VA Company Uses NCFI’s TerraThane Geotech Foam System to Save Parking Lot, Time, and Money for NC Municipality

TerraThane and Concrete Jack Fixed this Parking Lot

MOUNT AIRY, NC—Concrete Jack, Inc. of Williamsburg, VA, a company specializing in concrete leveling and foundation repair along the Eastern Seaboard and the South, used TerraThane Geotechnical Foam system to help save the parking lot of a Wake Forest, NC auto repair business.

"Parking lots are notorious for sinking from failed storm water structures," says Kirk Roberts, division manager for Concrete Jack. "Water causes erosion around the structures, voids form, voids enlarge over time then the parking lot just collapses. Sinkholes can shut down businesses and cause damage to customer vehicles."

Roberts says the municipality’s public works department determined the joints between the four foot sticks of pipe had been improperly gasketed, or seated, during installation. The pipe saw a continuous flow from a small stream entering at an end wall and discharging into a box culvert crossing a public street. The drop inlet at the downstream junction between the RCP culvert and box culvert also failed at the 18-inch RCP culvert feeding it, which had been repaired multiple times using open trench excavation.

Joints of a leaking storm drain pipe sealed up by TerraThane geotechnical foamAccording to Roberts, "Every single joint spread at four feet intervals along the 300 foot pipe was leaking. There were no gaskets in any of the joints, so all that water was escaping the joints and running through the ground beneath the parking lot. The stream ran constantly, eating away at the pipe bedding; even flowing up above the pipe’s springline. The voids averaged six-inches around the pipe, the parking lot was sure to collapse."

Previous attempts at sealing the joints and filling voids around the pipe—and under the floor of a storage building built atop the ground under which the pipe lay—with concrete had failed.

Roberts says the municipality was looking for an affordable, proven, and nondisruptive solution, so his company used a relatively new technology to solve the growing problem. "We surveyed all the joints, drilled holes, and pumped TerraThane high density, hydroinsensitive polyurethane geotechnical foam into them until it came back out of the holes and open joints. The foam fills every crack then expands and cures in place. It’s about the cleanest, quickest, least intrusive product ever invented for geotechnical work." Concrete Jack placed 50 cubic yards of NCFI’s TerraThane, and 45 gallons of polyurethane resin chemical grout over a period of three days to complete the repair without disruption to the adjacent businesses or streets.

Roberts adds, "The old way would have shut down traffic to the business. We’d have had to either tear up the parking lot, excavate, replace the pipes, and replace the parking lot, or use heavy, messy, cement grout and that would only put more undue weight on the ground around the pipeline and be a nightmare trying to work around the four or five other pipes crossing the troubled pipeline. It would have taken weeks or even months, but TerraThane is quick and really cuts down on the amount of people and equipment it takes to do the job."

When asked about TerraThane, Roberts says, compared to other systems they’ve have used in the past, NCFI’s experience and service has been outstanding. "They [NCFI] were one of the first companies to develop plural component polyurethanes for geotechnical applications and they manufacture the highest quality products on the market. They are always on call for us, which is like having a partner who knows everything there is to know about geotechnical applications a phone call away."

The parking lot was saved in record time, the auto repair business stayed open, and the foam fix will last of years to come. Roberts says his company will use TerraThane on their concrete lifting, void filling, and leveling jobs from NY down to NC and all points in between.


For more information or to arrange an interview on this subject contact: Dale McGlothlin, (202) 341-8615

About NCFI

Celebrating 50 years of foam. 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. NCFI is a Barnhardt Manufacturing Company, Inc. company. To learn more about NCFI please visit

About Concrete Jack

Concrete Jack was started in March of 2008 serving customers in Williamsburg, VA. Since then, we have grown to serve a diverse group of clients’ concrete repair and soil stabilization needs throughout the entire states of Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, Pennsylvania, the District of Columbia, and West Virginia using both sand-based grout and high density polyurethane. Concrete Jack also installs cellular lightweight concrete in Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, Pennsylvania, the District of Columbia, New Jersey, Delaware, and West Virginia.

Preston H. Roberts, Inc, Concrete Jack’s parent company, was formed as an excavating and site work contractor in 2002.

We have worked for all kinds of different customers, from departments of transportation and transit authorities to individual homeowners. Our crews are backed up by estimators and project management staff who started on crews, so everyone our customers interacts with has gotten their hands dirty and knows the right way to tackle settled and uneven concrete. Concrete Jack’s home office is located in Williamsburg, Virginia, at 3402 Acorn Street, Suite 202, Williamsburg, VA 23188. Our crews are primarily based out of Providence Forge, Virginia, with temporary seasonal movements as required by demand. We can be reached on the phone from anywhere, toll free, at (855) 603-6321.

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DBM Contractors, Inc. Announces Management Succession Plan

SEATTLE — Michael Murphy, chairman of the DBM Contractors, Inc. board and managing director, announced DBM’s management succession plan. “It is important to note that the succession plan is designed to foster our commitment to our family of employees, our mission statement, and our clients. Maybe it gets a little touchy feely but it also honors the legacy of Don and Helen Murphy’s view of a successful family oriented company, rewarding the growing talent within the organization,” said Murphy.

