Sinkhole Repair Methods
Sinkholes have become a prominent topic amongst homeowners of our modern-day society. If you are experiencing a sinkhole problem in your landed property, you need to act fast so as to safeguard your life and property. While they may develop as cracks and openings in the soil, they have the potential to sink your home into the ground if left unchecked. Hence, the name sinkhole.
Generally, Sinkholes occur when the rock on which you have built your property wears out and give to the weight placed above it. While you may not be aware of this fact, your property is probably sitting on karst terrain. Karst Terrain is the soft soluble underground rocks (for instance, gypsum, limestone or other carbonate rocks) that provide support for the topsoil and everything else that is placed atop of it. When the soft rocks providing support for your landed property wear out and fail; it creates a vacuum in the soil that will, at the end of the day, cause the top layer of the soil to sink. The cracks you see in the grounds of your landed property are the aftermath of this process, and they are known as sinkholes.
Even though a sinkhole is one of the most disquieting things to see in your home or landed property, you shouldn’t stress or worry over it. As a matter of fact, it is a fixable problem – One that you can fix with any of the Sinkhole methods listed on this page. On the other hand, you’ll have better chances of fixing your sinkhole problem if you engage a professional for the job.
3 easy to accomplish methods for your sinkhole problem
1. Compaction Grouting method
In all probability, this is the cheapest and the easiest to accomplish Sinkhole repair method on the planet. Nevertheless, you would need a professional to help you with the whole process. That is if you want to enjoy optimal results with the Compaction Grouting method.
This sinkhole repair method is a remedial process that involves the utilization of Grout for the repair of the sinkhole. Grout is a unique material that bears similarities to concrete, but it is much more appropriate and reliable for repairing sinkholes than concrete. While concrete works to hold two disjointed articles together by making they stick to each other, Grout flows and is much more appropriate as a filler. It is in light of this reality that most contractors choose grout as their go-to material for fixing sinkholes in soils.
During the Compaction grouting process, the contractor will sink boreholes into the ground and fix pipes in the holes. After they might have fixed the pipes in the holes, the contractor will pump grout into the ground to the affected area. The main aim of this compaction Grouting process is to inject grout into the earth to the site of the karst terrain – where the limestone or other carbon rocks are situated. In this way, the uppermost part of the limestone that serves as a link between the sinking bedrock zones will be covered by the injected grout. As a result, the cavernous bedrock region will be strengthened, and the possibility of the sinkhole ever-recurring will be reduced to almost zero. Even though it is one of the most effective sinkhole repair methods that are available in the world today, it is limited to sinkholes that resulted from cavernous bedrocks. That’s why you would need to choose the right contractor or expert for your sinkhole problem, as they would know the extent of the damage and the best method to adopt for the repairs.
Note: the compaction grouting process and everything leading up to its completion may differ from contractor to contractor. Never the less, the results are always the same.
2. Chemical grouting process
The chemical grouting method for sinkhole repair is quite different from the Compaction grouting method. Unlike the compaction grouting method that pumps grout into the ground to seal up the cavernous bedrocks underground, the chemical grouting method is meant to boost stability in the loose base of the property. On the other hand, one thing that really stands out with regards to chemical grouting process is the fact that it is only appropriate for sinkhole issues of 10 feet or less.
During the chemical grouting process, the contractor will bore holes in the soil up to 10 feet deep under the base of the property. This would pave way for the polyurethane material that would be injected into the soil later on. After the holes or pathways might’ve been created in the top layer of the property’s soil, the contractor will supply polyurethane material into the loose base or sub-base of soils of the property. This process is known as densification or infilling, and they are often used interchangeably to represent chemical grouting method for repairing sinkholes. It is effective, and the results are amazing.
This is another effective method for sinkhole repair and, in all probability, the most effective sinkhole repair method that we have in the world today. Unlike the chemical grouting process and the compaction grouting process that use mortar or chemical to fix sinkhole issues, the Underpinning method uses a sturdier material for the repair. No doubt, you would need a competent and experienced sinkhole expert to achieve optimal results with this method.
This method of sinkhole repair is achieved through the installation of sturdy metal piers, known as underpins. The underpins are inserted into the subsurface of the property’s soil and covered up with the top layer of the soil. This method is very useful when it comes to repairing damaged structures like (landed properties that have recently experienced sinkhole activities).
The main aim of this unique sinkhole repair process is to provide support for the property’s foundation. When sinkholes occur in the subsurface region of a properties soil, the soil in that area will become wobbly, and the foundation of the building will become unstable as well. In this case, you can strengthen and stabilize your property’s foundation with the Underpinning method. When the base pads (underpins) are secured, they’ll be connected with braces to the property. Underpins are generally fitted at fixed distances determined by a licensed contractor, around the property’s perimeter. If required, the underpins can also be placed under the structure’s interior, for instance, below the walls bearing the interior weight.
So what to do when you notice a sinkhole on your property
While the first thing that comes to the mind of most house owners is to cover the first crack they see on their property, it is the wrong step to take. In fact, many homeowners have come to regret it. If ever you notice an opening or a crack on your property, you need to call a professional right away. Pros have the right skill set and tools to handle this sort of situations, so they’ll know how severe the sinkhole problem really is and the best way to approach the problem.
When you commit your property’s sinkhole problem to the well-experienced hand of a professional, you’ll enjoy stability, reliability, and strength with your property’s framework. Also, you won’t need to waste money on the sinkhole repair methods, when all you have to worry about is erosion.