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Uneven, Sunken Concrete – Mudjacking vs. PolyLevel®

Tuesday, July 25

If you have cracked concrete driveways, cracked sidewalks, sunken concrete, or sections that are not level—you’ve come to the right place! Concrete shifts and cracks over time. You would be surprised to find out that in most cases you don’t have to replace it, Valley Concrete can restore your concrete.

It’s easy to underestimate the eventual damage a single crack can do to concrete. You might even walk over and not notice these small fractures in your concrete, but at some point, a driveway or sidewalk crack could be a major safety hazard, causing injury. Making sure that the concrete around your home is safe to avoid trips and accident liability.

For this article, we are going to focus on repairing sunken or uneven sidewalks, driveways, pool decks, or patios that have shifted and are no longer level. When this happens it’s important to recognize the damage will only get worse the longer you wait to repair it. So, let’s look at how to restore your uneven concrete:

Mudjacking and polyleveling are two different methods used to lift and level concrete surfaces that have settled or become uneven over time. Both techniques aim to restore the concrete’s original position. A specialist at Valley Concrete will examine your concrete and the underlying issues. 

Comparing Mudjacking and PolyLevel®


Mudjacking (also known as slabjacking or concrete leveling):

Mudjacking was a traditional method that had been used for many years. It involved drilling large holes into the sunken concrete slab and injecting a slurry mixture (usually a combination of water, soil, sand, and cement) into the holes. The slurry filled the gaps underneath the slab where soil had shifted to exert pressure, lifting the concrete back to its original level. Once the concrete was level, the holes were patched, and after several days the surface was ready for use. Other solutions have turned mudjacking obsolete. 

Why Mudjacking isn’t the solution:

  1. It adds to the problem – Concrete leveling professionals never recommend adding more weight to weak soil and sinking concrete. The mixture used in mudjacking weighs around 100 pounds per cubic foot. If this heavy mixture is added to the already weak soil, your slab will sink again.
  2. It’s messy – Because mudjacking involves hundreds of pounds of slurry, any leaks or spills could lead to large cleanup projects. Many professionals will avoid mudjacking simply because contractors must use their feet to keep the mudjacking hose inside the drilled hole. If they lift their foot too early, slurry could leak everywhere.
  3. It can damage your concrete – In order to pump the slurry, contractors need to drill large 2-inch holes into your concrete slab. This often leads to cracks forming around the holes and weed growth.
  4. It’s not waterproof – Mudjacking slurry cannot withstand water movement under your concrete. If water drains under your concrete, the slurry will wash away and your concrete will sink again.
  5. It’s temporary – Mudjacked concrete will need to be re-lifted in less than five years.
  6. It’s slow – Depending on how much slurry is pumped under your concrete, you might be waiting three days before you can walk or drive over your slab.
  7. It can’t be used in most cases – If your concrete slab is cracked beyond simple patching repairs, mudjacking isn’t an option. Mudjacking is also harder to perform during winter if the soil is frozen. If the temperature is too cold, the slurry takes longer to dry. If the ground is too frozen, chances are the soil is saturated with water, causing it to expand. Once the soil thaws, new pockets will form where the slurry previously missed.

While it is less expensive than other solutions, it is nowhere near as effective as polyjacking.

Polyleveling (Polyurethane foam lifting):

The most effective way to correct cracked or uneven concrete is by using PolyLevel® lifting foam. Compared to other alternatives, this method has great benefits that make it highly appealing. 

Polyleveling is a more modern and innovative approach to concrete leveling. Instead of a slurry mixture, it uses a high-density polyurethane foam injected through smaller holes drilled into the concrete. The foam expands beneath the slab, filling voids and raising the concrete to the desired level. The foam is lightweight but strong enough to provide an effective lift.

Is polyurethane strong enough to raise and support concrete slabs? 
Polyurethane lifting foams create an abundant amount of lifting power to raise settled concrete. They provide enough strength to support a slab enduring just about any load. In fact, because PolyLevel® is so powerful and permanent, it is used in many major commercial projects to lift and stabilize extremely heavy structures and surfaces with far greater usage than residential concrete, including roads, bridges and industrial buildings.

Does polyleveling look better than traditional mudjacking? 
A feature of PolyLevel® that will make the end results more attractive, especially to the residential market, is a smaller injection hole. PolyLevel® utilizes a hole that is only 5/8” or smaller, compared to mudjacking holes that run between 1” and 2”. This allows your concrete to be leveled without taking away from the aesthetic appearance of your home or business.

Pros of polyleveling:

  • Smaller and fewer injection holes are required, which are less noticeable after patching.
  • The polyurethane foam is lightweight, reducing the risk of further soil compression.
  • Faster curing time, allowing for quicker access and use of the surface.
  • The foam is water-resistant, making it a durable and long-lasting solution.
  • Polyurethane lifting foams are specifically required for many DOT projects.
  • Raising concrete with polyurethane is a smart choice when consideringhealth, safety and the environment.
  • The PolyLevel® lasts indefinitely.
In summary, mudjacking is an obsolete process that is messy and causes more damage to the concrete of home and business owners. Polyleveling is the most effective method for lifting and leveling sunken concrete because it’s better for the environment, faster curing time, doesn’t damage your existing concrete and is the longer-lasting solution. That is why Valley Concrete considers it the only solution. 

Valley Concrete Restoration specializes in Concrete Leveling, Lifting and Repair.  We repair cracked concrete driveways, sidewalks, patios and pool decks using PolyLevel® We offer Concrete Sealing with SealantPro®for both residential and commercial customers in Akron, Canton, Boardman, Canfield, Conneaut, Cortland, Kent, Poland, Trumbull, Warren, Youngstown and surrounding areas. Satisfaction Guaranteed. Check out some of our before/after photos

Contact us today for a free estimate.