Leaning Chimney Fixes and Repairs

Repairing A Leaning Chimney

A leaning chimney is more than unsightly, it can be hazardous and should be repaired Leaning chimney repair by Grout Techquickly. Falling bricks could injure a person or damage property. If the chimney is leaning, it can allow water and pests to invade your home and if the interior liner is cracked, dangerous gases could enter, causing health risks for your family. A leaning chimney may also be a sign of bigger foundation problems and should be fixed by an expert.

Aside from being a potential hazard, a leaning chimney can lower your home value and, when combined with other signs, may be an indication that your foundation has been damaged. These signs include uneven floors, sticking windows and bowed or leaning walls. A compromised foundation should be repaired as soon any damage is found. The professionals at Grout Tech can inspect your home and give you an estimate, making sure your home is safe and secure.

The Chimney-Foundation Connection

The chimney is connected to your foundation, so a problem with your chimney is probably impacting the rest of your home. The chimney is built on a concrete pad or footing. This pad may or may not have been poured at the same time as the foundation, but it will still be affected by the same issues, regardless. Some causes of a leaning chimney are an undersized or shallow footing, poor soil, or a damaged or missing pad. Some problems that can cause issues for your foundation, along with your chimney, are soil erosion, sinkholes, poor construction techniques or organic causes such as trees or roots.

Grout Tech has the expertise and quality products to fix your leaning chimney. We utilize the best tool for the situation, such as helical piers or steel piers to create a solid foundation for your chimney. Helical piers resemble giant screws and are driven into the ground, past the compromised soil, into a more solid foundation. The chimney is righted and then fastened to the piers, making the chimney as solid as ever, if not more. Steel piers work under a similar idea but are rods that are pushed into the more secure soil. The experts at Grout Tech will work with you to make sure you have the best solution for your particular need of chimney repair.

Alabama Foundation Repair Needs – Repair Common Problems

Foundation Repair in Alabama

Whether your home in Alabama has a foundation that is a basement, crawlspace or Foundation repair in Alabama by Nichols/GroutTechslab, they are all susceptible to foundation problems. Foundation problems in Alabama can stem a variety of reasons such as:

  • Poor construction at time of build
  • Shifting soil due to changes in the water content
  • The home’s weight bearing down on the foundation
  • Trees and bushes growing too close to the foundation, drinking up the water in the soil

When the foundation of a home starts to fail, problems will begin to appear throughout the home. Once a problem begins, it will only become worse as the home ages, causing complete foundation failure. Let the experts at Nichols/GroutTech come and give you a free inspection and offer you the best foundation repair in Alabama to get your foundation stabilized and keep it strong for many years to come.

Knowing some of the signs of a foundation problem is the first step in getting your repair done before more damage occurs throughout your home. Some of the things to look for are:


  • Bowing or leaning walls
  • Wall cracks
  • Floor cracks
  • Stair step cracks in the brick


  • Leaning post supports
  • Bottom of posts are not resting firmly on the floor of the crawlspace
  • Wood rot
  • Puddles in crawlspace


  • Wall cracks
  • Floor cracks

Some of the other signs to look for throughout your home that may indicate a foundation problem are:

  • Sticking doors and windows
  • Sloping floors
  • Leaning chimney
  • Garage column cracks
  • Porch and stoop problems
  • Ceiling cracks
  • Floor cracks

At the first sign of a foundation problem, let the professionals at Nichols/GroutTech come and inspect your Alabama home and offer you the best foundation repair in Alabama solutions.

Foundation Repair Solutions in Alabama

Nichols/GroutTech uses underpinning products such as helical piers and steel piers along with pressure grouting of soils to repair foundations.

Helical piers and steel piers are used for foundation repair by driving the piers deep into the earth through the unstable soil layers until they reach a solid soil layer. Then each pier is individually load tested and the entire weight of the structure is lifted onto the piers to level and stabilize the foundation.

Nichols/GroutTech also uses compaction/pressure grouting to strengthen weak soils. Our compaction grouting techniques are used for pre-construction site improvement, to stop foundation settlement, rectify sinkhole problems and lift and level slabs and foundations. Compaction/pressure grouting is the injection of a very stiff grout mixture that is pumped at very high pressure into specific areas in the soil to strengthen the weakened soil.

All of the products used for foundation repair in Alabama by Nichols/GroutTech are manufactured by Earth Contact Products (ECP), the leader in the manufacturing of foundation repair products in the industry.

Nichols/GroutTech was founded in 1981 and has established an outstanding reputation in Alabama. With the experience of our team and because we use only the best products in the industry, you can be assured that your foundation repair will be done right the first time and will keep your foundation strong for many years to come.

Don’t let a small foundation problem turn into a larger one. Let Nichols/GroutTech give you a free inspection and find the best foundation repair solution for your Alabama home. Contact us today.



Spring is the Time for Foundation Repairs in Alabama

It’s Time to Inspect your Alabama Foundation

Now that Spring is finally here, now is the time to look around your home and look for Signs of foundation failure in your Alabama homethe signs that your foundation may be in need of repair. The winter weather can cause the soil to expand beneath your foundation because more moisture is retained in the soil. This expanding soil pushes the foundation upward, causing it to heave. This along with the Spring rains ready to come, it is a good idea to make sure your foundation is safe. If you see any of the following signs of foundation failure, the professionals at Grout Tech can help get your foundation back to its original stability and keep it structurally sound for many years to come.

Signs to look for as you inspect your home are:

As a homeowner, protect your investment by making sure that if you see any of these signs, you call the professionals at Grout Tech to come and inspect your home and give you the best solution for your foundation repair needs in your Alabama home.

How Spring Rains can Affect your Birmingham, Al Home

The primary reason for foundation problems is the expansive nature of the soil in which your home and foundation sits on. This is especially true in the Birmingham, AL area. The moisture content, especially with the Spring rains, causes the soil to expand and your foundation to heave. Regardless of how well your home was constructed, this movement will affect your home’s foundation.

As the Spring rains will expand the soil, other areas underneath the foundation may be experiencing the lost of moisture due to several factors such as tree roots consuming the moisture from the soil, causing the soil to shrink in that area. So the soil beneath your foundation can shrink much faster in some areas causing the differential settlement in the home’s structure.

Signs of foundation settlement should always be monitored and if any of these signs are significant, a professional should be called in to inspect the foundation. The professionals at Grout Tech are experienced in knowing the difference between what signs are not significant and what signs indicate the need for foundation repair.

Solutions for Foundation Problems in Alabama

After your Alabama home has been inspected for foundation failure, and it is found that Solutions for foundation repair in Alabamarepair is needed, the professionals at Grout Tech has the experience and products to get the repair done and get your foundation structurally sound again.

Depending on what your repair needs are, Grout Tech has the solutions. These include:

Helical piers are excellent at resisting tension and are used to lift and stabilize the foundation of a structure. These helical piers are installed by drilling into the ground, far enough to reach stable soil. They are an excellent choice for foundation repair and stabilization when light structural loads, unstable rock basements or very deep load bearing layers are present. They are a good solution due to many factors such as:

  • Ease of installation
  • Little to no vibration
  • Immediate load transfer
  • Easily load tested
  • Installs below active soils
  • Can be installed in all whether
  • Little to no disturbance to job site

Steel piers are the most common foundation repair product used today. These are an excellent choice for structural foundation repairs on settling foundations. Steel push piers support and stabilize the structure’s load bearing walls by transferring the weight of the structure from weaker soils onto the steel piers after they have been driven deep to load bearing soils.

All of the products used by Grout Tech are the best in the industry. They are made by Earth Contact Products (ECP), the leader in the manufacturing of foundation repair products in the industry. Not all foundation products are made the same. When you contact the professionals at Grout Tech, you are getting experts with over 30 years of experience along with the best products made for foundation repair. We repair commercial, industrial, municipal, and residential repair needs.

Let Grout Tech inspect your Alabama home and give you the best solution for your foundation repair needs. Don’t hesitate, contact us today!



What Exactly IS Underpinning?

Understanding Underpinning and the Benefits for Your Alabama Foundation

Underpinning is the process of strengthening the foundation of an existing building. It is necessary when any of these issues are present:

  • The original foundation is not strong or stable enough anymoreUnderpinning for foundation repair
  • The soil supporting the foundation has changed
  • The construction of nearby structures makes it necessary to excavation the soil supporting the existing foundation
  • To increase the load capacity of existing foundation to support the addition of another level to existing buildings
  • Natural causes such as an earthquake, flood, or drought have caused the structure to move

Underpinning extends the foundation in depth so it rests on more supportive soil stratum and distributes the load across a greater area.

Some signs to look for that may indicate foundation failure are:

If you see any of these signs of foundation failure, the professionals at Grout Tech can inspect your home and offer you the solutions for getting your foundation back to its original level.

Underpinning Products Available in Alabama for Residential, Commercial Foundations

Grout Tech offers many underpinning solutions for your foundation repair needs.

