Homeowners and building owners alike may have, at some point, had issues with sinking concrete, shifting foundations or misaligned flooring, that they already have a handful of options to address the issue. Two of the most popular methods today are mudjacking and foam jacking. Both of these processes significantly repair the above-mentioned problems but one can be said, to be better than the other.
Concrete repair services have been around since the 1930’s but with the emergence of the Disabilities Act, these services have become more popular. The law mandates the repair of trip hazards from sunken or heaved concrete in public areas and with billions of square feet of concrete in the U.S, it is expected that people are looking for more practical and cost-effective ways to bring their sunken concretes to their original position.
The Mudjacking Process
Mudjacking has been in existence since the 1990’s. It has evolved over the years but the general process still remained the same. In the mudjacking process, small holes are drilled (1-2 inches in diameter or almost the same size of a golf ball) to certain areas of the concrete that needs repair. A special type of mixture or slurry is then pumped into these holes in order to fill gaps and voids under the dropped concrete. Once these voids are filled, pressure allows the concrete to lift and brings it back to its original position.
All drilled holes will be filled with the special mixture to ensure that no gaps and voids were missed. That said, the hole placement and knowledge of where to put them are critical to ensure proper filling of the void. Once all holes have been filled, it is patched and the whole area is cleaned.
The Foam Jacking Process
In foam jacking, spray foam is applied to the drilled holes instead of the special mix utilized in mudjacking. This material has been used for over a decade now but has become the known and desired choice for many within the last 10 years.
The foam jacking process also starts with holes strategically drilled to specific areas of the concrete. These holes are smaller as compared to mudjacking holes as they are only about the size of a penny. The polyurethane material consists of two parts that mix together and with proper heat mix and application, the material fills voids by expanding. Once the voids are filled, more material is added to lift the concrete to the desired elevation. This can be done in very small increments to match tight tolerances if necessary. The area is cleaned up and patched back using a quick patch concrete in the same manner as mudjacking.
What makes Foam Jacking better?
Foams used in foam jacking are designed to have optimal expansion characteristics, set up speed, and adhesion to provide contractors with ideal control of the lifting process. Unlike mudjacking, the technician drills fewer smaller (5/8-inch) holes, leaving a cleaner looking job. And the equipment and resources needed are less than with mudjacking:
Unlike with mudjacking, there is no heavy equipment, no heavy labor, limited equipment maintenance/clean up, and it’s green. The process is more environmentally sensitive since recycled material is used to manufacture the foam and polyurethane breaks down under sunlight in landfills if the concrete is ever disposed of. The polyurethane foam option is also permanent; it cures as a rigid foam that will not change shape.