Ground Instability

 

Ground Instability

What does ground instability mean?

The ground beneath us is constantly shifting. Ground instability is the propensity for upward, lateral, or downward movement, which can be caused by natural factors like earthquakes. During construction, ground instability can cause soil slippage which often requires stabilisation prior to conducting additional excavation for building foundations or swimming pools or building retaining walls. Once a building is already in place, ground instability can cause movement of the building or structure, resulting in internal or external wall cracks, inability to open and close windows and doors, sunken floors, and more.

If a building or structure has subsided due to ground instability, it is important to fix it right away, or risk further damage and potential hazards.

What causes ground instability?

Ground instability can happen naturally as part of the earth’s constantly shifting crust. It can be exacerbated by issues such as soil compaction, loss of ground moisture, excessive excavation, or erosion. Ground instability causes subsidence and, often, the damage can seem to be reversed as the ground shifts back and forth over time.

However, without soil stabilisation, damage to buildings, such as wall cracks, are prone to reappear. In infrastructure or at large industrial sites, embankment slippage can be an issue, leading to further erosion and damage.

Ground instability should be mitigated where possible.

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
  • Tree roots, which 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 unstable ground?

Mainmark specialises in soil stabilisation and ground compaction to improve support for buildings, roads, and other on-ground structures. We treat the ground beneath them to raise, re-level, and re-support these structures.

There are a number of options available to stabilise the ground, such as soil and embankment stabilisation, and void or hole-filling.

For example, Mainmark’s Terefil is the world’s most advanced structural lightweight polymer modified cementitious-based filler. It flows into spaces to fill voids, making it a fast and effective way to stabilise the ground. Compared to typical foams, the patented foam used in Terefil has increased stability, a greater lift thickness, and can be pumped greater distances. It’s a cost-effective and environmentally-inert option that suits a range of applications such as mass fill for large voids, tanks, and abandoned mines.

Permeation grouting can create ground cohesion before excavation. It’s the longest-established and most widely-used technique, which involves filling cracks, joints, and other small defects in non-cohesive soils, sand, or other porous media. It can stabilise the ground at depths of up to 60 metres.

Alternatively, Mainmark can inject our proprietary Teretek engineered resin solution into the foundation ground under a building’s footings. 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. In some soil conditions, Mainmark can increase the bearing capacity of weak strata by as much as 500 per cent.

Mainmark’s foundation repair methods are quick, precise, don’t leave a mess, and don’t generally require occupants to vacate a 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).

Ground Instability under Homes

Mainmark offers the world’s most advanced technology to stabilise the ground beneath your home. Using resin injection ground stabilisation, we improve ground compaction. We can then raise and re-level sunken buildings, then add support to the ground for soil stabilisation to strengthen the foundation and stop the soil underneath and around the buildings slipping or moving. 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 and its sunken floors are brought back to level, 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 deep resin injection ground stabilisation solution is the modern answer to the more traditional method of underpinning. Compared to concrete underpinning, it’s like keyhole surgery, as the injection holes are often as small as the size of a five cent coin. Our alternatives to underpinning are not just for concrete floors. We can underpin, raise and re-level strip footings, raft slabs, and ‘waffle-pod’ slabs too.  We also have solutions for soil stabilisation and ground compaction under driveways and paths.

Deep-lift using our Teretek engineered resin solution is a method used for strengthening foundation ground. The resins and hardeners mix together in the ground, and expand to compact the adjacent soils and increase their load-bearing capacity.

Another of our technologies for improving ground compaction and stability is Permeation Grouting, which can create ground cohesion before soil excavation takes place, making it a good option for soil stabilisation for swimming pools, retaining walls etc. It involves filling in cracks, joints, and other small defects in rock, sandy coastal, and other non-cohesive soils or other porous ground with a cement-based grout. It can stabilise the ground at depths of up to 60 metres.

Benefits of Mainmark’s soil stabilisation methods:

  • Can be carried out at one or more depths; as deep as 14 metres under the surface for resin, or 60 metres for permeation grouting
  • Can increase the bearing capacity of weak strata under structures by up to 500 per cent
  • Can be used to prepare structures that need to support increased loads, e.g. when there is to be an addition to the building itself
  • There is little if any mess: no dust, water, or 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 often 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 often complete your project in as little as one day
  • The products and techniques we use have zero negative impact on the environment.

Mainmark ground stabilisation methods used on Homes:


Ground Instability under Heritage Buildings

Heritage buildings are susceptible to damage from ground instability, making it essential to resolve the issue in order to preserve the building. Mainmark can stabilise the ground, then bring the building back to level, generally closing up internal and external wall cracks and resolving structural damage.

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

We offer a range of technologies for strengthening foundation ground, such as Teretek deep-lift engineered resin solution. The resins and hardeners mix together in the ground, and expand to compact the adjacent soils and increase their load-bearing capacity.

