Long Narrow Driveway Repaired with PolyLevel
Long narrow driveways can be difficult to repair, especially when houses are in close in proximity. There are a couple of options when it comes to repairing driveways. Some contractors still use the old-school repair for settled concrete. They use heavy equipment to demolish the cracked, settled sections of concrete. With concrete replacement you often get a damaged areas, such as yards, and that's off limits until the new concrete hardens and cures. More importantly, the new concrete is going onto the same problem soil which caused the issue in the first place. Another method is mud jacking but leaves the concrete with noticeable injection holes that are 1”-2” in diameter. The material used in mud jacking is not waterproofed which could wash out if not properly sealed, but the material is extremely heavy. Knowing the weight of the original concrete, over a poor soil base, is usually what cause settlement in the first place and by adding additional weight you’re asking for additional settling to occur.
Long driveways, comes a lot of concrete to potentially replace. Typically, homeowners won’t replace the entire driveway do to the cost. More common they elect to fix the damaged areas. You can only imagine what, the end result looks like. Yes, a checkered board style driveway. The new concrete that was poured will never matched the original concrete, and usually stands out like a sore thumb. There are several variable which will control the color of the concrete. These include weather, finishing practices, the relative moisture content of the subgrade, the curing process, and the age of the original concrete. These factors are not always consistent. For instance, a cloudy day versus a hot sunny day pour can make the concrete turn out differently.
Even if you considered patching the problem areas, there are still problems that could exists. When concrete is poured there are two things that happens. It gets hard and it cracks. To control the cracking pattern, contractors will trowel or cut lines in the concrete to control the cracking pattern. These control joints will eventually crack through the slab. When it rains, this is a perfect path for water to flow down and under the concrete slab. Your long and narrow driveway accumulates a lot of water to travel down. This creates erosion and more wet, weak soil. When this happens, the soil shifts, and there becomes unsupported areas of concrete. Easy concept to think about is stepping in a mud. Now, imagine not only the weight of the concrete on the unsupported soil but driving a car on a driveway add tremendous added weight. If part of your concrete slab is supported in one section and not in others, the unsupported pieces may crack away from the other section which will result in additional cracks in the concrete or unlevel concrete.
PolyLevel is a state-of-the-art alternative to mudjacking, re-leveling grout or concrete replacement. PolyLevel is a high-density expanding foam that our technicians can use to raise settled concrete. The two-part polyurethane foam mixture is injected through small holes drilled in the settled concrete. Our installers are trained to control the injection process so that just enough foam is used to re-level the concrete deck and to fill additional voids under the concrete. Because the foam's expanding action fills voids in loose soil, this concrete leveling technique improves the soil's stability and load-bearing characteristics. You can feel confident that settlement won't occur again. Once the slabs have been lifted level, we can also come in and provide a silicone polyurethane sealant that will keep water from going through any joints and causing future erosion or a possible heave situations.
The polyurethane foam system offers numerous features and benefits:
Lightweight - Our polyurethane foam weighs approximately 4-6 pounds per cubic foot when installed, in comparison to traditional mortar-based material which weighs 120 pounds per cubic foot.
High capacity - Lifting action is a result of the expansion of the polymer, allowing for lifting of a much higher load than traditional mudjacking, which relies on hydraulic pressure being contained under a slab.
Accurate lift - Calculated reaction time of the expanding polyurethane foam allows for targeted, precise lifting of the slab.
Waterproof - Polyurethane formula is fully waterproof, so it won't wash out, won't be impacted by freeze/thaw cycles and can be used to under-seal slabs and stop a variety of infrastructure leaks.
Non-invasive - PolyLevel equipment can be used in extremely limited access areas and won't disturb lawn or landscape.
Quick cure time - Within just 15 minutes after injection, the concrete slab is ready for heavy loading; compared to conventional mudjacking which takes several days to cure.
Environmentally-friendly - With PolyLevel there's no need to demolish the concrete and transport the waste to a landfill.
The photos speak for themselves with this concrete driveway repair project in Lincoln, NE. After the concrete slabs were lifted and leveled back to their original position, we used NexusPro silicone-based caulking to seal the joints and cracks. The result not only looks great, but at a fraction of the cost of full replacement, this driveway is protected against future sinking and settlement problems.