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The Comprehensive Guide to Concrete Leveling

Concrete is a widely used construction material, and rightly so. It is known for its strength and durability. However, it can succumb to wear and tear over time. 

It’s important to act quickly and fix your concrete before it falls into a severe state of disrepair. Concrete leveling is one of the many options for repairing cracking and sinking concrete slabs.  

This comprehensive guide explains what concrete leveling is, how it works, different methods, when it’s an appropriate repair, and who to call for professional assistance. That way, you’ll have all the information you need to make a wise decision for your property. 

What is Concrete Leveling? 

Concrete leveling lifts and evens out sunken or uneven concrete surfaces, restoring them to their original position. It eliminates hazards caused by unevenness. Leveling enhances safety, function, and aesthetics of the concrete area. 

A Baker's concrete expert performing polyurethane foam concrete leveling

You may have also heard this process referred to as one of the following terms: 

  • Concrete lifting 
  • Concrete raising 
  • Concrete repair 
  • Slab lifting 
  • Slabjacking 
  • Concrete jacking 
  • Cement jacking 

It’s important to inspect surfaces to determine if leveling is needed. Contact a professional if you notice major unevenness, sinking, or safety hazards. Even if surfaces seem to be in good condition, meeting with an expert can help assess if leveling would be beneficial. 

Cost varies based on the size, severity of damage, method, and scope. Compared to full replacement, leveling is a cost-effective solution. Weigh the pros and cons, evaluate your needs, and consult with professionals to obtain an accurate estimate and ultimately make the optimal choice. 

Four Popular Concrete Leveling Methods 

Concrete leveling might also go by one if its more technically specific names, which are also the top four commonly used methods: polyurethane foam leveling, mudjacking, stone grout or cement slurry leveling, and self-leveling concrete. 

Here, we break them down and rank them from best to worst: 

1. Polyurethane Foam Concrete Leveling 

polylifting concrete leveling on concrete pool deck

Polyurethane foam injection—also known as polylifting, polyjacking, or PolyRenewal™ (our method)—is the quickest and easiest way for professionals to lift sunken concrete. 

Lightweight polyurethane foam is injected underneath the affected slabs through penny-sized holes. It expands to completely fill the void between the slab and underlying soil, curing within 30 minutes. As it hardens, it precisely lifts the slab back to its original position. 

While this method is cost effective, long-lasting, and eco-friendly, slabs may not be completely level and cracks may still be visible. 

2. Mudjacking 

mudjacking slurry

Mudjacking is a similar process that involves mixing water, soil, sand, and cement together to create a mortar-based slurry material. 

While it forms a stable base for the concrete after it is injected, the material is heavy, weighing down the soil and eventually resulting in slab settlement. It is a more invasive process that requires more drilling, the mixture does not completely fill voids, and its lengthy cure time renders concrete unusable for days. 

3. Cement or Stone Slurry Concrete Leveling 

Stone slurry grout concrete leveling is a combination of mudjacking and polyurethane injections. It utilizes equipment similar to that of polyurethane foam leveling, but the material is a mix of crushed limestone and water. 

This process requires less water, is easier to control, allows voids to be filled completely, and is durable and environmentally friendly. However, large holes are required, the heavy material adds weight to the underlying soil, and it quickly becomes expensive. 

4. Self-Leveling Concrete 

While the other methods are not intended for DIY use, self-leveling concrete is a user-friendly method homeowners can use on their own time for small patch jobs. This polymer-fortified cement is compatible with different materials and finishes, and novice installers can achieve smooth surfaces on areas like interior floors. 

Though it is easily accessible, self-leveling concrete can become an expensive and hazardous undertaking for homeowners.

Common Concrete Areas that Need Leveling

Uneven concrete steps

Concrete leveling is applicable to many areas around your home, including:

How To Tell If You Need Concrete Leveling 

Concrete damage comes in many forms. Take a look at the concrete on your property. Do any of these telltale damage signs look or sound familiar? 

Other Common Problem Signs 

Unlike some forms of damage around your home, concrete problems are generally easy to spot. 

The most telling sign that your concrete needs to be addressed promptly is uneven, sinking slabs that no longer match up. They diminish your property’s appearance and cause tripping hazards. This is particularly dangerous on pool decks. 

Your vehicle may also suffer wear and tear as it continuously negotiates sunken slabs in your driveway or garage. Cracked slabs are another indication that something is going on beneath the surface that needs to be to be addressed. 

Signs You May Not Need Concrete Leveling 

cracked concrete

That being said, not all cracks are bearers of bad news. They may be thin hairline cracks that formed as the concrete cured. These types of cracks are not harmful if they do not worsen, and they can be addressed with cosmetic treatments. 

If concrete problems are left to worsen, they can result in severe damage like crumbling, missing pieces, wearing away, pitting, flaking, or staining. Surface level issues like the latter can be solved with resurfacing or cosmetic repairs. If the concrete is beyond repair, the only option may be to completely repour the slab. 

