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. 

Don't fall for the Hype. It's the Same Stuff you can get at Home Depot in that little pressurized can that you use for insulating the cracks in your home exterior.

Here are some more Facts.

Lets Look at the Facts

You'll hear a lot of claims combined with fancy marketing material.
When the Foam sales folks start with their fancy facts and figures, ask them one question.
How did that Major Law Suit turn out at the Salt Lake International Airport?

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

Every year we get some local contractors sold on the Polyurethane Foam. "Oh, it's the Latest thing." They go to The World of Concrete show in Las Vegas and come back with the Equipment and marketing material they purchased.
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 who have failed jobs and that's what you see.

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 few 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 ALWAYS come in at Least 50% more and usually Double our pricing.
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 7 failures just from 2016-2017 (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 the consumer.
Now you see why most of these Foam guys go out of business in just a few years.

Their marketing makes a lot of claims.
"The Foam will not deteriorate." False. Water, UV Rays even Air will cause deterioration.
"You get 100% compaction." False. The product has millions of microscopic air holes. How else could I crush it in my hand?
"It's Totally Safe." You be the judge. By law, if asked they must supply an MSDS Sheet which lists Poly Diisocyanate as a primary ingrediant. Do your Research.
Very few customers think to ask for this sheet and the contractors don't volunteer it because they don't want to spook you. And if you do ask for it, "Oh, we are out right now but you don't have to worry. It's OK."
In addition, it's Flamable.

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, no warranty. Folks, it's not a matter of IF but WHEN it will fail.

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.
Let us know you dealt with them and we will FIX IT at 25% off our normal rate...which will probably be 20% of what they originally charged you because they are SO Expensive.

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. Now there is, call us.

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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 Foam Lifted 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.