They can cause extensive structural damage as well as shock and anxiety to local residents, but when a sinkhole suddenly opens up, it’s not the end of the world thanks to a proven solution – foamed concrete from Propump Engineering – which can quickly fill these alarming underground voids.

Sinkholes are becoming more common across the UK in recent times and while they can be caused by a whole host of reasons including leaking drainage pipes, construction sites or redundant man-made features, our heavy rains have been a major contributor. While sinkholes are impossible to predict, they can swallow up everything from homes to cars and even sections of motorways.

In the last twelve months there have been some dramatic examples of sinkholes in the UK including the evacuation of homes in a quiet Hemel Hempstead cul-de-sac due to the sudden appearance of a 35 ft wide sinkhole led to the closure of the M2 motorway in Kent after a sinkhole appeared in the central reservation.

No matter what the scenario, it’s paramount that a stabilisation measure is implemented to prevent any further disruption. More recently a crown hole (caused by a man-made feature) opened up next to a house in Westerham, Kent, due to the collapse of a WWII tunnel. Propump Engineering were quickly mobilised to fill the void with foamed concrete.

With the hole having potential to undermine the foundations of the house, it was paramount that a temporary stabilisation measure was implemented to prevent any lateral expansion. Having worked with Propump Engineering on previous projects, Peter Brett Associates appointed the foamed concrete specialist once again to implement a foamed concrete solution.

Propump supplied 6m3 of foamed concrete to be pumped into the hole over a two day period. A strict envelope for the mix was specified, which Propump met in all aspects with a foamed concrete application of 1100 kg/m3 density. The work was further complicated when the initial 3m3 of concrete disappeared underground leaving the hole to be plugged a second time.

“Foamed concrete is an ideal solution for filling open voids particularly when access is good,” commented Stuart Chandler, Peter Brett Associates. “Propump were mobilised quickly and were able to plug the hole prior to the implementation of a longer term solution.”

Foamed concrete is pumpable, self-compacting and can mould itself to the shape of any void which in this case ensured the crown hole was plugged and the client’s home was not put at any further risk.

While sinkholes can make for dramatic headlines and have catastrophic results, foamed concrete from Propump Engineering is on hand to plug these underground voids quickly, efficiently and with minimal disruption.