Can My Concrete Be Lifted or Leveled?

When to Lift & When to Replace

Overview

Repairing existing concrete is almost always preferable to replacement. It’s less expensive, less damaging to surrounding landscaping, and more environmentally friendly. Some concrete, however, is too damaged or poured in a way that prevents lifting and stabilization.

So many factors–many of which aren’t known until starting the lift–make it impossible perfectly predict any concrete lift or mudjacking outcome. 
 
While nothing beats an expert checking the area in person, if you’re trying to find whether your concrete can be lifted and or stabilized, the factors below should point you in the right direction.

Cement Slab Size and Cracking

Concrete weighs quite a bit and needs plenty of force (pressure) to lift it. This means sections of concrete that are too small and light quickly turn into pressure relief outlets, preventing a successful lift and causing a mess in the process.

If cracking causes sections of concrete get below 4 square feet, the lift becomes quite risky.

Sections Formed by Inner Cracking

Can Lift: Usually

Size is the single best predictor of concrete leveling and lifting eligibility. Larger pieces of concrete formed by cracks, especially in the middle areas of the concrete, are typically fine to lift.

Section Formed by Outer Cracking

Can Lift: Sometimes

When an isolated section is along the outside of the concrete area, it is more sensitive than an equal-sized section that’s surrounded by other concrete. Generally speaking, outer sections are under a more stringent size limitation.

Single Small Piece

Can Lift: Unlikely

Small sections make for difficult lifts at best. However, by using more time and material, experienced foam concrete raising and mud jacking contractors may be able to work through a single small inner concrete section.

Extensive Cracking

Can Lift: No

Because concrete leveling is pressure based, numerous cracks in the area to be lifted allows outlets for the injected material. This prevents a successful lift.

Shattered Concrete

Can Lift: No

Because concrete leveling is pressure based, any sections within the lift zone like this will prevent any concrete lift.

Single Pour Concrete

Can Lift: Stabilize Only

Without slab sections, lifting will result in cracks forming. Preventative void fills can stop future damage.

Why Voids are a Serious Problem

Concrete is brittle and unable to support much weight without being supported by something else. Concrete bridges are supported with a steel frame, and driveway and sidewalk concrete is supported by the ground beneath it. If the ground develops a void from rain, rodents, or the frost-thaw cycle, it’s like the steel frame of the bridge breaking – There’s going to be a collapse.

Washouts & Large Voids

Fix the void now, or fix both the void and concrete later

If a void forms under the concrete, it is dangerous and no longer functional. We highly recommend getting an expert’s opinion for voids and washouts as they are a safety hazard and the situation will only deteriorate.

Foam Concrete Leveling

The Approach We Stand Behind

We exclusively lift concrete with foam. This is because we believe the process to be far more effective and a long term solution. 

We are also able to resurface concrete. The combination will take aged concrete and restore it to its original position and look. This often costs less, doesn’t damage surrounding property, and is more environmentally friendly than replacement. Thanks to the foam foundation, it’s also far less likely to sink over the years than new concrete.

Know YOUR Numbers

Planning with general numbers often leads to inaccurate estimations and budgets. That’s one of the many reasons we offer free estimates. Whether you need a quick fix or are planning for work next year, work with actual numbers specific to you.