Who Can Help with Concrete Repair Needs 

A Baker's Waterproofing CFI helping homeowners with their cracked driveway

Concrete leveling is a complex process best left to experienced professionals like our team at Baker’s Waterproofing. Homeowners throughout Pennsylvania have trusted us with their concrete repair for almost 50 years. They know they can trust our expertise, industry-leading solutions, and top-notch customer care. 

We provide free inspections, which involve thoroughly evaluating your home’s concrete to pinpoint the cause of the damage. We’ll then recommend repairs customized to fit your home’s specific needs. Our team can also advise you of the next steps and who to call if concrete leveling is not an appropriate solution. 

The Cost of Concrete Leveling 

The price of concrete leveling projects often weighs heavily on homeowners’ minds, and it can be difficult and frustrating trying to find a specific number. 

Many factors affect the overall cost of concrete leveling, including: 

  • Extent of the damage 
  • Where the damage is located 
  • The size of the affected areas 
  • Chosen repair method 
  • Amount of repair product 
  • Installation equipment and materials 
  • Labor and permits 

For an accurate cost assessment, contact your local concrete leveling professionals for a free inspection and estimate. 

Common Concrete Project Costs 

All that said, we want to help give you an idea of what some of the popular concrete leveling projects could cost. Here’s a closer look: 

A Baker's Concrete technician performing concrete leveling on a cracked driveway
  • Driveway Lifting: Garage floors and driveways endure heavy use, making damage visible. Leveling driveways or garage slabs often costs $800 to $4,000. 
  • Sidewalk Leveling: Sidewalks see high foot traffic, but less weight compared to driveways. Lifting sidewalk slabs typically runs $500 to $2,000 or more. 
  • Patio Raising: Smaller areas like patios and porches may cost from $800 to $3,000 or more. Raising a porch with foundation problems can surpass $5,000 if foundation piers are required. 
  • Concrete Replacement: Fully demolishing and repouring requires expertise, heavy machinery, extended downtime, and substantial cement leading to future settling. Costs can exceed $5,000. 

Money-Saving Concrete Repair Tips 

Though online estimates differ, these practical tips help maximize concrete value and minimize repair costs. 

  • Regularly inspect concrete to prevent extensive damage. 
  • Avoid invasive repairs like mudjacking that may not last. 
  • Don’t try DIY fixes that could worsen issues. 
  • Partner with a reputable pro for reliable concrete leveling. 
  • Opt for durable solutions like PolyRenewal™ over temporary patches. 
  • Ask about financing options so quality repairs fit your budget. 
  • Enroll in annual maintenance programs to optimize concrete lifespan and performance.  

Contact Baker’s Waterproofing for Concrete Lifting and Leveling Today! 

Don’t disregard cracked or uneven concrete slabs. These issues detract from your home’s beauty and pose safety hazards. Get ahead of the problem by partnering with local concrete leveling experts. 

For nearly 50 years, Baker’s Waterproofing has used advanced solutions such as PolyRenewal™ polyurethane foam in Pennsylvania homes. This unique injection method expertly restores concrete while providing lasting results. 

Reach out today to schedule a free inspection and discuss how PolyRenewal™ can restore your concrete surfaces and peace of mind. Our team is ready to help you create a safer, more attractive living space. 

Concrete Leveling FAQs

We don’t recommend trying to level concrete yourself. Although materials like mudjacking compound and self-leveling concrete are available for home use, they can be tricky for beginners to mix and apply properly. You also need access to specialized tools, which are costly if you only use them once. Hiring a professional concrete leveling company like Baker’s Waterproofing is a better option. We provide free inspections and no-obligation repair estimates, and ensure the job is done right. 

Yes, concrete leveling is a worthwhile investment to properly repair and stabilize sunken concrete around your home. Temporary solutions like filling cracks with cement often wash out quickly and require repeated applications. Hiring Baker’s Waterproofing for professional concrete lifting provides long-lasting results. We determine the best leveling method for your specific needs after a thorough free inspection. We’ll also explain various payment and financing options that fit your budget. 

When done right by professionals, leveled concrete can last for many years with proper maintenance. The longevity depends on several factors like soil conditions, freezing and thawing cycles, and the amount of traffic on the surface. Ongoing cracking or settling over time should be evaluated to determine if additional leveling is needed. One of the most durable options is polyurethane injection, which Baker’s Waterproofing specializes in. To learn more about concrete lifting methods and longevity, contact us for a free inspection and repair estimate. 

Holly Richards-Purpura

Holly Richards-Purpura

Content Writer

Holly is a Content Writer for Groundworks who has written and edited web content for the foundation services industry for almost 10 years. With a background in journalism, her passion for the written word runs deep. Holly lives in Columbus, OH, with her husband. Along with educating homeowners, she also has a big heart for the Big Apple.

Disclaimer: “Concrete leveling” means the process by which cracked, uneven concrete is stabilized, and in most cases lifted, by means of PolyRenewal™ polyurethane foam. Baker’s Waterproofing does not guarantee that PolyRenewal™ can make any and/or every square inch of your concrete perfectly level. 

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