Frequently Asked Questions About
Polyurethane Concrete Lifting & Leveling:
How long will it take to get my work done?
After an estimate is requested, we will have our seasoned estimator look at your project and provide you a proposal to complete your concrete repair work. Provided the area is accessible to our estimator, it is not necessary to be present at the time of the estimate. The average estimate time is under 30 minutes. A proposal will be emailed to you, where you can then access an online customer portal link. This link will allow you review and accept your estimate online. An acceptance of the proposal will result in a scheduling of the work at your earliest convenience. Most residential jobs involving driveways, garage floors, patios and sidewalks are completed in only a few hours. Slabs can be used 15 minutes upon job completion.
How many injection holes are necessary and what size will they be?
As demonstrated in the following image, polyurethane foam concrete lifting and levelling (Foam/Poly Jacking) uses smaller holes and typically fewer holes, making your repair nearly invisible.
What kind of material do you use to raise concrete?
Polyurethane material is injected as a liquid that sets-up as a rigid foam. This foam will NEVER lose density or shrink. This material is lighter than traditional mud-jacking material, and as a result, puts less stress on the unstable soils beneath your concrete. Unstable soils are the reason that your concrete has settled. Our foams infiltrate the air spaces within the underlying soils and aggregates beneath your concrete, and essentially bind them together so that the foam has a stable surface to lift against. This material is non-erodible and non-decomposable.
Will there be heavy trucks or trailers on my property?
If you are choosing polyurethane to raise, level and stabilize your concrete slab, a small truck and an enclosed trailer like the one depicted in the photo below, will arrive and will usually be parked on the street adjacent to the location of your project. We can reach up to 200 feet with our hose, that is similar in size to a residential vacuum hose. We are much less messy than mud-jacking. We are less invasive and more convenient than concrete replacement. After completion of most jobs, we will leave your beautiful landscaping in tact and untouched!
Can all concrete slabs be lifted?
Occasionally, our attempts to lift a concrete slab are not possible, due to unforeseen circumstances such as: insufficient re-bar reinforcement, the age weakening aspects of concrete, etc. Only after the first injection holes are drilled and the first injection of foam is made, can we fully determine if the concrete slab is liftable. Our lifting team will communicate with you this difficulty and we will halt the lifting process and provide you with a replacement alternative. We can provide you with a timely estimate for replacement if need be.
Our concrete replacement division has over 35 years of experience in the concrete replacement industry and we are confident in his work.
Another circumstance when concrete is unliftable is when we come across pre cast steps, or hollow cast steps.
Unfortunately if your staircase is actually pre cast that means it was made in a facility and then was mechanically installed and tied into your house wall. What you’ll need to look for is a Barkman Step Installer in your area to see if they can either mechanically reinstall the step, as it might be sitting on a pile and/or is still tied into the house which means it is unliftable. If it is sitting on a pile, this would mean either the pile and step have broken off where they were attached, or the pile could be sinking and pulling the step down with it. These steps are very heavy and fairly expensive so if you have an aggravated or settling sub base (which is what normally happens in Manitoba's weather conditions) there is always a possibility of it sinking again in the future. Unfortunately any type of concrete lifting product such as foam or even a mud and tindle stone mixture would not be able to fix the problem as it is not a slab-on-grade, poured concrete step.
How do you patch the injection holes?
We use a fibre reinforced cement patching mortar that will best match your concrete surface. A multitude of dye colours is available to us. In most cases, the patching material is harder and more durable than the concrete slab itself. There is a benefit to using polyurethane over raising with mud with regards to patching our penny-sized injection holes. When mud-jacking, a foam plug is inserted into the hole, and the hole is patched over with cement. Mud-jacking contractors usually recommend you to allow the patch material to set-up before use of the slab-typically a couple of hours. You can immediately walk or drive on our patches. The foam plugs used in mud-jacking help patch the holes, and they act as a shock absorber when slabs are affected by the frost cycle. Holes that are not patched with foam can pop out when the material and earth under the slab expand from freezing. There is a significant possibility of the plugs popping out and having to be re-done. With our system, there is no possibility of this occurrence as our product maintains its shape and density until you are ready to dispose of it.
Do you also provide crack-sealing services?
