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Concrete Leveling: The Ultimate Guide

Concrete is used almost everywhere—buildings, driveways, parking lots—you name it. There’s a reason for this: concrete is one of the strongest and most durable building materials in the world.  

Despite all of its strength, concrete isn’t invincible. Given certain conditions and enough time, concrete can crack, sink, and become uneven. But why does this happen? Can it be fixed? 

We’ll answer all that and more in this article. Whether you’re a homeowner or business owner, this guide will help you determine if concrete leveling is the right choice for your needs.  

Introduction to Concrete Leveling 

Concrete leveling isn’t usually something people know about until there’s an issue with their concrete. If that sounds like you, we’ve got you covered. Let’s look at the basics of concrete leveling so you understand how it works and when it’s needed! 

What is Concrete Leveling? 

Concrete leveling is a repair technique that raises uneven or sunken concrete surfaces back to a safe position. This process restores the safety, functionality, and aesthetics of the concrete structure.   

Concrete leveling goes by a few different names (for instance, “concrete lifting” or “slabjacking”), but all of them refer to the same basic process. You might see these names used in place of concrete leveling as you explore the topic more:  

Other Names for Concrete Leveling  

leveled concrete driveway

Different methods are used for concrete leveling as well, so depending on who you work with, you might hear concrete leveling go by one of these more technically specific names:  

  • “Polyleveling,” “Polyleveling” “Polyjacking,” “Polyurethane Foam Leveling,” and PolyRenewal™    
  • “Mudjacking”   
  • “Stone Grout Slurry Leveling” or “Cement Slurry Leveling”  
  • “Self-Leveling Concrete”

We’ll talk more about all of these in the next section but just know, they are all very different processes used to achieve a similar outcome—level concrete.   

Understanding How Concrete Leveling Works 

Concrete leveling has one goal in mind: to restore a concrete surface as close to its original position as possible. This improves the concrete’s safety, functionality, and appearance.  

There are four main methods used to achieve this goal:  

  • Polyurethane foam  
  • Stone slurry grout  
  • Mudjacking  
  • Self-leveling concrete  

The method used to level your concrete depends on factors such as the situation, extent of damage, and your desired outcome. To determine if concrete leveling is needed, take a look at the concrete on your property.  

If the concrete is uneven, cracking, or sinking, it’s a good idea to call a professional for a more extensive inspection. The damage can be assessed to determine if concrete leveling is the appropriate repair method. 

You might also consider preventative measures; even if your concrete surfaces look normal, it might be a good idea to install a concrete leveling method to prevent damage from occurring in the first place.   

The cost of concrete leveling varies based on factors like total area of the damage, severity of the damage, chosen repair method, and the extent of repair. Make sure to get quotes from a reputable company for an accurate estimate of total cost.   

One thing is for certain—concrete leveling is a more cost-effective solution compared to complete concrete replacement. Consider the pros and cons, your needs, and consult professionals to make the right choice.   

4 Most Common Methods of Concrete Leveling  

Not all concrete leveling methods are made equal. Some methods provide a more effective fix than others. Based on our experience, here are concrete leveling methods ranked from best to worst:  

1. Polyurethane Foam Injection  

polylifting injector in concrete

Polyurethane foam injection is an innovative and modern approach to concrete leveling. It’s become extremely popular because it can be installed quickly while providing lasting protection.  

First, penny-sized holes are drilled into the damaged concrete. Using specialized equipment, polyurethane foam is injected through these holes where it fills crevices under the concrete.   

Once situated under the concrete, the foam expands and fills voids between the soil and the slab. As the foam expands, it compresses the soil (making it stronger) and pushes concrete back to a safe level.   

The foam itself cures and provides incredible strength to the concrete as well. You may have heard about a similar process called mudjacking—polyurethane follows the same principle but does the job better.  

Polyurethane foam cures within 30 minutes, causes minimal disruption to your concrete, and completely fills gaps between the concrete and the soil.  You’ll get a longer lasting result compared to other leveling methods.   

2. Mudjacking  

slurry from mudjacking

Mudjacking involves pumping a slurry mixture (usually created with materials like cement, sand, and clay) beneath damaged concrete to lift it. Its name comes from the slurry solution, which looks like mud once it’s fully mixed.   

As the mixture cures, it creates a solid, stable structure that fills in gaps below the concrete and pushes it upwards. However, mudjacking rarely lasts—and it’s a risk to keep in mind.   

Due to its slurry mixture, mudjacking is susceptible to erosion after rain or snowmelt. As a result, concrete often falls back into a state of damage just a few years (at most) after mudjacking is installed.  

Most importantly, many people believe mudjacking can be a “do-it-yourself” project. Believe us when we say that a DIY job of this size is not easy.   

