What Is Commercial Pressure Grouting And When Is It Needed?
Structures that have experienced a great deal of settlement may require commercial pressure grouting in order to provide them with greater structural support and prevent future damage. What is pressure grouting and when is it needed? Here is some information you need to know.
What is Pressure Grouting?
Pressure grouting involves pumping cement into the soil underneath buildings that have settled abnormally. This cement is pumped through steel pipes (injectors) that have been driven into the ground. The depth of these pipes varies based upon the amount of settlement that is present, with the average depth being between four and 25 feet below the surface. Even deeper injectors could be needed for pressure grouting underneath very tall buildings.
The amount of pressure required when injecting concrete will also depend on the degree of settling, the size and weight of the structure and the condition of the soil underneath it. Concrete may be injected at a rate of anywhere between 50 and 500 psi. Regulating the flow of concrete is important, as injecting it too quickly can result in additional damage. This is just one reason why choosing the right contractor to perform pressure grouting is so important.
How Does Pressure Grouting Work?
Pressure grouting is actually a multistep process that begins with the pumping of concrete into pipes placed at the lowest required level. Once the right amount of concrete has been pumped into the injectors, they are withdrawn a bit to allow grout to set. After that layer of grout has completely set, pipes are reinserted at a higher level and the process is repeated. This sequence of events is performed as many times as needed to produce the desired results, with the number of repetitions varying from one structure to the next.
As each step is completed, soil is subsequently pushed upward. As a result, a structure is lifted somewhat gradually, and is therefore less likely to experience trauma as it rises.
Pressure Grouting vs Mud Jacking
It’s important to note that pressure grouting and mud jacking are both used to lift structures, but are not the same thing. Mud jacking involves pumping cement directly underneath a slab rather than injecting it into the soil. It is most often used to correct damage caused by slabs that were improperly installed or have shifted due to soil erosion rather than reversing settlement.
When is Pressure Grouting Needed?
Pressure grouting is generally needed whenever your home has experienced unusual settling. Most settling takes place shortly after a home is built; however, moderate settling may also occur over the course of several years. While some settling is to be expected, there are certain signs that indicate your home has settled more than usual, including:
- Floors that are not level
- Gaps above your kitchen cabinets or around window and door frames
- Wallmounted cabinets that will not stay shut
- Diagonal cracks in your interior walls
- Doors and windows that are difficult to open or close
- Leaks or cracks around your fireplace
- Gaps between your floor and walls
- Corners of fascia trim (the flat board that encloses the overhang underneath your eave) that do not fully meet
- Unusual space between your garage door and the area on either side of it
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