Often when I am doing estimates, people ask the question “Is it true that mudjacking can cause foundation problems”? The simple answer is, yes it can. As with any procedure, whether it is a dentist doing a simple filling or a pilot landing a plane, a lot has to do with the person who is operating the equipment. One of the most difficult aspects of concrete raising is the fact that under normal circumstances the operator cannot see what is below the concrete slab they are trying to level. Therefore, when the material is added below the slab, whether it is mud using the mudjacking approach or polyurethane when using Eco Concrete Levelling, it should be done in small increments. This is especially the case when the slab is up against a foundation wall. The distinct advantage that polyurethane has over traditional mudjacking is that material can be added in small amounts causing the concrete to raise in a particular area. This is because the foam is doing the concrete levelling not the force that the material is being forced into the cavity. Many people in the polyurethane industry explain it as making “pancakes with a hole in the middle” the size of the “pancake” can be controlled by the amount of chemical injected. Once the area has been levelled, then polyurethane is then injected to fill the voids around the “pancakes” creating a solid base for the slab. When traditional mudjacking is performed the water and dirt mixture is simply injected until the force of the material injected lifts the slab above. If there is a crack in the foundation wall and it is easier for the mud to push the wall in as the mud will always take the path of least resistance.
In the case of the customer that had asked the question of “foundation stress” due to concrete raising, his reason for asking was justified! Recently his neighbour decided to have their driveway mudjacked. The person had no reason to think that there would or could be a problem with his foundation. Not long after the work was completed, while looking at the side of his home, he noticed that his foundation wall had a “bow” in it, that was never there before. After removing the wall coverings and insulation in his basement, he was shocked to see a horizontal crack running from the front of his house to the back, about 40 feet. After discussing this with both his neighbour and the company that performed the work they responded that he had no way of proving that this was caused by the mudjacking that was done. Because I have no previous knowledge of the matter, I will remain neutral in this particular case. However, you can view the photos of the wall and judge for yourself. The owner of the home may be seeking legal counsel.