Unlevel Buildings

What does unlevel buildings mean?

Unlevel buildings are the result of weak ground and/or subsidence. The appearance of internal or external wall cracks, inability to open and close windows and doors, cracked floors and more can all signal an unlevel building.

Once a building becomes unlevel, it is important to fix it right away, or risk further damage and potential hazards. This requires foundation repair, footing repairs, and house re-levelling.

What causes unlevel buildings?

A loss of ground moisture, such as in drought conditions, can cause buildings to subside and become unlevel. The weight of the building causes it to sink, but the nature of soil and clay shrinkage is that the foundation subsidence is never usually uniform. Loss of support varies across the structure, often causing cracks to form.

Often, as the soil or clay becomes moist again and expands, some of the damage may be reversed. However, without ground compaction, all wall cracks are prone to reopen with the next extended dry period.

Earthquakes can cause unlevel buildings and soil liquefaction, which makes previously-stable soil behave like a liquid, causing buildings to become extremely unstable.

In many cases the damage that caused the building to become unlevel happens over very long periods of time, making it difficult to pinpoint the exact cause.

Regardless of the cause, subsidence repair is possible, and unlevel buildings can be re-levelled and re-supported.

Likely causes:

Water flooding the ground

Drought drying out soil

Washaways from broken pipes (such as water, sewer, stormwater drainage)

Poorly compacted fill

Liquid, gas or mineral resources being removed from the ground

Erosion

Earthquake and seismic activity, often resulting in liquefaction

Tree roots can suck moisture from the ground

Vibrations caused by heavy road traffic or by machinery

Absence of an organised footing system – in very old buildings or in buildings with additions or alterations

Nearby excavation

Heavy loading

Deterioration of retaining walls

How to fix unlevel buildings?

Mainmark specialises in raising, re-levelling, and re-supporting unlevel buildings by treating the foundation subsidence beneath them which, in turn, allows for the foundation slab to return to level. For example, we can inject structural resins into the foundation ground under the building’s footings for foundation repair and footing repairs. The resins expand together chemically, creating pressure. That pressure lifts the building back to its correct level. Then, if there are weak layers in the ground, continuing injection at deeper levels can resolve this by compacting the ground, densifying and strengthening it to increase its bearing capacity for the future.

Alternatively, we can undertake JOG computer-controlled re-levelling. Extremely successful in subsidence repair, this award winning method was used to relevel the Christchurch Art Gallery after it suffered building subsidence following an earthquake. JOG is a computerised level correction system that involves, in sequence and rapid succession, grout injection via multiple injection ports. This creates multiple localised hydraulic forces, strategically-arranged over large areas, to effectively float a structure back to level.

In some soil conditions, Mainmark can increase the bearing capacity of weak strata by as much as 500 per cent.

Mainmark’s concrete slab levelling methods are fast, efficient, and cost effective; they don’t require you to vacate the building while work is being done.

Various product warranties and Building Code requirements apply (please contact us to see which apply in your region or country).


Unlevel Buildings and Structures in Mining and Resources

Out-of-level structures create health and safety challenges in mining and resources environments. They can also bring operations to a halt, especially if a piece of equipment or a transport mechanism becomes unusable. For example, a stacker gantry crane rail could become unlevel, putting it out of action and stopping production. The risk of downtime and production losses makes it essential to fix this type of unlevel structure as fast as possible.

Mainmark’s foundation levelling methods can be used successfully on any structure of any size. For many years we have raised, re-levelled, and re-supported on-ground and in-ground mine-site structures, including:

  • Coal loader towers
  • Conveyer belt pedestal bases
  • Rock-breaker footings
  • Rail index machine slabs
  • Vehicle service centres & garages
  • Stacker reclaimer rails
  • Office buildings
  • Conveyer belt counter-weight towers
  • Railway lines
  • Engineering workshops
  • Parking areas
  • Loading docks

Key benefits of Mainmark’s foundation levelling methods include:

There is minimum disruption to the site, no excavation and no mess

Projects are completed in a time-frame significantly less than traditional methods

Non-invasive techniques mean further damage to the site, and the landscaping around it, is absolutely minimal

We don’t tear up areas or excavate ground, creating costly and time-wasting messes

Trip hazards are eliminated. Vehicles and machinery can run smoothly almost immediately

Re-levelling is completed in a fraction of the time of traditional methods. There’s no cutting out of old slabs and no waiting days for new slabs to cure

There are usually substantial cost savings, in comparison to traditional methods

Weight is no problem, in fact the greater the weight on the ground the more it can be compacted. Huge ground support can be created, especially when the area is loaded with weight

There’s minimal interruption to the site, operations can often continue while the work is being completed.

Mainmark building levelling methods used for Mining and Resources: