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Why Your Garage Floor Is Sinking & What To Do About It

Body - Why Your Garage Floor Is Sinking & What To Do About It

Sinking Garage Floor – Causes

As with most slab settling issues, voids and poor soil compaction are at the root of the problem. This is certainly the case with sunken garage slabs. They are typically constructed by backfilling the area after the foundation is poured (or blocked) and pouring the concrete on top. Achieving proper and adequate compaction is often difficult and just not achieved in many cases. This, combined with time and freeze/thaw cycles creates voids under the garage slab. Concrete itself is heavy and can settle, but when we park vehicles on top of a garage slab that has voids under it? It is obviously a recipe for disaster!

Sinking Garage Floor – Solution

Call GCS for a thorough site evaluation. We’ll take the time to properly inspect the issue, which generally entails probing the slab to determine if there is indeed a void and/or unstable soil (and to what extent). Gathering this type of information is key to designing a proper repair plan and calculating the material amount.

Depending on the conditions found during site evaluation, there are a couple of different techniques we use (and oftentimes both). If the soil under the garage slab is soft and unstable to a certain depth, GCS will opt for the Deep Lift® method using Alchemy-Spetec‘s high-density polyurethane. The expanding structural foam creates a squeeze effect in the loose soil, essentially forming added support footings under the slab. Our other injection method, Slab Lifting, entails going through ⅜ inch holes drilled directly through the slab. The same structural foam described above is used. The expanding foam travels the path of least resistance, therefore, filling all void areas as well as compacting any loose soil. Once the soil is compact, the expansion of the foam creates the power to lift the slab. Our high-density polyurethane cures to 90% in fifteen minutes – which translates to the slab being traffic-ready by the time we are packing up our equipment.

Leveling and Stabilizing a Factory Floor

Recently Ground Consolidation Services was contacted by a South Carolina engineering and contracting firm for some help at an industrial food grade production plant. Due to poor compaction of the soils under the slab, cracking and settlement occurred. This was especially problematic because large injection mold machines sit atop this area and have to be level to work properly. Obviously having machines of this nature not running is quite costly to a production facility.

It was determined that soft unstable soils existed as far as 5 feet below the surface. GCS performed a series of deep soil injections using Alchemy-Spetec’s AP Lift 475, a high- strength hydro-insensitive polyurethane foam capable of supporting 14,000 lbs per square foot. The deep soil injection process used in this application is a form of compaction grouting designed to squeeze the loose soils in a confined space. Once the soil was stabilized, we injected directly through the slabs in order to lift them back to their original level position.

The facility engineers and managers were thrilled to get the machines back online, not to mention all this was done by lunchtime! These issues are all too common and unfortunately, a lot of people don’t know that these less invasive, less costly, and less time-consuming repair options are available. The alternative to our method would have been removal and replacement of the concrete. Could you just imagine the time, cost, and mess (especially in a food-grade facility)? If you see signs of concrete settlement, such as cracking or uneven joints, give us a call for a free evaluation!

Garage Floor Depression Leveled in Acworth, GA

Unstable Garage Slabs = Danger

The weight of the average automobile is currently around 4,000 pounds.  When dangerous voids or unstable soil undermine your garage floor slab, you are parking that two ton machine on a surface that could possibly collapse.

Lest you think we’re exaggerating, take a look at this 5th anniversary video of the floor collapse at the National Corvette Museum.  The video contains a recording of the 911 emergency call, juxtaposed against security cam footage of the concrete slab collapsing – taking some Corvettes with it.

Polyurethane Slab Repair

A homeowner in Acworth, GA recently noticed that his garage floor was depressed in the middle – bowing down towards the center of the garage.  He wisely called Ground Consolidation Services.  Our crews used Alchemy-Spetec’s AP Lift 430 polyurethane foam to stabilize the soil deep beneath the slab and also to lift it back into place.

See the before and after photos: The string was secured at either end of the garage – revealing the 1.75″ depression in the middle of the slab before the repair AND the almost non-existent depression after the repair.

Lifting & Stabilizing a House Foundation in Dunwoody, GA

A family in Dunwoody, GA recently began the process of refinishing their basement. The contractor they hired quickly noticed that the corner of the house was sinking into unstable soil. He wisely recommended that they find a deep soil lifting contractor, and they ended up contacting GCS.

When major structural elements are sinking, the repair procedure is different from your standard slab lift process in which high-strength polyurethane foam is injected just beneath the sunken slab. The deep structure lifting procedure consists of injecting high-strength polyurethane foam deep into the soil beneath the structure, solidifying and lifting the substrate – and leveling the structure in the process.

