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The Ultimate Guide to Concrete Lifting

unlevel sidewalk

Concrete is a strong material used in many parts of our properties, like sidewalks, driveways, and patios. However, over time, it can get damaged and may need repairs. 

Concrete leveling is the best solution for fixing uneven or sinking concrete. This guide will explain what concrete leveling is, how it works, and the different ways it can be done. 

We’ll also cover why concrete leveling is important, when to seek professional help, and how much it might cost.  

This guide is for homeowners and business owners looking to find out if concrete leveling is the right fix for their needs.  

What is Concrete Leveling? 

Concrete leveling is a repair method used to fix uneven or sinking concrete. It raises and stabilizes the concrete back to its original position, reducing the risks associated with uneven surfaces. This process improves safety, usability, and also enhances the look of the concrete area.  

Alternative names for concrete leveling include: 

  • “Concrete Repair” 
  • “Concrete Lifting” 
  • “Concrete Raising” 
  • “Slabjacking” 
  • “Slab Lifting” 
  • “Concrete Jacking” 
  • “Cement Jacking” 
poly injection

Depending on the methods and tools used for concrete leveling it may also be referred to by more technical names: 

  • PolyRenewal™ (our proprietary method), also known as “Polylifting,” “Polyjacking,” or “Polyurethane Foam Leveling.” 
  • “Mudjacking” 
  • “Stone Grout Slurry Leveling” or “Cement Slurry Leveling” 
  • “Self-Leveling Concrete” 

We will further explore these varying processes, each aiming to achieve comparable results through distinct approaches. 

The Four Leading Techniques of Concrete Leveling  

Concrete leveling lifts and evens out uneven or sunk concrete surfaces back to their initial placement. This enhances safety, usefulness, and appearance. 

Four popular methods are used: polyurethane foam, stone slurry grout, mudjacking, and self-leveling concrete. 

The selection among these depends on the specific needs and expected results.  

Here is how they rank, from most recommended to least: 

1. Polyurethane Foam Concrete Leveling  

This technique uses lightweight polyurethane foam, injected through small holes, to accurately lift and level slabs. It’s recognized for its efficiency, minimal disturbance, and durable outcomes, making it superior to alternative approaches. 

worker lifting concrete

2. Mudjacking 

Mudjacking consists of injecting a mortar-based mixture under the slab to secure and even it out. Although it works well for numerous situations, it’s less suitable for heavier structures and is not advised for DIY due to the possible dangers and intricacies involved. 

3. Cement or Stone Slurry Concrete Leveling 

This approach merges features of mudjacking and polyurethane foam injection, utilizing a blend of crushed stones and water to provide a stable and long-lasting solution, though it comes at a higher expense compared to mudjacking. 

4. Self-Leveling Concrete 

Tailored for DIY enthusiasts, self-leveling concrete caters to minor repairs and home enhancement projects, offering an accessible way to attain near even surfaces. Yet, lacking professional knowledge can result in difficulties and extra costs. 

When to Level Your Concrete   

When assessing your outdoor concrete for leveling, it’s essential to spot key indicators that demand prompt action to preserve your property’s safety and appearance: 

  • Visible Cracks and Uneven Surfaces: Noticeable cracks or irregularities on your driveways, sidewalks, or patios signal the need for leveling. These defects not only pose tripping hazards but can also cause extensive damage if ignored. 
  • Water Accumulation: If water pools on your concrete after rain, this suggests unevenness that could lead to water damage and potentially affect the foundation. 
  • Vehicle Damage: Experiencing damage to your vehicle’s suspension or tires from driving on your driveway indicates that leveling is required. 
  • Landscape Changes: Alterations in the surrounding landscape causing uneven concrete surfaces call for leveling to avert accidents and enhance usability. 
  • Safety and Liability Issues: On pool decks or busy pathways, uneven concrete greatly heightens the risk of trips and falls, requiring immediate attention to mitigate homeowner liability. 

Promptly addressing these concerns can prevent expensive future repairs and keep your property both safe and attractive. 

uneven concrete steps

When to Seek Expertise in Concrete Leveling 

The complex process of concrete leveling demands the expertise and experience that only seasoned professionals provide. 

