Saving Sinking Driveways

Tuesday, December 11th, 2018 by Amanda Waldmann

Saving Sinking Driveways - Image 1

As you shoveled your driveway during the winter’s first round of snow, you may have noticed the shovel catching on concrete ledges more than usual. Or even catching where there didn’t used to be a ledge. Those raised concrete slabs actually aren’t raised - they only appear that way because the adjacent slabs are sinking.


It’s easy to ignore one sinking slab, or even two or three, depending on the size of your driveway. But there comes a point when most or even all of the slabs have sunk and your driveway is a mess of trip hazards and doing a number on your tires. You might think that the only solution is to replace it entirely. But you’re wrong.


Replacing a driveway is inconvenient and expensive. Here’s a conservative estimate of the time and money it takes after the initial consultation and estimate, as well as the time it takes to pull permits and mark utility lines.


1-2 days: Remove old driveway and install any sub-base or structural supports needed

(1-10 day waiting period depending on scheduling, concrete availability, etc)

1 day: Pour new driveway

3-10 days: Concrete curing with no parking allowed. This can vary based on weather and the actual curing time could end up longer.


So. Assuming everything goes exactly to plan and you have no delays and perfect conditions, you’re looking at a minimum of a week between when you start the new driveway project and when you can use your new driveway. Costs can range anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000+, depending on the size of the driveway and any intricate stamping or decorative accents you want.


And all of the time and money spent won’t stop you from having the same problem in a few years, maybe even sooner. Because pouring a new driveway doesn’t address the root cause of sinking concrete - the soil. Soil washout can occur for a variety of reasons, whether it’s as a result of a major rain event or just the base composition of the soil. For example, areas with sandy soil are more prone to experiencing washout and its related problems.


What if I told you there was a way to raise and stabilize your existing concrete instead of replacing it entirely? What if it was a fraction of the cost and time? And what if it would actually last?


Let’s talk about PolyLevel.


Made from a two part polymer, PolyLevel is a lightweight, high density foam that expands to fill voids and lift concrete slabs. About a third of the weight of traditional fill materials (like those used in mudjacking), PolyLevel doesn’t put extra weight on already unstable soil. Here’s an estimated timeline for PolyLevel installation.


1 day: Free inspection and estimate from one of our trained System Design Specialists.

1 day: Inject PolyLevel material and cure.


That’s it. Conservatively, we recommend allowing an hour or two for curing, but in some cases concrete can be weight bearing in as little as 15 minutes after injection. You also have the option of adding a third day before injection to take advantage of the rest of our concrete protection system like SealantPro, which protects your concrete from the elements.


When you go with PolyLevel, you’re solving the problem of future soil washout as well. The mudjacking process, or even new concrete, relies on replacing the washed out soil or injecting a slurry made from soil and mortar - either way, this puts new soil in the path of future water. PolyLevel is waterproof and won’t wash away or react to water. When it fills a void, it fills it, moving in between soil particles and strengthen and stabilize the area as it lifts. It also won’t leach chemicals into the ground. Everything is exactly as it was...but better.


Your decorative concrete? Still there. Ability to use your driveway? Yup, pretty soon after we’re done. Maybe go and get a massage with the money you saved not pouring a new driveway, and by the time you’re home, you can go ahead and park wherever you’d like.


Worried about sinking concrete in your driveway or sidewalks? Don’t replace it - raise it. Call us today for a free inspection.


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Our Locations:

Ayers Basement Systems
2505 S. Waverly Hwy
Lansing, MI 48911