Trying to fix concrete on one’s own creates an unsafe repair process that might even make the problem worse. In short, mudjacking may work for a short time, but it doesn’t last and it may even cause more issues later on.  

3. Cement or Stone Slurry Concrete Leveling  

Stone slurry grout concrete leveling combines mudjacking and polyurethane foam injection techniques, using a mix of crushed stones (mainly limestone) and water. This mixture is installed using equipment similar to polyurethane injection tools.   

It requires drilling large holes (about 1”) for application, offering better control over the material’s thickness and adding significant weight to the soil. Unlike mudjacking, this method effectively fills voids, is environmentally friendly, and durable, though it tends to be a costly option.  

4. Self-Leveling Concrete  

Self-leveling concrete, a polymer-fortified cement, is popular because it is a user-friendly option. It offers a quick-drying, low-water solution for DIY interior floor patching and resurfacing. It’s ideal for small-scale repairs and home improvements, providing a smooth finish without needing structural reinforcement.   

Although more expensive than traditional concrete, its compatibility with various materials makes it accessible for homeowners aiming to refresh floors affordably. However, keep in mind that DIY projects with self-leveling concrete always run the risk of leading even more to costly and unsafe outcomes.  

How to Know if You Need Concrete Leveling  

When to Level Concrete  

unlevel concrete

Knowing when it’s necessary to level your concrete is easy. You just need to look at the concrete to get an idea of the damage. For instance, if a driveway looks cracked or a porch is sinking into the ground, concrete leveling is the right choice. 

Remember, Concrete damage can show up anywhere; you might also see cracks on the floor of your basement or on a concrete pool deck.  

Having cracked and uneven concrete hurts the aesthetics of your home and it’s dangerous. Someone could trip over uneven sections, especially children and those who have trouble walking.   

You should fix your concrete as soon as you notice damage. It’s important to call trusted experts like AFS Foundation Repair & Waterproofing Specialists who understand what causes concrete damage and have the tools to level concrete effectively.  

Who to Call When You Need Concrete Leveling  

slab piers being installed in concrete

Concrete leveling can be a complex undertaking, and something best left to experienced professionals. AFS has been leveling concrete since 2000. Homeowners throughout the Southeast know they can trust us for reliable, long-lasting repairs and excellent customer service.    

During our free inspections, we complete a thorough evaluation of your property and pinpoint the cause of the concrete problems. This enables us to determine exactly what your home needs and then implement the best repairs tailored to these requirements.   

When Not to Level Your Concrete  

Sometimes, concrete leveling isn’t the best repair option. There are two situations when concrete leveling isn’t simply won’t work: little to no concrete damage or severe concrete damage.   

Sometimes, small cracks develop in concrete as a part of the curing process. They may never grow or change in size, appearance, or depth, but they’ll always be there. Just make sure to keep an eye on them, and if they grow in size, call someone to inspect your concrete.  

On the other hand, concrete that sustains severe damage (maybe from a natural disaster or uncontrollable event) likely can’t be saved by concrete leveling methods. If sections of the concrete are completely broken or crumbling, complete concrete replacement is the best course of action. 

Who to Call When You Don’t Need Leveling  

It’s best to work with a company that can repour concrete if the concrete on your property has extreme damage. If you’re unsure whether or not concrete leveling is the best solution, reach out to AFS for a free inspection.  We can evaluate the damage and recommend if the next steps should be repouring or resurfacing.  

The Cost of Concrete Leveling  

Concrete leveling is a complex process, so there isn’t one simple answer to how much it will cost. There are many variables affecting the total cost, including:   

  • Extent of the damage   
  • Size of the area requiring repair   
  • Appropriate repair method   
  • Amount of product required   
  • Labor, materials, permits   

The best way to get an accurate price for your concrete leveling project is to contact your local concrete experts for a free inspection and no-obligation repair estimate.    

Concrete Leveling vs Replacement: Cost Comparison  

Catching and fixing concrete damage early on is key to avoiding severe (and more expensive) damage down the line. Concrete leveling techniques—particularly PolyRenewal™—provide a more cost-effective solution than complete concrete replacement.  

When concrete is damaged, it might seem like the only option is to tear it out and pour new concrete. This process takes a lot of time because the new concrete needs days to dry and harden. 

Just keep in mind, replacing concrete is pricier than leveling. Tearing out and replacing concrete can cost somewhere between $1,000 to $5,000 depending on the damage. It’s always worth considering if concrete leveling will work for your situation. 

Average Price to Raise a Driveway  

cracked, sunken driveway

Driveways can sustain a lot of wear and tear because of continued vehicle traffic, and damage to these areas can be the most noticeable. Driveway and garage floor leveling can often range anywhere between $800 and $4,000.   

