MOUNT AIRY, NC— Seneca Rocks Discovery Center, the visitor's center for the eastern U.S.'s most popular rock-climbing destination located in Pendleton County, WV, had a growing problem common to concrete slab foundations: erosion of the soil beneath the slabs created voids that left areas of the center with uneven spots and settled anywhere from one-to-three inches. That led to cracks in interior walls, uneven floors, and trip hazards for the thousands of visitors to the area's most popular scenic attraction. Seneca Rocks is a striking 900 ft peak that features over 375 mapped climbing routes varying in degree of difficulty from easier 5.0 to the hardest 5.13, and attracts climbers from around the world.
Any solution to the problem had to be quick, clean, affordable, and not cause inconvenience for the daily visitors to the U.S. Forestry Service building. “They can't just close down,” said Eddie Bolton, president of Mid-South Concrete Leveling, Milan, TN, the company chosen to help solve the problem. “This is a world-class climbing venue. They have visitors coming from all over to climb and visit, so they couldn't just close down the building for repairs.”
Bolton says ten years ago the U.S. Forestry Service would have been out of luck, as there were only two solution: close down, tear out the concrete, fill the voids, and repour the slabs which can take months, or mudjacking which involves closing down most of the area, drilling large holes in the concrete which causes a good deal of dust, and using large hydraulic hoses to pump in a slurry of “mud”, a grout made up soil, crushed limestone and concrete to fill the void and lift the sunken slabs to level. It'smessy, time-consuming, and, again, requires the facility to close part if not all of the facility being worked on for weeks, maybe months.
Bolton, who has 40 years of experience with the effects of erosion on concrete slab foundations, sidewalks, and curbs, suggested Seneca Rocks use a newer technology called TerraThane Geotechnical Polyurethane Foam System by the U.S. company, NCFI Polyurethanes. “We call it foamjacking,” says Bolton. “It only took us three-and-a-half days to partition off the immediate small areas in which we worked drilling small 5/8 inch holes in the slabs, running small lines to pump in polyurethane foam that filled the voids in the soil, lifted the slabs to level, and cured in place in no time at all. It's so much cleaner, quicker, and less intrusive to work of the Discovery Center.”
TerraThane is an ideal product for this work. Not only is it easier to use, it’s actually lighter than mud grout—4 lbs. compared to 130 lbs. of concrete grout—so it doesn’t further destabilize the surrounding soil by adding all that pressure.” Bolton adds, “NCFI has been manufacturing foam in the U.S. for 50 years, so they know what they are doing, and we trust them. TerraThane is the future of concrete leveling, soil stabilization, void filling, and geotechnical problem-solving areas, there’s no doubt about that.”
For more information or to arrange an interview on this subject contact Dale McGlothlin, (202) 341-8615
NCFI, headquartered in Mt. Airy, NC since 1964, manufactures polyurethane foam chemical systems for spray foam-in-place insulation (SPF), geotechnical, agricultural, roofing, marine floatation, packaging, specialty molding, and many other uses. The company also offers a complete line of flexible foams for furniture seating, transportation seating, bedding, carpet underlay, and packaging. NCFI also has manufacturing plants in Hickory, N.C., Dalton, GA., and Salt Lake City, UT. To learn more about NCFI please visit www.NCFI.com.