Deep Lift Services Available in Atlanta Area

The Deep Lift™ process is different from common slab lifting in that it requires polyurethane foam to be injected deep into the soil beneath the structure. Deep Lift™ is often appropriate for certain larger structures and more flexible pavements that may not be ideal candidates for conventional slab lifting. It can also be used in conjunction with conventional slab lifting. In this post, I’ll provide a quick overview of the Deep Lift™ process and its many applications.

The Process:

Complete a thorough site evaluation including – soil borings, DCP testing, and Deep Look™ ground penetrating radar as necessary

  1. Address any potential binding with saw cutting, clearing of joints, and removal of old grout
  2. Based upon soils data, calculate grid spacing and injection depths
  3. Drive injection tubes to the correct depths and locations
  4. Inject high strength deep lifting foam in the predetermined sequence while monitoring for lift
  5. Follow the grout plan, adjusting the injection depths and locations as the structure raises into place

The Applications:

  • Bridge abutments
  • Highway approach slabs
  • Rigid and flexible pavements
  • Ports and airports
  • Settled buildings
  • Soil densification and encapsulation
  • Lift stations
  • Pipe and tunnel segments
  • Equipment pads

Polyurethane vs. Cement for Slab Jacking

Slab Jacking with Lighter Material Prevents Further Sinking

We are often asked about the biggest advantages of lifting settled concrete slabs with polyurethane foam vs. cement grout.

One of the biggest advantages is the weight. Depending on the product, the density of structural polyurethane lifting foam is between 3 ½ and 5 pounds per cubic foot. The same volume of cement grout weighs 140 pounds per cubic foot. This translates to 30 to 40 times more added weight using cement vs. polyurethane. By hiring an expert contractor who uses these lighter weight materials, you are giving yourself a much greater chance for long term success. (Polyurethane is strong enough to support any structure, as explained in our earlier blog post How Strong is Strong Enough.)

Concrete Lifting with Polyurethane Creates Less Mess

Another advantage of using foam is the small size of the drill holes. Drilling holes for foam is quick and easy, requiring only a 3/8” hole to inject through. For mud jacking the contractor is drilling injection holes into your slab that range from one to two and a half inches. This takes longer and does more damage to your concrete. Also, mud jacking brings the additional problems of messier works sites and disposal of unused mixed cement.

Mudjacking with Cement Requires Longer Cure Times

The final advantage of foam over cement is time. All of the AP Lift series foams we use reach 90 percent of their final strength in 15 minutes and are fully cured in less than a day. Literally, as soon as we are done packing up our equipment the foam under your slab is ready for traffic. On the other hand, cement grout can take days to reach final cure. (Having immediate load bearing traffic is especially important if you own or manage facilities such as warehouses that run 24/7 and need to use the lifted area as soon as the job is complete.)

Concrete Slab Jacking With Polyurethane Foam – How Strong is Strong Enough?

When light-weight material is being installed beneath your slab, you need the confidence that it is strong enough for the application. How strong is strong enough? This is a commonly asked question by property owners or managers that are new to slab jacking with polyurethane. The structural foams we use only need to be as strong as dirt, but they’re actually stronger than crystalline bedrock.

The Right Strengths for Concrete Lifting

Slab lifting foams are rated on density (weight per cubic feet) and compressive strength. This testing and rating is based on the foam in a free rise state; the parts A and B are mixed together and allowed to expand freely.  The foams we use the most, AP Lift 430 and AP Lift 475, for example, will weigh 2.75 – 3.25 lbs (AP Lift 430) to 4.75 – 5 lbs (AP Lift 475) per cubic foot. But they have a compressive strengths of 50 psi and 100 psi in a free rise state. That’s equal to 7,200 – 14,000 lbs per square ft of support, just in a free rise state.

Polyurethane Slab Jacking Compared to Clay and Bedrock

To put that into perspective, the National Home Builders Association and the International Building Code lists stiff clay at 4000 psf and crystalline bedrock as having 12000 psf of load bearing capacity. Consider the job site conditions where the foam will be injected into a confined area. Testing data in the lab shows that our lifting foams will increase in compressive strength: In a space confined 25% by volume there will be an increase of 31% in psi and in a space confined by 75% there will be a 79% increase in the psi.

Slab Jack for Any Job with the Right Foam

Today polyurethane lifting foams are used to level airport slabs supporting jumbo jets, equipment and building slabs supporting tremendous loads, and even railway sleepers that support the heaviest freight trains. So don’t let the word “foam” fool you. These resins cure to strengths beyond what is needed to support any structure.

Polyurethane Soil Stabilization Explained

Unstable soil can be defined as soil that will not stay in place on its own, and therefore requires extra support. It should be noted that unstable soil can threaten the stability, security, and safety of infrastructure and can damage, degrade, and even destroy a number of structures, such as buildings, bridges, and roads. There are a variety of factors that can cause unstable soil including erosion, poor compaction, freeze/thaw cycles and decomposition.
Soil can be stabilized with high strength polyurethane foam. Once the bearing capacity of the soil has been increased with this process, then the structure can be lifted if necessary.

