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A Comprehensive Intro to Concrete Leveling

Take a look outside. Odds are there’s concrete somewhere, whether it’s a sidewalk, back patio, or your driveway. Concrete is a traditionally used construction material because of its strength. But that doesn’t mean it can’t fall victim to damage over time. 

Many concrete surfaces—especially exterior slabs exposed to the elements—suffer wear and tear over the years. This often results in cracks and unevenness impacting the concrete’s stability and safety, requiring timely repair. Concrete leveling is the surest way to restore the health, function, and appearance of sunken, damaged concrete.  

Thankfully, advanced techniques now exist to lift, stabilize, and restore concrete to like-new. This guide provides a solid foundation on leveling options from local concrete specialists. We’ll cover signs that signal it’s time to call for an assessment and provide an overview of the different processes and materials used to inject new life into tired concrete. 

What is Concrete Leveling? 

Let’s start by explaining the concept of concrete leveling. This repair method used to fix sinking, lopsided concrete slabs relies on using additional materials to raise the affected concrete back into place. It eliminates tripping hazards, drainage issues, and aesthetic problems. 

You may also have heard this process referred to as: 

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

How Does Concrete Leveling Work? 

Concrete leveling provides a cost-effective solution to raise and stabilize sunken sections without full replacement. Skilled technicians inject stabilizing material beneath concrete to restore the original position. 

While there are several popular methods, the ideal technique for your property’s needs depends on factors like the severity of sinking, access, and desired finish. 

Inspect your concrete for signs of unevenness, cracks, or pooling water which indicate leveling may be needed. Even if surfaces seem flat, it doesn’t hurt to get a professional assessment. 

Quotes depend on the area size, method, and amount of repair needed. While more affordable than tearing out slabs, leveling still represents an investment. Carefully weigh the pros and cons with the help of seasoned concrete professionals. Together, you can determine if reviving sunken sections through expert lifting is right for your property. 

Concrete leveling also goes by technically specific names which you may have also heard: polyurethane foam leveling, mudjacking, cement/stone slurry concrete leveling, and self-leveling concrete. We’ll detail each below, highlighting their pros and cons, listing them in order of best to worst method: 

1. Polyurethane Foam Leveling 

  • Also known as poly lifting, polyjacking, or PolyRenwal™ (our method) 
  • Lightweight polyurethane foam material 
  • Less invasive drilling and injection 
  • Expansive foam completely fills voids 
  • Quick cure time (approx. 30 minutes) 
  • Environmentally friendly 
  • Cost and time-efficient 
  • Smoother finish 
  • Longer lasting results 
  • Not a DIY project 
  • Slabs will not be 100% level 
  • Cracks may still be visible 
  • Can be affected by varying soil conditions 

2. Mudjacking 

  • Mortar-based mixture of slurry 
  • Material mixed with water, soil, sand, and cement 
  • Creates a solid base filling in voids 
  • Invasive drilling 
  • Material does not fill all gaps, but a cone shape 
  • Can be difficult to control the process 
  • Long cure time 
  • Heavy material weighs down underlying soil 
  • Not intended for DIY 
  • Temporary results only last a few years 

3. Cement or Stone Slurry Concrete Leveling 

  • Blend of mudjacking and polyurethane foam injection 
  • Mixture of crushed stone (limestone) and water 
  • Injection equipment similar to polyurethane foam 
  • Easier to control material thickness 
  • Fills voids completely 
  • Environmentally friendly 
  • Durable 
  • Not a DIY project 
  • Large holes required 
  • Heavy material adds significant weight atop soil 
  • Expensive repair 

4. Self-Leveling Concrete 

  • User-friendly DIY option 
  • Polymer-fortified cement 
  • Rapid drying time 
  • Low water requirements 
  • Compatible with various materials and finishes 
  • Smooth, flat surfaces when patching/resurfacing interior floors 
  • Small-scale repair jobs 
  • Can quickly turn into dangerous, expensive repairs 

How Do I Know I Need Concrete Leveling? 

There are many obvious signs that concrete leveling is necessary, such as visible cracks and uneven slabs. These problems can show up in various areas around your home, including: 

You might also notice more vehicle wear and tear as your car works more to negotiate uneven garage slabs. Tripping hazards also result when slabs don’t match up and can be dangerous liabilities around sidewalks and pool decks. 

Who Do I Call When I Need Concrete Leveling? 

Leveling sunken concrete requires technical skill and quality materials to achieve lasting results. That’s why it’s wise to partner with seasoned contractors like those at Ohio Basement Systems. For more than 25 years, we’ve been elevating concrete across Northern Ohio with precision and care. 

Our comprehensive approach begins with a meticulous free inspection of your property to diagnose the root causes of settling. This allows us to craft customized solutions tailored to your exact needs. We take pride in recommending the right concrete lifting methods and materials for durable, long-term repairs that stand the test of time. 

