Be vigilant with your inspections of cement and earthen embankments. Voids and embankments go hand in hand. The usual suspects are washouts, certain soil conditions, or the occasional animal. As with most things the quicker you act the cheaper it is to solve. For concrete structures our cementitious grout can fill the voids behind the panels. On earthen structures we usually see a small hole develop on the top of the bank with a blow out at the bottom. Our grout can follow this channel thus stabilizing the area, and we tend to get this call once the mowers can’t cut the grass. Whatever your situation is just give us a call and we’ll see how we can help.
While the world isn’t ending, this concrete is moving. A void has developed under the slab, which in turn has allowed the slab to flex as traffic goes by. There are many factors that can cause the initial void, but at this point water will expand the damage. Water gets under the slab and fills the void, then traffic travels across pushing out the water. This water contains some of the base material, which means the void increases in size as each vehicle passes. This damage spreads out, slowly destroying the pavement as it goes.
Our process can stop the spread by a process we call stitch grouting. We drill holes on either side of the joint and pump our cementitious grout to displace any water and replace the lost base. There could be some additional steps depending on usage, but that’s about it. Sometimes you can even avoid the spalling if you are very observant. If you are walking on a street or drive and notice a lot of sand(especially at the joints), then it’s possible this process could be in the beginning stages.
We are often asked about slabs that are severely broken – “Can I repair this with mudjacking or is it time for tear out and replacement?”. The answer really is “It depends”. Specifically it depends on your expectations and our experience. Have a look at the pictures below.
My recommendation to this homeowner’s association was the drive needs tear out and replacement. The manhole most likely has some issues which is causing settlement along the centerline of the drive (over six inches of drop at its worse). In addition, the concrete has cracked up.
Of course from the pictures you can tell there isn’t any new concrete. The association’s budget couldn’t handle the price tag of tear out and replacement, so we came in and did the best we could. It is also safe to say that our material sealed up some of the manhole issues. After many years this area has moved around a little, but it is still usable and has yet to be replaced. This additional time has given the association flexibility with their budget and in this case the cost vs. time gained was definitely worth it. So, as I said in the beginning – It depends.
Trees can cause settlement or their roots can heave the slabs. Good news, we can usually fix the problem. Of course if you go back in our blogs you’ll find a tree issue where tear out was the only fix. Moreover, if this tree was by your house you’d probably be searching for a foundation company.
The weather is cooling and people are starting to enjoy their community parks and recreation centers. Trip hazards and standing water issues will start to pop up as a result. Cities, Municipal Utility Districts, and Homeowner Associations all need to inspect these areas which are sometimes overlooked.
A previous foundation repair left several rooms in an elementary school with significant voids, which needed to be filled before the end of summer. Jobs like these require more work on the front end to ensure they are completed quickly and cleanly.
The engineer called for a grout to stabilize/void fill the observed voids. We used our volumetric mixers to batch over 100 cubic yards on-site and pumped the grout over 3 days.