One of the most interesting parts of my job has been the knowledge I’ve gained while observing sinkhole repair. I wanted to share with you one of the different procedures that Helicon Foundation Repair uses to remediate sinkhole activity– Compaction Grouting.
I visited a home in Plant City where Helicon was in the beginning phase of the Compaction Grouting repair procedure: drilling.
Like most of the locations Helicon Foundation Repair works on, the house was not, in fact, teetering on an obvious hole in the ground. The signs are usually much more subtle. I asked the homeowners what prompted them to believe they had sinkhole activity. They told me they started to see cracking on the exterior walls in the front of their home and some of the more telltale stair-step cracking on the side of their home. They also mentioned hearing audible pops and creaks on occasion while inside. The homeowners said they watched the progression over time, and they proceeded with a claim after coming home one day to find their pictures had fallen off the walls because of an apparent foundation shift.
The drilling phase of the Compaction Grouting procedure was in progress. This procedure requires that special pipes are drilled into the ground at specific intervals to precise depths. The spacing and depth are determined by the engineer’s report.
The machinery used for drilling is compact and quite maneuverable in tight areas. The drilling process uses a combination of high pressure and rotation to core through the soil using 4ft sections of pipe at a time.
All work was carefully supervised on-site by the consulting engineering firm. Neil, from Rimkus Consulting Group, was on-site and happy to answer all of my questions. I observed the process for some time before getting a chance to introduce myself to the crew. They told me afterward that they assumed I was a neighbor because they are used to attracting a curious audience.
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