When Shouldn’t I Level My Concrete? 

The areas we mentioned above are also susceptible to other damage besides cracks and unevenness. Concrete often crumbles, chips, wears down, and pits, flakes, or stains. These issues significantly affect the concrete’s safety, and simple concrete leveling may not be the right fix. Resurfacing might be a better option for minor problems, and a complete slab replacement may be necessary if the concrete is too damaged. 

Additionally, small hairline cracks can form but not spread in concrete as part of the normal curing process. These issues can typically be treated with cosmetic repairs.  

Who Do I Call When I Don’t Need Concrete Leveling? 

Don’t wait until severely settled or deteriorated concrete limits your repair options. As soon as you notice your concrete has any of the issues mentioned above, contact your local concrete repair experts like Ohio Basement Systems for a complete assessment and recommendations on the best repair method. 

While concrete leveling may not be appropriate for your property’s problems, our team can explain your options and recommend next steps including resurfacing or repouring. 

How Much Does Concrete Leveling Cost? 

The cost of concrete leveling is not as straightforward as you might expect. It’s a complex issue affected by many variables, including: 

  • Severity of the damage 
  • Area needing repair 
  • Repair method 
  • Amount of repair product 
  • Labor, materials, equipment, permits 

Contact your local concrete leveling experts for a free inspection, no-obligation repair estimate, and accurate price breakdown. 

A Closer Look at Common Concrete Leveling Prices 

Some leveling processes are fast and effective, sometimes averaging about $1,000. Here’s a closer look at some common techniques and their associate costs: 

  • Concrete Replacement: Completely demolishing existing concrete and repouring the slab requires considerable skill, often heavy equipment, long downtimes, and heavy cement that leads to future slab and soil settlement. Repouring can cost around $5,000 or more. 
  • Raising a Driveway: Garage floors and driveways sustain a lot of heavy traffic, making damage particularly noticeable. Leveling concrete driveways or garage floor slabs can cost $800 to $4,000. 
  • Sidewalk Leveling: Sidewalks and walkways also experience a lot of traffic, but not to the extent of driveways and garages supporting heavy vehicles. Repairs for sidewalks and walkways around your home can range from $500 to $2,000 or more. 
  • Leveling a Patio: The price tag for leveling smaller concrete areas like patios and porches is relatively similar, ranging from $800 to $3,000 or more. Raising a porch may cost more than $5,000, especially if it is a foundational issue requiring foundation pier installation. 

How Can I Save Money on Concrete Repair? 

While it may be difficult to determine the cost of your repair by searching various online resources, we’ve compiled a list of practical ways you can save money on your concrete repair: 

  • Regularly inspect your concrete to prevent severe damage 
  • Avoid invasive repair methods like mudjacking 
  • Refrain from attempting DIY repairs 
  • Work with a trusted repair expert to level your concrete 
  • Invest in reliable, long-lasting repairs like PolyRenewal™ 
  • Take advantage of flexible financing options 
  • Enroll in annual maintenance programs 

Conclusion: Call Ohio Basement Systems for Concrete Lifting and Leveling Today! 

Don’t overlook cracked or uneven concrete slabs; they detract from your home’s curb appeal and pose safety risks. Address these problems promptly by seeking the expertise of concrete leveling experts. 

With 25 years of experience, Ohio Basement Systems specializes in enhancing the safety of homes across Northern Ohio using our advanced PolyRenewal™ polyurethane foam injection technique. This innovative and adaptable method rejuvenates your property, ensuring your peace of mind. Contact us today to learn more and schedule a free inspection. 

FAQs

We don’t recommend trying to level concrete yourself. While materials like mudjacking concrete and self-leveling compound can technically be installed without professional help, it’s easy to improperly mix and apply them. You’ll also need access to specialized tools and equipment that can be costly for a one-time DIY project. Instead, have a concrete leveling professional like Ohio Basement Systems do the work for the best results. We’ll assess your sunken concrete through a free inspection and provide a repair estimate. 

Leveling your concrete is a longer lasting and more effective method than replacing it, as long as sections are not broken or crumbling. If your concrete is severely damaged, it may be best to remove and repour it. You can get a better idea of what you’re facing and what repair is best for you by contacting Ohio Basement Systems for a free inspection and no-obligation repair estimate. 

Concrete leveling projects typically take 1-3 days to complete depending on the scope of work. Professionals like Ohio Basement Systems work efficiently to keep disruption to your property minimal. Some leveling materials like polyurethane foam expand and cure quickly, while concrete and mudjacking can take longer to fully set and harden. During a free inspection of your sunken concrete, our experts will assess the project size and provide an accurate timeline. 

Resources

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. Ohio Basement Systems does not guarantee that PolyRenewal™ can make any and/or every square inch of your concrete perfectly level.

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