Polyurethane Foam
Is it Really Worth the Inflated Price?

Every year we get a new crop of contractors who are "sold" on the concept of this "new, latest and greatest" product. 

If you are on mobile the background video can't play.
Watch it below to see how Foam goes in.

They don't last. There have been 14 foam companies fail in Utah in the past 12 years. Folks, if foam worked I'd use it. I've been doing this for 17 years! When you have an issue in a year or so will your foam company still be around? The statistics say No.


"It's New, it's the Latest Thing."  The process has been around since World War II in the insulation industry and only recently have marketers tried to adapt it to the Concrete Raising industry. 


"We use a special Poly Foam made for Concrete Raising."  It's the same product you get in those little aerosol cans from Home Depot. You know, the stuff that discolors when the sun hits it and deteriorates in moisture.


You have already experienced it. When you drive on any of the newer sections of I-15 you are driving on it. Under the asphalt is a 6" layer of the same product we use, the special roadbase. We get it out of the same gravel pit. UDOT specifies it because it stays in place and won't make those ruts from the heavy trucks you used to see in asphalt.

Now, notice those sections at the approaches to the bridge decks on I-15 from Ogden to Brigham City? You know the ones, they are very rough, trucks bounce and every few years they do another fix? That's Foam. Eventually they will need to bite the bullet and tear them completely out and rebuild.


We even heard of a law suit at the Salt Lake International Airport several years ago that was settled and the records sealed.

If foam is so great, why don't Construction Managers lay out a layer of it before they pour concrete or lay asphalt? They use RoadBase, just like you would if you built your own home.
Just like WE USE.

Every year we get some local contractors sold on the Polyurethane Foam. They go to The World of Concrete show in Las Vegas and come back with the Equipment and fancy marketing material.
They have lots of marketing material to "sell" folks on the concept and it's always the same. 
"Look at these pictures of the mud jackers. These jobs failed."
"The Mud Jackers are Dinosaurs, a dying breed. They use obsolete technology."  Folks, the Obsolete Technology one works becauses we are conditioned to think newer is always better.
FACT: We agree somewhat. Mudjackers are a dying breed.  We don't use MUD.
FACT:  They don't use pictures of our jobs, they find others as we do have competitors and most of their jobs usually fail. That's what you see our competitors jobs, not our work.
We aren't saying our jobs never fail, but when they do, we come out and fix them. We challenge these foam guys to find one single unsatisfied ConcreteJacking customer. They can't.

Really the "The Newest Thing?" Polyurethane Foam has been around since the beginning of World War II where it was used primarily in the insulation industry and only in the last 15 years have marketing companies tried to adapt it to the concrete industry. They are making a lot of claims so you need to get the facts.
One important fact is the Cost. Their numbers usually come in higher but lately, the current crop are discounting their prices becasue they are in serious trouble. It's lower your prices and try to get a few jobs or go out of business.
Here's the kicker...they include a contract with an esclator clause that if they use more material than expected, you pay more. We have NEVER seen a job where they didn't activate this clause, and guess what, you are Locked in, you signed a contract.

One of the points they continually make is "The holes we drill are much smaller."
Thats like saying after you use a different color of paint on a touch-up of your kitchen drawers, "Oh, it looks close, it's only a small touch-up." Wouldn't you use the same color of paint?
Isn't the issue How it Looks, not how big?

There is a place for the Foam and it's NOT in Concrete Raising. It's been used for years in insulation and void fill but there are serious issues in Raising. Think about it. You are going to try and raise concrete that will weigh from 5,000 to 35,000 lbs. with foam that I can rip apart and even crush in my hand. I can show you 9 failures just from just the past few years (Two listed here.) We have already fixed four and are on schedule for two more.
So why do the manufacturers at these concrete shows push it?
Consider this. Say I'm an equipment manufacturer. I sell you a machine. I now only have a future opportunity of selling you parts.
BUT, if I sell you a Foam machine, I not only get your parts business but All the material you put through that machine, on every job you do. And I'll include a disclaimer that I'm not responsible for any warranty, you are. Good deal for me, bad deal for you and the consumer.
Now you see why most of these Foam guys usually go out of business in just a few years.

Their marketing makes a lot of claims.
"The Foam will not deteriorate." False. Water and the Sun's UV Rays will cause deterioration.
"You get 100% compaction." False. The product has millions of microscopic air holes. How else could I crush it or rip it apart with my hands?
"We Fill the Voids." You be the judge. Watch the video just above, or if you are on a cell phone that blocks video autoplay, click here. They try to get around this by drilling LOTS of holes as they know the void isn't filled properly.
"It's Totally Safe." By law, if asked they must supply an MSDS Sheet (Material Safety Data Sheet) which lists Poly Diisocyanate as a primary ingrediant. Google it, judge for yourself.
We will readily supply the MSDS sheet for our product which is Gravel, Crushed Granite, Sand and a special Dirt we import.
And while you are readng their MSDS sheet, note the part about it being Flamable. Granted the chances of something burning under concrete are remote at best but it's good to know.

