Mudjacking is an old and outdated form of lifting sinking concrete slabs. In this article, we’re going to explain more about mudjacking, why experts say it’s a bad idea, and why polyjacking is a better alternative.
What Is Mudjacking?
Mudjacking is when a mixture of sand, cement, and soil (a slurry) is pumped underneath your sunken concrete slab, patio, driveway, or sidewalk. Mudjacking was first invented back in the 1930s in Burlington, Iowa, and is still considered a viable concrete lifting solution. But, most experts no longer use mudjacking. Instead, they use another form of concrete leveling called polyjacking.
How Long Does Mudjacking Last?
Mudjacking only lasts about two to five years. Once the mudjacking slurry is pumped under your concrete, you’ll need to wait 24 to 72 hours before you can use your slab. Compare that to polyjacking, which only takes 15 minutes for the foam to harden and become usable again.
Is Mudjacking Cheaper Than Pouring A New Concrete Slab?
The average cost of mudjacking a sunken slab ranges from $3 to $6 per square foot, depending on the size and sinkage of the concrete.
The average cost to pour a new concrete slab ranges from $4 to $8 per square foot. But, that doesn’t include materials, breaking apart your old slab, and hauling away any debris.
So, mudjacking is cheaper than pouring a new slab, but both solutions are not very cost-effective. Mudjacking will need to be repeated in another two to five years, while pouring a new slab won’t solve the issue with the soil below it. Polyjacking is the only solution that lifts your new slab and stabilizes the soil beneath it indefinitely.
Can You DIY Mudjacking?
Most experts say that you shouldn’t mudjack any sunken concrete yourself. Unless you have access to cement, sand, soil, and a jacking pump, you should call a professional. Otherwise, you could potentially crack your slab or break it beyond repair.
Can You Mudjack Cracked Concrete?
Yes. You can mudjack cracked concrete. But, mudjacking won’t fix any cracks. Those will need to be patched using a concrete patcher and bonding agent. If your concrete is completely broken apart, most experts will recommend replacing the slab all together.
Can Mudjacking Be Done In The Winter?
Depending on the temperature and if the ground is frozen, mudjacking can be done in the winter. If the temperature is too cold, the mudjacking slurry will talk longer to set. If the ground is frozen, the soil will expand because of the moisture. If you pump the slurry while the soil is frozen, the soil could shrink and leave behind pockets of unfilled dirt.
Is Mudjacking A Bad Idea?
Most experts say yes. Mudjacking is not a good idea. Here’s why.
- The slurry used in mudjacking is heavy and will cause the slab to sink again – Compared to polyurethane foam, which only weighs about 2.5 to 4 pounds per cubic foot, the mudjacking slurry weighs about 100 pounds per cubic foot. This increased weight will not stabilize the soil or prevent the slab from sinking again.
- Mudjacking is a very messy process – Mudjacking involves pumping hundreds of pounds of slurry underneath your concrete slab. If that slurry were to leak or accidentally spill, you could be looking at a huge cleanup process.
- The mudjacking process can damage your concrete – In order to pump the slurry under your concrete, 2-inch holes need to be drilled into your slab. These holes could turn into cracks or allow weeds/roots to grow through them.
- The slurry is not waterproof – The slurry used in mudjacking can wash out from under your slab if it comes in contact with water. Due to its weak nature, the slurry is also susceptible to shrinking and breakdown.
- Mudjacking does not last as long as polyjacking – Once the polyurethane foam is injected underneath your concrete, it only takes 15 minutes for it to harden. This makes your slab almost immediately usable. Mudjacked concrete needs at least 24 hours to become usable again and needs to be repeated in another two to five years. Compare that to polyjacked concrete, which can last indefinitely.
Why Is Polyjacking A Better Alternative?
Here are just a few different reasons why polyjacking is a better alternative to mudjacking.
- Polyjacked concrete can be used just 15 minutes after the foam is injected under your slab.
- Polyjacking doesn’t require any heavy excavation, trenching, or digging.
- Polyjacking foam only weighs about 2.5 to 4 pounds per cubic foot. This means that it won’t contribute to further settlement.
- Polyjacking is inert and non-toxic. Inert means that the foam won’t move or leech chemicals into your soil or grass.
- Polyjacking foam is hydrophobic. This means that if water drains under your slab, the foam won’t move or dissolve.
Who Provides Polyjacking Near Me?
If you have a sunken concrete slab and live in the Greater Chicago area, you need to call The Real Seal. Since 2011, we’ve been lifting and leveling all types of slabs, patios, driveways, and more. We also offer foundation repair, foundation waterproofing, crawl space repair, and more. Call now for your free estimate and inspection.