Foam Equipment for Concrete Slab Lifting

Foam Equipment for Concrete Slab Lifting

Sunken stairs are a safety risk and are structurally unsound. While mudjacking is a temporary fix, lifting concrete steps with polyurethane foam is an affordable and long-term solution. Mudjacking isn’t as effective because its materials are heavier and sink down again over time. Polyurethane foam, on the other hand, is a lightweight, product that is strong enough to lift heavy materials for a long period of time without sinking. 

The Effectiveness of Foam Under Concrete Steps

Concrete slab lifting, also known as “slab jacking”, is an alternative to the expensive problem of slab settlement and shifting. Closed-cell polyurethane, which has been specifically manufactured for raising concrete, fills the void underneath concrete slabs and expands to raise them to even levels. 

Polyurethane has been used in lifting concrete since 1989 and is made of polyurethane, which doesn’t break down for decades. It has been used in various applications from the humble sidewalk to racetracks, highways, and even airport runways.  

Closed cell high-density polyurethane foam is also waterproof and is highly pest-resistant due to its inert nature, so there are few opportunities for this material to break down or degrade prematurely. Though every situation is different, the lifting capabilities of closed-cell spray foam typically range between 2,000 to 4,000 lbs/ square foot. 

As a result, spray foam has been a quick and affordable solution to sinking issues and structural unevenness when dealing with a concrete surface. When it comes to evening out steps, sidewalks, and driveways, it’s difficult to find a better medium to lift them quickly and effectively.

The Right Concrete Lifting Equipment

Before you start the project, you’re going to need specific foam tools and slab jacking accessories. At Intech, we recommend products from trusted brands like Graco and PMC.

  • These proportioners are adept at applying closed-cell spray foam at the right pace for lifting concrete slabs.
  • A  Mechanical purge gun is a slab jacking industry favorite that won’t allow material crossover like traditional air purge guns. Contact us to get this product or explore the other dependable mechanical purge guns that we have in stock.
  • A Hammer Drill with 3-4 foot long drill bits that are 5/8″ in circumference.
    • P.S. Carry extra drill bits in case you shred the first, which is highly likely when drilling a hole for each step!
  • 6 Mil Poly sheets to prevent any extra spray foam from staining the concrete on top.
  • An Injector that you hammer it into the hole with a rubber mallet.
  • A Wrench to tighten down the injector before the application of spray foam.
  • A Leveler to detect even the slightest change in position of the slab. As the materials fill in the gaps underneath the steps, watch and wait before you apply more materials. It’s easier to add more material in small increments instead of applying too much at once.
  • Quick set mortar mix to patch up the holes after the job is complete.

How to Lift Concrete Steps

Steps pose a unique slab jacking challenge because they each require individual attention as they level out. After you obtain the right proportioner, gun, and the extra tools required to get the job done, here’s the general process of concrete lifting:

  1. Drill holes into the concrete. These holes should be in every step and no less than six inches away from the concrete’s edge. You should use a 3-4 foot long drill bit that is 5/8″ wide. 
  2. Apply the Injector into the hole. Lay a poly sheet down, cut a hole in it, and then insert the injector into the freshly drilled hole. Use a rubber hammer and wrench to firmly secure the injector. 
  3. Turn on your machine and apply the spray foam with your spray foam gun into the injector site. The closed-cell foam will expand in the space between the concrete and the dirt and lift the slab to its original position. 
  4. Complete each step. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for each concrete step until the process is complete. 
  5. Patch up the holes. Use a quick set mortar mix to patch up the holes at each injection site.

Please be aware that you will need proper training before lifting concrete with foam. Depending on the number of stairs you need to fix, this process can take around 2 hours from start to finish.

Polyurethane Equipment for Concrete Step Lifting 

At Intech Equipment and Supply, we have the top picks for poly lift concrete equipment. Contact us to find out more about what machines, guns, and accessories you need to lift concrete steps.