How Does Concrete Lifting Work? (What to Expect)

July 20, 2023

Sharing is caring!

Are you a homeowner asking, how does concrete lifting work? This is an excellent question, as not all foundation repair methods are the same! Also, knowing more about the process can help you better understand its cost and time involved. Lastly, potential homebuyers can make an educated decision about a home with foundation damage or past repairs.

To perform concrete lifting, a contractor assesses the foundation. Next, they excavate and then drills holes through affected areas. Then, the contractor fills those holes with expanding foam or specialty slurries while lifting the home. Lastly, they fill the excavations as needed.

Obviously, this is just a quick overview of concrete lifting processes. The work itself might include a few more steps depending on your property’s condition. Also, your contractor might use lifting with underpinning and other repair methods.

With this in mind, keep reading to find out more about concrete lifting, also called slab jacking, mud jacking, and leveling. Then, contact a foundation repair contractor near you if needed. They can offer expert advice for ensuring your home is in good condition from the ground up.

how does concrete lifting work

How Does Concrete Lifting Work, Step by Step

A contractor uses house leveling or concrete lifting to raise and level sunken or uneven concrete surfaces. This process repairs sidewalks, driveways, patios, and foundations that have settled or sunk. Soil erosion, poor compaction, poor drainage, and age often risk this damage. Note how concrete lifting or leveling works, step by step:


A contractor’s first step is to assess the area that requires lifting. Your professional will examine the extent of the settling and determine the best approach for needed fixes.


Next, the contractor excavates as needed and then drills small holes, typically around 1 to 2 inches in diameter, into the sunken concrete surface. These serve as access points for the lifting material.

Lifting Material Injection

Your contractor prepares a specialized lifting material by mixing various components. One choice is a slurry composed of cement, sand, water, and additives such as fly ash. Two, they might recommend a specialty polyurethane foam. Their choice may vary depending on your home’s construction and damage extent.

In traditional mud jacking, the contractor injects a dense slurry made of cement and soil into the drilled holes. This fills the voids beneath the sunken concrete. Next, the pressure of the injected material raises the concrete slab to the desired level.

An alternative method involves polyurethane foam. The foam expands, filling the gaps, and raising the concrete to the required height. Polyurethane foam is lightweight and offers quicker curing times while needing less invasive drilling.

Leveling and Finishing

Once the concrete is level as expected, the concrete fills the access holes. The repair team also performs any necessary cleanup of the property.

how does concrete lifting work

Advantages of Concrete Lifting

Are you considering concrete lifting for your property? This process offers some excellent advantages for damaged homes, including:

  • Concrete lifting is generally more affordable than replacing sunken slabs.
  • Liftin usually means minimal disruption to the surrounding landscape. The contractor might only need minimal excavation and small access holes for injections.
  • Concrete lifting is relatively quick, allowing you to use the repaired surface shortly after the process is finished.
  • Polyurethane foam injections are environmentally friendly and non-toxic.

How Long Does Concrete Lifting Last?

If you’re thinking of investing in concrete lifting, it’s only natural to wonder how long it might last! Overall, its lifespan depends on several factors, including the quality of the material used and the reason your concrete settled. Also, consider the overall condition of the concrete slab and how well you’ll maintain those repairs.

In general, correctly performed concrete lifting with high-quality materials provides a long-lasting solution. Mud jacking often lasts for several years, even a decade or more, especially when you’ve addressed whatever caused the settling. However, over time, poor soil conditions and other factors may affect the lifted concrete’s stability.

Polyurethane foam injection offers durability and long-lasting results. The foam has excellent strength and resists moisture and erosion. When used in concrete lifting, polyurethane foam provides a more permanent solution, often lasting for decades.

How Do You Make Concrete Lifting Last?

