To “MudJack” or Not
(after slab foundation repairs)
If after a slab foundation is repaired by installing piers AND the slab is lifted upwards as part of the repairs, a void space will be created between the bottom of the slab and the dirt. The question to be discussed in this blog is: should the void space be filled (mudjacked) or not. The answer is: it depends.
Several years ago, most foundation repair companies (in the North Texas area) automatically included in their proposals the cost to inject a grout slurry mix into the void space (usually referred to as mudjacking). The traditional slurry mix consists of cement, soil and water (which is a very low grade of concrete) that can be pumped into the void spaces. The slurry then hardens and will provide support to the slab (as the dirt used to before the lifting of the foundation).
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In previous blogs, we discussed that foundation movement can be categorized into two types: foundation settlement (the most common) and foundation upheaval (the most difficult to remedy by foundation repairs). Today, I will discuss the latter: upheaval.
As a Structural Engineer, I recently represented a homeowner of a new custom home (costing about $1mm) where the foundation heaved upwards over 5” – within the first year! The slab was constructed over drilled concrete piers; which is the type of foundation I would design for myself if I ever built a new home (shoot me dead first).
The homeowner called me to check out his foundation after the builder (and his engineer) had inspected the home and told the homeowner that “it was just normal settlement” (however, it did not settle, it heaved upward). As part of my inspection, I reviewed the foundation design and determined it to…
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