Tag: soil stabilization

28Oct 2015

Great Sinkholes Documentary – Buried Alive

By Robert Armstead

In a recent PBS sinkholes documentary produced for the NOVA series, Sinkholes – Buried Alive, viewers learn about the geology that sets the stage for sinkholes across the globe, including karsts, limestone, gypsum, rock layers, salt domes and sandy soil.

The documentary also covers the warning signs for sinkholes and some of the experiments that geologists are conducting to understand how fast a sinkhole can occur, as well as the devastating effects of a massive storm dumping water onto the earth’s surface after water has been pulled from an aquifer for irrigation.

Most important, viewers learn about the different technologies and applications to detect and protect people and property from emerging sinkholes, including ground penetrating radar (GPR), soil testing, and different methods of soil stabilization.

27Jul 2015

Rehabilitating Soils to Increase the Bearing Capacity Under Milk Storage and Grain Handling Facilities

By Robert Armstead

Silos are storage systems designed to contain massive amounts of weight within a concentrated area and vary in size, ranging from 20-80 feet tall with diameters of 12-30 feet. Some storage facilities have more than one or two silos sitting in a small area.  When the silos are full, the significant weight can impact settlement of the foundation and/or the foundations of nearby structures.

In addition to the consolidated weight of tanks that hold liquid and grain storage bins, the surrounding processing facilities get a lot of traffic as well. There is a constant stream of trucks, mostly loaded with heavy cargo, coming and going from the facility. When there is a rail spur next to the facility, the soils underneath and around the grain bins, silos, and mission critical buildings are taxed with even more weight.  Consequently, there is a lot of weight consolidated into a relatively small area around these crucial, very busy facilities.

After heavy rainfall like…

15Jun 2015

Soil Stabilization under 100-Year-Old FDNY Firehouse

By Robert Armstead

Fire stations are critical in serving the diverse needs of the community where they are located, as well as the fire department they report to.  The New York City Fire Department (FDNY) protects more than 8,000,000 New York City residents living and working in a 320 square mile radius.  The FDNY is the largest fire department in the United States.

The FDNY serves the five boroughs of New York City and includes 255 fire stations.  Each fire station’s differences relate to the size of the firefighting apparatus housed within it and the facility’s location, which is largely driven by the need to minimize response time.  The FDNY Engine Companies are tasked with securing a water supply and extinguishing the fire while the FDNY Ladder Companies conduct search and rescue, forcible entry, and ventilation at the scene of a fire.


26Mar 2015

Foundation Damage Caused By Melting Snow and Ice

By Robert Armstead

The winter of 2015 will go down in the history books as one of the snowiest. In fact, as of March 15, 2015, Boston had accumulated a total of 108.6 inches of snow.  This was the most amount of snowfall since the city started tracking weather back in 1872.  It has also been a brutally cold winter across the entire Northeast.  Once again, Boston broke records, averaging only 16.1 degrees in February.

After a long season of shoveling, snow blowing and digging out the car in order to go anywhere, warmer weather is a welcome signal that spring is almost here.  Experts predict that this spring’s runoff from melting snow and ice will be the worst we’ve had in the last 15 years. Unfortunately, melting snow and ice can cause damage to houses and other buildings and may uncover some unwelcome cracks in the foundation.  As a…

20Jan 2015

URETEK Stabilizes Flex Space Footings and Walls

By Robert Armstead

Flex space buildings can run as large as 60,000 square feet, or more.  What makes them unique is the ability to move walls and change the configuration of the space based on a tenant’s needs. When weak bearing soils cause footing and slab settlement, it can create structural problems interfering with the tenant’s operations.

This is what happened at the JLL Townpark warehouse in Kennesaw, GA. When the vinyl composition tile (VCT) began to pop off the floor, causing trip hazards, and the ceiling grid buckled and ceiling tiles began to fall, URETEK Holdings was called in to analyze the cause and propose a repair for the least invasive method for stabilizing the soils supporting the building.  

Cracks appearing…