3 Simple Methods to Permanently Raise Concrete with Foam NOW!


a.k.a. “concrete foam jacking”

or “concrete leveling”

or “poly-jacking”

When a concrete slab starts to dip inwards, it’s likely due to a lack of support underneath. Whether the dirt below it has gotten wet or the concrete was damaged accidentally, you can repair either issue with foam. It’ll elevate the slab to level it out in under an hour.

So, how do you raise a concrete slab with foam? Locate the dips, Get the right equipment and foam. , use 5/8-inch masonry bit to drill a hole through the concrete, and spray the foam into it. The foam will expand and harden, filling the void in the ground and leveling the driveway.

You will Learn:

  • Necessary tools to level your concrete with foam
  • Step-by-step process on leveling your concrete with foam
  • When to hire a professional
  • Best option for you (1, 2 or 3)
Option #1:
DIY with pump
Option #2:
DIY without pump
Option #3:
Hire a pro
Best use: –
Need to lift concrete
that you can’t lift
with a jack
(driveways &
sidewalk porches
touching your
house or garage)
Use when you can
pour it in & you
have access for
a jack. (driveways:
can dig
beneath driveway
to place the jack)
Hire when you
have no other options.
(Best for any job.
If you
have
no experience
or job too big)
Pro: Faster.
No buckets
or mixing.
Less work.
Pro: CheapestPro: No work to do.
Just call and
set up estimate.
Cons: More
costly than
option #2.
Cons:
-Time consuming,
-Must be
very precise
with mixing
& pouring.
-Must use jack
to lift concrete.
Cons: More expensive
More expensive: $1000-1500Cheapest: $600-800Most expensive: $2500+

How do you Raise concrete slab with Foam?

  • Calculate void. How big is the void?
  • Prep. Clear the area.
  • Tools. Tape, drill, 5/8 masonry bit, jack
  • More tools. the wheelbarrow, bucket, pump, level
  • Safety. Eye protection, gloves.
  • Drill & vac.
  • Foam. Manually mix, pour or use pump
  • Fill the holes. Patch the holes with concrete mix.
  • Cleanup.

Before we jump into the details of raising a concrete slab, you’ll need to know which tools to buy for the job. Let’s review them all below.

10 Tools Do You Need to Raise a Slab of Concrete?

The main reason that people prefer foam is because it’s easier to work with than using mud – & it won’t settle in a few months after you apply it. You don’t have to worry about mixing heavy concrete, and a small mistake won’t ruin the surface. Here’s a list of the tools that you’ll want to get your hands on before you start drilling:

  • Concrete chalk (honestly, any type of chalk will work just fine). You need this to mark the spots before you drill and pour.
  • A concrete drill must be powerful enough for all the holes to be drilled. Corded drills are hard to reach for long driveways. Milwaukee rotary hammer drills have to power to quickly drill make several concrete holes quickly. Milwaukee is one of the best power tool manufacturers with great quality and one of the best names in the industry. You can get your drill at Amazon.
  • A 5/8-inch masonry bit. This size is ideal for pouring the foam, but it won’t leave a visible patch behind – once you fill the hole. A Bosch 1/2″ max rotary bit is best suited for the high demands of concrete drilling. You can also get a 5/8″ bit. Bosch’s specialty carbide bit easily cuts through the concrete in no time. You can get them at hardware stores or at Amazon.
  • Shop vac. You’ll also want to get a shop vac with plenty of sucking power like the DeWALT shop vac which is great for wet and dry conditions and will last you years to come. It is available here on Amazon.
  • Mask for dust and respirator for fumes
  • Concrete jack to lift the slab. The pros use jacks to pre jack up the concrete to the correct height and then pump in the foam to harden and fill the void – instead of using mud – which is much messier to use vs. using foam.
  • This Pro-Lift grey hydraulic bottle jack is short and fat which means you don’t have to dig as deep. It also has enough capacity to SAFELY lift your concrete. It is available here on Amazon.
  • A pump and a hose to accurately fill the area to elevate it. The pump is available here on Amazon.
  • Works with:
    • Water-soluble polyurethane solution
    • Oil-soluble polyurethane plugging solution

Note: The prices for the pumps are all over the place. I called several manufacturers but most will only sell to contractors with a few exceptions.

Source

SealBoss has a similar model to what is sold on Amazon and their quality may be better. They have the best reviews but are more expensive. Of course, the price varies depending on your order, details.

  • Part A & B closed cell Foam. You can get your Concrete leveling foam via Amazon.
  • Why do we recommend this?
    • Inexpensive. I have searched over 15 manufacturers and this is the best quantity for the price. Many of the manufacturers sell it by the 55-gallon drum and charge upwards of $2500 for this large quantity. You most likely need several gallons of each. Many driveways need 5-15 gallons. So you will pay a few hundred verses several thousand.
    • Strenght. 4lb is much stronger than 2lb.
      • There are several “‘lbs” or pounds of the strength of the foam. It comes in 2, 3, 4, and 8 lb strength. 2 is cheaper but is not meant for holding up a driveway. It is best suited for insulating structures, walls or voids. The void in your driveway needs to be filled by strong foam that can hold 10,000 + lbs.
  • Measuring bucket.