Helical Piers – these are used for applications where these is a need to resists a tension or compressing force. Some of the advantages of using helical piers for foundation repair are:

  • Ease of installation
  • Little to no vibration
  • Immediate load transfer upon installation
  • Easily load tested to verify capacity
  • Installs below active soils
  • Can be installed in all weather conditions
  • Little disturbance to jobsite

Steel piers are the most common repair products used for foundation repair today. They are used to support and stabilize the structure’s load bearing walls by transferring the weight of the structure from weaker soils onto the steel piers that are driven deep to load bearing soils. These steel piers are an end-bearing pier that does not rely upon nor requires skin friction to product support. Each of the steel piers are field load tested after installed. They are load tested individually using the maximum weight of the structure as the reaction force. A friction reduction collar is attached to the lead section of the pier pipe. The purpose of the collar is to create an opening in the soil that has a larger diameter than the pier pipe. This reduces the skin friction on the pier pipe at it is driven into the soil. The installed can then load test and verify that the pier encountered firm bearing stratum that is suitable to support the design load. During the load transfer, high pressure hydraulic jacks are place at multiple locations, reducing the load on each pier to only the design working load.

Helical tiebacks – These are designed to stabilize and strengthen bowing basement Foundation repair using helical tiebackswalls. The helical tiebacks are installed from inside the basement wall through a small hole. Along with exterior excavation, the wall can be immediately pulled back to its original design. Other uses for helical tiebacks are:

  • Sea walls
  • Retaining walls
  • Shoring
  • Temporary wall support

Slab jacking – Concrete slabs can be susceptible to settlement. Slab jacking can be done in any weather and there is little disruption to landscaping. Holes are strategically placed into the slab and a portable pump fills these holes with a special mixture of sand, cement, and other additives, this lifts the slab back to its original position. Slab jacking will save your money by not having to replace the entire slab.

Grout Tech uses only the best products made for foundation repair. Earth Contact Products (ECP), is the leading manufacturer of foundation repair products made in the industry. Nichols/Grout Tech was founded in 1981 and has earned the reputation of a premier contractor for foundation repair in the Southeast. Because of our experience and use of the best products made for foundation repair, you can be assured that the job will be done right and there won’t be a need for future foundation repair needs. Contact the professionals at Nichols/Grout Tech today and let us answer any questions you have regarding your foundation. We will come out and inspect it and find the best solution to your foundation repair needs.










Services by Your Concrete Contractor in Birmingham

Concrete Contractor Birmingham

When deciding to do some concrete work at your home or business, you want a company with contractors that know how to fix any repairs the first time. You also want the concrete contractor in Birmingham to pour new concrete so that it will not crack in a few years. The company Grout Tech has just the right concrete contractors to do the job for you.

Concrete can have many outside forces that can effect how long it will last. Moisture in the soil and extreme temperatures when the concrete is poured can lead to damage to walls, floors, and the structure itself. Concrete will absorb any water in the soil. When the soil is too dry, then the concrete will try to take the moisture from itself making it brittle and lead to crumbling and cracking. Any type of vegetation like grass and weeds can grow up through any spaces in the concrete. As they push their way up through, the vegetation could make small cracks. The cracks will get bigger with water and freezing and thawing of the water and soil. One way to help stop this problem is to make sure the soil is cleared and laying a landscaper’s fabric to cut off any oxygen to the plants. Compacting the soil also keeps the spaces in the soil to a minimum. The curing time for concrete also can effect the chances for cracks. If this process is sped up, then the chance for cracks becomes greater.

 concrete contractor BirminghamA concrete contractor in Birmingham from Grout Tech will come and investigate any cracks that seem to be occurring in your concrete. The concrete contractor will want to know what is causing the cracks and how the area of concrete is supposed to be used. Once the concrete contractor knows this, he will be able to decide how to make the repairs. First he will need to do the proper preparation by removing any unsound concrete to be able to install a repair designed to solve the problem. Nothing is worse than a repair that does not last.

Sometimes a concrete contractor in Birmingham will chose to do a polyurethane or epoxy injection into a crack. This will help bond crack ans restores concrete integrity. Holes are concrete contractor Birminghamdrilled along the cracks and then the epoxy is injected to seal up the crack. This procedure helps to stop water from seeping through the crack. It also covers up any steel rebar and stops any rust from happening. Your concrete contractor may also see that you need to do some underpinning of your foundation. Grout Tech uses products made by Earth Contact Products (ECP) which is some of best on the market. With the use of helical piers and steel push piers, your concrete can become stronger and more stable.

When you are in need of a concrete contractor in Birmingham, contact the professionals at Grout Tech. They have the experience to come and survey the cracks and problems you are having with your concrete. They will then discuss the right solutions to repair your concrete without having to replace it.