Unlevel Buildings

 

Unlevel Buildings

What does unlevel buildings mean?

Unlevel buildings are the result of weak ground and/or subsidence. The appearance of internal or external wall cracks, inability to open and close windows and doors, cracked floors and more can all signal an unlevel building.

Once a building becomes unlevel, it is important to fix it right away, or risk further damage and potential hazards. This requires foundation repair, footing repairs, and house re-levelling.

What causes unlevel buildings?

A loss of ground moisture, such as in drought conditions, can cause buildings to subside and become unlevel. The weight of the building causes it to sink, but the nature of soil and clay shrinkage is that the foundation subsidence is never usually uniform. Loss of support varies across the structure, often causing cracks to form.

Often, as the soil or clay becomes moist again and expands, some of the damage may be reversed. However, without ground compaction, all wall cracks are prone to reopen with the next extended dry period.

Earthquakes can cause unlevel buildings and soil liquefaction, which makes previously-stable soil behave like a liquid, causing buildings to become extremely unstable.

In many cases the damage that caused the building to become unlevel happens over very long periods of time, making it difficult to pinpoint the exact cause.

Regardless of the cause, subsidence repair is possible, and unlevel buildings can be re-levelled and re-supported.

Likely causes:

  • Water flooding the ground
  • Drought drying out soil
  • Washaways from broken pipes (such as water, sewer, stormwater drainage)
  • Poorly compacted fill
  • Liquid, gas or mineral resources being removed from the ground
  • Erosion
  • Earthquake and seismic activity, often resulting in liquefaction
  • Tree roots can suck moisture from the ground
  • Vibrations caused by heavy road traffic or by machinery
  • Absence of an organised footing system – in very old buildings or in buildings with additions or alterations
  • Nearby excavation
  • Heavy loading
  • Deterioration of retaining walls

How to fix unlevel buildings?

Mainmark specialises in raising, re-levelling, and re-supporting unlevel buildings by treating the foundation subsidence beneath them which, in turn, allows for the foundation slab to return to level. For example, we can inject structural resins into the foundation ground under the building’s footings for foundation repair and footing repairs. The resins expand together chemically, creating pressure. That pressure lifts the building back to its correct level. Then, if there are weak layers in the ground, continuing injection at deeper levels can resolve this by compacting the ground, densifying and strengthening it to increase its bearing capacity for the future.

Alternatively, we can undertake JOG computer-controlled re-levelling. Extremely successful in subsidence repair, this method was used to relevel the Christchurch Art Gallery after it suffered building subsidence following an earthquake. This method is a computerised level correction system that involves, in sequence and rapid succession, grout injection via multiple injection ports. This creates multiple localised hydraulic forces, strategically-arranged over large areas, to effectively float a structure back to level.

In some soil conditions, Mainmark can increase the bearing capacity of weak strata by as much as 500 per cent.

Mainmark’s concrete slab levelling methods are fast, efficient, and cost effective; they don’t require you to vacate the building while work is being done.

Various product warranties and Building Code requirements apply (please contact us to see which apply in your region or country).

Unlevel Homes

Mainmark offers the world’s most advanced technology for house re-levelling and underpinning. We raise and re-level sunken buildings, then add underpinning footings to support the ground underneath to strengthen the house footings. We have successfully raised, re-levelled, and re-supported thousands of homes around the world.

We visit your home, assess the damage, and discover the cause. Our experienced engineers and technicians establish the approach needed, creating a plan specific to the needs of your house.

As the house is brought back to level, underpinning footings are corrected, sunken floors are raised, and any internal and external wall cracks generally close up too. Most importantly, structural damage is resolved and, with a stable foundation, the future of the house is sound.

Our solutions for concrete re-levelling, footing repairs, and foundation repair under houses are cutting edge and are a more modern alternative to the traditional way of concrete underpinning. Our alternative technologies are likened to keyhole surgery as the as the injection holes are often as small as the size of a five cent coin.  These solutions are not just for concrete slab floors. We can raise, relevel and re-support strip footings, raft slabs, and ‘waffle-pod’ slabs, plus we can infill slab driveways and paths.

We offer a range of technologies for strengthening foundation ground and house footings, and re-levelling homes, such as injection of Uretek expanding resins. The resins and hardeners mix together in the ground, and expand to compact the adjacent soils and increase their load-bearing capacity. This corrects building subsidence even in weak soils.

We also offer JOG computer-controlled grouting, which is a computerised level correction system. It involves injection of grout, in sequence and rapid succession, via multiple injection ports. This underpinning method creates many localised hydraulic forces, strategically-arranged over large areas, to effectively ‘float’ the structure back to its design level without using traditional piles or hydraulic jacks.

Benefits of Mainmark’s house levelling methods:

  • Can be carried out at one or more depths, as deep as 14 metres under the surface
  • Can increase the bearing capacity of weak strata under structures by up to 500 per cent
  • Can be used for subsidence repair and to prepare structures that need to support increased loads, e.g. when there is to be an addition to the building itself
  • We don’t make a mess: there is no concrete dust, water, or any other materials to clean up
  • There is minimal disruption to your daily life
  • We don’t cause further damage to the house or landscaping
  • With simple jobs, residents can stay in the home and may not even need to move furniture
  • Techniques are non-invasive: we don’t tear up floors or excavate ground
  • Our methods are fast, completed in a fraction of the time of traditional methods, so we can finish your project in as little as one day
  • The products and techniques we use have zero negative impact on the environment.

