Posted Feb 11th 2019
Lift or Replace?
No matter where you live, the concrete on your property can become damaged with years of wear and tear. Homeowners with cracked, uneven, or sinking concrete can either have the concrete removed and replaced, or they can repair through concrete lifting. If you don't have any experience with concrete repair, you may be confused at how to decide which method is best for your situation. But the answer is actually quite simple: lifting is almost always the better choice. Here are a few comparisons between concrete lifting and concrete repair, brought to you by our concrete restoration experts.
If your concrete is still in overall good shape and up to standard (i.e. without too many cracks) lifting is the cheaper route to go. Concrete replacement is a lengthy, intricate process. Your old concrete will have to be professionally removed or demolished, and after that, a new one will be freshly poured and left to set for around a week. The project could end up taking weeks and costing thousands of dollars in labor, services, and cleanup; in fact, in some cases, replacement costs up to two or three times more than lifting. Choosing concrete leveling over replacement could end up cutting that bill in half, saving you money and time to be put toward other important expenses.
Removing and replacing concrete is a messy, disruptive job. The demolishing process creates a large amount of disorder in its wake, with dirt, dust, noise, and debris inevitably ensuing, especially if the concrete is in an area difficult to access or surrounded with a lot of landscaping. Loud, stifling equipment will also need to be maneuvered around for the duration of the project, and the resulting cleanup could leave your surrounding property with damage. Concrete leveling is easier and cleaner, causing little disturbance to your schedule or your property and leaving no mess. It's a much more manageable procedure.
In addition to the time it takes to remove the concrete and repour a new batch, fresh concrete requires a few days at minimum to set before it's ready for use, in many cases up to a week or more. For this entire time, you'll need to navigate your way around it to avoid causing damage to the brand new investment. The fact that concrete lifting can be completed in a matter of hours instead is an enticing consideration for many homeowners. Another consideration is the end result and/or the success of both methods. A new concrete slab will be perfectly smooth after it's poured, but it's difficult to perfectly match the surrounding concrete in color and texture. Oftentimes, this leaves homeowners frustrated with the new slab sticking out like a sore thumb. It feels like a waste of time and money to end up with such an irrevocable result. Lifting, however, is easier to disguise. Sunken concrete slabs are raised using the slabjacking method, a process of drilling numerous small holes strategically around the slab. A unique, long-lasting mixture is then injected into the holes to fill the voids. Once the concrete is repaired, the holes are patched and caulked with color that is carefully matched. Because the holes are so small, the repair is nearly invisible and leaves little visual evidence unless you know what to look for. Many homeowners choose the lifting process because of its efficiency in both execution and conclusion.
The biggest deciding factor for most homeowners, however, is the safety aspects of both methods. Because replacement is such a labor-intensive job spread out over a period of multiple days or weeks, there are lots of opportunities for you, your family, your hired crew, or even your neighbors and/or passersby to be injured throughout the project. The lifting process generally takes no more than 2-3 hours, is ready immediately or soon after completion, and does not require onerous labor. It mitigates the potential for injury, setting your mind at ease for the safety of everyone on your property.
There are some instances where concrete is simply too far gone to consider anything other than replacement as viable, but if you have the option to choose the lifting process instead, you'll find it is the smarter decision. As long as the concrete is in fairly good shape, concrete raising will most often the effective solution to repair your concrete quickly and budget-friendly. Do you have any questions about concrete lifting? Contact Interwest's concrete repair experts today, we're happy to help!