At Groundworks, we boast decades of proven success in offering dependable and enduring repair solutions. 

Our dedication to superior service is underscored by our free inspection, featuring a detailed evaluation aimed at identifying the root causes of your concrete issues. 

This careful examination enables us to develop customized repair plans that specifically target your property’s unique requirements, guaranteeing thorough and effective restoration. 

Situations Where Concrete Leveling Isn’t the Solution 

Not every concrete problem calls for leveling. Small, surface-level cracks may need only minor cosmetic repairs, while severely damaged, crumbling concrete could require full replacement. 

Groundworks provides professional evaluations to identify the best repair approach, offering alternatives when leveling is not the optimal solution. 

Understanding Concrete Leveling Costs 

Calculating the cost of concrete leveling projects can vary widely, largely because several factors influence the final price, making it challenging to provide an accurate quote without a thorough inspection. 

Key factors that determine cost include: 

  • Severity of the concrete damage 
  • Size of the area needing repair 
  • Selected repair method 
  • Quantity of materials needed 
  • Costs for labor, materials, and any necessary permits 

To get an accurate cost for your concrete leveling job, the best step is to engage with local specialists who can perform a complimentary inspection and provide a quote without any commitment. This approach guarantees that the estimate is tailored to the specific requirements of your project. 

concrete sidewalk lifted by tree root

Concrete Leveling Versus Replacement 

When facing concrete issues, you have two main choices: leveling the existing concrete or completely replacing it. 

Financially speaking, catching problems early and opting for leveling, especially using PolyRenewal™, tends to be more affordable. This method is quicker and less expensive. 

However, severely damaged concrete may appear to need replacement, which is a longer and costlier process. Additionally, replacement doesn’t solve the original problem, possibly leading to future issues with the new concrete. 

Concrete replacement costs can surpass $5,000, whereas early intervention with leveling can average closer to $1,000. 

Cost details for leveling: 

  • Driveways: Regularly subjected to vehicle traffic, repair costs can range from $800 to $4,000. 
  • Patios: Mostly used for walking, the cost to lift a patio falls between $800 and $3,000. Porch repairs can exceed $5,000, particularly if extensive work like piering is necessary. 
  • Walkways: Essential for accessing homes and frequently used, leveling costs for sidewalks and paths can range from $500 to $2,000. 

Choosing leveling over replacement is often the preferred option for saving both time and money. 

Evaluating concrete damage early and opting for concrete leveling can be more cost-effective than replacement, especially with methods like PolyRenewal™, offering swift, less intrusive, and durable solutions. 

Choose Groundworks for Expert Concrete Leveling 

Opting for Groundworks for your concrete leveling needs ensures you’re choosing a professional team committed to providing exceptional quality and customer service. 

Groundworks is highly skilled in addressing the unique challenges posed by the local soil compositions and weather conditions. By using the advanced methods, like the PolyRenewal™ injection technique, Groundworks not only raises and stabilizes your concrete surfaces but also addresses the underlying causes of the issues. 

Schedule a free inspection today.  

FAQs

Professional concrete leveling is designed to be minimally invasive, with little to no damage to surrounding landscaping.

Yes, concrete leveling is considered environmentally friendly because it uses less material than concrete replacement and extends the life of the existing concrete, thereby reducing waste. The material used is also non-toxic to the environment. 

When using the polyurethane foam injection method from Groundworks, the surface can often be used about 30 minutes after repair. 

Leah Leitow

Leah Leitow

Content Writer

Leah is a Content Writer for Groundworks with nearly ten years of experience working in the foundation repair industry. Her experience ranges from working with homeowners to find the right solution to training inspectors and staff. In her background as a Michigan journalist, she gained invaluable insight into people's lives throughout our state. Leah lives in metro Detroit with her husband and two sons.

Disclaimer: “Concrete leveling” means the process by which cracked, uneven concrete is stabilized, and in most cases lifted, by means of PolyRenewal™ polyurethane foam. Groundworks does not guarantee that PolyRenewal™ can make any and/or every square inch of your concrete perfectly level.