Our Permeation Grouting method creates ground cohesion before excavation, making it a good option for stabilising the ground for retaining walls etc. The process involves filling joints and cracks, and other small defects in rock, non-cohesive or other porous soils. It can stabilise the ground down to 60 metres and is therefore an ideal option for heritage buildings on the coast, as sandy coastal soils are prone to slippage.

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:


Ground Instability under Commercial and Industrial Structures

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

Ground instability under 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 stabilising the soil Mainmark can level the structure, resolving damage and bringing the building back to full capacity, so businesses can often regain lost productivity.

From parking areas and loading docks to warehouses and office buildings, Mainmark’s ground stabilisation methods are suitable for foundation repair in any building of any size.

Technologies for strengthening foundation ground include Teretek deep-lift engineered resin solution and Jet Grouting. With both these methods, once in the ground the resins and hardeners mix together, expand to compact the surrounding soils and increase the load-bearing capacity.

To create ground cohesion before excavation, Permeation Grouting can be used, making it a good option for stabilising the ground for retaining walls, for example. It involves filling in  small defects, cracks and joints in rock, sandy soils or other porous soils with an injected grout. This option is ideal for commercial and industrial buildings on the coast, as sandy coastal soils are often prone to slippage and can be used to stabilise the ground at depths of up to 60 metres.

Benefits of Mainmark’s ground stabilising 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 a floor or driveway 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:


Ground Instability under Infrastructure

Sunken roads and runways, or uneven paths and driveways can all indicate ground instability. Mainmark has successfully raised, re-levelled, and re-supported sunken roads and highways, bridge approach slabs, bridge abutments, culvert areas, concrete slabs, and parking areas at numerous airports, seaports, railways, and many other civil works.

Mainmark strengthens the ground underneath to eliminate subsidence and brings the structure back to level. Because our processes are so efficient and cost-effective, infrastructure projects around the world rely on Mainmark.

For strengthening foundation ground under infrastructure, we offer a range of technologies such as our Teretek deep-lift engineered resin solution. Once in the ground, the resins and hardeners mix together and expand to compact the adjacent soils, increasing the load-bearing capacity.

Before ground excavation at a major infrastructure project, Permeation Grouting can be used to create soil cohesion, making it a good option for stabilising the ground for retaining walls and preventing embankment or bridge abutment slippage. It can be used to stabilise the ground at depths of up to 60 metres. It involves filling cracks, joints, and other generally small defects in concrete, rock or other porous media. 

Mainmark’s Terefil is the world’s most advanced structural lightweight fill for geotechnical applications. It flows into spaces to fill large voids, making it a fast, effective, low-cost, and environmentally-inert way to stabilise the ground. It is an engineered fill material ideal for infrastructure where soils are prone to slippage, holes, or voids.

Mainmark’s methods are suitable for any structure, of any size. We also re-level parking areas, loading docks, hardstand areas, driveways, approach slabs, and roads.

Key benefits of Mainmark’s ground stabilising methods include:

  • There is minimum disruption to the site; often no excavation or mess
  • There is little, if any, downtime to the site, in many cases, it can still operate (this is case-dependent, site requirements may be such that this is not possible)
  • Projects are completed in a significantly faster timeframe than other 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
  • There’s no cutting out of old slabs and no waiting days for new slabs to cure, so once trip hazards are eliminated, vehicles and machinery can run smoothly almost immediately
  • Re-levelling or void filling is completed in a fraction of the time of traditional methods
  • There are usually substantial cost savings, in comparison to traditional methods
  • Weight is no problem for the deep-injection method, 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 traffic flow or activities to busy facilities, such as roads or airports.

Mainmark ground stabilising methods used for Infrastructure:


Ground Instability in Mining and Resources

Mining and resources operations can inadvertently cause ground instability beyond normal levels due to the amount of digging and blasting involved. This can result in out-of-level structures that create health and safety challenges in mining and resources environments. As a result, these organisations need to undertake ground stabilisation measures.

Mainmark’s mine subsidence repair methods can be used successfully on any structure of any size. For many years we have stabilised the ground under and around 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

Mainmark offers a full range of polymeric and cementitious injection products for ground stabilisation and void-filling in mining applications. These include innovative resin and cement grout injection solutions to minimise safety risks by controlling the potential for hazardous ground movement and instability in fractured and unstable rock.

Mainmark has introduced Terefil, which is the world’s most advanced structural light-weight polymer modified cementitious-based filler. Terefil creates a uniformly distributed cell structure encapsulated by cementitious materials, creating an engineered, low density solution to solving many mine site challenges. It works by flowing into spaces to fill large voids, making it a fast, effective, low-cost, and environmentally-inert way to stabilise the ground. It is ideal for mass fill of large voids, tanks and abandoned mines.

Key benefits of Mainmark’s ground stabilising 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 ground stabilisation methods used for Mining and Resources:

 

 

 

Tell us your problem:

Don't see the solution to your ground engineering problem here? Talk to us, we can help. For an extensive analysis of your specific problem please complete our detailed enquiry form, alternatively fill in our quick contact form to the right.

 

 

 AU: 1800 623 312    NZ: 0800 873 835

Quick Contact

(*) Compulsory Fields