You’ve heard of this *thing* called mud jacking. It’s supposed to level up your concrete but you want to know more about it to see if it’s going to work for your uneven concrete needs.
What kind of problems can mud jacking fix?
What is mud jacking best used for and how do you do it?
And the all-important question: how much does mud jacking cost?
At Anchor Foundation Repair, we have been fixing foundations and serving the Brazos Valley area for 35+ years. We also provide mud jacking services to level concrete surfaces and can tell you all about it.
This article will review the types of issues mud jacking works well for and go over the materials and process to get it done. We will also provide some ballpark figures so that you can get an idea of how much mud jacking costs to level uneven concrete at your home.
Mud Jacking Fixes Uneven Concrete Problems
What kind of concrete surface problems can be fixed with mud jacking? The following situations can be corrected with mud jacking to raise and level uneven concrete surfaces that are in good condition otherwise.
- Your driveway is cracked and part of it has sunken down creating a low spot where water pools when it rains. The puddle is right where you park and get in and out of your car. The area where the water sits is starting to stain. It’s unsightly and definitely annoying when it rains.
- Your sidewalk has tripping hazards because one section of it has fallen from its original alignment with the next section. Several people have tripped on it already. Yikes!
- Your patio is sloping toward one corner, causing the support column to fall away from the overhang. It looks kinda janky, not to mention the fact that the column is no longer holding up the overhang of your patio!
If the concrete in these cases is in good shape and not crumbling or cracked all over the place, they are good candidates for concrete leveling. The surfaces have just sunken, tilted, or sloped the wrong way slowly over time. These scenarios are all fixable ones that could be corrected with mud jacking.
Mud Jacking Overview
Mud jacking uses the conceptual idea of lifting or moving as if with a jack i.e. to jack up a car to change a flat tire.
In mud jacking, the “jack” is not a metal tool that comes in the trunk of your car, but a material that is pumped underneath the concrete slab that lifts the surface back into position from below the surface. The material then dries and hardens to hold the concrete surface in the desired position.
Here are some basics about what material is used in mud jacking, the installation process, key features of the method, and estimated costs.
Materials Used in Mud Jacking
The “mud” in mud jacking is actually not mud but something else, sort of like mud but not so sticky. In the construction industry, the liquid-like substance is called slurry.
The slurry is a flowing mix of Portland Cement, topsoil, and water that is combined to form a fluid that can be pumped through a hose. Not only does slurry lift the concrete surface from underneath, but this substance also fills in all the voids and pockets of space in the ground under the surface, and then hardens when dry for solid support.
When fully dried and cured in 24 to 48 hours, slurry becomes sandstone-like in texture and strength. Cured slurry material can withstand heavy horizontal loads resting or moving across it and won’t crumble under weight-distributed vertical compression.
Not all slurry is mixed exactly the same between contractors. They will each have different consistencies and strengths by using different ratios of the ingredient materials.
Mud Jacking Process
In the basic mud jacking process, a contractor will drill 2-inch holes in strategic locations into the sunken concrete surface and a nozzle is then inserted into the holes. The liquid-like slurry is pumped into the holes through to the ground under the concrete and slowly lifts the surface from underneath.
The crew will continually check for the proper elevation of the concrete surface and stop when it is in the right position. This does not mean that the concrete surface will always be 100% level. Sometimes exterior concrete needs to be slightly sloped to encourage water to drain off.
Once the concrete is back where it needs to be, then the holes made in the concrete are patched back up. You will likely be able to see evidence of the patch afterward which is a bit of a downside.
Features of Mud Jacking
Mud jacking fills open spaces and voids under the concrete surfaces thoroughly by its very nature. Filling the voids completely is what ultimately lifts the section of concrete and creates strength in the cured slurry. The mud jacking material is heavy and strong on its horizontal surface, so it can withstand heavy objects moving across it like cars and trucks.
Mud jacking material is permeable to water and can be subject to erosion. But due to its weight, compression, and ability to fill voids, it prevents water from getting under the repair surface with these qualities. Mud jacking also offers better resistance to water intrusion over regular soil.
Mud jacking is more time and cost effective for larger repair jobs than smaller ones as there is more mobilization work to get the project started. It might take a little longer and a bit more work to get started, but most typical jobs are done in one half to one full day.
Mud Jacking Cost Estimates
Another reason that mud jacking is better for larger repair jobs than smaller ones is because of material costs. Since slurry is made with cement mix, topsoil, and water, it’s not very expensive stuff. Larger jobs will require lots of material for the “jacking” process so it makes sense that lower supply costs would be beneficial.
You probably really want something more “concrete” as far as pricing is concerned. We are here to help with well-placed puns and also the information in this chart outlining approximate concrete leveling costs for basic, average, and extensive mud jacking repair work.
In a nutshell, a basic mud jacking project with one or two concrete panels needing repair would cost around $1,600. An average-sized mud jacking repair falls in the $2,700 range, and an extensive repair that includes the entire driveway could be up to $7,000 or more.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Mud Jacking?
Now that you know a little more about what mud jacking is good for, how it is installed, and some estimated costs, you’re probably wondering about its advantages and disadvantages.
The biggest positives of using mud jacking to level your concrete are that it is less costly and much less involved than a full replacement. You reuse your existing concrete rather than tearing it all out and starting over – it’s a great way to recycle what you’ve already got and save money too.
At Anchor Foundation Repair, we have been leveling concrete driveways, sidewalks, patios, parking lots, and more for decades in the Bryan/College Station Area. Part of our mission is to impartially educate and inform Brazos Valley homeowners about the available repair services and choices available in our community.
Next, check out this article that gives every detail about the pros and cons of mud jacking: What Are the Pros and Cons of Mud Jacking for Concrete Repair?