One of the things we discovered last spring wast that there is no footer at all under the front porch. This wouldn’t be “too” terrible if it were a small porch tied in to the house. But this is a massive concrete porch that runs nearly half the length of the house. This spring it finally started to settle. In the span of a couple months it dropped over and inch and a half away from the bottom of the front door creating this gap between the wall and the porch and a little step that was going to catch someone sooner or later.
But how do you fix something like this without tearing the whole thing down and doing it all over? I took the economical way out and gave the guys at 3d Structural Solutions a call. For about $700 they said that they could stabilize the porch and lift it back up in to place with process call mud jacking. Basically they drill a few holes and inject a concrete /epoxy mix under the concrete until it lifts back in place.
The guys that came out to do the mud jacking, the first time, appeared to have it all under control so I took off and left them to do their work. When I checked in before they left we had a problem. Not only had the porch not lifted up to where it belonged, It had actually pushed away from the house about an inch. I had gone from not great to wow, that pretty much sucks. Having been a business owner for most of my adult life I decided to not freak out on the guys doing the work and called the owner to have a chat. He impressed me by coming out to the house himself to see what happened.
Dan was great. He took one look at the porch and said that he would have his guys back out to do it right. Apparently how much the person doing the work weighs is a factor in how well mud jacking works. A one inch hole is drilled through the concrete, a hose is inserted in to the hole and the operator stands on a step built in to the pipe. Then they pump until the concrete lifts or the operated is shot up in to the air like a pogo stick. For heavy objects there is a different technique that requires more holes and a few jacks to take up the load while the mud is pumped under the concrete.
The second attempt went great and I am thrilled with the final results. Far cheaper and easier than tearing out the porch and building a new one. Most importantly to me, however, was how well the guys at 3d dealt with a problem when it landed in their lap. They could have easily thrown their hands up and said that’s how these things go some times, and I have deal with contractors like that, but they chose to stand behind their work and their product. And that means more to me than getting right the first time.
Now all I need to do is find the time to grind it all down a bit and put a new skim coat on top to make it look like new.