Benefits to Raising Concrete with Polyurethane Foam
Over time, even the best-laid concrete slabs will settle. In the past, a process known as mudjacking used to be property owners’ only recourse for repairing these slabs. Today, an ever-increasing number of property owners are turning to polyurethane foam instead.
A Cleaner Method
Lifting a concrete slab using polyurethane foam requires only the drilling of a few 5/8 inch holes through the concrete. The contractor will be able to drill these holes quickly and efficiently without making a mess and pipe the foam in beneath the slab using a mechanical connection generating very little mess. In most cases, contractors can accomplish this task without any spills.
In contrast, mudjacking requires the drilling of many two-inch holes and the piping of a slurry into the area. The slurry must be mixed on site, and the process can be very messy. Although contractors who use the mudjacking method should clean up after themselves once the process has been completed, the cleanup requires extra time and adds to labour costs.
A combination of the smaller hole size required to install polyurethane foam and the material’s impressive expansion ability combine to create a less disruptive process. While tearing out concrete takes days, and mudjacking requires property owners to avoid traffic on the affected area for at least 24 hours, they can use slabs repaired with the polyurethane foam injection method immediately.
In concrete driveway repairs, the difference is even more noteworthy. When property owners have their driveways completely replaced, they often have to avoid using them for almost a month while they cure. Few homeowners and commercial business owners have the time and patience to wait a month to use their new driveways, which is understandable when they could use them almost immediately after foam injection.
The foam injection process is also less disruptive to surrounding areas, thanks largely to its lighter weight. Polyurethane foam weighs less than four pounds per cubic foot, while the slurry used for mudjacking can weigh as much as 120 pounds per cubic foot. Plus, the polyurethane foam is fully waterproof, which means it won’t wash out.
Polyurethane foam is made in part from recycled and renewable materials. It won’t rot underground, nor will it pollute the surrounding soil and groundwater. The longevity of polyurethane foam also makes it less likely that property owners will have to repeat the repair process, helping them to conserve resources.
Foam injection can also keep ageing concrete slabs out of landfills. There’s no reason to install a new slab if the old one is in reasonably good condition but has become unstable. Sometimes, contractors can save even slightly cracked slabs using foam injection methods.
High Strength Capacity
Polyurethane foam can support between 2,000 and 4,000 pounds per square foot. Within just half an hour of project completion, property owners can drive vehicles and even heavy equipment over their repaired slabs. They won’t have to worry about even extensive foot traffic or vehicular traffic.
Restoration of Property Value
After contractors complete the foam injection process, they can patch the small holes and restore the surface to its former beauty. The raised slabs will remove hazards to pedestrians and improve the curb appeal of the entire property. Most property owners find that they can recuperate a good deal of the money they invest into foam injection through restored property value.
Although the cost of polyurethane foam injection levelling can vary substantially depending on the project and how much levelling material it requires, as a general rule it’s much less expensive to raise concrete than it is to replace it. The materials used in mudjacking are cheaper than those required for foam levelling, but the added labour of this more old-fashioned method often offsets any potential monetary benefit. Both ways for concrete raising are less expensive than replacing concrete slabs completely.
Polyurethane foam is a high-quality material, and the injection process is adaptable. Contractors can suggest the right variety of foam for any concrete repair application and may save their customers some money on material costs through manufacturers’ discounts. Even slabs that are significantly off-level can typically be restored to a safe and attractive condition.
The Bottom Line
Even damaged concrete slabs can often be fixed using polyurethane foam injection. Property owners should schedule inspections with specialized contractors before assuming that they will need to spend a small fortune having their walkways or driveways replaced. The time, money, and hassle that they’ll save with foam injection are worth the effort of finding a specialized contractor.