Can concrete lifting foam help you? Are you tripping over the sidewalk in front of your home? If you have an unlevel foundation, sidewalk, or concrete slab, this is the article for you! We’re going to give you six benefits of using concrete lifting foam, as well as other ways foam can be used.
Why Does Concrete Settle?
There are many reasons why concrete begins to settle. Some of those include:
Poor drainage – If you have gutters spilling water too close to your home, the constant flow can wash the dirt out from under your sidewalk. Read more on the role of gutters.
Poor compaction – When soil is laid out for a concrete slab, it has to be dense, so there’s no space between soil particles. Soil is compacted using smooth roller machines or handheld machines called rammers. Improperly compacted soil will cause the concrete above it to settle into the voids below.
Poor site/soil conditions – Soil filled with a lot of clay can be problematic. When it’s saturated with water, the soil expands. Then, it shrinks when the soil dries. This constant movement creates unstable soil, which causes the concrete to settle.
Tree roots – Did you know that a tree’s roots are twice the length of a tree’s canopy? Roots crawl underneath your concrete, looking for soil with lots of moisture caused by poor drainage. It all circles back.
How Does Concrete Lifting Foam Work?
The soil below concrete must be compacted and strong enough; otherwise, the slab will keep settling. You don’t want to keep replacing the slab every time it sinks. You need to solve the root of the problem.
Concrete lifting foam has many names, such as polyjacking, poly-leveling, polyfoam injection, poly-lifting, foam jacking, and slab jacking. All of them mean the same thing.
The concrete lifting process works in three simple steps.
Step 1: Dime-sized holes are drilled in the affected concrete. Step 2: Polyurethane foam is injected underneath the slab. Step 3: The foam will then expand beneath the concrete, lifting the slab.
Below are the six benefits of using concrete lifting foam.
Fast-acting – 15 minutes after the foam is injected, you can start to walk or drive on the concrete.
Minimally-Invasive – No excavations are required to lift sunken concrete with polyurethane foam injection.
Lightweight – Concrete lifting foam is lightweight and does not contribute to future soil settlement. Polyurethane foam only weighs 2.5 to 4.0 pounds per cubic foot.
Environmentally-Friendly – Polyurethane foam is inert (it lacks the ability or strength to move) and does not react with soil or moisture. It won’t leach harmful chemicals into the ground or poison your grass.
Cost-Effective – Replacing concrete involves chipping the old slab, hauling away the debris, bringing in concrete trucks, pouring the new concrete, and waiting for the new slab to dry. All those expenditures add up fast.
Waterproof – Concrete lifting foam is hydrophobic. That means it will still harden and stay hard even when it comes in contact with water.
Concrete Lifting Foam Vs. Mudjacking
Mudjacking is an alternative form of lifting concrete slabs. Dating back to the 1930s, mudjacking was used because it was the only thing available, but that doesn’t mean it should still be used today.
Here are the cons of mudjacking:
Heavier material – Mudjacking uses sand, cement, and other natural materials to make a mixture known as a slurry. The combination is very heavy, weighing on average 100 pounds per cubic foot. You want less weight on weak soil, not more.
More cleanup – Mudjacking is a messy process, not to mention all the heavy equipment that needs to be brought to your house.
Weak material – The mudjacking material is not waterproof and will wash away when it rains. Now you have to redo everything all over again.
Larger holes – In order to pump the thick slurry below the slab, 2-inch holes need to be drilled. These holes compromise the structural integrity of the concrete, causing the slab to crack. You also have weeds trying to use any holes or cracks to grow through.
Temporary – Mudjacking only lasts 2 to 5 years, while foam will last indefinitely.
Other Uses Of Concrete Lifting Foam
Concrete lifting foam has other uses besides lifting slabs. Those include:
Void filling – We mentioned before that concrete lifting foam raises the slab back to the maximum practical level, but it also fills any voids that reoccur.
Joint/Slab stabilization – Concrete lifting foam can add support to driveways or sidewalks that are constantly used.
Seawall repair – If you live on a lake or by the ocean, the constant pressure from waves can erode or crack your seawall. Polyurethane foam can fill voids, stabilize loose soils, and seal leaks at a fraction of the cost of seawall replacement.
The Real Seal
If you live in the Greater Chicago area and need concrete lifting foam, who do you call? There are so many options out there. Who can you trust to provide quality service? You need the real deal, and you need The Real Seal. Call us today, and we’ll get you started with an in-depth inspection, free repair estimate, and a list of our finest solutions. We also provide basement waterproofing, foundation repair, crawl space repair, and more.
Austin Werner is the Owner of The Real Seal LLC, a basement waterproofing and foundation repair company. Austin believes that having a highly trained and happy team is the key to success. This is reflected through hundreds of 5 star customer reviews his company has received online.