Slabjacking is a specialty concrete repair technology. In essence, slabjacking attempts to lift a sunken concrete slab by pumping a grout through the concrete, effectively pushing it up from below. The process is also commonly referred to as "mudjacking" and "pressure grouting" as well.
Accounts of raising/leveling concrete slabs through hydrolic pressure date back to the early 1900's, however, slabjacking technology has several limitations. Most importantly, poor quality concrete may crack and/or deteriorate when being lifted. This is especially true for slabs that are less than 4 inches in thickness. Cracks can also develop in the concrete during the lifting process. Slabs built over filled-in land and/or poor subsoils can also be susceptible to further settlement.
Modern slabjacking contractors can now use an expanding polyurethane foam, providing a multitude of benefits when compared to traditional slabjacking materials:
Concrete Leveling with Foam Injection
Foam leveling uses closed cell polymer expanding foam in an injection process. A two part polymer is injected through a hole less than one inch in diameter. Although the material is injected at a higher psi rate than traditional cementitious grouts, the pressure is not what causes the lifting. The expansion of the air bubbles in the injected material below the slab surface performs the actual lifting action as the liquid resin reacts and becomes a structural foam. Material injected below a slab to be lifted will first find weak soils, expanding into them in such a manner as to consolidate and cause sub-soils to become more dense and fill any voids below the slab. One inherent property of expanding foams is that they will follow the path of least resistance, expanding in all directions. Another inherent property includes reaching a hydro-insensitive or hydrophobic state when cured with 100% cure times as little as 30 minutes. Closed cell polymer foams offer benefits that go beyond the goal of leveling hard surfaces. They will not retain moisture, which in northern climates can cause frost heaving. They are not subject to erosion once in place. Their fast cure time allows for immediate use when application is complete. Their light weight, 3 to 8 lbs. per cubic ft. vs. 100 to 120 lbs. per cubic ft. for cementitious grout will not cause further settlement. Foams will retain their cured shape and volume indefinitely reducing the possibility of new voids forming below grade to nearly zero unless acted upon by some outside cause. Some closed cell polymer foams have baseline lifting capabilities of 6,000 lbs per sq. ft. and leveling procedures have been performed in which loads as high as 125 tons have been lifted and stabilized in a surface area of less than 900 sq. ft.
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