Grout vs. Underpinning – Which is Right for You?
Which Stabilization Method is Right for You?
Many homeowners have problems with underground voids or sinkholes in their Florida properties. This can be a stressful issue. If you are researching foundation repair methods or sinkhole repair methods you have probably come across the terms “grouting” and “underpinning,” both common methods of foundation stabilization. You may be asking yourself which solution to choose. The team at Foundation Professionals of Florida offers several solutions to stabilize the foundation of your home and fix sinkholes. Call us now and we will help determine the right repair method for your home. See more about our professional solutions below.
Benefits of Grouting
One of the most common and most effective ways to stabilize soil and repair a sinkhole is a process called grouting. This process is used to fill the void and prevent it from collapsing further by stabilizing the soil. There are two types of grouting: chemical grouting, and cement grouting.
Chemical Grouting: This is a void filling method in which a resin such as polyurethane foam is injected to fill the void and support the foundation above. This method is often used in shallow soils and to fill voids that have opened up beneath slab foundations. Once injected, the polyurethane foam expands to fill the void completely, binding the soil together to provide extra support for the foundation on top. As it expands, the foam lifts the slab to its original position, correcting issues that were caused by a settling or uneven slab, and fills the sinkhole or void at the same time. There are several different types of chemical grouting that exert different amounts of pressure and have varying levels of foam expansion. Foundation Professionals of Florida can help you decide which is best for you.
Cement Grouting: This is usually referred to as compaction grouting or low-mobility grouting. In cement grouting, a cement-based grout is pumped into the ground through steel casings. The durability of the cement allows this method to be used for deep void filling at a high pressure, although it can also be used in shallower soils at a lower pressure and with a wetter cement mixture. Cement grouting is commonly used to fill large voids, as it makes the soil denser and seals the limestone surfaces, providing great support for the structure above.
Benefits of Underpinning
Underpinning is a very common foundation repair method that utilizes steel piers to lift and stabilize settling foundations. It can be used to repair nearly every type of foundation issue, including cracks in the slab or in the walls, uneven floors, sticking windows or doors, and foundation leaks. The first step in the underpinning process is to drive a steel foundation pier, such as a steel push pier or helical pier into the ground beneath the void. The pier is installed deep underground until it anchors in the stable soils beneath the shifting top layers. Then, the weight of the structure can be transferred to the pier so that it can lift and stabilize the foundation.The job site is then cleaned up and the equipment hauled away.
Installing one or more foundation piers beneath your foundation can solve several foundation problems and will prevent further foundation failure. Although it does not repair the actual sinkhole, it can be a suitable solution for many Florida homeowners. The advantages of underpinning include:
- Products are easy to install
- Immediate load transfer
- Little to no disruption at job site
- Can be installed in all weather
- Installs underneath active soils
- Prevents further issue
Depending on the severity and nature of your issue, professionals may suggest both of the solutions listed above to stabilize your home and fill in sinkholes or underground voids. In many cases, however, either grouting or underpinning will get the job done. However severe your issue, contact the experts at Foundation Professionals of Florida for your next step.