Concrete Raising / Polyurethane Vs. Mudjacking

Understanding Concrete Raising: Polyurethane vs Mudjacking

Polyurethane and mudjacking material will both raise concrete yet are VERY different! Traditionally, the mudjacking process has been used to lift concrete. But at Acme Concrete Raising & Repair our Smart Lift System uses the far superior polyurethane foam method for quicker, more efficient concrete raising. We have learned through years of experience that there are several important reasons why polyurethane foam is better than mudjacking and we’re breaking down all the details below.

Polyurethane Foam

  • Engineered using exact specifications
  • Small easily concealable injection holes
  • Cured after 15 minutes
  • Will not wash out


  • Mixtures are not consistent
  • Large injection holes – harder to patch
  • 1 to 2 days to dry
  • Susceptible to erosion

If you are in the Chicago area and in need of sidewalk lifting, garage floor leveling, or a concrete patio repair, don’t hesitate to reach out to the concrete raising experts at Acme today for a FREE quote.

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Benefits of Using Polyurethane vs. Mudjacking

Injection Site Appearance

There are two very important differences in appearance when it comes to using poly foam vs. mudjacking. For both methods, holes will have to be drilled into the concrete to inject the material underneath the concrete slab to lift and raise it from the settled ground beneath it. However, the two injection materials are very different from one another. When it comes to a polyurethane foam injection, the material and equipment allow for much smaller 5/8” holes (the size of a dime) to be drilled for a minimally invasive approach. For mudjacking, the holes required are much larger, around 1 5/8” inches. The mudjacking mixture being injected is much thicker than polyurethane, so even more holes have to be drilled. Not only are the holes larger, the quantity of holes increases as well.

Hole Size Polyurethane VS Mudjacking

Material Longevity and Durability

Mudjacking uses an extremely heavy material made of sand, cement, and water to lift concrete, which can weigh upwards of 100 pounds per cubic foot. The addition of this material to an already unstable ground beneath the concrete only adds more stress to the site – almost guaranteeing that the ground will settle and sink again. On the other hand, commercial grade polyurethane foam only weighs 4 pounds per cubic foot. The lightweight material is stronger and puts way less of a strain on the ground below, which drastically reduces the chances that the ground will settle again in the future. The poly foam will certainly outlast the mudjacking repair.

Polyurethane Vs. Mudjacking

Erosion Resistance

The polyurethane foam used for raising concrete is also erosion resistant. Erosion is one of the primary reasons why concrete sinks. Poly foam is a high-density, environmentally-friendly foam that turns into a solid material within minutes after injection, and will keep its shape over time without any shrinking. The mudjacking grout on the other hand is just sand, clay or limestone and perhaps cement mixed with water which means it is highly susceptible to erosion and stands the chance of being washed away from water and moisture over time. This is another great reason why polyurethane foam can stand the test of time over mudjacking.

Concrete Lifting Process

When it comes to poly foam for lifting settled concrete, the process is much cleaner and more efficient. Our poly foam equipment comes self-contained in a small box truck or pick up and small trailer. No heavy construction equipment required! The polyurethane material comes ready to use on demand – unlike the mudjacking process which requires much more extensive and invasive equipment. On top of that, the polyurethane method is much faster than mudjacking. Once the material is injected, a car can drive over the repair in just 15 minutes, unlike mudjacking where you are left to wait for the material to solidify 1 to 2 days before the concrete can be used. This is especially convenient for businesses since employees or customers can use the area immediately after we leave a job site. Our Smart Lift System keeps everything contained throughout the process, making clean up a breeze so our team will be out of your way in no time at all.

On top of all these benefits polyurethane is also typically competitive with or cheaper than mudjacking. Not only are you getting a more durable, longer lasting, minimally invasive, and faster concrete repair, you’re also getting an economically smart repair when you have Acme lift your settled concrete.

Watch Polyurethane vs Mudjacking in Action

The pros greatly out way the cons when it comes to polyurethane concrete raising vs mudjacking. But don’t just take our word for it. View our 5-part video series below for an in-depth look at how polyurethane is faster, cleaner, more durable, and far longer lasting than mudjacking. Then reach out to our team for a quote on your job and we’d be happy to answer any questions you may still have!


Erosion is one of the primary reasons why concrete sinks. Watch this side-by-side testing of how our Polyurethane compares to a sample of actual mudjacking mud when subjected to water.


Concrete raising materials should be designed to support heavy loads. Polyurethane lifting foams are required by the Illinois Tollway to raise and support sunken tollways! These projects do not allow mudjacking.


Raised concrete repairs should look discreet. Watch here for examples on how polyurethane & mudjacking are different!


This video contains myth-busting facts on how polyurethane relates to personal health, safety & the environment.


Polyurethane Concrete Raising is often CHEAPER than mudjacking. The poly material costs more than mud, but its delivery is far more efficient!

Polyurethane Foam vs Mudjacking Comparison


Material Consistency

Acme's polyurethane concrete lifting utilizes a two-part polymer, precisely blended with sophisticated equipment. The result is the formation of lifting foam consistent with every project.Mudjacking slurries vary from Mudjacker to Mudjacker. Although there may be exceptions, most contractors do not rely on precise measurements when mixing their slurries.

Injection Hole Size

Polyurethane uses a very small injection hole size, ⅝” in diameter - about the size of a dime. After patching it is barely noticeable.Mudjacking requires much larger holes, typically 1 - 2 inches in diameter. Large holes can weaken the structure and the patches are more noticeable.

Injection Hole Quantity

Polyurethane is injected as a thin liquid and travels easily between the slab and subsurface, therefore requiring fewer holes to obtain the required coverage.Most mudjacking operations utilize a very viscous or thick mixture that is unable to travel as easily as liquid polyurethane.

Lifting Material Weight

Polyurethane is very strong yet weighs only about 2 pounds per cubic foot. Slabs are lifted without adding significant weight to the subbase.Mudjacking slurries weigh about 100 pounds per cubic foot. (Remember, weight contributed to the concrete settling in the first place.) The more weight that is added, the greater chance additional settling can occur.

Repair Time

Acme's polyurethane is ready to inject on-demand. Also, with fewer injection points, repairs are completed quickly. This process creates no mess, so clean-up time is virtually non-existent.

Our polyurethane is cured after about 15 minutes. All lifted structures are ready for use once our work is complete.
Mudjacking “mud” is made on location by combining water with a dry mixture to form a slurry that is transferred to an injection site. After project completion, the repaired slab and mudjacking equipment often require clean-up, most times on site.

Mudjacking mud (slurry) typically requires 1-2 days to dry well enough to withstand any considerable weight.

Water Resistance

Polyurethane foam is an inert substance that is resistant to water and will not wash out.Depending on material types and mixtures, some mudjacking slurries are more susceptible to erosion than others. In general, mudjacking slurries are more vulnerable to washout than polyurethane.


Polyurethane provides a long lasting, high-quality repair. We provide a no nonsense warranty without tricky loopholes. Feel free to contact us to learn more.Many competitor warranties contain fine print that eliminates any real worth to consumers.

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