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Mud jacking: meaning, process, foundation, cost| Polyjacking vs Mudjacking concrete

Reasons Why You Should Consider Mud jacking

Over time, a house or any structure built on floating concrete can suffer structural damage when the slab sinks. When this happens, this will damage the structure’s stability and foundation, which, when neglected, can do irreparable and expensive damages to your house. Mud jacking, also known as slab jacking, is a method of repairing a house’s foundation by stabilizing and raising concrete slabs that are settled over time.

Luckily, mud jacking is not that expensive, and most construction companies like foundation repair Houston, Tx offer this type of service. Mudjacking is drilling holes intending to raise settled concrete slabs. Then, they inject a mixture of water, soil, and cement underneath the concrete slab to make it more even.

Fig.1. Dirty dry pattern textures (by Mud jacking)

Image source

But first, let’s find out the reason why concrete slabs sink in the first place.

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What causes concrete slabs to sink?

There are various reasons why concrete slabs sink and become uneven, such as tree roots, poor drainage, and expansive soil. In the case of expansive soil, it happens when the soil underneath your house gets wet and bloated and then gets dry and shrinks afterward. This back and forth swelling is seasonal, which will cause some damages to your house’s foundation.

Over time, this will cause your concrete slab to sink and become uneven. It will get worse over time if you neglect it. It is even more worrisome if you have poor drainage systems. In this case, water will get underneath the slab and will wash away the soil that your foundation is built in.

Another reason that your concrete slab is uneven might be because of tree roots. Have you ever seen a tree standing on the sidewalk? Over time, its roots will grow and eventually crack on the surface, breaking through the cement. That can also happen to your foundation.


What is mud jacking? How does it work?

Mudjacking has been around for more or less 75 years now. This method is used to lift sunken concrete slabs from patios, pool decks, and foundations. It is done by injecting a slurry made of soil, water, and cement underneath the concrete slab to make it more even. It’s a quick repair that can be finished in only under a few hours.

However, you should note that mudjacking is not and can’t be used to raise foundations themselves. Also, mudjacking isn’t applicable when the concrete slab is damaged, as it might damage it further.

So what are the benefits of mudjacking? Here are some of them.


Mud jacking is Cost-Effective and Fast

Mudjacking is much cheaper than concrete replacement. Also, the process of mudjacking is fast and can be done in a day for only 2-3 hours. However, you should remember that it can only be done if your concrete slab has no existing damage. If it has, the inspector would recommend concrete slab replacement. Not doing so will endanger not only your house but also your family.


Minimal Disturbance

If you’re worried about your landscaping being damaged, then you don’t have to worry. Mudjacking does not disturb any features of your house, and not to mention that this method is fast. It is unlike cement replacement which can take a few days to finish, not including the time to let it dry and cure before use. Also, your existing concrete slab needs to get destroyed to make space for the new one.

Not only that, but mudjacking doesn’t make use of noisy machinery and any digging, so you don’t have to worry about your neighbors complaining because of the noise. As mentioned earlier, the process involves drilling holes only about an inch and a half in diameter. The holes would be patched up after the job is finished.



If you’re worried about what mudjacking would do to the environment, then you don’t have to. Mudjacking is entirely eco-friendly as it only uses a mixture of water, soil, cement, and no other chemicals. Furthermore, the mixture itself is natural, which reduces the materials needed, which makes it cost-effective.


How much is it?

Mudjacking is considered one of the cheapest techniques that you can do to fix your foundations compared to poly jacking and other methods. It’s more or less only half the price of any traditional methods to fix your concrete slab.

But of course, this excludes other factors when it comes to pricing. So, for example, when your concrete slab is damaged, the inspector would recommend you have it fixed to be ready for mudjacking or get another concrete slab altogether.

Mudjacking and Polyjacking Similarities

Mudjacking and polyjacking have similarities you need to know:

Both of them are cheaper than a full replacement.

Yes, instead of employing either mudjacking or polyjacking, you can just replace the whole concrete slab itself. However, that is more expensive than two of the costs of the combined method.

Not only that, the replacement can be intrusive and, not to mention, very time-consuming. Also, replacing the concrete slab might not be necessary, and you’re just wasting time and money.

Both methods reuse the existing concrete.

