19 March 2020
By Michael Walsh By Michael Walsh

A Ground Engineering Game-Changer.

Some cracks are nothing to worry about, others can cost you thousands.

If you’ve got one big enough to stick your little finger in (about 5mm or wider), it could be due to subsidence. If you’ve got sloping floors and doors or windows that are jammed and won’t close too… it’s almost definitely due to subsidence.

Subsidence can be caused by unstable ground, extreme weather conditions, leaking pipes and inferior concrete foundations. Whatever the culprit, your property’s value is at risk and it needs fixing.

Traditionally, underpinning has been the solution. This tried and tested method has been used for more than 100 years by big companies like Aarsleff Ground Engineering, Abbey Pynford, KELLER, Franki Foundations and Roger Bullivant in the UK.

While underpinning is reliable, it can be very costly and take weeks to complete. That’s only if you don’t need consultancy from external engineers or a council permit – which are sometimes needed and take even more time.

The underpinning process is also highly invasive. Properties must be vacated throughout. That means moving families out of their homes and businesses out of their offices – which is inconvenient. On top of this, the heavy machinery required for the process can cause lasting damage to the surrounding landscape.

Now, underpinning is not the only option. Modern resin injection provides a quicker, more cost-effective and less invasive solution.

Resin injection just requires a couple of technicians and a self-contained truck (to carry the equipment). The injection locations are determined by the technician and then the resin is applied through very small holes (typically 6mm to 16mm in diameter). On entering the ground, the polymer resin solution mixes together and quickly expands within minutes, placing pressure on the ground and compressing the surrounding soil.

During the process, the building is constantly monitored using laser levels. Once the resin is in the ground, it remains inert and does not break down. The process is clean and quiet, has minimal impact on homeowners and neighbours and leaves gardens and landscaping undisturbed.

I spoke to Victor Chirilas who’s the UK Operations Manager at Mainmark - one of the few companies providing this solution. Victor has worked at Mainmark around the globe and has extensive industry experience.

It raises the building back up quickly, cleanly and quietly.”

Victor Chirilas, UK Operations Manager at Mainmark

While he is obviously a big advocate of Mainmark’s Teretek resin injection solution, we agreed that prevention is equally, if not more, important.

Mainmark are now growing in the UK, where they’ve been present since 2016. Whilst a significant portion of their business is in the residential sector, they are expanding into more sectors such as commercial and industrial, and this is helping them improve their offering and provide customers more bespoke solutions.

No problem is ever the same. Some require a combination of approaches to achieve the best results. So, as we grow, we find more ways to support our customers’ needs.”

Victor Chirilas, UK Operations Manager at Mainmark

Mainmark’s offering in the UK isn’t as broad as in their native Australia, with the focus over here being on the non-invasive ground strengthening solutions. Given the more extreme weather conditions ‘down under’ and the 25 plus years of Mainmark’s operation, a wider variety of solutions are available.

In the UK market, Geobear are also offering resin injection.

Quicker, more cost-effective and less invasive; resin injection is a viable solution across all areas of the construction sector. While underpinning still has its place, I’m excited to see how this technology develops.

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