To ensure your concrete lifting projects lasts as long as possible, it’s vital that you consider the following tips:

  • Address any underlying drainage or soil compaction issues on your property. If needed, consider a French drain or sump pump installation.
  • Maintaining the concrete surface is also crucial. Keep the repaired area clean and avoid heavy loads or excessive pressure.
  • Also, promptly address any signs of settlement over the years. This can help extend the life of the concrete lifting project.
  • Remember that quality workmanship and materials greatly are vital for durable concrete lifting. With this in mind, only hire a reputable and experienced concrete contractor for the job. Ensure they use high-quality lifting materials.
  • Lastly, note that regular inspections and maintenance can help identify potential issues early on. In turn, you can schedule prompt repairs and prevent further damage.

how does concrete lifting work

Is Slab Jacking Worth It?

In most cases, slab jacking and other concrete foundation repair processes are well worth the cost! Consider some factors that can help you determine if slab jacking is the right choice for your property:

  • Slab jacking is generally more cost-effective than removing and replacing a sunken concrete slab. In turn, it can save you money on repairs, especially if the damaged area is not extensive.
  • Slab jacking is typically faster than full concrete replacement. Once your contractor completes the lifting process, you can often use a repaired surface right away.
  • Concrete lifting means less disruption to your property compared to tearing out and replacing a concrete slab.
  • While slab jacking levels a foundation or other area, it may not restore its appearance. In some cases, you might even notice visible patchwork after the repair process.
  • Also, your property might need added fixes such as underpinning or waterproofing membranes installed. These add to your foundation repair costs.

Above all, remember that foundation fixes are always worth their cost versus ignoring that damage. Cracks let in moisture that risks wood rot and mold, and which lets the home settle. Additionally, foundation damage can lower your property values. On the other hand, foundation repair protects your property’s value and any equity you’ve built.

What Are the Cons of Concrete Lifting?

Concrete lifting is a cost-effective and practical solution for some needed repairs. However, it does have some potential drawbacks and limitations, including:

  • Concrete lifting doesn’t address the underlying cause of foundation settlement, such as poor soil conditions. Without addressing these causes, the concrete may settle again in the future.
  • Lifting doesn’t necessarily restore the appearance of concrete to its original condition. Depending on damage extent, the foundation might need visible patchwork. In turn, the repaired area may not perfectly match the surrounding concrete.
  • Professional concrete lifting addresses sunken or uneven slabs but isn’t the best solution for more extensive damage. For instance, a contractor might address structural issues with foundation replacement.
  • In some cases, lifting excavation can damage your property’s landscaping irreparably. Consequently, you might need to replace shrubs, flowers, and the like.
  • A contractor should compact or stabilize soil under the property after the lifting process. If not, that soil may still settle over time, risking future damage.
  • Remember that concrete lifting isn’t always permanent! While polyurethane foam and mud offer durable solutions, they’re susceptible to erosion over time.

Which Is Better, Mud Jacking vs. Foam?

Both mud jacking and foam offer pros and cons. In turn, homeowners need to work with their foundation repair contractor to choose the best solution for their property. To make the process easier, consider a few factors:

  • Mud jacking mixtures are heavy and dense. Consequently, this repair provides a strong base for a lifted slab. A contractor might also recommend it for heavier structures including larger homes.
  • Mud jacking is generally less expensive than foam lifting.
  • A contractor has better control of foam's expansion than where slurries might end up. As a result, foam jacking allows for more precise and controlled lifting.
  • Contractors need smaller excavations and holes for foam jacking compared to mud jacking. In turn, foam jacking means less disruption to your property.
  • Polyurethane foam is environmentally friendly. On the other hand, cement-based materials require more energy for mixing, giving them a larger “carbon footprint.”

Lastly, remember to discuss with your repair contractor the damage extent and your property’s overall weight. You’ll also need to compare costs and environmental considerations. Additionally, your contractor might even recommend a combination of both methods for best results.

A Word From Our Foundation Repair Crew

Lansing Foundation Repair Experts is happy to explain, how does concrete lifting work? Hopefully we’ve cleared up this issue for you! Also, if you’re in the area, you can call our Lansing foundation repair contractors for your FREE quote. We’ll inspect your property and explain all your options for foundation fixes and waterproofing. For more information, reach out to our crew today.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram