URETEK's Historic Church Foundation Repair in Houston

Jun 24, 2019

Annunciation has watched as Houston grew from approx. 9,332 to 2,300,000. Now, Houston is the nation’s 4th most populous city and recognized worldwide for its energy industry. Unfortunately, growth and expansion doesn’t suit historical structures well.

In 1997, due to severe structural problems and nearby construction the church’s century old Annunciation School was demolished. The Annunciation Catholic Church, itself, was deemed a Texas Historical Landmark in 1969, so when structural issues arise a gentle hand is needed to carefully make repaired.

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Foundation Repair at Historical Church

Through years of nearby construction and drainage fluctuations, Annunciation’s foundation took a hit. A large void had developed underneath the church’s southwest corner and, symptomatically, the foundation subsided. Having dealt with lengthy and disruptive repairs in the past, Annunciation wasn’t keen to go through the process again.

A URETEK Project Manager visited the church to evaluated the foundation problems and void area. The URETEK Method was recommended to repair the foundation because it is non-invasive and clean. The URETEK Method is a cleaner alternative to interior pilings and slurry pumping.

After learning about the URETEK Method and having been vouched for by engineers, Annunciation decided to proceed with URETEK Method for their Houston foundation repair.


Performing Polymer Injection at Church

Technicians began work at Annunciation by drilling multiple 5/8” holes through the southwest corner’s affected area. Polymer was, then, injected at low pressure below the slab. Within seconds of being injected the polymer starts expanding and filling voids. During expansion the soil is gently compacted and a dense aggregate of existing soil and polymer is formed. URETEK’s highly-skilled and experienced technicians monitor injections with computer levels and practical levels. Once voids were filled and the soil had reached its refusal point, the expanding polymer slowly lifted the church’s foundation. The process continued at each injection site until the voids were filled, stabilized and the foundation had been brought to acceptable elevations.

Work at Annunciation Catholic Church was completed in two days with minimal disruption to mass and parishioners. In fact, because the URETEK Method is zero-excavation, technicians would clean and vacate the area before mass and continue work after the congregation had dispersed—a benefit with which others cannot compete.

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