We have various methods available to us to seal cracks, using foam-backer rods and self-leveling UV stable polyurethane joint caulking compounds. These services and any of their additional costs and descriptions are included in your proposal. Again, there are several colours available depending on the colour of your concrete. It is not a good idea to use a hard concrete patching material for larger cracks, as in Manitoba we unfortunately suffer from the heaving and thaw cycle. In turn, the concrete patching will start to crack once this movement begins and it is inevitable. We consider these cracks to be joints that need a little bit of give to prepare for this unfortunate cycle, which is why it is always recommended to use foam backer rod and UV stable polyurethane joint caulking compounds to stop water infiltration in order to properly prevent future settlement, and prevent the repair from deteriorating and cracking.
What types of surfaces can be raised?
Only poured, concrete slabs with reinforced steel re-bar can be raised and stabilized. Fiberglass infused concrete, pier-supported slabs, slabs above weeping tile, interlocking stone/bricks, asphalt and gravel can't be lifted. Slabs of concrete that are too badly cracked, may also be too damaged to lift, in which case, replacement will be recommended and a free estimate can be provided. Click the following button to see a list of poured concrete slabs that can be lifted:
What is the difference between lifting with foam versus mud?
Mud-jacking uses a sand-based, limestone or tindle stone material that is infused with portland cement. This slurry is hydraulically pumped into 1 5/8 inch holes, every 16 inches to reach under the slab to fill voids and raise the concrete. Mud-jacking material weighs on average 100 lbs per cubic foot. Mud is injected into the ground wet, and considering some of the fundamental states of matter (Solid, Liquid & Gas). Most homeowners also assume that portland cement keeps its form which is why you would think that even when the liquid mixture evaporates, it would keep its form no matter what, when in reality, portland cement actually shrinks when it dries. Given these circumstances, your concrete always has the chance to settle again once the liquid has evaporated, as the mixture will shrink no matter what, recreating voids in the process and leaving you with unsupported, settled and/or broken concrete which will need to be re-lifted or demolished and replaced in the future.
Polyurethane Foam Concrete Lifting uses 2-part liquid to foam systems that are injected beneath the slab using injection ports installed into 5/8 of an inch injection holes, for every 3-5 feet of the affected concrete that needs to be raised, and even fewer injection points when filling voids due to these foams slower reaction times. When the components of this material are mixed, a reaction causes the material to expand within about 12-15 seconds from the point of injection. This expanded foam fills all voids to achieve resistance, then strategically placed and timed injections raise concrete where needed. This material will never lose density. After it's installed, it's permanent and weighs about 2-4 lbs. per cubic foot depending on which type of foam system is required. It will never deteriorate, loose its form, or shrink as long as you maintain the grade around your concrete to ensure the foam is not exposed to the UV rays. The foam hits every part under a slab, creating a perfect cushion for the concrete to rest on and no more room for water infiltration which actually helps alleviate that heave-thaw cycle that we encounter.
Polyurethane will put a lot less stress on the sub-grade soil under the concrete because of its lighter weight, ending up in an overall better application than mud-jacking. Polyurethane material is more expensive than mud-jacking material due to its superior form and higher equipment costs, but because of the small hole size, lighter material weight, fewer injection holes due to a much larger radius covered within one injection, the hydrophobic properties and the fact that it will not wash away, shrink or sag over time, the cost is 100% worth it. As the saying goes, "you get what you pay for."
Is there a warranty?
We are so confident in our lifting process and product that we offer a 5 year, non-transferable, limited-warranty. If your concrete slab were to settle 1/2 of an inch within this duration, we would come back and re-pump, using as many of the initial injection points as possible. To date, we have had less than 1 % of our customers requiring a re-pump.
How long will my concrete lifting, levelling and/or stabilization last?
Since the only thing that can break down the polyurethane concrete raising materials we use are the ultraviolet rays of the sun, it will essentially outlive the life of your concrete as long as it stays covered; which is perfect under your concrete. As long as you maintain the grade, landscaping stones, bricks, etc. surrounding the edges of your concrete and ensure that all improper drainage (downspouts properly placed and extended so that water drains down and away from the areas surrounding your concrete) has been remediated post-lift, level and/or stabilization, the foam will keep its density and shape until you want to dispose of it.