  •  Get a carpenter’s level to make sure that you don’t overfill the slab too high; Otherwise, you could crack the concrete slab, causing more problems than you want to deal with.
  • Fast-setting concrete is necessary to patch the holes when you’re finished filling them up. You should also get a steel finishing trowel to smoothen it out.

As you can see, there are quite a few tools that you’ll need to complete the task successfully. Don’t forget to get a pair of safety goggles, gloves, and clothes that you don’t care about getting a little dirty. Foam filling and concrete work are pretty messy, so leave your nice clothes at home.

Note: Raising a concrete slab with foam requires constant bending and moving. It takes a while, so you might want to ask a friend or two for assistance if you don’t think you can handle it alone.

What do the professionals use?

Ha! The pros drop $30,000-80,000 for their equipment which is out of the question for this article since we are discussing DIY techniques. You are only doing this once but should be educated on this relatively new process.


Option #1 – DIY Using Pump, Foam

PLAN the Project

  • Prep the area. Remove any leaves, sticks, or debris on the ground.
  • Measure it out. Use string or ground spray paint to mark the area you will dig up.
  • Get supplies. Buy your foam, pump, accessories.

When you’ve finally gathered all of the tools, it’s time to get to work. You shouldn’t try to do this repair job during rainy days because the moisture can sink the soil below. Also, foam has a difficult time hardening when it’s wet outside.

Lifting with a pump

Tools:

  • Drill
  • Hammer
  • Masonry bit
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Large, small level
  • Shovel
  • Gloves, eye protection

Material:

  • Concrete mix
  • Part A and B foam
  • Pour funnel

Difficulty: 6/10

Time to build: several hours depending on your level of expertise

Without further ado, here are the steps to raise concrete with foam:

1. Prep.

  • Set up your tools and the area.
  • Remove any mulch or grass from 1′ x 2′ from the side of the driveway.

2. Locate the dip. Mark with a level, chalk.

  • Using the carpenter’s level, slowly work your way down the slab until you find where it begins to dip. Take the chalk and leave a mark right where it starts, then find the spot where it levels out again and leave another mark. These indicators will narrow down your working space tremendously.
  • Next, take the chalk and make a mark every six inches from the first notch to the last. It should end up looking like the marks on a ruler. These sections will each act as an indicator for where you’re going to drill the holes to insert the foam mixture.

3. Drill then vac

  • Attach the 5/8-inch masonry bit to your drill and set it on a low setting. Slowly drill into the concrete until it goes through the concrete. If you run it too fast, you could cause cracks in the concrete and overheat the bit, causing it to get dull quickly. Repeat this process for each of the marks that you make with the chalk.
  • Take the shop vac and remove the concrete dust from each of the holes as you go. Save some of the dust since you’ll need it later when you add the new concrete to patch it all up.

4. Filler up!

  • Grab the hose from the foam pump injector and put it into the hole that sits at the top of the slope. This placement will allow you to fill the slumped gap all the way up without having to move the hose repeatedly. Add the high-density polyurethane mixture to start filling it with foam.
  • Get your carpenter’s level and start the pump to fill the top hole slowly. As it raises up, keep the level directly against the concrete slab. Is your driveway unlevel as well? We show you how to raise a concrete slab with foam here. Keep in mind that foam expands a little bit, so you should never add too much.
  • Move the hose down to the next hole in the line, then turn the pump back on. Again, hold the carpenter’s level against the slab until it’s even. When it levels out, remove the hose. Repeat this step until you’ve successfully filled all of the holes with foam.

5. Fill the holes with concrete to conceal the injecting holes.

  • Using the fast-setting concrete mentioned previously in the article, mix it with some of the concrete dust that you held onto. This mixture will allow the new concrete to take on the same shade as the slab that’s already in place.
  • Fill a grout bag with some of the concrete and inject it into each hole. Fill them all up to the top and remove any excess concrete that sticks out. Since it sets fast, you have to act quickly; otherwise, you’ll be left with a lump concrete slab. You can use the trowel to remove the extra bits right away.
  • Take the steel finishing trowel and scoop a small amount of the concrete batch to patch each hole. That’s all there is to it! You can have a completely leveled slab that feels brand-new in under an hour of work.

Quick-dry & setup: It usually takes about 30 minutes for the foam under the concrete to solidify and cure.

Option #2 – DIY Using Foam & Jack

When you’ve finally gathered all of the tools, it’s time to get to work. You shouldn’t try to do this repair job during rainy days because the moisture can sink the soil below. Also, foam has a difficult time hardening when it’s wet outside.

