Need to Fix a Sinking Concrete Porch? Two Options to Consider
I have fond memories of sitting on my grandparent’s porch, watching birds and squirrels squabble over sunflower seeds. My never-idle grandmother worked on her latest sewing project and my grandfather tried to read, while I bombarded them with a child’s endless stream of questions.
Like my grandparents did, many homeowners consider their porches and patios to be an extension of their living space. It’s an outdoor room that encourages you to socialize, maybe grill some burgers, or just sit back and enjoy the day. An attractive porch adds curbside appeal and makes your guests feel welcome.
But a sinking or leaning porch sends the opposite message. It suggests a home that is not well-maintained, or that needs other repairs, and an uneven concrete surface can be a trip hazard and liability. At Acculevel, we’ve been lifting and repairing concrete since our founding in 1996. There are two very different ways to repair a porch, depending on your circumstances, and we help customers with both.
We’ll review your options, how they work, and what problems each option solves. Our goal is for you to understand the options, and determine the best fit for you and your home.
How Does Slabjacking Work?
There are two methods of slab lifting. Both are done by injection. Small holes are drilled through the concrete slab, and material is injected below it.
Mudjacking uses a thinned-out mixture of concrete. As this concrete slurry fills the void underneath the concrete, it gradually lifts the slab. Like any other type of concrete, the filler needs time to set up and cure. This method is less expensive than slabjacking, but it’s also less permanent; like any other type of concrete, it can decay, break apart, or erode.
Slabjacking uses a polyurethane foam. Once the foam is injected, the chemical reaction promptly begins. It’s this reaction that causes the foam to expand and lift. This foam solidifies within a few minutes and does not decay. For more details about slabjacking and its benefits, we have an article that explores this topic thoroughly.
For this blog, we’re going to focus on the results you can achieve through the process. Below are two examples of this process.
These photos were taken by Acculevel staff before & after slabjacking. You can see the section near the house has been lifted (including the steps) and the crack has been filled.
For both homes, the porch had begun to sink, creating a gap between the house and the slab. Slabjacking lifted the section nearest the house, eliminating this gap and correcting the uneven height of the stairs.
These photos were taken by Acculevel staff before & after slabjacking.You can see the first step and the porch have been lifted back into place. The section of the sidewalk nearest the porch has also been lifted and repaired.
Sometimes the structure of the porch is too large or heavy for the slabjacking process to be successful. In these instances, helical piers are the solution you need.
How Do Helical Piers Work?
A helical pier is a steel shaft with screw-like plates on the end. This shaft is screwed through the ground outside of your home until it hits stable, undisturbed soil. This keeps the pier stabilized and immobile; a pressure gauge system is used to determine the needed depth. If you’d like more details about installation and prices, this article covers those topics.
These photos were taken by Acculevel staff before & after pier installation. In this instance, the porch was sinking and pulling away from the home. The gap between the windows and the brick facade has been closed.
Helical piers are most often used when the porch is not a single layer of concrete, or when there is significant separation from the house. The example below is a clear example of this issue.
These photos were taken by Acculevel staff before & after pier installation.In this instance, the top portion of the porch held up well, but the base was sinking and had created a large gap around the outside corner. Piers corrected the issue.
Does Your Porch Need Lifting?
If so, you should find an experienced foundation company, and make an appointment. Before you sign a contract for any service, we urge you to always verify the company is reputable, insured, and accredited by the Better Business Bureau.
If you live in Indiana or the surrounding states, contact Acculevel. If you have noticed any problems and would like an evaluation, you can request a free estimate. An experienced project manager will examine the areas of concern and recommend the best course of action for you, to keep your home strong and healthy for years to come.