Slab Jacking: The Best Way to Repair Your Home’s Foundation?
Are you starting to see cracks form in your foundation? Is your driveway or patio losing its level and sink into the soil?
It is terrifying to watch your home sink into the earth. But, do not worry! There is a solution for an uneven slab foundation.
Fix your foundation with slab jacking.
What’s that crazy term? Slab jacking! And by the end of this article, you’ll know if it is right for you.
Soil erosion is the most common problem for concrete foundations and is the main reason loses its level. Soil erosion occurs for a number of different reasons.
For the most part, we see soil erosion occur slowly over time. This is due to the composition of the soil beneath the foundation.
Rock, gravel, clay, and sand are less likely to erode than pure dirt soil.
Pure dirt soil breaks down and is washed away, changing the composition of the entire area. You see this effect on the surface of the soil, too, if you have rocks or bricks lining the edge of a garden.
Broken pipes or drainage issues cause the rapid erosion of soil, too. If there is a leak in your plumbing or a problem with your home’s water diversion system, this water might cause erosion around your foundation.
A house that is slightly off level is not always a problem. But serious erosion under the foundation causes large cracks and leads to major structural failures in time.
Leaving problems in your foundation unattended can cause your whole home to collapse. You definitely do not want that!
What is Slab Jacking?
Anytime we pour a concrete foundation, we want it to sit level forever. If the concrete slab ever loses its level seating, it can be fixed with slab jacking.
Slab jacking is a method for lifting a side of the concrete slab so it can sit level again. It doesn’t require breaking up the concrete and creates very little debris.
In homes with basements and crawl spaces, jacks can raise the foundation. But when the house sits on concrete slab, the whole slab cannot be lifted.
So how does slab jacking working?
First, holes are drilled into the foundation, about half an inch in diameter.
Next, stable materials are pumped into the holes. When this material consists of natural materials, it creates a muddy slurry and is known as mud jacking. Polyurethane foam is a popular alternative to mud.
Mud is less expensive than poly foam, but foam is often the better solution.
The benefit of polyurethane foam in slab jacking is that the slab is not raised by the pressure from the pump. Instead, the polyurethane foam expands and slowly raises the foundation.
And unlike the natural materials used for mud jacking, polyurethane foam is also resistant to erosion.
Once the raised slab sits level again, workers plug the holes that they drilled at the start.
Is Slab Jacking Right for Me?
Slab jacking is an excellent solution for a number of reasons. To start, it is the least invasive repair method for re-leveling concrete slab.
While special equipment is needed, like foam slab jacking pumps, this arrives at your house on a normal truck. The pump hose is extra-long, too, and reaches around your property without issue.
There is no need to drive equipment off of the road and onto your property. Your lawn is safe.
Slab jacking is less destructive than pouring a new foundation.
When pouring a new foundation, the old foundation first gets broken up and hauled away. Since this doesn’t happen, there is very little to clean up except for some concrete dust and residual foam.
Since there is no demolition, there is also no persistent construction noise. No jackhammers!
And in truth, replacing a concrete slab foundation does not fix the problems in the soil which caused the foundation to lose level to begin with. Slab jacking remediates the erosion and re-levels the slab.
While Slab jacking is an excellent solution with a ton of benefits, it is not the solution for every problem in every foundation.
Slab jacking is not right for fixing your home’s entire foundation. While polyurethane foam is a high-density material and is very strong, it is not supposed to support the weight of an entire house.
Slab jacking is right for remediating smaller sections of concrete slab, like garage floors, sidewalks, and patios.
How much does concrete slab jacking cost? Cost is a reflection of the size of the slab that you need to lift. However, it is much less expensive than replacing the concrete entirely.
The cost of a new concrete foundation is sometimes double the cost of slab jacking. It is much more cost-effective to repair and re-level your patio than to pour a new one.
Other Problems That Exist
If your concrete foundation is uneven because of soil erosion, there is a good chance that you will find other problems as well. Repair these problems when you find them.
For example, changes in the soil underneath and around your foundation cause the concrete to crack. These cracks ruin your foundation’s waterproofing and allow water to leak in.
Problems with plumbing or water diversion will only continue to damage your foundation. Make sure you check that your plumbing is not leaking. Check that your downspouts drain water away from your home and do not empty near your foundation.
The walls in your basement may bow from changes to the surrounding soil pressure. If this happens, you risk the integrity of your home’s whole structure, and it can collapse.
Hire a Professional
None of this work is something you should take on by yourself. Do not DIY repairs to your foundation. The work is dangerous and the risks to your property are severe.
If you suspect that your foundation is losing its level or that you need a section of concrete slab repaired, our team is ready to help. Give us a call today to speak to an expert about slab jacking and other foundation repairs.