Mainmark building levelling methods used on Residential Homes:

Unlevel Heritage Buildings

Many heritage buildings are unlevel simply because they are old, and have been exposed to conditions like subsidence for so many years. Mainmark can re-level the building, resolving structural damage and often closing up internal and external wall cracks.

Mainmark has successfully given hundreds of heritage buildings a new lease of life, strengthening them to stand well into the future. Our re-levelling methods which include foundation levelling work because they stabilise the ground underneath the heritage building, raise and re-level the building, then support it.

Key benefits of Mainmark’s building levelling methods include:

  • Floors and buildings are brought back to level
  • Non-invasive techniques keep further damage to the building, and the landscaping around it, to an absolute minimum
  • We don’t tear up floors and excavate ground, so historical integrity remains unaffected
  • Internal and external wall cracks generally close up, leaving only cosmetic treatment (plastering, painting, and re-pointing brickwork)
  • Jammed doors and windows can usually operate properly again
  • Methods are effective on various foundations, such as, bluestone, brick and sandstone.

Mainmark building levelling methods used for Heritage Buildings:

Unlevel Commercial and Industrial Structures

Mainmark can re-level structures of any size, including commercial and industrial structures. The processes are time- and cost-effective, making them sought after around the world.

Unlevel commercial structures can result in damage to plant and machinery, occupational health and safety risks, and reduced efficiency if certain areas can’t be used. By levelling the structure, Mainmark resolves damage and brings the building back to full capacity, so businesses can regain that lost productivity.

From parking areas and loading docks to warehouses and office buildings, Mainmark’s methods are suitable for buildings of any size.

We offer JOG computer-controlled grouting. Extremely successful in re-levelling the Christchurch Art Gallery following an earthquake, this method is a computerised level correction system that involves, in sequence and rapid succession, grout injection via multiple injection ports. This creates multiple localised hydraulic forces, strategically-arranged over large areas, to effectively float a structure back to level.

Benefits of Mainmark’s building levelling methods:

  • There is minimum disruption to the site
  • There is little, if any, downtime to the business. In many cases, the site can still operate, with staff able to continue working (this is case-dependent, damage may be such that this is not possible)
  • Projects are completed in a time-frame significantly less than traditional methods
  • Non-invasive techniques keep further damage to the building, and the landscaping around it, to an absolute minimum
  • We don’t tear up floors and excavate ground, so don’t create any mess
  • Internal and external wall cracks generally close up, leaving only cosmetic treatment (plastering, painting and re-pointing brickwork)
  • Jammed doors and windows can usually operate properly again
  • Trip hazards are eliminated. Often, forklifts and trucks can run smoothly just 30 minutes after the floor is re-levelled
  • There’s usually no need to move stock or machinery off the floor. No excavation. No mess
  • Warehouse shelves and conveyor systems usually return to their correct positions as floors are re-levelled
  • Most large factory and warehouse floor repairs are completed in a day or two. There’s no cutting out of old slabs and no waiting days for new slabs to cure.

Mainmark ground stabilisation methods used for Commercial and Industrial structures:

Unlevel Buildings and Structures in Mining and Resources

Out-of-level structures create health and safety challenges in mining and resources environments. They can also bring operations to a halt, especially if a piece of equipment or a transport mechanism becomes unusable. For example, a stacker gantry crane rail could become unlevel, putting it out of action and stopping production. The risk of downtime and production losses makes it essential to fix this type of unlevel structure as fast as possible.

Mainmark’s foundation levelling methods can be used successfully on any structure of any size. For many years we have raised, re-levelled, and re-supported on-ground and in-ground mine-site structures, including:

  • Coal loader towers
  • Conveyer belt pedestal bases
  • Rock-breaker footings
  • Rail index machine slabs
  • Vehicle service centres & garages
  • Stacker reclaimer rails
  • Office buildings
  • Conveyer belt counter-weight towers
  • Railway lines
  • Engineering workshops
  • Parking areas
  • Loading docks

Key benefits of Mainmark’s foundation levelling methods include:

  • There is minimum disruption to the site, no excavation and no mess
  • Projects are completed in a time-frame significantly less than traditional methods
  • Non-invasive techniques mean further damage to the site, and the landscaping around it, is absolutely minimal
  • We don’t tear up areas or excavate ground, creating costly and time-wasting messes
  • Trip hazards are eliminated. Vehicles and machinery can run smoothly almost immediately
  • Re-levelling is completed in a fraction of the time of traditional methods. There’s no cutting out of old slabs and no waiting days for new slabs to cure
  • There are usually substantial cost savings, in comparison to traditional methods
  • Weight is no problem, in fact the greater the weight on the ground the more it can be compacted. Huge ground support can be created, especially when the area is loaded with weight
  • There’s minimal interruption to the site, operations can often continue while the work is being completed.

Mainmark building levelling methods used for Mining and Resources:

 

 

 

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