In the spring, homeowners all over Kansas City are saying, Help! My my driveway needs mud jacking!” or, ” It looks like my driveway is sinking.” Homeowners notice a variety of issues with the driveway they may not have noticed before:
- uneven concrete slabs by the garage or by the street
- driveway slabs are cracking (some are cracking pretty badly)
- where the driveway and the garage meet there is now a 2-3” drop
A driveway that was mud jacked before and is showing these signs now has a homeowner frustrated. A lot of money was spent on mud jacking to fix a problem that has now resurfaced. A first reaction is to blame the company who did the “shoddy” work. We are letting you know that your blame is probably misplaced.
Mud jacking may not be a permanent fix
The process of mud jacking with cement, water and dirt may not be a permanent fix for your sunken driveway or sidewalk. If the weather conditions have been dry over the past few years, the water in the soil and in the mud jacking process may have evaporated. As a result, the mud jacking compound that once held up the concrete is now sinking with the driveway! It’s not the mud jacking companies fault the weather has been dry and the water has now evaporated in the compound. The process may be inherently flawed or at best, at risk for repeat problems.
How to tell if your driveway needs Mud jacking?
Foam jacking (or poly jacking as it is sometimes referred) uses a high-tech 2-part polyurethane foam leveling process. Mud jacking uses a mixture of dirt, water and cement. Polyurethane Foam is injected into much smaller holes that are made into the concrete- 5/8”. Mud jacking holes are drilled at 2-3”. It is necessary for the process to drill more holes for mud jacking as the mixture cannot flow easily into voids under concrete. Because foam jacking expands 7 feet in either direction lifting the concrete slabs into place, fewer holes are necessary. Foam jacking can be used in tight spaces between buildings because the hoses that are used are nimble. The Mud jacking process uses heavy equipment and can leave a mess and marks in your grass and landscaping.
Polyurethane foam is set within 30 minutes. Consequently, you can drive your car on it sooner and use your driveway as usual. Mud jacking is set in 4-6 hours. Polyurethane foam jacking does not retain moisture. It is impervious to water and will not erode with snow and rain. Polyurethane foam weighs 3-8 pounds per cubic foot whereas typical mud jacking can weigh 100-120 pounds per foot.
Do I need to Replace my Driveway?
That’s a good question. Seem like the only way to know the answer to that questions is to have a professional evaluate it. Replacing your driveway will be 50-70% more costly than raising it would be. The owners of Concrete Raising Systems have a background in General Contracting. They can tell you, without bias, that your driveway can be repaired or if it needs to be replaced. They have a two-year guarantee (as long as the home is 10 years old) which ensures the advice they give will be in the homeowners best interest.
Did you recently notice the cracking cement and the uneven slabs in your driveway? In fact, did you noticed them last year? Did the creaks get worse and the concrete sink a little more? Unfortunately, the longer you wait to address this sinking concrete problem, the more expensive the driveway repair will be. Waiting too long may decrease your options and the concrete may be beyond repair and will need to be replaced. It doesn’t cost anything to call Concrete Raising Systems to get a quote for driveway lifting/repair (or to have the sidewalk, porch, patio, pool deck, garage or basement floor quoted). As a result, the more you know, the better informed you will be. Finally, when you have solid information, you can make a great decision about your concrete and if the driveway needs mud jacking/ foam jacking.
This article was originally published in May, 2015 and has been updated with current information.