What is Polyjacking? Foam Foundation Repair
Polyjacking is an increasingly common technique used when it comes to raising up slabs of concrete. If your foundation is sinking, it is possible to address the problem in a relatively non-invasive way by injecting high-pressure foam underneath the slab to lift it up.
This guide will cover everything you need to know about polyjacking, from the way it works to the pros and cons, as well as the costs you can expect to pay. Although it’s not an ideal situation that your foundation is sinking, all is not lost.
How Does Polyjacking Repair a Foundation?
One of the remarkable things about polyjacking is how relatively simple the entire process is. Even if you’re dealing with space-age technology and using it to lift an entire house, it is not a complex process.
The first step in polyjacking is conducting a survey of the property and the amount of foam that is needed. Once you know much you need to lift, you can calculate how many holes you need to drill and where. These holes are roughly ½ inch in diameter (which is around the size of a penny). These holes are drilled in key locations where the slab has sunk.
Once the holes are all drilled, nozzles are added. These nozzles are clamped into place so that they won’t move even as the high-pressure foam is being pumped through them.
The foam is then ‘injected’ through the nozzles and under the slab. The slab is monitored, and the foam is pumped through until the slab is at the correct elevation. At this point, the pumping stops, the nozzles are unclamped and removed, and everything returns to normal. The drill holes will be filled in with caulking and should be relatively invisible to the naked eye.
The foam cures instantly, which means that you don’t have to wait before re-entering your home. All in all, the process can take less than half a day and leaves very little evidence that it has taken place at all (apart from the fact that the concrete foundation slab is no longer sunken).
When Do I Need Foundation Repair?
Polyjacking as a process will only work if you are able to work with an undamaged foundation. If your slab has sunk too much, you won’t be able to use polyjacking, and you’ll need to go with a (much more expensive) slab replacement instead. As such, you should always be vigilant for signs that your foundation is sinking. Below are the four most common signs to look out for:
What are the Benefits of Polyjacking?
So, let’s say that you do notice that your foundation is sinking (and it’s confirmed by a professional). You have a range of options when it comes to precisely what course of action to take. Our article on the different types of concrete lifting will go over these options.
However, polyjacking is likely to be your first option. Firms that are able to offer polyjacking usually have their own proprietary foam. Therefore, the actual advantages vary slightly from company to company, although polyjacking, in general, has a number of advantages over other types of slabjacking. These include:
These are all fairly significant advantages – and they are only increasing as the technology involved in developing polyurethane foam improves.
What are the Limitations?
Despite the fairly solid list of advantages of polyjacking outlined above, there are a number of limitations that mean that polyjacking isn’t always the automatic selection for contractors and homeowners. Below are some of the factors you’ll need to consider before you sign up for polyjacking to repair your home’s foundation.
Of course, no home improvement project is going to be exclusively better using one material or technique. Therefore, you’ll need to weigh up the benefits yourself. However, there is a reason why polyjacking is becoming more and more common, as the advantages increasingly outweigh the limitations.
How Much Does Polyjacking Cost?
The cost of polyjacking can vary a great deal depending on which firm you use (remember, they’re using their own foam for the project), the nature of the project, and the cost of living in your area. As such, you should always aim to get at least three quotes for any work.
Generally, however, you can expect to pay somewhere between $2,400 and $3,600 for an average residential polyjacking project. If you live in a smaller home, you can use the rule of thumb that polyjacking a foundation slab will cost somewhere between $5 and $25 per square foot.
If you live in a larger home or are getting quotes for a commercial property (the cut-off here is usually about 20,000 square feet), there is a slight economy of scale, and you’ll pay somewhere between $3 and $20 per square foot.
To put it into perspective, mudjacking your home’s foundation will cost between $3 and $6 per square foot, meaning it will almost always end up being a cheaper option.
Ultimately, polyjacking may seem like the perfect solution to your foundation-sinking problem. It’s minimally invasive; it is extremely quick and extremely effective. Although you may pay more for the process than you would with something like mudjacking, when you consider how unobtrusive the process is, as well as how long it will last, it becomes a more attractive option.