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Polyurethane Concrete Raising vs. Traditional Mud Jacking

When aging concrete sinks into the ground or settles unevenly, contractors need a surefire way to alter the foundation of the concrete and stabilize the surface. Mud jacking has long been the traditional way to repair old or damaged concrete by raising and stabilizing the foundation. However, polyurethane concrete raising offers an alternative method with plenty of unique advantages. How does polyurethane concrete raising differ from mud jacking? Why has this method grown so popular in the industry? Discover everything you need to know about polyurethane concrete raising v.s traditional mud jacking with this guide to the pros and cons of each method. With this information on your side, you can choose the safest, quickest, and most cost-effective technique for your project and budget.

What Is Mud Jacking?

Mud jacking, also known as pressure grouting or slab grouting, is a process that uses a slurry mixture of sand, cement, and other materials to stabilize concrete slabs. Contractors or other construction workers drill holes into the concrete and inject the mixture into the foundation. This lifts and levels the concrete to create an even, stable surface. Contractors use mud jacking to stabilize concrete that’s still in good condition but that has grown uneven over time. This can be concrete slabs, driveways, sidewalks, porches, and more.

However, the mud jacking technique isn’t ideal for every project. Mud jacking doesn’t have the power to lift load-bearing slabs. It can also prove problematic for severely damaged concrete, as mud jacking might not evenly fill in every gap in the foundation. Mud jacking is a popular industry technique for a reason, but contractors must learn its limits—and the proper alternatives—in order to complete each project successfully.

What Is Polyurethane Concrete Raising?

Polyurethane concrete raising follows the same concept as mud jacking but uses different tools and materials. Instead of a slurry mixture, polyurethane concrete raising uses a high-density, geotechnical expanding foam to lift and stabilize concrete. Additionally, contractors drill smaller holes when injecting polyurethane foam than when injecting a mud jacking mixture. These details make a world of difference in the process, cost, and results of concrete lifting. For example, polyurethane foam dries much more quickly than a mud jacking mixture, making it ideal for projects that require quick turnaround times, such as road repairs. The high-density foam of polyurethane concrete raising also means this technique is perfect for projects with heavier concrete slabs.

Polyurethane Concrete Raising vs. Traditional Mud Jacking

Though polyurethane concrete raising and traditional mud jacking do the same thing, it’s essential for industry professionals to know the difference between the two methods. Mud jacking slurry and polyurethane foam have different properties that influence the concrete lifting process. The weight and curing times of each material influence how contractors make injections and ensure a safe and stable result. Moreover, each of these techniques requires specific equipment and labor costs that contractors must consider.

These and other factors determine how successful your project will be. That’s why industry professionals must understand the ins and outs of both concrete lifting techniques before choosing the right method for their next project. Here are just a few of the key differences between polyurethane concrete raising and traditional mud jacking for you to consider:

Material Weight

Material weight plays a huge role in the result of a concrete lifting project. Mud jacking materials are incredibly heavy; they can weigh over 100 pounds per cubic foot. Compare this to polyurethane foam, which only weighs three to four pounds per cubic foot. As such, polyurethane concrete raising offers a more lightweight yet much stronger material to work with. Furthermore, the lighter weight of polyurethane foam puts less strain on the ground beneath the concrete slab, making it less likely to further damage the soil. Meanwhile, the heavy weight of mud jacking can cause the ground to settle further, meaning you might have to repeat the concrete lifting process in the future.

Curing Time

Traditional mud jacking methods take a day or two to dry, but polyurethane foam has a curing time of just 15 minutes. This means polyurethane concrete raising is an extremely fast and reliable way to lift, level, and stabilize concrete. As such, contractors and construction workers often turn to polyurethane concrete raising for roads and parking lots. Cars can drive over the repair site almost as soon as contractors are done working. This is also an ideal option for businesses that want to minimize downtime due to construction. Even better, the quality and efficiency of a concrete lifting foam machine makes polyurethane concrete raising a quick and cost-effective process for businesses.

Initial Costs vs. Lasting Value

Of course, many projects and decisions boil down to your finances and the kind of budget you have. That’s why contractors must carefully evaluate both the initial costs and lasting value of their concrete lifting method. Part of mud jacking’s popularity comes from its lower initial costs. Polyurethane concrete raising is a far more expensive process. However, you must also consider the lasting value of your project. Mud jacking doesn’t last as long as polyurethane foam, as the heavier weight causes the ground beneath the concrete to resettle over time. Additionally, polyurethane is a more consistent material that does a better job of filling in all foundation gaps. Polyurethane concrete raising achieves a stabler and more level result, which means it will last much longer than mud jacking. Contractors who invest in polyurethane concrete raising will need fewer repairs, thus saving more money over time.

Injection Site Appearance

Differences in time, integrity, and cost are important, but contractors must also consider how their project will look when it’s done. Though both mud jacking and polyurethane concrete raising require contractors to drill holes in the concrete, polyurethane is much more aesthetically pleasing at the end of the day. This is because the heavier mud jacking material requires larger holes in order to reach the foundation beneath the concrete. Polyurethane foam, on the other hand, is a minimally invasive material that can fit through injections the size of a dime. Large injections allow debris, weeds, and other unwanted materials to build up and ruin the look and integrity of your concrete. Meanwhile, the smaller injections of polyurethane concrete raising are much easier to patch, so the holes are barely visible by the end of the project.

Efficiency, consistency, and long-lasting durability make polyurethane concrete raising the preferred method for many contractors. As geotechnical applications continue to expand, contractors should take advantage of this and other innovations to deliver valuable results to their clients.

Polyurethane Concrete Raising vs. Traditional Mud Jacking

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