Warehouses and Factories

Sinking foundations in factories, un-level concrete floors, driveways and hardstand areas are common problems for warehouses and manufacturing complexes which suffer from subsidence.

Subsidence tends to happen where the original foundations of a facility are unsuitable for the ground it has originally been built on and can also be due to extreme weather conditions which put a strain on its foundations. If a factory floor drops, causing it to slope, the facility can fall below safe operational limits.

Mainmark specialise in non-invasive, cost effective solutions that rectify factory and warehouse subsidence and can provide stabilisation and ground improvement to lift and relevel the floor without affecting day-to-day operations.

What is subsidence and the causes?

Subsidence is the gradual downward movement of an area of ground, causing the foundations of a building or structure to become unstable. Some buildings can be more at risk than others when it comes to subsidence and there are various reasons it can occur, including:

The building has been built on clay soil that can easily be compressed

Soil underneath the building has not been correctly compacted

Water damage due to extreme weather or leaking drains has weakened the soil and its foundations

The foundations of the warehouse or factory are incomplete or poorly executed

Ground vibrations from passing traffic or nearby excavations

Changes in environmental factors such as drought drying out the soil

Signs of subsidence

One of the major signs of factory or warehouse subsidence is sinking floors or un-level joins in sections of the concrete slab. Sloping floors are easy to identify and will look unbalanced and tilted. You can also see the signs of building subsidence by examining the skirting around the floor and checking for any gaps or cracks.

Cracks in the walls are also another major sign of factory or warehouse subsidence. These tend to appear in the plaster work inside the building or in the brickwork outside and are usually diagonal, wider at the top than the bottom and thicker than a 10 pence piece (more than 3mm).

Other potential signs of subsidence in these facilities are:

  • Doors and windows not opening/closing correctly due to the movement of the building
  • Development of gaps between the door or window frames
  • Unexpected structural or water damage emerges
  • Water in a sink begins to flow in the opposite direction
  • Drainage and sewerage systems start to fail

Identifying subsidence quickly will help ensure the structure encounters no further damage. If you think you have subsidence in your building, get in touch with Mainmark here. Our experienced team will come out and inspect your facility, confirming whether or not it is subsidence and will then create an action plan to resolve the issue.

How does subsidence affect the workforce?

Factory and warehouse subsidence often results in sloping floors that are unacceptable for automatic high-bay forklift stacking devices and other similar operations. This means certain jobs cannot be done and therefore disrupts services, slowing the workforce down.

If left untreated, building subsidence can lead to higher business costs as the premise cannot be used for its purpose.

Furthermore, sinking warehouse floors could cause injury to the workforce. To ensure there is no risk to staff and to maintain a safe working environment, act quickly at the first signs of subsidence.

Can subsidence affect buildings insurance?

Your buildings insurance should cover any damage to sinking floors that are present in the facility caused by subsidence. It’s recommended that you contact your insurer at the first signs of subsidence so the problem can be taken care of efficiently. However, subsidence claims can be quite costly so the policy holder should bear in mind that there may be a high excess charge.

Please consider that for facilities with subsidence history, many insurers will refuse to insure the building.

How Mainmark can help

Mainmark offer unique, innovative solutions for rectifying factory and warehouse subsidence using some of the most reliable, practical and least disruptive methods of re-levelling for buildings.

Mainmark raise, re-level and re-support buildings and structures of any size, as well as correcting moving and sunken driveways, pavements, floors and machinery bases, and also strengthen and stabilise weak ground. Globally, we have successfully delivered projects at hundreds of manufacturing facilities.

Our specialist ground engineering team will visit the facility to assess the damage and create a plan to resolve the issue.

Mainmark can repair cracks in walls, sinking floors, concrete slabs in warehouses that have sunk or are uneven, and ground that is no longer strong or stable enough to support the foundations. Where appropriate, our expert team will conduct a sub-soil investigation, assessing the soil conditions before and after treatment by measuring the compaction of the soil using portable hand-operated measurement devices.

Using our specialist key-hole surgery approach, the work is carried out with minimal disruption to your business. There is no need for us to remove any major parts of the building or for you to move out. Warehouse subsidence is solved by drilling very small diameter holes through the ground slab or foundation in order to install our injection tubes – injection holes can be as little as 6mm!

In many cases, the workforce can remain in operation of the complex throughout the remediation process and you may not even need to relocate stock or machinery. Mainmark work with you to ensure the re-levelling process is as convenient as possible.

Benefits of Mainmark’s methods

Non-invasive techniques that cause little disruption to the warehouse

Time efficient – our methods are much quicker than traditional ground improvement or underpinning approaches

Weak ground is strengthened and buildings become level, crack-free and more stable

Further damage to the warehouse is avoided

No mess – our key hole technique means there is no concrete dust, water or clean up

Slab movement and deterioration is eliminated

As floors and hardstands are re-levelled, there is less stress on vehicles and forklifts can operate safely