Foundation Repair in Orlando, Florida
Here at Helicon, we understand there are a lot of home and business owners in Orlando and Orange County, Florida who may not recognize the hidden dangers of how a sinkhole can affect their foundation. Sinkholes are serious elements of nature that can swallow up entire residential and commercial buildings as well as trees, vehicles, and even people.
Early warning signs of a sinkhole are most noticeable in a structure’s foundation. When foundation settlement exceeds normal settlement conditions, a myriad of structural problems can occur, and sometimes without warning. One of the first warning signs of a sinkhole in commercial buildings is large cracks in the concrete slab. If neglected, sinking and lifting sections of concrete will eventually occur and are subject to extreme dangers.
The progression for sinkholes in residential structures is a little harder to detect because unlike most commercial buildings with polished concrete floors, cracks in the slab are generally covered up with carpets and flooring in most homes. Residents are most likely to notice jagged cracks in the middle of walls and ceilings, and uneven floors as well as windows and doors that don’t operate properly when a sinkhole is present.
Why Do Sinkholes Occur in Orlando, FL?
Sinkholes are a deadly risk to foundations in Orlando and throughout other cities in Florida, and they occur because of the region’s geology. Florida’s soil is mostly made of underlain porous limestone, which holds massive amounts of water. These natural storage tanks are known as underground aquifers, which is where well water comes from. When groundwater gradually seeps through the limestone, it can create a void in the soil called karst that has features like a cave.
The water in underground aquifers puts extreme pressure on the limestone, which helps to support the overlying surface layer that mostly contains silt, sand, and clay in Florida’s soil composition. A sinkhole will form when the surface material caves in. Improper soil compaction during the construction phase of a foundation is also another culprit that can cause a sinkhole to occur.
A sinkhole is basically a depressed area in the soil that doesn’t have a natural external drainage source. When there’s no place for the water to go, it collects within the sinkhole before it drains down to the subsurface. Sinkholes can range in size from three feet to larger sinkholes up to 2,000 feet. In addition to their devastating impacts on foundations and physical structures, they can also lead to contaminated drinking water.
Collapses can happen without any warning, and oftentimes they’re triggered by heavy overloads such as flooding or tropical downpours as well as when pumping water out of the ground occurs. When the water contained within the limestone exits the cavity, the pressure supporting the surface material will also go along with it. Depending on the size of the cavity, a sinkhole can leave a devastating reminder of its raw power.
The Importance of Orlando Sinkhole Repair and Foundation Restoration
Sinkholes are a major problem for home and business owners foundations in Orlando, Florida. They also pose a serious risk for construction workers breaking ground for a new structure. Not only do they pose a real threat for people, but they also lower property value. When sinkholes open around or beneath foundations, serious structural damage can occur to slabs. This can lead to foundation settling or sinking.
Sinkholes should be stabilized immediately, and foundations repaired to prevent serious structural damage from occurring. Sinkhole and foundation remediation are complicated procedures that should only be performed by experts. Helicon’s team of soil remediation engineers are some of the best in the business and highly recognized as an industry leader throughout the State of Florida.
Orlando Sinkhole Repair Applications
The extent and location of a sinkhole can be a factor one which repair solution is selected for the job. The repair method for sinkholes in Florida is an application known as pressure grouting either with a polyurethane or cement grout solution. In some cases, underpinning with foundation piers may be required in addition to grouting in order to properly stabilize foundations.
It’s not uncommon to utilize both grouting and underpinning together for sinkhole repair solutions. In most situations, the cavity is filled with a pressure grouting application. The decision to use piers will depend on the location of the sinkhole and the extent of damage to the foundation.
Sinkholes that are located close to a structure may be repaired with pressure grouting solutions and by stabilizing the surrounding soil. On the other hand, if a sinkhole is located underneath a foundation, underpinning may be required to lift the slab before the cavity can be filled. No matter the situation, Helicon has the proper equipment and expertise to repair and restore foundations back to a safe and stable condition.
What’s Involved with the Initial Assessment?
The initial assessment will involve a geological engineer to evaluate the site and damage. A series of tests will be conducted with specialized equipment to determine if the sides are stable and the depth of the cavity. Once the engineer collects the necessary data, our team of soil remediation specialists and project managers will develop a stabilization plan and restore the foundation.
The stabilization plan generally involves a pressure grouting solution to fill voids as well as soil compaction. Our grouting applications will be performed with various techniques throughout all areas where injection grouting is appropriate.
Depending on the soil conditions surrounding the cavity, there are different geotechnical approaches that may be called upon. No matter the complexity of the situation, our goal is to correctly identify the severity of the problem and create adequate support for foundations subject to sinkholes.
What Areas Does Helicon Service?
Helicon headquarters is in the Tampa Bay region; however, our service extends throughout Orange County. We provide services for residential homeowners, commercial building owners, municipalities, and pre-construction soil remediation for general contractors. Our service area includes the following cities but is not limited to:
- Winter Park
The team at Helicon is an industry leader in soil remediation and foundation repair in Orlando and throughout the State of Florida. We provide the right applications for both grouting and underpinning techniques with the reassurance that foundations and sinkholes will be stabilized. For instant sinkhole repair and foundation remediation assistance, contact Helicon today and talk to one of our friendly representatives.