Looking for accurate cost information related to concrete leveling?
Perfect, you’re in the right spot. In this guide, you’ll learn:
- When does concrete need to be leveled?
- What does concrete slab leveling cost?
- How is concrete leveled?
- What’s the most cost-effective way to level concrete?
- How do you save money on concrete leveling?
With the exception of the post and beam style, all foundations have concrete slabs as their base. Slabs offer a level platform for a home to sit on and help distribute the weight of your house to a large area of the ground.
An uneven concrete slab can mean severe property damage if not addressed immediately because your entire home relies on your slab for support and structure.
Below, I’m going to discuss when concrete leveling is needed and the costs associated with the process. We’ll go over the solutions for unlevel slabs and offer some tips on saving money while you carry out the repairs.
Table of Contents
When Should You Level Concrete?
Your concrete slab needs to be relatively level to support your home safely, so it should be corrected if soil settling shifts it out of level.
Identifying when floor leveling is necessary may need to be done by a concrete repair specialist, but there are some signs you can look out for that often indicate an unlevel surface.
If you have a crawl space or basement, you’ll likely be able to tell if severe settling has occurred. The crawl space or basement floor might be visibly sloping or sinking, or a long level may show that the concrete floor isn’t laying perfectly flat.
If your home is built slab on grade, your house’s position on top of the slab makes inspecting more tricky. Check the outside of your concrete for cracking near the corners of your foundation, as this is often a symptom of differential settling.
Lastly, slabs used outside of your home for concrete driveways, patios, pool decks, or other landscaping features should be leveled if any portion of the concrete is visibly raised or sunken.
How Much Does It Cost To Level A Concrete Slab?
The national average cost to level a concrete slab foundation is around $1,500. The cost can be as little as $500 to as much as $2,500.
The pricing range is based mostly on the portion of your slab that needs to be leveled, the type of soil you have on your property, and the method used for leveling.
We will include a cost guide for each of the leveling methods below and give you estimated costs per square foot.
What Are The Leveling Options?
Concrete raising is usually done with a process called slabjacking, which involves drilling holes through the concrete and pumping a solution into the space beneath the hole.
The solution forces the slab upward and back to its original position. There are a few different options for what can be pumped below your foundation, and one that doesn’t require any drilling. I’ll cover these below, along with average prices for each.
Self-leveling solutions don’t require drilling through the concrete, but they also won’t provide support to your slab from underneath. Self-leveling is done by adding a leveler solution, like polylevel or a self-leveling concrete solution, to the concrete surface that settles to create a new, level floor on top of the old floor.
This solution is really only applicable for crawl space or basement floors with minor peaks or valleys, and it’s not suitable for foundations that have sunk down or those that are expected to sink or crack in the future.
Self-leveling will simply provide a flat floor in the space beneath your home.
Self-leveling can be a simple concrete leveling project for a handy homeowner and will likely cost around $1.25 per square foot.
Mudjacking does require drilling through your slab, so it will need to be done by a foundation repair specialist.
Once holes are positioned and drilled, a cementitious solution is pumped under your slab. The slurry forces the sunken concrete portion upward to a level position, and the holes are then filled with new concrete to seal the solution below the slab.
Mudjacking generally isn’t a good option if you have expansive soil beneath your slab, but it is the cheaper of the concrete lifting options at approximately $1,000 for a 100-foot section of concrete.
Foam jacking is done the same way as mudjacking, but an expanding polyurethane foam is forced under your slab via the drilled holes instead of a cementitious solution. Foam jacking is suitable for areas with expansive clay soil, but it is significantly more expensive than traditional mudjacking and isn’t as strong.
You can expect to pay about $2,000 for foam jacking of a 100-square foot section of concrete.
Concrete Leveling Costs vs. Replacement Costs
When a portion of your foundation is no longer level due to soil settlement, there are two main options for correcting the problem and restoring structural integrity to your home: leveling and replacing. Leveling is usually an option but may not be possible or practical if the damage is extensive.
Leveling a slab is more cost-effective than concrete replacement because installing a new slab requires using hydraulic jacks to lift your house while the slab is excavated and repoured.
Leveling a concrete slab costs an average of $1,500, while replacing one can cost upward of $50,000 for labor, material, and equipment use. As is likely very clear, leveling is a much cheaper alternative if it is an option for your situation.
DIY Leveling Costs vs. Labor Costs
Most home improvement projects are significantly more affordable if DIY solutions are implemented, so many homeowners who are in need of concrete leveling wonder if they can do it themselves.
While it is possible to rent the equipment and buy the materials to level your slab yourself, we very strongly recommend against any leveling other than self-leveling solutions for DIYers. Still, self-leveling shouldn’t be performed until a concrete repair expert confirms that there is no dangerous sinking and no chance for your slab to crack in the future.
DIY mudjacking or foam jacking is very risky because it requires you to drill through your foundation while abiding by a strict protocol. Any mistakes could cause additional damage and cracking.
Improperly placed holes, the wrong solution for your soil type, or pumping more grout or foam than is needed under your slab can create too much upward movement and lead to further foundation damage.
Lastly, the labor costs for each of the methods we’ve described above average around $400. Avoiding additional damage to your foundation and potential house collapse is more than worth the cost of labor to have the fix done by one of our professionals correctly.
What Factors Need To Be Considered For Concrete Leveling?
The relatively low cost of concrete leveling makes many homeowners think it’s a straightforward solution to an unlevel slab. However, many considerations must be made before leveling is completed.
First, the extent of the damage to your foundation should be considered, along with the likelihood of damage in the future. Very minor high or low points in your slab can be fixed very affordably with self-leveling compounds. More extensive damage requires mudjacking or foam jacking.
Next, the type of soil beneath your slab can dictate which supportive leveling solution is used. The grout used in mudjacking is stronger than polyurethane foam and can offer more support. However, it isn’t suitable for areas with expansive soil because it can create additional soil settlement beneath the grout and cause further sinking.
Foam jacking is suitable for these areas but won’t offer as much support as mudjacking.
Expandable foam can also create problems with plumbing lines that run through your slab, so the location of piping needs to be considered if foam jacking is the preferred leveling method.
The most significant considerations that need to be made are where the holes will be drilled in the slab and how much grout or expandable foam will be pumped underneath the concrete.
Hole placement is critical and needs to be done by an experienced professional. They will take cracking and damage into consideration along with the location of the sinking portion of concrete and decide where the holes should be drilled for the best chance of leveling and the smallest chance of creating additional damage.
The amount of solution pumped beneath your slab is also an important consideration. Too little foam or grout won’t raise your slab enough, and too much will cause excessive upward movement and further damage to your foundation.
How To Save Money on Concrete Leveling?
Although the process of leveling a concrete slab is relatively inexpensive, many homeowners still look for the most cost-effective way to get the job done.
The best way to save money on concrete leveling is to hire a professional concrete repair company.
DIY solutions to unlevel slabs are cheaper in theory, but so much can go wrong when drilling through your foundation and raising your concrete with mudjacking or foam jacking.
We strongly recommend paying the relatively low labor costs for a professional job, as it will likely save you money on future repairs if something goes wrong.
Even simpler slabjacking jobs like raising a garage floor or patio outside can cause damage to the concrete and require additional repairs.
Additionally, slab leveling comes with no warranty, so concrete can sink even after leveling is done. Since unlevel slabs are often due to drainage issues, solving the underlying problem can help prevent the need for future leveling and keep your slab level and adequately supported for a longer time.
Implement good drainage outside by installing gutters, downspouts, and gutter extensions, and consider installing a French drain. These can all be inexpensive DIY projects that may save on future leveling costs.