It’s common for heavy materials like concrete to shift, settle, and sink over time. Even the best-prepared surfaces can experience changes in levels due to a variety of reasons like shifting earth, burrowing animals, and subterranean water. In fact, the Earth’s surface is always subtly changing, which is why you can see older buildings that don’t “sit” on the ground the way new buildings do. Concrete floors often fall victim to settling due to their heaviness.
Traditionally, contractors have raised concrete floors using a “mud jacking” method, which involves drilling a 2″ wide hole into the concrete surface and applying a mixture of topsoil and cement underneath the concrete to lift it. While this method does produce results, the sheer weight of the cement and soil eventually sinks and causes the concrete to follow suit once more.
But since 1989, contractors have been using a better method for concrete lifting: closed-cell spray foam. By applying this uniquely dense, expanding, and pliable spray foam underneath, contractors can lift concrete using a lightweight material that is still strong– producing the same results of mud jacking without the added weight and risk of resettling.
Naturally, contractors and homeowners alike have found spray foam to be a more affordable and long-lasting solution to mud jacking or the old-fashioned “tear it down and reset” method when it comes to floors. At Intech, we have the concrete lifting spray foam equipment you need to perform projects like these efficiently and accurately.
Concrete Floor Lifting Tips
Concrete lifting requires specialized tools and methods that diverge from spray foam insulation applications. Here are some expert tips from Intech on how to do the job properly.
Tip #1: Use the Best Spray Foam Equipment.
Concrete floor lifting is going to be more difficult with an entry-level proportioner and improper tools like an air purge gun that risks a cross over of materials. Intech carries concrete lifting industry favorites such as Graco’s powerful Reactor line and the Gusmer® H-20/35 GH-2 hydraulic proportioner, which the brand personally recommends for sending closed-cell spray foam down vertically into the ground.
For slab jacking guns, an overwhelming majority of contractors prefer the PMC PX-7 Mechanical Purge Gun. Overall, you need a gun with a mechanical purge option to prevent material cross over, as you’ll be pointing the gun downwards into the injector. Air purge guns aren’t ideal for this job at all but are better suited for applying spray foam insulation.
Tip #2: Create A Slab Jacking Kit.
Concrete lifting requires extra tools such as a hammer drill, injector, rubber mallet, leveler, a drill bit, quick-set mortar, and a wrench. You should also have extra drill bits available in case you end up going through a few surfaces for an extensive project. Depending on the size of your floor, you may need a few spares to drill enough holes to lift the concrete adequately.
All the extra tools to successfully perform a concrete lifting project should be kept in an easy-to-access area. Contractors should be able to easily procure their “kits” and get to work without fishing around for these items around the spray foam rig. It’s also important to keep the materials at the manufacturer-recommended temperature and conditions so that your machine and gun can process them properly.
Tip #3: Take the Project Slowly and in Segments.
It’s a best practice to lift portions of slab foundations, sidewalks, steps, garage floors, patios, and driveways– not an entire floor at once. Make sure that you’re taking on segmented parts of your floor and monitor the changes as the spray foam expands. Use a leveler to keep track of the slightest movements and changes your floor experiences. Take it slow as it’s better to add materials instead of applying too much and having to backtrack and slow down your progress.
Tip #4: Keep Your Workplace Tidy with Poly Sheets.
Avoid stains on the concrete by cutting a hole in a 6 Mil poly sheet and placing it over the drilled hole. Then, insert the injector through which you’ll apply the spray foam. The sheet will catch any extra spray foam, so it doesn’t stain the concrete. This keeps your work area clean and shaves off time from clean up.
Spray Foam Equipment for Concrete Floor Lifting
At Intech Equipment and Supply, we carry the recommended equipment for concrete floor lifting. Contact us to see what we have in stock and how we can supply your concrete slab lifting business.