How non-invasive ground improvement solutions can fortify foundations for new builds and renovations.
Advances in re-levelling products and processes for buildings have created cost-effective and less invasive alternatives to traditional underpinning methods. For builders and developers, Mainmark’s Teretek® engineered resin can be used as a ground improvement solution to increase the ground’s bearing capacity and help to re-level and re-support an existing structure. Strengthening the ground can also help avoid the need to replace foundations or rebuild sections of a dwelling when renovating or adding the extra load of an extension.
Extreme weather events including periods of drought followed by heavy storms can affect the ground on which a house sits, with changing levels of moisture causing soils to contract and expand. Many buildings in coastal areas also sit on sandy, shifting soils. These are just some of the environmental factors that can contribute to ground instability and weakness, leading to building subsidence. The resulting damage this can cause to a home, including uneven floors and cracks starting to appear in the structure, is often a catalyst for property owners to decide to undertake a renovation or extension.
Teretek engineered resin is injected into the foundation soils beneath a structure’s footings, in a process likened to key-hole surgery. The unique two-in-one solution delivers both ground improvement and re-levelling of the building by increasing ground bearing capacity, filling voids, and minimising soil deformation, at a significantly lower cost than traditional underpinning. Mainmark technicians inject the resin beneath the sunken sections of the affected structure using their fast, precise and controlled method. It’s possible to raise and re-level strip footings, raft slabs, and ‘waffle-pod’ slabs, as well as infilling slabs and driveways, using Teretek.
Issues can arise when building works, from single dwellings to multi-residential and commercial developments, are carried out without the appropriate foundation ground support. Defects such as cracks in walls and sinking foundations are likely signs of serious structural issues that may present or be exacerbated if ground bearing capacity is not addressed prior to adding a second storey or an extension to an existing structure.
While able to be used in a range of environments, including resolving complex ground engineering problems for civil infrastructure, residential, mining, commercial and industrial sectors, engineered resin is still an unfamiliar solution to some in the building industry. Resins have been used for more than 25 years and have a proven performance history. This is now internationally recognised as one of the most advanced ways to improve ground bearing capacity and re-level structures and a highly effective way to resolve issues quickly.
By Laurie Andrews
Laurie Andrews is Mainmark’s Business Development Manager for NSW & ACT. Laurie is a qualified civil and structural engineer with nearly 30 years experience working in the construction and engineering industry.