In this case, the GCS crew drove four temporary injection pipes eight feet down into the supporting soil (two injection pipes on each side of the sunken corner). They injected Alchemy-Spetec’s AP Lift 430 beneath the foundation and raised it back into place. The owners were glad to be back on track with their basement renovation project.

Stabilizing Slabs to Prevent Trip Hazards in Storage Facilities

Own or manage a storage facility with concrete slabs? The last thing you want is sunken concrete creating trip hazards for your customers and employees. Reduce your risk with a concrete slab inspection from Ground Consolidation Services. Even if you don’t notice any sunken slabs on your property, GCS can identify dangerous voids underneath your concrete with the Deep Look Ground Penetrating Radar system. Dangerous voids increase the chance of sinking or even catastrophic slab collapse.

Ground Consolidation Services lifts slabs and structures with high-strength polyurethane foam. We also use polyurethane to fill voids.

Concrete Leveling for Commercial Properties

Commercial Properties at Risk?

Are sinking slabs or structures putting your commercial property at risk?

Unlevel concrete parking lots, walkways, showroom floors, factory floors, warehouses, loading docks and more can adversely affect your property value and increase the chance of injury and costly litigation.

Concrete Leveling is the Solution

Ground Consolidation Services can scan the soil beneath your slabs and structures with ground penetrating radarfill dangerous voidsstabilize loose soil and lift sunken concrete to restore peace of mind and protect your property values.

Commercial and Residential Concrete Leveling

Ground Consolidation Services repairs slab and soil issues in both the commercial and residential sectors. Single homes, multi-unit residential complexes, factories, warehouses and retail showrooms are just a few of the property types we service. Slabs and structures are stabilized and/or lifted with high-strength polyurethane foam.

Residential Slab Lifting

GCS repairs sunken concrete slabs in the following types of residential structures and more…

  • Driveways
  • Pool Decks
  • Sidewalks

Commercial Slab Lifting

GCS repairs sunken concrete slabs in the following types of commercial structures and more…

  • Factory Floors
  • Warehouse Floors
  • Showroom Floors

Repairing Sinking Foundations in Atlanta

Lifting Foundations

Ground Consolidation Services uses a unique combination of high-quality structural lifting foams and equipment to address deep soil issues. We achieve soil densification and lifting on large projects with the smallest footprint and least amount of heavy equipment required.

Deep Lift™ Process

The Deep Lift™ process, featuring custom deep soil lifting foams from Alchemy-Spetec, is powerful, painless, and rapid. This procedure gets to the root of the problems in the soil as it brings the structure back to level. All of this is accomplished with minimal imposition or downtime to the property owner.

Deep Soil Lift Under Driveway and Garage in Atlanta

GCS recently performed  a deep soil lifting job for a homeowner in the Decatur area.  The homeowner noticed separation between the brick veneer on their garage and the surface of their driveway.  In addition, the garage door was not closing completely due to a settled driveway slab.

The GCS crew performed soil testing which revealed deep soil instability.  The top 20 feet or so of the soil beneath the garage and driveway turned out to be unstable.  This particular problem called for the Deep Lift process.  We used Alchemy-Spetec’s Deep Lift 420 to lift and compact the soil, which also leveled the slab above.

The whole procedure was performed in half a day.  The garage and driveway were immediately ready for use and the garage door was working normally again.

The GCS Advantage Part 3: Ground Penetrating Radar & Soil Testing

In this 3 part blog series, we’re taking a look at the 3 advantages to doing business with GCS vs. common alternatives you may find in the market.

These 3 advantages are:

  1. Using polyurethane vs cement.
  2. GCS best practices.
  3. Ground penetrating radar & soil testing.

In this 3rd post of the series, we’ll take a brief look at why our use of ground penetrating radar and soil testing provides you with a distinct advantage over the use of a common contracting company.

As we thoroughly explain in our previous blog post Soil Imaging & Testing, the use of ground penetrating radar and soil testing vastly improve the accuracy of the soil stabilization, void fill and slab lifting process. They also add an extra level of assurance for the property owner/manager, because imaging and testing can be done AFTER the repair process to demonstrate the extent of the work that was done underneath the surface. Take a moment to read through that previous post before proceeding. Now consider this…

Why would you use a contractor who can’t provide you with an objectively accurate picture of the problem AND the repair?  Do you want to rely on their guesswork instead?

We hope these last 3 blog posts have helped provide you with good sense of how we can make your repair process as painless and efficient as possible.