all about mud jacking concrete

Mud Jacking Concrete Driveways & Sidewalks (Process, Cost, Pros & Cons)

A visitor trips on your misaligned sidewalk. Yikes! You rush to help, but they have already fallen. Luckily, the tripper (or would they be a trippee?) lands in the grass unharmed. This incident highlights the dangers of sunken concrete surfaces creating tripping hazards around your home.

Whether it’s a potential lawsuit, injuries to loved ones, or personal inconvenience, sunken concrete is a problem. But tearing it all out isn’t the only solution. *Enter mud jacking*

Anchor Foundation Repair Bryan College Station

At Anchor Foundation Repair, we specialize in mud jacking, a process to lift and level sunken concrete without major reconstruction. With hundreds of successful projects since 1985, we’re experts in fixing these concrete issues in the Brazos Valley area.

In this article, we’ll explain the mud jacking concept and process, offer cost ranges, and pros and cons. We guide you through all there is to know about mud jacking so you can decide if it’s right for your home.

What is Mud Jacking and How Is it Done? (Process)

Mud jacking involves pumping material (aka slurry) underneath a sunken concrete surface to lift it back up to its intended elevation. The slurry material – made from Portland cement, topsoil, and water –  is pumped through holes drilled into the surface. 

before and after mud jacking
Mud jacking corrected this major tripping hazard walking up to this front porch.

This concrete slab jacking method is best used on concrete flatwork surfaces that are still in good shape, just misaligned. The sunken surface should not be crumbling, severely cracked, or at the end of its usable life.

Mud jacking is effective for concrete patios, sidewalks, driveways, and other shallow exterior slab surfaces. It corrects issues like tripping hazards, panel misalignments, and pooling water due to incorrectly sloped concrete. Mud jacking is not used for raising slab-on-grade foundations or pools.

The Mud Jacking Process

prepping for mud jacking to raise and level concrete driveway

To further define this repair technique, it’s best to describe the mud jacking process. Most typical concrete raising projects using mud jacking can be completed in a day or less. 

Here’s how the process works in four simple steps:

Step 1: Drilling Holes

  • Drill 2-inch holes strategically into the concrete surface using a rotary hammer.
  • Typically, 3 to 5 evenly spaced holes to start.
  • Hole placement is deliberate, not random.

Step 2: Lifting with Slurry

  • Insert a nozzle into the holes and pump the slurry mixture underneath.
  • The slurry is mixed as a thicker cookie dough consistency to provide lifting power.
  • Slurry is gradually pumped through the holes and lifts the surface into position.

Step 3: Repeat Steps 1 and 2

mud jacking concrete driveways and sidewalks
  • So as not to over-drill, the drilling and lifting are done gradually.
  • Steps 1 and 2 are repeated until the entire surface is adequately raised.

Step 4: Finishing

The slurry dries and hardens into a rigid sandstone-like material. The solidified slurry provides tremendous compressive strength to flat surfaces that need support from the top down. You will be able to walk on newly raised surfaces right away. But you might wait to park vehicles on it for a day or two.

Average Mud Jacking Price Ranges (Cost)

Everyone wants to know how much things cost. Mud jacking is a money (and time saver) over the full replacement of a sidewalk, patio, or driveway.

  • Cost for a typical-sized project: $1,200 to $2,800, depending on job complexity.
  • Factors include time, number of surfaces, and amount of slurry material needed.
  • Example: A 9’ x 12′ patio mud jacking repair might cost around $900, compared to $1,800+ for a full replacement.

Here are more typical pricing ranges for small, medium, and larger-sized driveway projects as well. 

cost of concrete leveling

A basic driveway 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.

The Goods and Bads of Mud Jacking (Pros & Cons)

Much like any time you are weighing repair options, mud jacking has advantages and disadvantages. It’s good to know the pros and cons of any particular method.

Pros of Using Mud Jacking to Raise Concrete:

after mud jacking
  • Cost-effective alternative to concrete replacement.
  • Quick turnaround; most jobs are completed in half a day to a full day.
  • Eco-friendly by restoring and reusing existing concrete.
  • Minimal noise and disruption compared to full replacement.

Cons of Mud Jacking for Raising Concrete:

  • Doesn’t eliminate visible cracks, just closes them up and reduces trip hazards.
  • Leaves 2-inch circles of fresh concrete on the surface at drill points.
  • Risk of damage to unique tile or cosmetic top treatments.

Is Mud Jacking Right for Your Concrete Lifting Needs?

good candidate for mud jacking

Mud jacking is ideal for certain situations. Here are three scenarios when mud jacking is a perfect choice:

  1. The surface has life left in it and just needs to be bumped back up into position.
  2. Tripping hazards are your main concern, and a few visual crack lines don’t matter.
  3. You don’t want a full replacement of concrete due to lack of funds or desire but want to do something to make it better until it is time for a full replacement.

Mud jacking is a practical, cost-saving choice, but it is not a fix-all. There are driveways and surfaces we can and can’t repair using mud jacking. Anchor will let you know up front and transparently if yours is a good candidate or not.

Ready to Get a Concrete Leveling Estimate for Mud Jacking?

mud jacking

Now that you know all the basics about mud jacking, are you convinced that it’s the right choice to alleviate your sunken concrete problem?

At Anchor Foundation Repair, we don’t fix things that don’t need fixin’ and we don’t try to sell you stuff that you don’t need. We’ll let you know if we can raise your concrete with mud jacking and those estimates are free and fast.

Check out who does our mud jacking quotes and how long it takes to get your bid here.