Slab jacking (also known as “concrete jacking”) is a quick and convenient way to level concrete slabs. But while this method is highly effective in many scenarios, there are situations in which slab jacking may not work.
In this article, we’ll discuss some of the factors that could cause a concrete jacking job to go wrong. As we do, it will become clear when slab jacking is and is not the ideal method for leveling uneven concrete.
A Large Object Rests on Top of the Slab
One factor that can cause a slab jacking job to go wrong is the presence of a heavy object that sits on top of the slab you want to raise. For example, if your garage or another large structure rests on top of the slab, the material injected beneath the slab during the jacking process may not be strong enough to lift both the slab and the object it supports.
The Gap Below the Slab Is Too Deep
This concrete leveling challenge is one that is difficult to detect since the source of the issue lies underground. One main purpose of injecting concrete jacking material is to fill gaps below your concrete slab. However, if those gaps turn out to be deep holes that extend several feet into the earth, it can be difficult to adequately fill them via slab jacking.
Slabs Rub Against One Another
Many concrete slabs are adjacent to other concrete slabs. Unfortunately, when one slab settles, it can overlap or rub against the slab next to it. At times, the friction between the slabs will make mud jacking and poly jacking ineffective, similar to the scenario we mentioned earlier where a large object resting on your slab can prevent it from rising.
Injecting Too Much Jacking Material
Previously, we mentioned that some gaps below your concrete slab are too deep to fill with jacking material. Interestingly, the opposite problem can occur as well. If you inject too much jacking material, your slab will be too high, which can be as much of a tripping hazard as a sunken slab is. This problem is often difficult to fix, because removing jacking material after injection is incredibly challenging.
Benefits of Slab Jacking
Although the purpose of this article is to point out a few cases in which slab jacking may not work, we don’t intend to imply that this process is entirely useless. On the contrary, there are many situations in which concrete jacking is the most efficient and convenient way to level concrete slabs.
Professional teams that offer this service can remedy your uneven concrete in a matter of hours. Likewise, depending on the type of jacking material they use, you may be able to walk on your concrete almost right away.
While the slab jacking cons mentioned above remain valid, they also help highlight the cases in which this process is the perfect approach. For example, if you are dealing with small- to medium-sized concrete slabs that don’t sit on top of deep holes, have large objects on top of them, or rub against one another, concrete jacking is the perfect solution.
The team that performs slab jacking for you will be able to level your concrete with impressive precision. In doing so, they will make your slabs level once again, rendering them both safer and easier to use.
What Happens During the Slab Jacking Process?
Now that you know of a few ways slab jacking can go wrong, let’s take a look at what the process looks like when performed correctly with no significant challenges or setbacks. The steps below are what occur during a typical slab jacking process:
- Evaluate the slabs: The first step in the process is to evaluate the slabs to notice where they have become uneven and where you’ll need to inject the jacking material. This stage should also include a specific plan for how much each slab should rise.
- Drill holes where necessary: After recognizing which slabs need to rise the most, it is time to drill a few small holes through the slab. Drilling holes provides an access point into which your concrete specialist will inject the jacking material.
- Inject jacking material: Once the holes are drilled, it is time for the most important step in the jacking process–the injection of the jacking material. As the material enters the hole, it fills the gaps below while raising the slab at the same time.
- Seal the holes: Once the slab has reached the desired height, it is time to seal the holes. This process involves adding a small amount of concrete to the hole’s opening.
- Wait for the material to dry: The last step in the process is to wait for the materials to dry. When the jacking material and the concrete have both dried and hardened, you can use your concrete slabs safely once again.
During each slab jacking project, there may be challenges that arise and make the process more difficult and complex. With that said, the steps above outline the general stages of this kind of work.
The difficulty involved in the slab jacking process is the reason why it is so important to hire an experienced team to level your concrete for you. Performing DIY concrete leveling is both dangerous and likely to be an unsuccessful endeavor if you lack the proper skills and experience.
Get Professional Help for Unlevel Concrete
Although the slab jacking process may seem simple, this article reveals there is plenty that can go wrong. If you want to ensure that your concrete leveling project goes as smoothly as possible, you should take the time to find a professional to do the work for you.
For anyone with unlevel concrete slabs in the Eastern North Carolina area, Regional Waterproofing & Crawl Space Repair is ready to provide the concrete leveling service that is best for you. Reach out today to learn more and take advantage of our free estimate offer!