Need Concrete Leveling 

While cracking is indeed a sign that something is wrong with your concrete slabs, sometimes, it’s not a severe issue. Thin hairline cracks often form as a natural part of the curing process. If they don’t grow or change in size, width, or depth, they can be treated with cosmetic repairs rather than concrete leveling. 

On the other hand, concrete can also have severe damage such as crumbling, chipping, pitting, flaking, or staining. These issues generally call for repairs other than concrete leveling. Resurfacing may be needed for pitting, flaking, or staining areas, and slabs in severe disrepair may need to be removed and replaced. 

Who To Call When You Don’t Need Concrete Leveling 

Act quickly when you notice sunken or deteriorating concrete to maximize repair options. Contact local experts like Indiana Foundation Service as soon as you see unevenness, cracking, or other problems for a full evaluation and advice on optimal repair methods. 

Though concrete leveling may not suit your repair needs, our team can clarify your choices like resurfacing or repouring and provide guidance on ideal next steps. Don’t delay—get in touch when problems first arise to understand and address them promptly. 

Breaking Down Concrete Leveling Costs 

One of the most common questions we hear from homeowners is, “How much is a concrete leveling project going to cost me?” We understand price is a big deal, but the question of the cost for your specific home doesn’t always have a straightforward answer.  

We know how frustrating that is to hear. But the overall cost depends on various factors unique to your situation, including: 

  • How severe the damage is 
  • The size and location of areas needing repair 
  • Chosen repair method 
  • Amount of necessary product 
  • Equipment, materials, labor, permits 

The surest way to get an accurate price breakdown is to call your local concrete leveling experts for a free inspection. You’ll also receive a no-obligation estimate and information about financing options

A Closer Look at Concrete Leveling Costs 

Some leveling methods are fast, effective, and can average around $1,000. Here’s a breakdown of common techniques and typical costs: 

  • Concrete Replacement: Fully demolishing and repouring the slab requires expertise, heavy equipment, extended downtime, and heavy cement leading to future settling. This can cost $5,000 or more. 
  • Sidewalk Lifting: Sidewalks and walkways see a lot of foot traffic, but not a ton of weight. Lifting sidewalks can run from $500 to $2,000 or more. 
  • Driveway Leveling: Garage floors and driveways endure heavy traffic, making damage very visible. Leveling concrete driveways or garage slabs often ranges from $800 to $4,000. 
  • Patio Raising: Costs for smaller concrete areas like patios and porches are comparable at $800 to $3,000 or more. Raising a porch with foundation issues may exceed $5,000 if foundation piers are needed. 

How to Save Money on Your Concrete Repairs 

Though rough online estimates may be unclear, here are practical tips to save on concrete repairs: 

  • Inspect concrete regularly to prevent severe deterioration 
  • Avoid invasive methods like mudjacking 
  • Don’t attempt DIY repairs 
  • Partner with a trusted repair pro for leveling 
  • Choose reliable, long-lasting solutions like PolyRenewal™ 
  • Inquire about payment and financing options 
  • Take advantage of annual maintenance programs 

Conclusion: Contact Indiana Foundation Service for Concrete Lifting and Leveling Today! 

Don’t ignore cracked or uneven concrete; it diminishes curb appeal and creates safety hazards. Tackle these issues quickly by consulting local concrete leveling specialists. 

With 30 years of expertise, Indiana Foundation Service focuses on improving home safety across Central and Southern Indiana using our innovative PolyRenewal™ polyurethane foam injection method. This versatile technique can restore your property and your peace of mind. Contact us today to schedule a free inspection and obtain a no-obligation repair estimate. 

FAQs

PolyRenewal™ polyurethane foam injection is the premier concrete leveling technique. Unlike conventional approaches like mudjacking and repouring, polyurethane foam is minimally invasive, highly durable, eco-friendly, and cures rapidly. Contact the concrete leveling specialists at Indiana Foundation Service for a free inspection and more details on this innovative repair. We can advise on the ideal leveling solution for your needs. 

The process depends on several factors, but it usually takes one to three days. Experts work efficiently to limit disruption to your property. Polyurethane sets rapidly while concrete and mudjacking require more cure time. During a free inspection from Indiana Foundation Service, you’ll receive an accurate project timeline estimate. Our specialists aim to complete leveling work promptly. 

With proper maintenance, professionally leveled concrete can last for many years, depending on the repair method used. Factors like soil settling, freezing/thawing cycles, and traffic loads affect durability. Any new cracking should be assessed. For details on concrete leveling, especially long-lasting polyurethane injection, Indiana Foundation Service offers free inspections and estimates. Our experts can advise on solutions to maximize the lifespan of repaired concrete. 

Holly Richards-Purpura

Holly Richards-Purpura

Content Writer

Holly is a Content Writer for Groundworks who has written and edited web content for the foundation services industry for almost 10 years. With a background in journalism, her passion for the written word runs deep. Holly lives in Columbus, OH, with her husband. Along with educating homeowners, she also has a big heart for the Big Apple.

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

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