Grouting vs Underpinning: Which Foundation Stabilization Method is Right for Your Project?
Wondering what’s the difference between grouting vs underpinning, two common methods of sinkhole repair and foundation stabilization? Which one should you choose? Read on to find out!
Benefits of Grouting
Grouting is a common, and very effective way to stabilize soil and repair a sinkhole. Grouting fills the void so it won’t continue to collapse. There are two types of grouting: chemical grouting and cement grouting.
Chemical Grouting: In this void filling method, a resin such as polyurethane foam is used to fill the void. Once it’s injected, the polyurethane foam expands to completely fill the void. It binds the soil together and provides extra support for the foundation. There are several different types of chemical grouting. Each one exerts a different amount of pressure and level of foam expansion.
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 cement allows this method to be used for deep void filling at high pressure. It can also be used in shallower soils at lower pressure, and with a wetter cement mixture.
At Foundation Professionals of Florida, we can help you decide which type of grouting method is best for your project.
Benefits of Underpinning
Underpinning is a common foundation repair technique that uses piers to lift and stabilize settling foundations. The piers transfer the weight of the structure from the shifting top layers of soil deep down to load-bearing soil.
The first step in underpinning involves driving 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 reaches load-bearing soil beneath the shifting top layers. The piers take the weight of the structure and transfer it to stable soil that can support it. After the structure is lifted and stabilized, the job site is cleaned up and the equipment hauled away.
Installing one or more foundation piers can solve several foundation problems and will prevent further foundation failure. Although it doesn’t repair the actual sinkhole, it can be a suitable solution for many Florida homeowners. The advantages of underpinning include:
- The piers are easy to install.
- There’s an immediate load transfer to load-bearing soil.
- There’s little to no disruption at the job site.
- The piers can be installed in all types of weather.
- It prevents further foundation issues from developing.
Depending on the nature and severity of your foundation problem, professionals may suggest both grouting and underpinning to stabilize your home and fill in sinkholes or underground voids. In most cases, either grouting or underpinning will get the job done.