Benefits of Poly-jacking vs. Mudjacking
First of all, let’s explain the difference between the two.
The Mudjacking Process
The traditional mudjacking process has been in existence since the early 1900’s and has evolved into material forms but has remained the same general process since the beginning.
Holes are drilled, anywhere from 1” to 2” in diameter and placed according to the type of lift necessary, the hole size is about equivalent to a golf ball or a little bigger. The “material” or “slurry” is then pumped through the holes and fills the void space under the dropped concrete.
Once the void is filled hydraulic pressure then builds up and starts to lift the concrete that has lowered. Often times a free floating concrete slab only takes 10 psi of hydraulic pressure to lift.
All of the holes that are drilled will get material pumped into them to ensure that there are no voids remaining under the concrete. The hole placement and knowledge of where to put them are critical to ensuring proper filling of the void.
The area is cleaned up and the holes are patched back using a quick patch concrete mortar to match surrounding concrete.
The Poly-jacking Process
Polyjacking, poly-jacking, foam-jacking, poly-lifting, poly-leveling are all terms that are used to describe the newer material that is being used to achieve the same results as traditional mudjacking, but it is a polyurethane foam. This process has also been around for a couple of decades but has within the last 10 years become a known and desired choice for many applications.
The holes are drilled in much the same pattern but do have a significant drilled hole size difference. 5/8” is the drilled hole sized used and is very similar to the size of a termite mitigation contractor application. The hole size is about the size of a penny.
The polyurethane material consists of two parts that mix together and with proper heat mix and application, the material fills voids by expanding. Once the voids are filled more material is added to lift the concrete to the desired elevation. This can be done in very small increments to match tight tolerances if necessary. The area is cleaned up and patched back using a quick patch concrete in the same manner as mudjacking just smaller holes.
Now that we have the two processes, although very similar in process, discussed we will go over some of the differences between the two.
Mudjacking Advantages and Disadvantages
Traditional mudjacking can reach higher strengths, costs less than the polyurethane materials, much more practical for large void filling (+6”), nontoxic, nonflammable, and easier to acquire materials.
It does have a heavier burden on the soil at 100+lbs per cubic foot. It also breaks down over time due to erosion, or by digging animals. No formal training is required to conduct the work. Its cure time is at 24 to 72 hrs before full usage depending on the situation.
Polyjacking Advantages and Disadvantages
Polyjacking is lighter weight at 3lbs per cubic foot, smaller injection holes, the quick cure time of 20 minutes, holds shape for upwards of 10 years, strong, dense, environmentally safe, DOT preferred method of repair, technicians are manufacturer trained and certified.
Poly does have a lower psi of around 100 psi, it’s more expensive as something that lasts longer, and delivers a better product as it should be.
Not every situation should and can be treated the same or use the same material. Typically void fills or projects that have a significant void situation with the lift should be done in mudjacking material, especially if you are able to protect the edges of the work from water erosion and animal intrusion. Typically a garage floor that the added material has nowhere to go or will be influenced by water is better off and more value friendly to use mudjacking slurry. Anywhere there is a lift and hold situation the polyurethane option should be highly considered. It has a better probability of holding your concrete where you want it, in its original position.
Get Advice From A Reliable Concrete Lifting Contractor
It’s wise to get the opinion of a contractor that performs both methods or at least an evaluation from each side of the subject. A contractor that performs one or the other can sell against the opposite one very well, and make perfectly good sense both ways leaving you unknowingly without all necessary information. Before making a decision on a lifting contractor, at least have the feeling that you have all information on alternatives necessary.
At Affordable Mudjacking and Concrete Lifting, we have over 20 years of industry experience, and offer advice on how to best fix sinking concrete slabs. Contact us today to learn more on how we can help, or to schedule a free estimate.