Lifting with a pump

Tools:

  • Drill
  • Hammer
  • Masonry bit
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Large, small level
  • Shovel
  • Gloves, eye protection

Material:

  • Concrete mix
  • Part A and B foam
  • Pour funnel

Difficulty: 7/10

Time to build: several hours depending on your level of expertise

Without further ado, here are the steps to raise concrete with foam:

1. Prep.

  • Set up your tools and the area.
  • Move any cars off the driveway.
  • Clean the driveway of any debris and then blow it off.
  • Remove any mulch or grass from 1′ x 2′ from the side of the driveway. This is where you will dig a small hole for the jack.

2. Locate the dip. Mark with a level, chalk.

  • Using the carpenter’s level, slowly work your way down the slab until you find where it begins to dip. Take the chalk and leave a mark right where it starts, then find the spot where it levels out again and leave another mark. These indicators will narrow down your working space tremendously.
  • Next, take the chalk and make a mark every six inches from the first notch to the last. It should end up looking like the marks on a ruler. These sections will each act as an indicator for where you’re going to drill the holes to insert the foam mixture.

3. Drill then vac

  • Attach the 5/8-inch masonry bit to your drill and set it on a low setting. Slowly drill into the concrete until it goes through the concrete. If you run it too fast, you could cause cracks in the concrete and overheat the bit, causing it to get dull quickly. Repeat this process for each of the marks that you make with the chalk.
  • Take the shop vac and remove the concrete dust from each of the holes as you go. Save some of the dust since you’ll need it later when you add the new concrete to patch it all up.

4. Cut back along the edge of the driveway – jack up the slab

  • Use a jack to jack up the slab. Even with the expansion properties of the foam – it is good practice to assist the foam with a jack so the slab is perfectly raised. Only a jack can do this precisely.

5. Filler up!

  • Prep & mix.
  • Pour Part A & B (test amount) in a quart bucket.
    • Test mix. Mix for 15 seconds. Use a drill with mix attachment for a thorough mix. See how fast it rises. This is critical and will give you a good idea of how quickly this foam mixes and sets. So you need to move quickly
  • Pour mix. Now that you know how the foam reacts you can mix 1 gallon part A, 1 gallon part B – into a 5-gallon bucket (with a plastic liner since you will need to repeat this for every hole). Mix for 15 seconds.
  • Pour immediately into funnel (will take approximately 15 seconds.
  • 2 funnels. If the 1st hole fills up then you can put the remainder of the liquid into funnel #2.
  • This option is messier as the expanding foam will most likely expand through the holes and spill onto the driveway. Don’t worry, it won’t be that much to clean up. Wait until it hardens and come back 30 minutes later to break it off the driveway.
  • Sand off. You will likely need to gently sand off any of the residue that spilled on the driveway.

6. Fill the holes with concrete to conceal the injecting holes.

  • Using the fast-setting concrete mentioned previously in the article, mix it with some of the concrete dust that you held onto. This mixture will allow the new concrete to take on the same shade as the slab that’s already in place.
  • Fill a grout bag with some of the concrete and inject it into each hole. Fill them all up to the top and remove any excess concrete that sticks out. Since it sets fast, you have to act quickly; otherwise, you’ll be left with a lump concrete slab. You can use the trowel to remove the extra bits right away.
  • Take the steel finishing trowel and scoop a small amount of the concrete batch to patch each hole. That’s all there is to it! You can have a completely leveled slab that feels brand-new in under an hour of work.

Need help doing the job? Hire a pro!

What does a professional charge to level my driveway?

It depends on the size of your driveway and how much foam they have to use.

  • Count on a contractor charging you least $2500-$4000 to inject foam into your residential driveways, if not more. Foam jacking costs less than half of replacing your driveway.
  • If you were to replace your entire driveway with concrete (remove and replace) it would cost upwards of $8000-12,000 – again, depending on the size.
  • You can do option 1 or 2 for less than half.

Finishing Up

Leveling a concrete slab by using polyurethane foam is quick and not too challenging if you have the proper tools & time to do the job. Using the steps mentioned above, you shouldn’t have an issue finishing the job in under a few hours, depending on if you use a pump or pour in your foam.

There might be complications along the way, such as small cracks or even rocks sitting under the slab. Take it easy and slow, and you’ll be good to go in no time.

Remember, safety comes first. Don’t do any concrete work without protection. Check your equipment before, and clean it all afterward to save yourself some time in the future. Good luck!

Check out our Recommended Tool & Life Hacks

Summary
3 Simple Ways to Permanently Raise Concrete with Foam NOW!
Article Name
3 Simple Ways to Permanently Raise Concrete with Foam NOW!
Description
So, how do you raise a concrete slab with foam? Locate the dips, Get the right equipment and foam. , use 5/8-inch masonry bit to drill a hole through the concrete, and spray the foam into it. The foam will expand and harden, filling the void in the ground and leveling the driveway.
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dhahn07

DIY guru, dad, husband, blogger. When I'm not creating life hacks I'm teaching my kids how to fix stuff after their dad breaks it.

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