An Innovative Solution For Unstable Infrastructure
With Geolift Baltic
Posted: 8th February 2022 16:44The ground underneath us is constantly shifting. No matter how many skyscrapers we build, or tonnes of concrete we use, there is little that can be done about the propensity for movement down below. In the past, any building or surface that has become unstable due to movement beneath the foundations would have been incredibly difficult or even impossible to repair without demolishing and starting from scratch. Thankfully, 1980 saw the invention of a solution from the innovative company Geolift Baltic, who have been refining and developing the practice ever since. Here we take an in-depth look at the revolutionary technique.
What Causes Instability?
Ground instability can be caused by a number of factors. Natural factors include earthquakes and the shifting of tectonic plates. In most cases, however, the cause is manmade. Failure to carry out geological surveys and ensure quality execution during the design or construction of a building might eventually damage the structure. Poorly planned reconstruction can also overload foundations.
In addition, leaking utilities, such as water supply, heating networks, or sewerage, can weaken the ground underneath. If these processes continue for a long time, the structure might eventually crack or collapse. In an industrial space, heavy loads such as aircrafts can compress the soil underneath the surface, leading to sunken concrete, asphalt or paving stones. This can very quickly become dangerous with continued use.
What Is The Solution?
The Geolift solution is used to stabilise the soil, lifting and levelling any sunken floor or foundation. It involves the injection of a geopolymer into the ground to increase the load-bearing capacity, through drilled 10-12mm holes to depths determined by geological analysis. Geopolymer then flows smoothly into gaps and weak zones within the soil mass below.
The expanding substance compacts surrounding soils and applies controlled pressure on targeted areas of the affected pavement, and injections continue until the pavement or structure is restored to its former shape and position. The geopolymer quickly changes into a strong, dimensionally stable, and water-resistant material, providing many years of durability. Not only is the result visually pleasing, but works can be carried out cleanly and quickly without damaging, excavating, or demolishing the building or surrounding space.
The solution works well for stabilising failing residential foundations, which can be identified by cracks in the walls, sloping or sunken floors and sagging windows and doors. Safety can be restored and further damage prevented easily with no need for the movement of furniture or for the relocation of residents. In an industrial space, the levelling can be used on any sunken object, building or surface, with minimal business interruption. The ground underneath heavy aircrafts can be stabilised, while all pavements (asphalt roads, railways, dams, etc.) can be lifted to their original height and shape. Under those surfaces, the voids are filled with a stable and long-lasting geopolymer that withstands heavy loads and provides even more support.