Generally, the cost of mudjacking is about half the price of concrete replacement (tearing it out and replacing it).
Basic components for cost of mudjacking
Job-related: Materials, equipment and labor. This covers driving to the job, providing the material and completing the work.
Overhead: Insurance, licensing, insurances, taxes, administrative, marketing, etc. This covers the expenses that come with running a business.
For smaller jobs, overhead tends to be a larger percentage of the job’s cost. For example, the acquisition cost (amount spent in marketing to get a job) is usually pretty comparable whether a job is $450 or $10,000. Similarly, a site visit for $450 worth of work may take 30 minutes of driving and 5 minutes of looking, whereas a site visit for $10,000 worth of work may take 30 minutes of driving and 30 minutes of looking. There’s a big difference in the amount of work, but not much difference in the time spent looking at it for the estimate.
What does this mean?
The job-related costs for concrete replacement are generally pretty high for small jobs, because of minimums charged by concrete delivery companies. This makes mudjacking a cost-effective alternative. For jobs so small that you can replace the concrete by mixing bagged concrete in a wheelbarrow, replacement may be less expensive than mudjacking.
The size of the job has a big impact on cost. For example, lifting a single 4’ by 4’ piece of sidewalk at a single family home may cost $500.00, but if the same piece of concrete was lifted as part of fixing many trip hazards in an apartment complex, it could be less than $100.00.
What else can affect the price difference?
The value of convenience is important to consider when evaluating the difference between the cost of mudjacking and the cost of concrete replacement. For example, if the sidewalk to your home settles, creating a trip hazard, mudjacking it will allow you to walk on in during and after the repair. Tearing out and replacing concrete generally requires you not walk on it for at least a day. Driveway repairs are similar; you may generally drive on mudjacked concrete a few hours after the work is completed, whereas you may not be able to drive on new concrete for a week.
Sometimes mudjacking is the only practical repair. For example, if the floor inside of your home settles, mudjacking can generally lift it back up quickly and cleanly. Replacing floors inside of homes usually involves removing everything from inside your home, temporarily bracing walls, and losing all of your floor coverings. Many floor coverings can’t be installed on concrete that’s newer than a few weeks, so you are left with bare concrete floors for some time after the floor is replaced.
The size of voids under your concrete also influences the cost of mudjacking. For example, if your concrete has no voids under it, then it won’t take much material. If your concrete has 12 inches of voids under it, it requires additional material and time to fill those voids relative to a slab with no voids. Large voids increase the cost of concrete replacement, too, though. Before new concrete can be installed, the void space has to be filled with compacted soil or gravel.
The cost of doing nothing
Settled concrete won’t fix itself. Additionally, it can deteriorate to the point where it starts to crack and fall apart, at which time the only option may be to tear the concrete out, which is generally much more expensive. Sinking foundation concrete is generally less disruptive to correct when it has only settled a little bit instead of waiting for it to settle a lot, because settlement often affects the surrounding components of your home. The cost of mudjacking to correct trip hazards is much less than the cost of trip and fall lawsuits and the affects they can have on your property’s insurance rates.