If you’re an environmentalist, you might like either one since they are less wasteful and eco-conscious than replacing the concrete slab. This is because both methods reuse the concrete slab instead of throwing them away. Also, the thrown concrete slab will take up more space in a landfill. So, if you care about nature, you would most likely not like that.

Both methods use a similar concept.

Another similarity that both methods use is how they work. Notice the word “jacking” here. It means that they both employ lifting or moving the concrete slab and pump a suitable material under it. That said, both work the same way, but they are different enough to be their own thing.

Here is an overview of both:

Mudjacking Overview

The mud in mudjacking is not mud but something else. It’s only called that because it looks like mud but less sticky. In reality, mudjacking inserts a substance that is called slurry in the construction industry. And no, it’s not the same slurry that you can make in the kitchen.

The slurry is a mixture of cement, water, and topsoil that is pumped underneath the concrete slab. The mixture will be pumped through a hose, and the best thing about it is that when your foundations have cracks and holes, the slurry will fill them up.

After 24-48 hours, the slurry will dry up and will have a texture like sandstone. The dried slurry can be cut with a shovel if you press hard enough, but it won’t crumble with distributed weight.

The material is strong enough to withstand heavy objects moving across it too. However, the material is permeable to water and can be subject to erosion. Still, its ability to fill in gaps and voids under the cement will prevent any water from seeping through the inside of it. 

However, not all slurries are the same in the mixture and level of consistency. It depends on your contractor as they will try different ratios of the ingredients to make it more suitable for the current situation.

And what about the cost? Mudjacking is better suited for large repair jobs because the mixture is not hard to make, and the materials are bountiful. This is convenient when you have a large project since the material is not expensive.

Polyjacking  concrete Overview

Although both have the same concept, poly jacking differs in the materials used, the installation process, and pricing. The poly in polyjacking is a short-term for polyurethane, which is high-density foam. This type of foam is used in our everyday mattresses, furniture, and even roofing material. However, it’s more like a rigid foam than your usual spongy foam.

After installation, the foam will be cured for about 30 minutes and will have a texture of rigid foam, just like Styrofoam packaging that comes with appliances and gadgets. Like the material in mudjacking, the foam can be cut with enough force but is strong enough to withstand the distributed weight. Polyjacking concrete is more suitable for highways and road works because of its quick application and sustained strength.

Unlike mudjacking, polyurethane won’t fill any gaps and voids in the cement. However, it is impermeable to water, which can still be bad since the soil around it might be corroded. This method is more suitable for smaller repair jobs because of its fast installation and requires little manpower to do.

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So, which concrete repair method is best for your project?

Both methods use the same concept but use different materials, different installation processes, and unique features. They are both cheaper alternatives to ripping out and replacing the concrete slab. If your project is small in scale, polyjacking is the right choice. But for bigger projects, you can never go wrong with mudjacking.

How Much is a Full Concrete Replacement?

We talked about how both methods are cheaper than a full concrete replacement, but how much is it? Of course, we don’t have the exact numbers, but we can give you estimates. Just a disclaimer, though, these numbers can vary between contractors.

Mudjacking can cost about $1,500 for a smaller project and, at most, $6,000 for bigger ones. Of course, this depends on the extent of repairs needed to be done. For poly jacking, a small repair job can go up to $900 to $7,500, depending on the extent of repairs.

Both of these methods are cost-effective too. So how about the concrete replacement?

The lowest price you can get for a concrete replacement is $4,500, significantly higher than the base price of both poly and mud jacking. For average projects, the cost can be up to $7,500, and for extensive repairs, it can go to a whopping $18,000. By these numbers, you should go for either of the cheaper alternatives.


There are various reasons why your floor is sunken or uneven. It must be because of the soil, your drainage, or tree roots. Whatever it is, you can call up your construction company to have it fixed. One of the methods they will suggest is mudjacking, which is the fastest and cheapest method there is- far cheaper than replacing the whole concrete slab.

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1 thought on “Mud jacking: meaning, process, foundation, cost| Polyjacking vs Mudjacking concrete

  1. It’s great that you mentioned how mud jacking does not disturb any features of your house, and not to mention that this method is fast. It seems the concrete of our house is starting to sink and I fear that it might incur some damage if left alone. I’ll try to call for a professional as soon as possible and have them look into the problem.

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