While mudjacking may be an effective solution to cracked and sunken concrete slabs, it’s not necessarily the right solution to go for. In fact, if the slab is damaged or structurally compromised, or even part of an old foundation, then traditional mudjacking, whether DIY or a licensed contractor’s job, isn’t the right solution.
Concrete is composed of two types of materials: aggregate and silt, with aggregate comprising most of the mix. The difference between the two, silt and clay, lies in their chemical composition and ability to absorb moisture.
Silt, when compacted and compressed, makes mud as the material absorbs moisture from the air. As the material becomes wet, it can hold more water. And since the water is added by the weight of the slabs and the pressure exerted on the sides of the holes, the water tends to build up. Eventually, the water will burst into a puddle, giving the slabs the appearance of sunken into the ground.
However, when water is added to the mix, the silt becomes sludge and doesn’t absorb any more moisture from the air. But since silt is a lot heavier than water, when the water pours into the hole, the mud sits there and doesn’t burst. The resulting puddles, called overflow, are often very hard to remove.
DIY Mudjacking – Tips
The other type of material that is commonly added to mud is clay. Clay is lighter in weight than silt, but it can also be a problem because it weighs too much. When you try to pump water into a clay puddle, you might end up pushing it into the hole. This is a common problem with concrete drainage holes, too, so most engineers avoid adding clay to the mix at all.
However, with do-it-yourself mudjacking it’s entirely possible to do both. Using a power tool to pump water into the hole, you can force the water out of the cracks. This is much easier and safer than using a pneumatic digger, so don’t even think about going down that road with a tool.
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On the other hand, don’t use regular equipment at all when doing your own mudjacking. Using regular equipment can cause damage to the slabs. This damage can be expensive and even dangerous, so don’t even consider digging the holes yourself.
If your home is too far away from the nearest home repair shop, you should consult someone familiar with the area to ensure that you have the right equipment to dig the holes. Once they get the job done, you can start enjoying your newly repaired slab.
You might even consider hiring a plumber if you’re handy. There’s no real reason not to because the repair is a lot easier, even for the professional mudjackers.
If you’re using a pneumatic excavator, there are some important safety rules to follow when pumping water. A pump that’s working properly won’t move water in the wrong direction, so use caution.
If you use bags, you should be sure that you do them properly. To prevent mud from leaking into the holes, make sure that the bags are closed tightly, with the sides being equal. Wider than the openings.
Don’t just use the excavator attachments that come with the machine. Some attachments can be dangerous, and you might not know how to use them. Some of the ones that do come with the excavator might not be strong enough.
If you can’t find the mud, you can always go out to buy it. Ensure that it’s of high quality so it will last through a mud storm without getting damaged.
When it comes to mudbags, make sure that you get ones that are thick enough. If you get the wrong type, you could end up with mud bags that leak instead of sucking up the mud.
Make sure that you get the correct kind of bags if you want to succeed at mudjacking. You need to ensure that you get the right kind of mud and ensure that you don’t damage the mud.