If you are convinced you need the Polyurethane Foam because you have bought into the marketing claims, we CAN do it but there are some issues.
I have an associate in Utah County who added it just to cover those customers who insist on using foam. I can bring him in and we'll match the other Foam guys pricing, which is usually nearly Double our price. The product is shipped in from out of state so the shipping and handling must be covered.
That escalation clause must be added because of the expensive product.
AND, there will be some exclusions on the warranty.
The current crop of contractors say they will warranty but NONE of them have been in business for over two years. Talk to the two jobs we show below and ask them how that warranty turned out.

Did you Fall for it?

People find out Too Late they made a mistake.
It's not a matter of IF but WHEN it will fail.
If that happened to you, we can help.

Expensive!

They are VERY Expensive, usually TWICE what we charge.
In addition, were you hit by their escalation charge?
They have a little clause that says something to the effect if they use more material you pay more.
We have NEVER found a customer that paid the original pricing. The Foam guys ALWAYS charge more and guess what, you are on the hook, you signed a contract.

Let us know.

You might get a year, two at the most.
When it fails, even after you've had them back to warranty, give us a call.
Usually when you commit to foam you are stuck, but there is a chance we can help. We might be able to drill right through their stuff and when ours goes in, it will crush theirs so you get proper compaction.

They don't Last

Every year we get a couple of new contractors pushing foam, like the two new ones in Cache Valley now, or the two in Weber County. Typically they last two years at Most. Unfortunately for the customer there is nobody to reach when there are problems.
Call us, maybe we can help.

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Just a Few of the Foam Jobs we had to Fix.

This Smithfield homeowner had the Foam Guys come out Three times till they said No More Warranty.
After Three tries, still not fixed.

Homeowner in Smithfield. He had the Foam guys raise his concrete, and they said "100% Void Fill."
He has had it after THREE TIMES, Original work and a warranty first year, then another warranty in year #2.
If you look close you will see some older and some newer holes.
Finally after THREE tries the homeowner gave up on the Foam and called us.
We Raised it and Completely filled 100% of all the voids. The foam guys claim they fill the voids but in several of the holes we drilled, just inches away from theirs, we found voids.
Note the material coming out at the center where the grass is open. Our void fill is 100%.
The homeowner indicated the Foam Guys said it couldn't be raised to this height, the original height of new construction.
Typical, their system doesn't have the strength to get it the way up, and they always have an excuse.

Here is one in Bear Lake.

Lundahl Building Systems had the Foam guys come out a couple of years ago on this High End cabin.
As you see, total failure.

You can't see the holes they drilled because the surface was covered with a membrane. Note the Streaching at the top, it's ready to tear.
Pulling along the entire side, dropped 2 inches at the threshold.
The pad had dropped so much it has torn the membrane in the corner and water now puddles there and runs through.
And this is just a couple of years AFTER the Foam Raising and a year after the Warranty.
Dropped so badly it broke the concrete and both the Railing and a brick column dropped.
Note that this is AFTER the Warranty call. The Foam guys said the pad that supports the Railing and column couldn't be raised any more.
Look closely, you will see some of the small holes where they came back to Wrranty and raise again.
The tape is the owners attempt to keep water from running in.
We begin our process. In some cases we hit their Foam but in most, no foam.
The foam guys claimed 100% void fill...Right!  Not even close.
If you watch the video at the top you will see it coming out in columns. Doesn't spread.
Note the column and railing settling on the left, quite visible from this angle, that they claimed couldn't be raised.
Slab Raised, voids filled.
The patches will totally match in just a few days after they cure.
Membrane had to be pulled back to put rubberized sealer in the seams.
This area had major voids. In total, we injected 8.5 Cubic Yards of RoadBase!
The Foam guys said they filled the void.  Right!
But let's say they had, their Escalation clause in their contarct would have added roughly $8,000.00 to their already expensive process! 
They said the column and railing couldn't be raised?
Right!
A better word choice is "Can't be raised using Foam."
Think about it. They try to raise something that weights in the neighborhood of 6,000 lbs. with a product you can crush in your hand. 
Voids filled, entire pad raised, water drainage is excellent, voids 100% filled,
and the column and railing back to original specifications.
We've only shown you two, there are Numerous other Foam Lift Failures in Utah.

This video is from a contractor in Wisconsin.
NEWS FLASH: Foam Lift is not new. Every 2 or 3 years we have a new crop of guys who attended a convention and come home with this "Latest and Greatest, Newest" equipment.  In the 16 years I've been in business I've seen 14 of these companies come and go just in Utah. (There are Three new ones this year.) They spin a good marketing line and get some jobs because some people are gullible and like the title "new" even though it's nearly twice the price.  Then these contractors are usually gone in a couple of years, about the time the warranties start to hit, just like the two I showed above.
And folks, I have 2 more jobs booked with unhappy foam customers who paid once for the foam, now they have to pay again to have it done right.