Pet Scribbles

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Sinking concrete? Lift it with Mudjacking!

Mudjacking is a way to raise sinking concrete driveways, sidewalks or concrete slabs (like a patio) back up to where they should be.

Our driveway is made up of concrete slabs, and some of those slabs have been sinking slowly over the past few years. It finally got so bad that we had to do something. But what?

Background

We never quite understood why our driveway was sinking.

We drive a tiny Honda Fit, not a giant SUV, so it wasn't like our vehicle was weighing the slabs down.

Mudjacking is a way to raise sinking concrete driveways, sidewalks or concrete slabs (like a patio) back up to where they should be.

The slabs were also sinking unevenly, with the two slabs closest to the garage being the worst.

The left slab eventually sunk to a depth of 4 inches, while the right slab sunk about 2 inches.

Mudjacking is a way to raise sinking concrete driveways, sidewalks or concrete slabs (like a patio) back up to where they should be.

You can see in the images -- above and below -- how the driveway is no longer flush to the garage door trim (where the arrows are). The circled area shows the left slab lower than the right one.

Mudjacking is a way to raise sinking concrete driveways, sidewalks or concrete slabs (like a patio) back up to where they should be.

In fact, in the year or so since our foundation was painted, the driveway had sunk even more.

You can see the unpainted areas (that showed up as the driveway sunk lower) in this image:

Mudjacking is a way to raise sinking concrete driveways, sidewalks or concrete slabs (like a patio) back up to where they should be.

The concrete itself was in good shape, other than needing a good cleaning. Could we save the driveway instead of paying to replace it?

The answer - happily - was yes! With Mudjacking.

And no, we didn't know what the heck mudjacking was either!

What is Mudjacking?

Mudjacking, also known as concrete lifting, is a way to raise sinking concrete driveways, sidewalks, or concrete slabs (like a patio) back up to where they should be.

Although mudjacking isn't cheap, it was a lot cheaper than the cost to rip out and replace part of our driveway.

Here in New Jersey, there's only two companies that do mudjacking. Luckily, the company we called -- Global Concrete Lifting -- was familiar with our area, having traveled down here for several jobs after Hurricane Sandy devastated so many homes.

The Process

The team from Global Concrete Lifting arrived in the morning with their equipment and machines.

Lots of mud . . .

Mudjacking is a way to raise sinking concrete driveways, sidewalks or concrete slabs (like a patio) back up to where they should be.

. . . combined with water and cement, formed the mixture to be injected underneath the concrete slabs.

Mudjacking is a way to raise sinking concrete driveways, sidewalks or concrete slabs (like a patio) back up to where they should be.

Holes are drilled into the concrete . . .

Mudjacking is a way to raise sinking concrete driveways, sidewalks or concrete slabs (like a patio) back up to where they should be.

Three holes were drilled into the left concrete slab; two holes were drilled into the right slab.

It was at this time we learned that the fill, normally put in before any sidewalks or driveways are installed, was minimal at best. Our driveway would have continued to sink until eventually it would crack and then we'd have to replace it. There was just a lot of empty space underneath the driveway. Not good.

Mudjacking is a way to raise sinking concrete driveways, sidewalks or concrete slabs (like a patio) back up to where they should be.

Once the holes are drilled, the special mixture is injected into them.

Warning: it looks gross!

Mudjacking is a way to raise sinking concrete driveways, sidewalks or concrete slabs (like a patio) back up to where they should be.

Just in case that image grossed you out, here's a couple of pictures of our cats to look at instead:

Sleepy Lulu . . .

Sleepy Lulu: our sweet, 14-years-young, Ragdoll cat!

Relaxed Aliza . . .

Relaxed Aliza: our 20-something, formerly feral kitty!

OK. All better? Good!

Let's continue...

Almost like magic, the concrete slab began rising. We could even stand on the slab while it was being lifted up as the mixture expanded underneath!

Mudjacking is a way to raise sinking concrete driveways, sidewalks or concrete slabs (like a patio) back up to where they should be.

Here you can see the left slab, now fully lifted, compared to the right slab (not yet done):

Mudjacking is a way to raise sinking concrete driveways, sidewalks or concrete slabs (like a patio) back up to where they should be.

Once the slab is raised, the leftover mixture (coming out of the holes) is removed and cleaned away. The holes are then filled in with cement. (The entire process was then repeated for the concrete slab on the right side.)

Look at how nice and even the edge of the driveway is!

Mudjacking is a way to raise sinking concrete driveways, sidewalks or concrete slabs (like a patio) back up to where they should be.

It's funny to see how the low garden bed wall looks, now that the driveway is where it should be!

Mudjacking is a way to raise sinking concrete driveways, sidewalks or concrete slabs (like a patio) back up to where they should be.

And here you can see how the driveway slabs are lifted up flush with the garage door trim:

Mudjacking is a way to raise sinking concrete driveways, sidewalks or concrete slabs (like a patio) back up to where they should be.

Verdict?

We are thrilled with the results! The first few times we drove our car into (or out of) our garage, we braced ourselves for the hard bumps that had become part of our daily routine. No more bumps, just smooth driving!

We were amazed at how quick the entire procedure was, as the team was here and gone within a few hours, and they also left our driveway and street spotless too.

So. Now you know about mudjacking.

Trust me, at some point someone will mention a sinking driveway or sidewalk, and you'll be able to suggest they try mudjacking!

~Laura

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