Mudjacking to Fix a Settled Concrete Slab
LESLIE: Roy in Illinois is on the line and there seems to be a crack in the front of the garage.
What is going on? Are you getting water in the garage? Is it on the door? What’s going on here?
ROY: When the house was built about 21 years ago, they brought in a cement saw and they cut marks in it to control the cracking.
ROY: Well, the first cut is 4 feet from the garage door. Well, now, that part next to the garage has settled down so when it rains, the water runs towards the garage, which is making it worse.
TOM: Ah, OK.
ROY: And I saw a commercial on TV for this mudjacking outfit and they say for a little more than half what it costs to replace the cement, they could jack it back up in place. But you will see the marks where they drill the holes to put the cement in and will it last? Should we do the whole driveway over or is there some way we can do something to make it look good and last? It’s a beautiful place. We have no problems with anything except you drive in the driveway and you see that.
TOM: Yeah. So when you get close to the driveway, that last slab, so to speak, tilts in towards the garage and it’s running water up against the house? Is that correct?
TOM: Yeah. And that’s going to – could affect the foundation that’s holding the garage up because you throw a lot of water under it, it becomes less stable and you get a lot more movement. So I do think it’s an important thing to fix.
Mudjacking will work and it can replace that area as long as they can lift that slab nice and even so it doesn’t crack and become worse. I would just try to get their guarantee that they’re not going to crack the slab in the process. But if they can get the mud underneath it – they’re basically filling in the low spots, bringing that slab up and then it’s not going to collapse anymore, because the concrete they put under it – the mud, so to speak – takes up that void.
So, I wouldn’t be afraid of doing that. And if it turns out that that’s less expensive than breaking that one piece out and just pouring that one piece new, then I think you can do that. If you decide to break that out, I don’t think you have to do the whole driveway; you can just do that one piece.
And make sure the soil below is properly tamped. You’re going to have to replace that with fill dirt and stone and get it tamped down. Tamping is really key so it’s really solid. What’s happened is water has gotten over there over the years, it’s softened the soil and that’s what’s caused that slab to sort of rotate with the car going back and forth.
So I think either option is OK. It becomes an economic choice. My only concern is that you commit to spending money on mudjacking and end up breaking the slab and then you’re kind of almost back to the beginning.
ROY: OK. Sounds great. Sounds like you’ve got the answers.
TOM: Yeah, well, we try. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.