Deep Injection for Sinkholes
The URETEK Deep Injection© Method offers customers a time and money saving solution for sinkhole repairs.
- Weather events in regions with rain and floods have caused an extreme amount of sinkhole issues.
- When initiating a sinkhole repair, the objective is to prevent further movement of loose material and remove the triggering mechanism that causes the sinkhole.
- Repair methods are varied depending on the economics and location of the sinkhole.
- Many sinkhole remediation options can be costly and time-intensive – requiring the use of heavy machinery, a wide range of repair materials, and much manpower.
Causes of Sinkholes
Sinkholes can result from the collapse of the roof of a cave (called cover collapse) but typically it is the piping of unconsolidated material from one location to another that causes most sinkhole events. This means that underground soil particles erode and wash through channels in the subsoil down through the Karst drains (Karst: a geologic formation shaped by the dissolution of a layer or layers of soluble bedrock, usually carbonate rock such as limestone or dolomite). Water is generally the primary triggering mechanism for sinkholes. Below is an infographic to common origins of sinkhole formation.
Traditional Sinkhole Repair Methods
Repair methods are varied, and the method used depends largely on economics and the location of the sinkhole. The method and materials needed to fill in a small sinkhole in a backyard or in a rural area can be quite different from those needed to repair a sinkhole in the middle of a street or under an occupied home or business in a highly urbanized area. Repair tools and material vary greatly as well. The two primary goals of sinkhole repair are:
- Stabilization Area – By stopping loose material from flushing down into the drain (a fissure in the bedrock that returns water to the aquifer)
- Prevent Recurrence – By removing the triggering mechanism and its source. It is important to understand why the failure occurred so that a durable repair can be made.
During repair, the sinkhole’s triggering mechanism must be addressed in order to minimize additional soil settlement or sinking. As water is generally the primary triggering mechanism, it is necessary to identify and remove to the extent the possible source of the water that may have caused the sinkhole. It is better to construct the plug (drain stopper) directly at the location of the bedrock drain. This allows the plug to be in direct contact with the bedrock, providing a better seal.
Sinkholes in which no bedrock is encountered, and where the soil cover is thick, require careful geologic analysis followed by various costly repair methods, ranging from pressure grouting (also called permeation grouting) in the subsurface, to driven piles having concrete caps and gravel-mat backfilling.
Traditional Sinkhole Remediation Methods & Challenges
There are many challenges associated with sinkholes and the traditional methods that are used to repair them:
- Heavy machinery is often required to repair sinkholes. This equipment can require a lot of manpower to get it to the site and to operate it.
- A wide variety of materials and mixes are typically needed for a repair, including concrete, soil, grout, synthetic filter fabrics, and various sizes and mixtures of crushed stone.
- Injection holes for the repair materials are large and very invasive.
- High pressure is required to pump the heavy grout to the location of the repair.
- There is no expansion strength in the repair materials used, so over lift occurs to compensate for any shrinkage that may occur.
- More water is introduced when using a cementitious grout – adding more weight (approx 135 lbs per cubic foot) to already distressed soils.
The Best Solution: URETEK’s Deep Injection© Process
The URETEK Deep Injection© Process is one of the best ways to repair a shallow sinkhole. Because severe structural damage can result from shallow sinkholes, immediate and conclusive sinkhole repair is critical.
URETEK Deep Injection is a combination of chemical, compaction and permeation grouting that will not cause environmental damage, stabilizes the soil at perimeter of the throat, can fill and plug the throat, and can cap the soil pipes, filling the voids and micro-fissures within the soil at the injection site. The unique URETEK geo-polymer is the key factor in the repair.
While traditional chemical grouting fills the soil cavities and pores with a waterproof material, it does not have expansion characteristics of the URETEK process.
The URETEK Deep Injection© Process gives long-term stability to the area affected by the shallow sinkhole and is the best solution for shallow sinkholes and sinkholes that occur close to the surface where compaction grouting is not an option. The URETEK Deep Injection© Process is the safest and most accurate method of filling sinkhole voids and densifying loose soils that exist within 15 feet of the surface.
The Deep Injection© Advantage
- Fast–the unique repair process requires no digging, and projects can often be completed in hours or days. With traditional sinkhole repair methods, additional digging can be required and the time required for project completion can last weeks.
- Effective – The URETEK geo-polymer has been used to successfully complete over 85,000 projects nationwide. The lightweight, expansive geo-polymer material not only realigns concrete liabilities but also addresses the problem at the source – giving the customer a long-lasting solution.
- Economical – The repair process is priced consistently below alternative repair methods, and implementing repairs significantly reduces the chance for further repair costs down the road.
- Minimally Disruptive – Unlike other repair methods, the URETEK process is minimally disruptive to the surrounding elements – which could be home residents, building workers, or vehicle traffic (depending on sinkhole location).
- Durable – The URETEK geo-polymer that is used in the repair process is specially formulated for stability and strength – even in the harshest environments. The URETEK geo-polymer is moisture resistive, and the Deep Injection process is guaranteed against loss of dimensional stability or deterioration.
- Safe – Liability risk is greatly reduced by the repair process, as a result of a safer environment. The process and material are eco-friendly and meet today’s high environmental standards.
Understanding The URETEK Deep Injection© Process
The goal of any sinkhole repair is to quickly and effectively achieve a stabilized environment with minimal intrusion on the affected property. A properly executed sinkhole repair requires the expertise of URETEK ICR Affiliates. URETEK ICR Affiliates specializes in stabilization applications, with the use of its revolutionary URETEK geo-polymer.
The URETEK geo-polymer technology was developed through a partnership with leading chemists at Bayer Material Science. The geo-polymer material is formulated to be lightweight yet have powerful lifting and stabilization features, and maintains impressive compressive strength under the heaviest of loads. The geo-polymer is also proven effective and environmentally safe in over 85,000 projects worldwide over the past 25 years.
The Choice is Clear
RETEK’s Deep Injection® Process provides a cost effective, fast, and safe solution to for sinkhole remediation. As the pioneer and patented holder of the Deep Injection Process, URETEK ICR offers a proven, long-term solution for residential, commercial, industrial, and infrastructure sinkhole repair. The end result is a properly repaired sinkhole environment with stabilized strata that is durable and will provide maximum efficiency for years to come. URETEK ICR network of affiliates are exclusive applicators of The URETEK Deep Injection© Process.
URETEK ICR is associated with an international network of URETEK companies located in 80 countries, with exclusive rights in the United States to international patented technologies. Globally, URETEK companies have completed over 100,000 successful jobs, and utilize over 30 years of real world project experience. URETEK ICR focuses on resolving complex concrete lifting, soil stabilization and infrastructure rehabilitation projects for industrial, commercial, and residential properties, infrastructures, and assets.
In addition to sinkhole repair, the Deep Injection Process is an effective solution for infrastructure sealing and repairs, including emergency restoration. The versatility of the URETEK geo-polymer makes it ideal for repairs involving manholes, sewer systems, dams and levees.
Watch Now: Deep Injection Animation