Average Price to Raise a Patio  

cracked sunken cocnrete patio

Patios are smaller areas that guide foot traffic but don’t experience the weight of vehicles like driveways and garage floors do. Still, the price tag for repair is relatively similar, sometimes ranging from $800 to more than $3,000.  

Average Price to Raise a Walkway  

sunken sidewalk

Due to the nature of sidewalks and walkways, they experience more foot traffic than patios and porches. For that reason, it’s important to fix them if they become damaged. The price range to level these areas is usually around $500 to over $2,000.   

How to Save Money on Your Concrete  

  • Keep an eye on concrete with regular inspections.   
  • Don’t invest in invasive repairs like mudjacking.   
  • Avoid DIY repair methods.   
  • Contact and reputable repair expert as soon as you notice damage.   
  • Invest in lasting repairs like PolyRenewal™ polyurethane foam injection.   
  • Take advantage of annual maintenance programs.  

Pros and Cons of Concrete Leveling with Polyurethane Foam     

AFS CFI showing a crack in driveway to homeonwers

PolyRenewal™ is our go-to solution for concrete leveling. Over 20 years of experience has proven to us that this modern technique is the most dependable way to level concrete.

It can be applied to a wide range of scenarios, making it an incredibly versatile tool. We want to show you what we’ve learned about the product over the years:  

Pros of Polylifting

  • Reduced cost   
  • Quicker installation time   
  • Convenience   
  • Consistency   
  • No mess   
  • Eco-friendly   

Cons of Polylifting

  • May not lead to 100% level concrete  
  • Surface cracks may still be visible   
  • Can be affected by variable soil conditions   

Q: What is the best way to level concrete?  

A: There are many concrete leveling options, but PolyRenewal™ polyurethane foam injection stands out as the best method. Compared to traditional procedures like mudjacking and repouring, polyurethane foam is less invasive, longer lasting, quicker to cure, and environmentally friendly. Contact your local concrete leveling experts at AFS to book a free concrete inspection and learn more about this innovative repair.  

Q: How long does concrete leveling take?  

A: The timeline can range from 1-3 days depending on the size of the job. Professionals work efficiently to minimize disruption to your property. Setting materials like polyurethane expand quickly while concrete and mudjacking materials take longer to cure. You’ll receive a more accurate timeline after a free concrete inspection from AFS.  

Q: Is concrete leveling worth it? 

A: Yes, investing in the right concrete leveling method for your situation is worth it. Rather than wasting money on temporary solutions that require continued installation, you can ensure your concrete’s safety and longevity and enhance your home’s value and aesthetics with professional assistance. AFS is your trusted local concrete lifting expert. Contact us today for a free inspection and estimate. 

Concrete Leveling FAQs

There are many concrete leveling options, but PolyRenewal™ polyurethane foam injection stands out as the best method. Compared to traditional procedures like mudjacking and repouring, polyurethane foam is less invasive, longer lasting, quicker to cure, and environmentally friendly. Contact your local concrete leveling experts at AFS to book a free concrete inspection and learn more about this innovative repair.  

The timeline can range from 1-3 days depending on the size of the job. Professionals work efficiently to minimize disruption to your property. Setting materials like polyurethane expand quickly while concrete and mudjacking materials take longer to cure. You’ll receive a more accurate timeline after a free concrete inspection from AFS.

Yes, investing in the right concrete leveling method for your situation is worth it. Rather than wasting money on temporary solutions that require continued installation, you can ensure your concrete’s safety and longevity and enhance your home’s value and aesthetics with professional assistance. AFS is your trusted local concrete lifting expert. Contact us today for a free inspection and estimate.  

Contact AFS for Concrete Lifting and Leveling Today!  

AFS concrete leveling technician

We use concrete structures almost every day. From driveways to sidewalks, we depend on safe and level concrete to get us where we need to go. Prevent concrete damage from ruining your property or causing injury with help from our team. 

AFS has over 20 years of experience creating safer homes throughout the Southeast United States with industry leading PolyRenewal™ injections. This unique, modern repair method levels your concrete and restores your peace of mind. Contact us today to schedule a free inspection! 

Resources

Ted Dryce

Ted Dryce

Content Writer

Ted is an SEO Content Writer who has been with Groundworks since 2021. He’s covered home repair topics ranging from crawl space encapsulation to regional soil conditions. When he’s not working, Ted is performing improv comedy and working on his own creative projects.

Disclaimer: “Concrete leveling” means the process by which cracked, uneven concrete is stabilized, and in most cases lifted, by means of PolyRenewal™ polyurethane foam. AFS does not guarantee that PolyRenewal™ can make any and/or every square inch of your concrete perfectly level.    

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