For a detailed explanation of the process in a variety of settings, watch this animation from our materials supplier Alchemy-Spetec

Slab Lifting Time Lapse

Today, we’re following up our previous concrete leveling time lapse blog post with another fascinating time lapse sequence.

A structure is only as good as the foundation it’s built on. And regardless of how well-constructed a structure may be, most foundations settle. That’s just a fact of life. Erosion, shifting soil, compaction, and many other environmental conditions tend to cause settling. Sometimes structures settle gradually, and in other cases they’re swallowed up in minutes. These situations create problems for property owners and managers.  Fortunately, slabs can be lifted back into place with high strength polyurethane foam.

Check out another amazing time lapse sequence from our materials supplier Alchemy-Spetec!

Concrete Leveling Time Lapse

Concrete slabs settle due to voids or unstable soil below. By pumping a polyurethane foam through the concrete, you essentially push the concrete slab back up from below. Using polyurethane foam is very cost effective, environmentally friendly, and causes very little downtime.

Check out this incredible time lapse footage from our materials supplier Alchemy-Spetec!

Sunken Slabs and the Cost of Neglect

The numbers are staggering when you look at the amount of trip and fall incidents due to sunken slabs and the costs associated with them.  The toll is financial: lawsuits, settlements, workers comp, bad press.  And the toll is physical: injury and sometimes death.  This is the cost of not knowing that you may have tripping hazards on your property; or worse it is the case of knowing and not doing anything about it.  Those factors weigh heavily in court.

The ADA says a sidewalk more than a 1/4″ out of level constitutes a tripping hazard and requires a ramp to be installed.  OSHA has falling as one of the leading (if not THE leading) cause of death in the workplace; with the majority being falls from ground level as opposed to falls from a height.  Finally, DOT studies show that people’s feet clear the ground by a mere 1/8″ while walking.  That’s why it is so easy to trip over something you can’t see.

It’s also much easier call Ground Consolidation Services at 678-337-8374 and schedule a free repair estimate. Don’t wait until it’s too late!

Answers to Common Questions About Slab Lifting

We get a lot of calls from property owners or managers with slab issues after their internet searches lead them to our website. What follows are the most common questions we hear from property owners or managers interested in slab lifting, along with the most accurate answers.

1. How strong is your slab lifting foam?

The AP Lift Foam we use can support up to 14,000 lbs per sq ft. That’s in a free rise state. Underneath a slab it will be many times stronger than that.

2. Have these types of products been specified by DOTs?

Yes. In the later 1990s various Departments of Transportation started testing high density foams underneath bridge approach slabs. These polymers have proven to hold up and are now used by just about every DOT in the United States to support highway loads.

3. How long will the installed foam last?

Polyurethanes are made from derivatives of oil and natural gas. Their lifespan is similar to that of plastics. They have high chemical resistivity and should last a hundred years.

4. What if you over lift?

The lifting is done in a very controlled manner, moving the slab millimeters at a time. A trained slab lifter is usually able to get within one eighth of an inch tolerance.

5. Can the foam lift a very thick slab or a slab with a piece of equipment on it?

Yes that is not a problem. If you run the math and apply PSI (pounds per square inch) over square feet you’ll realize that it doesn’t take very much pressure to lift something heavy.

6. Is the foam safe for the environment?

The polyurethane foam we use does not shrink, degrade, or leach anything into the environment. Some are even NSF certified for contact with drinking water.

7. How is the foam used in a warehouse or industrial facility?

In industrial facilities or warehouses, polyurethane foam is used to stabilize rocking slabs, to lift sunken slabs, to fill voids beneath slabs both in and outside the building, and to fill massive voids that occur right behind loading dock walls.

Warehouse Slab Repair in Atlanta

A warehouse is only as good as the foundation it’s built on. And regardless of how well-constructed your warehouse may be, most foundations settle. That’s just a fact of life. Shifting soil, compaction, and many other environmental conditions tend to cause settling. Sometimes warehouse floors settle gradually, and in other cases they may just suddenly cave-in. These situations obviously create problems for property owners and opportunities for the contractors who know how to fix them.

GCS uses state of the art polyurethane lifting foams for slab jacking and structure lifting. Among the most dependable materials for jacking and leveling concrete slabs, these high-strength, hydro-insensitive structural foams serve as an extremely effective solution for contractors.

Commercial and Industrial Slab Lifting in Atlanta

Sunken concrete slabs can be lifted back into place with two-component polymer foam designed to work in wet or dry conditions. The expansion force of the concrete leveling foam coupled with the pressure of a specialized pump generate enough controlled force to lift virtually any structure back into position with 1/8” precision. Polyjacking and concrete lifting can be accomplished at a fraction of the cost and time required for replacement.

Watch this video from our material supplier Alchemy-Spetec for a quick demonstration…