What Slabjacking Costs, and How It Compares to Other Repair Methods
We’ve all seen it happen- or had it happen to us. The unfortunate party guest walks across the patio, with a drink in one hand and a plate of food in the other. Their shoe catches on a crack or uneven area in the concrete, they trip, and presto! Everything they were carrying is now something everyone is wearing.
Party fouls aside, uneven concrete can be a significant problem for a homeowner. Cracks in walkways aren’t just unattractive; they’re trip hazards that can become a liability.
There are a variety of ways to repair damaged concrete slabs; in this article, we’re going to review slabjacking, its costs, and how it compares to other options available. Founded in 1996, Acculevel has repaired thousands of concrete slabs and in our experience, slabjacking is the most reliable method.
When slabjacking technology was introduced to the market, we researched it at length before deciding to transition away from mudjacking in 2015. Because we have considerable experience with both methods, we’re able to give you a detailed analysis and help you make the best decision for your home.
An Overview of Slabjacking
Slabjacking is a form of concrete lifting. Small holes are drilled through the slab, and fill material is injected through these holes into the space below the slab. As this void is filled, the injected material lifts the slab up. The most advanced slabjacking uses polyurethane foam as the injection material. The foam solidifies within minutes, allowing someone to walk on a lifted walkway or park on a lifted driveway almost immediately.
Want to see the process for yourself? We have a demo for you to view!
The polyurethane foam is environmentally safe for use in yards, as well as around children and pets. It does not shift, erode, or decay like other fill materials, and is often a permanent fix.
Slabjacking requires specialized equipment, material, and regular crew training. The job minimum for this process is $2000 (price includes labor and materials). Generally speaking, that amount of slabjacking will lift an area approximately 10 foot by 20 foot. At Acculevel, we define the “job site” as your entire property. This means that if you have multiple places around your home that need repair, we will combine all of these to meet the minimum cost.
These photos were taken by an Acculevel crew member:
before & after slabjacking a section of driveway.
The crack was filled with a polyurethane sealant.
Alternatives to Slabjacking
Similar to slabjacking, mudjacking also drills through the slab to inject a filler material. However, as the name indicates, the fill is a type of “mud” that is usually a diluted solution of concrete or limestone. Mudjacking is less expensive than slabjacking; it normally costs 40-50% less, but cannot be used as quickly. As it is a form of concrete, it needs to cure over a number of hours, depending on drying time. And because it is a slurry that uses water in the mix, it is still susceptible to the effects of weather and can decay, break apart, or erode.
Another option is to have the damaged concrete torn out and re-poured. This is more expensive than slabjacking; the cost for demolition and replacement can cost twice as much as slabjacking.
Replacing the slab also takes longer than either concrete lifting method. New concrete needs to cure, which can take days or weeks, depending on the location and weather conditions. If you replace the concrete but don’t address the cause of the original issue, this new slab may crack and shift just as the old one did. We provide more information on the causes of concrete shifting in another article.
However, there are occasions when replacing the slab is the best choice. If the slab is broken into multiple pieces, severely cracked, or deteriorated, lifting may not be possible or feasible. A good contractor will be able to evaluate the concrete and recommend the best course of action for you.
Limitations of Slabjacking
Concrete lifting- either by mudjacking or slabjacking- does have limits.
The concrete slab must be entirely made of concrete. The lifting process does not work for any other type of material- brick pavers, tiles, asphalt, etc.
Slabjacking cannot be done if the ground is frozen. Mudjacking cannot be done once air temperatures are below freezing since water is used in the mixture.
Additional Costs to Consider
In some instances, the concrete slab is eroded or undermined, with a large void below it. If this is the case, you should also evaluate where your guttering downspouts or sump pump lines are draining on the property. If you have a broken pipe or drain, these can also be the source of the issue. Repairing plumbing, extending downspouts, or rerouting drainage lines can resolve the situation, and allow the lifting repair to be a more permanent solution.
You also need to be aware of ‘additional fill charges’ that can result from larger voids. If there is significant erosion or settling, it takes more fill material than normal to complete the repair. If this is the case, you should discuss this with the contractor before doing the job, to establish what your budget limitations are and if lifting is the best fit for you.
Have Concrete that Needs Repair? The Next Step:
Find an experienced specialty company that provides the service you prefer, and make an appointment. Before you sign a contract for any service, you should 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. Established in 1996, we specialize in foundation repairs. If you have noticed sinking or cracking on any of your concrete slabs, you can request a free estimate. An experienced project manager will evaluate the sections of concern and recommend the best course of action for you, to keep your home strong and healthy for years to come.