What is chemical grouting?
The first thing to know about sinkhole repair is that there are two major methods: grouting and underpinning. In many cases, a successful repair uses both of these methods: the grout to stabilize the soil under the property, and the underpinning to solidify the property’s place on the land itself. Sometimes, however, simple cement grouting doesn’t do the trick, and one must look to chemical grouting.
Why do we need chemical grouting?
As aforementioned, cement grouting is used to stabilize soil that has been affected by a sinkhole. It does this by filling in the holes in the soil to thicken the land, which can prevent another sinkhole or further damage to your home. As one can assume, cement grouting uses a cement mixture to harden the soil.
However, sometimes cement grouting is not the most effective method of thickening soil. In conditions like sand, clay, and rock, cement grouting works just fine; however, cement is not as conducive as a thickening agent in shallow, more organic soils. In these cases where cement does not bind, chemical grouting is more useful. With chemical grouting, the grout itself can provide the stability needed in the soil, as opposed to depending on the soil to create the support for your property.
How is chemical grouting used?
In some situations, both chemical grouting and cement grouting are used to create more stable soils. More and more, engineering firms are calling for chemical grouting in the first 10 feet or so, which can stabilize the more shallow soils. This product is not made of cement but is made of polyurethane or other material made to expand and fill the voids beneath the structure. Therefore, where the soil itself can’t help to stabilize your property, the chemicals in the grout step in and quite literally fill the holes.
Above all else, it is important to remember that your insurance company is responsible for returning your home to its “pre-loss” condition. It is our opinion, as sinkhole lawyers, that Florida law requires a consideration of using chemical grouting to properly and legally fix the sinkhole damage. We would suggest you ask your insurance company and your engineering firm to counsel you on your options.