In the Pacific Northwest, as well as other areas of the country prone to wet conditions, landslides, settling earth, and eroding backfill are common problems. It is not unusual to see infrastructure crumbling where backfill has been washed away by rising waters. Obviously, these conditions make for a hazardous condition, especially if you aren’t prepared.

Beyond flooding, the occasional earthquake will rumble through the West coast, knocking items off shelves and jostling foundations. Even if the soil below was properly compacted, even minor shifts caused by earthquakes can compromise the integrity of the ground beneath heavy concrete slabs and other structures.

The shifting earth may also be caused by poor engineering. If all the proper testing isn’t performed beforehand, or local codes aren’t met during construction, the weight of a building could cause more compaction than expected. It won’t take long for foundations to crack, putting the building at risk.

Spray-On Foam has a solution for these issues. While we can’t pinpoint when the next flood, earthquake, or faulty construction will take place, our Geoform services will help solidify the ground underneath, allowing you to make necessary corrections. And it can be used in all matters of ground material, including sand, rocks, clay, and more.

What is Geofoam?

Jacking up foundation in southwest WA

Geofoam is a high-density foam that is used for underground applications. Spray foam is very light weight but adheres to all surfaces, making it a better substitute for mud or shotcrete. It can be used for slab jacking (lifting heavy items by injecting materials underneath) or stabilizing the ground beneath structures.

We use a special foam that is injected under high pressure. When the foam is pumped into the ground via pre-drilled ports, it will sink deep into the soil, finding any available channels and then curing out. It has been used to lift sunken highways as well as level out sidewalks.

That’s one of the advantages of using Spray-On Geofoam. Heavy mud or shotcrete needs to be injected into the ground just like geofoam but doesn’t have the expanding properties of our material. After the geofoam has been inserted into the ground, it does all the heavy lifting on its own!

, Slabjacking Washington and Oregon
Under slab insulation southwest WA

Under slab insulation

Before a slab is poured an insulation layer needs to be installed between the ground and the concrete. Commonly this is done with foam board. We also offer a sprayed system to make a seamless barrier between the two layers.

Using foam works in two very beneficial ways. First it acts as a insulator that will have no seams thus making it into a complete envelope that glues its self to all of the soil on the surface and wraps around any intrusion making it impossible for air to come up around pipes.

Foam is also a vapor barrier that has no seams so this would eliminate the need to put down plastic before the slab is poured.

Why Use Foam Over Mudjacking?

Concrete slab leveling in Battle Ground Washington
Concrete slab leveling in Battle Ground Washington

There are other reasons for using geofoam, too. Even though closed-cell foam is very dense, it’s much lighter when compared to the conventional mudjacking to fix sinking concrete structures. The reason the structure is sinking in the first place is because of weight.

Adding more heavy mud will mitigate settled earth, while geofoam is lightweight and will grow to enough pressure to lift concrete and also stabilize the soil underneath. Because it adheres to almost any kind of material, the earth will be held together during the next flood or quake.

Soil Stabilization

Soil stabilization is used in cases where the soil must stay in place, such as hillsides or earthworks. This is commonly done by putting walls, whether shooting shotcrete, or putting in a physical barrier. Large retaining walls are often used on the highway system to keep dirt from eroding away from overpasses.

By injecting foam you can achieve the same results under the surface of the soil. With expanding geofoam under the surface, the foam will act as a root to hold the soil together and make a barrier that is unseen. The top layer of dirt can then be held in place by vegetation.

Let Our Experience Work For You

During our nearly 50 years of experience working with expanded polystyrene (EPS) geofoam, Spray-On Foam has been able to serve both commercial and residential clients. From building retaining structures and other geotechnical applications for public infrastructure to improving the energy-efficiency of the home with a spray foam insulation system.

In addition to Geofoam, our high-performance products can be used in a variety of applications. Fireproofing, asbestos abatement, roofing, and even soundproofing. Interested in how our services can help your warehouse, climate-controlled facility, or another type of industrial plant? Get a free estimate today.

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