You’ve got a proposal from Anchor Foundation Repair and you see this line item description for mud-pumping. Or maybe you’re just researching foundation repairs and have come across this mud-pumping term. Why do you need mud-pumping? What is it and why is it even important to the foundation repair process?
This is one of those times when you’re wondering, “What’s in it for me?”
At Anchor Foundation Repair, we’ve inspected and repaired thousands of foundations in Bryan, College Station, and the surrounding communities like Brenham and Navasota. We’ve also mud-pumped thousands of slab foundation projects in the Brazos Valley and can tell you all about it and why we do it.
This article will explain what mud-pumping is and what it does for your foundation. Then we will review the benefits of mud-pumping and explain why we do it while other companies choose not to.
What Is Mud-Pumping for Foundation Repairs?
So here’s what you might be looking at in your Anchor repair plan and proposal:
“Mud Pumping, Voids
Mud pump voids after foundation raising process. Mud slurry consists of 2 sacks Portland Cement 3 ea per yard of sifted topsoil. Slurry injected via hydraulic mud pump at an approximate rate of 350 PSI in order to provide proper support to grade beams in between installed drilled piers and under slab areas where void was created beneath floors.”
Now you’re like, “Um, can I get this in English, please? Or maybe give me the Mud-Pumping for Dummies version??” Okay, let’s try and keep this easy and leave out all the fancy terminology.
When your foundation gets raised back up, space is created between the bottom of your slab and the ground. You can call it a gap or a void or empty space but the bottom line is that your whole slab is not resting “on solid ground” anymore. It’s being held up by the drilled piers which are spaced apart, but there’s no continuous contact between the bottom of the foundation and dirt underneath.
Many foundation repair companies (especially those that do pressed pilings) stop there and don’t do anything to fill the void.
Mud-pumping fills the extra space created after a slab is raised back into position. The material used is a mixture of water, topsoil, and cement called slurry. It’s pumped under the home to fill up all the gaps and voids and permeates through everything. Then the slurry dries into a hard sandstone-like consistency giving your home solid support underneath all the raised areas with no gaps.
5 Reasons Mud-Pumping Is Important for Your Foundation
Leaving a void under the home after foundation repairs creates an easy opportunity for the home to settle again. When you’ve got a surface being held up at individual points, the rest of the raised area is left with nothing under it.
Even though piers or pilings are very strong and can hold up literally tons of weight, it still leaves room for a slab to move into that remaining empty space. We have raised homes anywhere from 2 to 6 inches or more up off the ground. Doesn’t it make sense to fill that gap?
In nature, anytime an empty space is left, nature’s gonna fill it with something. It could be water, soil flowing from somewhere via drainage, or critters finding a home in that lovely area. Might as well have control over what that void gets filled with, don’t ya think?
Here are five reasons why mud-pumping is important for your foundation and for the longevity of your foundation repairs:
- You will know for certain that there is no void,
- You are taking away a major opportunity for further foundation settlement,
- The underside of your home will be fully supported and completely filled in,
- You can be confident that there are no under-slab plumbing leaks after repairs,
- You have given your home the best chance to withstand further effects from expansive clay soils.
To explain No. 4 about the plumbing leak situation: In order to do mud-pumping, we have to check for under-slab plumbing leaks by performing a hydrostatic plumbing test. Any leaks need to be repaired before moving forward. Otherwise, not only would you have a leak under your home, but your pipes would get filled with slurry during the mud-pumping process.
These extra steps with checking and repairing plumbing ensure that no leaks are present under the home that could later undermine your foundation repairs and cause further foundation settlement damage.
Please note that plumbing repair costs are not included in foundation repairs – you pay for that separately and can choose your own plumber if you like.
Does Every Foundation Repair Come With Mud-Pumping?
I’ve already mentioned this once by saying, “Many foundation repair companies (especially those that do pressed pilings) stop there and don’t do anything to fill the void.” The vast majority of foundation repair companies do not do mud-pumping and take no action to fill the void created under your home after it is raised.
So no, every foundation repair does not come with mud-pumping. It’s hard to know why they don’t choose to do it.
We can only guess that other companies don’t want to add time or cost to the project so that they can do the work as cheaply as possible to maintain their profit margin and undercut the competition on pricing. Maybe ask any prospective foundation repair company you are thinking of hiring to explain to you why they don’t fill the void with mud-pumping and see what they say.
However, if you’re using Anchor Foundation Repair, every slab foundation repair we do will include mud-pumping. It’s not an option that you can choose to do or not do, mud-pumping will be completed to fill the void under your home.
We’re not trying to be mean about it by not giving you a choice. Anchor wants to ensure that you get the best foundation repairs possible and mud-pumping is part of it.
How Much Does Mud-Pumping Cost?
We can’t speak for every foundation repair company out there on the topic of mud-pumping cost, only ourselves. On a typical foundation repair project requiring 15 to 20 piers and an average amount of lifting required, mud-pumping will cost around $2 – 4K to complete.
The more or less piers needed for your home, the more or less money and time it takes to do the mud-pumping. Additionally, if a home has to be lifted more inches than usual, that would increase the cost and time needed for the job as well because there is a larger void to fill.
It usually takes about a day to mud-pump 10 or so piers. So mud-pumping does add a few days to your project timeline.
We stand by our slab foundation repairs with our lifetime transferable warranty because these extra steps offer the most stability and longevity for your repairs. The extra step of mud-pumping and the additional cost and days of work are well worth it to do the very best for your home.
Wouldn’t you rather do it right the first time, even if it costs a bit more money and takes a bit more time?
What Happens If I Don’t Mud-Pump the Voids Under My Home?
We’ve seen firsthand what happens when voids under homes are not mud-pumped after foundation repairs. The most common things that could happen are to have to do foundation repair again due to further settlement or voids filling with other things.
You Might Need Foundation Repair Again
When a homeowner chooses a company that doesn’t do mud-pumping, we often get called in later on to do the repairs right the second time around.
As mentioned earlier, nature will find a way to fill that void with something. Most often it’s the re-settled slab sinking back into the space. We’ve re-repaired many homes where pressed pilings were used the first go-round and no mud-pumping was completed.
The repairs were not effective for the long haul and the homeowners had to pay for foundation repairs again. See the nearby photo of a pile of old pressed pilings that we removed from under homes that needed foundation repairs again. They did not use Anchor Foundation Repair with mud-pumping the first time and paid the price . . . twice.
Something Undesirable Will Fill the Void
Draining water is another common thing that fills voids left under homes. We recently mud-pumped under a home that previously had pressed piling foundation repair via tunneling. Tunnels were dug under the home for those repairs with another company and the tunnel backfilling failed. The remaining tunnels ended up filling with water runoff for years.
First, we had to pump all the water out from under the home – it was a lot of water. Then, we had to re-backfill the tunneled-out areas and mud-pump to reinforce the backfilled tunnels thus preventing further water collection under the slab. Can you imagine just having a reservoir of water sitting under your house and not even realizing it?
Want More Info About Mud-Pumping?
Now that you know the top reasons mud-pumping benefits your home, do you want to know a bit more about this important step? How about some pros and cons? Want to know how to know if mud-pumping is right for you?
Don’t waste your time with things that aren’t top-notch. You don’t want to keep having issues or deal with foundation worries again later by choosing the Wrong Contractor. Anchor Foundation Repair has 35+ years of experience working on Brazos Valley foundations and we’re not going anywhere. Plus, our lifetime transferable warranty keeps your future extra secure.