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Chemical Grouting: A Practical Solution for Town & City Infrastructure Cracks & Leaks

In Commercial Blog Posts by John Topa

Throughout the State of Florida, municipalities are constantly looking for solutions for infrastructure deterioration, due to cracks and leaks in various industrial and commercial construction components that include manholes, storm drains, lift stations, sanitary pipes, water treatment facilities, concrete slabs, box culverts, and storage tanks, etc. When leaks are left untreated, it can cause structural issues with the concrete and accelerate the deterioration as well as creating sinkholes or a void in the soil.

What is Chemical Grouting?

chemical grout application

Chemical grouting is generally performed by a soil remediation company that specializes in using a low viscosity non-particulate chemical grout to repair water leaks in infrastructure components as well as repairing the pore spaces in granular soils that are causing the breach. Chemical grout injection is the logical solution for municipalities that are experiencing infrastructure deterioration because it creates a cemented bond that’s flexible and permeates into the ground, which prevents and stops infrastructure failure.

In industrial and commercial municipality applications, a long steel rod tube is installed into the nickel-sized drilled hole in the ground, which allows for the chemical grout to be injected at specific locations in the ground.

The most commonly utilized chemical grouts by soil remediation companies for municipalities located in Florida include:

  • 1 Part Permeation Grout
  • 2 Part Expandable Foam Polyurethane Grout

Soil Engineering for Florida Municipalities

For industrial and commercial Florida municipalities with large infrastructure construction components such as lift stations, dams, concrete storm drains with manholes, storage tanks or ground that contains sanitary pipes, permeation chemical grouting is the best method for these types of infrastructure failures. Permeation chemical grouting is done by injecting grout under high controlled pressure to properly permeate the strata, which eliminates fracturing. It can be injected into both rock and granular soil.

Chemical grout is generally used to stabilize and treat granular soils for sewer and tunnel construction as well as for excavation support. Due to the geography of Florida and heavy tropical rains, soil erosion and sinkholes are common among most municipalities as well in residential sectors; therefore, routine inspections of infrastructure is key for large corporations to avoid a total failure, which can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars if not millions in costly repair and replacement infrastructure components.

One of the easiest solutions that are both cost-effective and sustainable is to repair the cracks and fractures in the rocks, which significantly reduces the overall permeability of rock formation. This helps to prevent future seepage and infrastructure-related issues and ensures the longevity for large-scale infrastructure components as well as adding support for sanitary pipes, commercial buildings, warehouses or other robust multiplex structures.

Chemical Grout Applications for Commercial Buildings in Florida

Due to the fact, that most large-scale commercial buildings such as warehouses, shopping malls, hospitals, and big box stores are built on concrete slabs, chemical grouting is necessary for repairing cracks in the slab. Chemical grout for concrete slab repair is made with an engineered 1 part permeation grout injection or a 2 part polyurethane expandable foam grout injection. This type of chemical grout is formulated for gravity feed applications or injection. It is utilized to penetrate and fill cracks and fissures or to repair a large void. This is the preferred method for most commercial building owners because it provides a solution that provides excellent adhesion to steel or concrete, and it can be applied to dry and wet or oil-contaminated concrete.

Recommended applications for commercial buildings include but are not limited to:

  • Precast pile bonding
  • Repair of cracked concrete and slabs
  • Bonding post-tensioned beams
  • Thin bed repair grout applications
  • Grouted base plates under generators, compressors, cement mills, pumps and other rotating and vibrating machinery

Chemical Jet Grouting for Municipalities in Florida

Chemical jet grouting produces in-situ columns of grouted soil by utilizing high-pressure grout injection. It works by pumping high-velocity mixtures of jetted grout as well as water and air or air and grout through the sides of a grout monitor that are attached to the end of the drill string. This allows the jets to mix and erode the granular soil as the monitor and drill string are being withdrawn and rotated.

The chemical jet grouting process makes full columns, jet grout panels or partial columns that fill anything in between with the designed permeability and strength. The size of the columns depends on the soil density, soil type, flow rate, injection pressures of the fluids used, lift rate, rotation speed and type of system used.

It’s always best to have a soil remediation specialist perform a pre-construction test to adjust, calibrate and verify the chemical jet grout design and parameters.

Single Fluid Chemical Jet Grouting: This is the easiest system to use due to the reliance of the high velocity of the jet stream to remove, cut and mix the in-situ soil.

Double Fluid Chemical Jet Grouting: This system works simultaneously injecting a high-velocity grout jet stream that’s within a cone of compressed air. The benefit is creating a bigger column than the single system.

Triple Fluid Chemical Jet Grouting: This is the most complex system of the three due to the injections of various fluids (water, air, and grout) that being injected simultaneously. This system also makes the biggest diameter of columns of the three.

The Municipality Infrastructure Solution

The best solution is to contact a soil remediation company that specializes in the above chemical grouting applications to repair infrastructure failure. To fully solve the problem with infrastructure cracks and leaks, it’s vital to support the ground it’s built on. A soil remediation specialist can access the problem and create a solution that offers municipalities durability and longevity for industrial and commercial infrastructure components.