Todd Jarvis, current CFO, will become the new president and CEO in the fall of 2014. Current president, Tom Armour, will initially continue his mentorship of Jarvis. Tom will remain with the company as executive vice president, project/product development, developing and managing project leads, leading product research and development as well as continuing with DBM’s Board management. The balance of the management team will remain including: Paul Groneck P.E. executive vice president/COO; Jim Sexton, construction manager, John Bickford, project/product development manager; Craig Henke, general superintendent; Mick Martinson, planning/purchasing manager; and Steve Stylos, contracts/risk manager.

Armour began his career with DBM in 1994 as business development manager and became president in 1997 and during his tenure the company has seen a five-fold increase in the company’s annual income and book value. “It is the proper time for me to step down and allow Todd and our team the opportunity to continue to grow our business model” stated Armour. “I am proud of the accomplishments we have achieved over the last twenty years and look forward to continuing to see the quality growth of our staff and operation.”Jarvis was hired in 1991 and became DBM’s CFO in 2004.

About DBM

In 1949 William Ostruske Sr. founded the company that would later become DBM Contractors, Inc. The company now concentrates in specialty geotechnical construction and design/build heavy civil construction, emphasizing drilled foundation support, earth retention, slope stabilization, ground improvement, and dewatering. DBM is headquartered in Federal Way, Wash. with a regional office in Vancouver, Wash and Salt Lake City, Utah. The company works on projects throughout the western United States including Hawaii and Alaska.


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TerraThane Geotechnical Foam Maker, NCFI Polyurethanes, Turns Fifty

NCFI Polyurethanes - 50 Years of Foam

Founders Included Chemist from Manhattan Project, Pioneer of Urethanes, and Charlotte-Based Cotton Company

MOUNT AIRY, NC—NCFI Polyurethanes, an international manufacturer of rigid and flexible polyurethane foams turns 50 this year. The Mount Airy-based company got its start in 1964 as North Carolina Foam Industries through a partnership between Dr. Harris W. "Ace" Bradley, who had worked on the Manhattan Project during WWII and with Dupont in discovering and pioneering urethanes in the 1950s, and the Barnhardt family, founders of the Barnhardt Manufacturing Company.

"There was a company in Mount Airy getting out of the synthetic foam rubber business," says Lewis Barnhardt, president and COO of Barnhardt Manufacturing Company, Charlotte, NC. "Ace Bradley was working there at the time, and he called Jake Barnhardt with the idea they step in, buy the equipment, rent the facility, and rehire the company’s employees so they would have a ready-made customer base for the new company they named North Carolina Foam Industries. Bradley and the Barnhardt family put together a team of 30 employees to make and sell the foam in large blocks called buns then shipped them to customers who fabricated the buns into cushioning units for furniture, and it’s been a whirlwind of growth for 50 years."

The breakthrough moment for the company came when Dr. Bradley perfected the "One-Shot" production method for foam that allows a continuous production process of simultaneous polymer formation and expansion to form the foam. Dr. Bradley’s/NCFI’s One-Shot method has become the US manufacturing standard, and Bradley was inducted into the Flexible Polyurethane Hall of Fame for the game- changing discovery.

Plant Photo

Since 1964 the company has expanded in size with manufacturing facilities in Mount Airy and Hickory, NC, Dalton, GA, and Salt Lake City, UT. The company maintains 14 distribution facilities around the nation. Today the company provides foam for many diverse industries. On the Consumer Products side is furniture, airline, marine, medical, mattress and pillow, and carpet underlay. On the Specialty Products side is spray foam (SPF) insulation for residential, commercial, agricultural, and geotechnical uses, roofing, adhesive, aerospace, taxidermy, and custom molding.

Steve RiddleSteve Riddle, president of NCFI, says, "We changed our name to NCFI back in 2005 to better reflect our national presence, which is becoming more of an international one. We were shipping product to Canada, Mexico, and South America back in the 1970s. We added Russia in 1993, then Africa and Australia, now Eastern Europe, and the Middle East.

Riddle says the company has many watershed moments over the years: "Our foam has the highest content of renewable raw materials anywhere. We’ve become the leader in supplying foam to the commercial and general aviation market, and we offer over 125 different grades of foam to meet almost any customer requirements. He adds that another source of real organizational pride is the work they’ve done for NASA’s Space Shuttle program. "We were chosen in 1980 to supply the foam insulation for Lockheed Martin’s External Tank Program (ET) for the US Space Shuttle program. Over the many years since, we’ve had a great relationship with Lockheed and NASA. We’ve even met some shuttle pilots and crew." NCFI was awarded Lockheed Martin’s Supplier Quality Excellence Award in 2010.

Riddle points to another source of immense company pride—being a US chemical company awarded the EPA’s Stratospheric Ozone Protection Award (now the Montreal Protocol Award). "We’ve worked hard to be responsible stewards of the world around us. Not just North Carolina, but every facility we are involved with, our products, and how our products are used. The EPA award says NCFI stands out as one of the best US companies when it comes to eliminating emissions of ozone- depleting substances, and that has always been part of our mission. To make as big a mark on the world as we can with our quality and processes, but to leave as small a footprint as we can."

Two of the highest growth industries being affected by NCFI are the US construction and homebuilding. Higher than predicted rises in the cost of petroleum and electricity make the energy efficiency of buildings a top priority for building owners and homeowners. Everyone in the process from architects and designers on down to the general contractors and home builders are searching for ways to lower the operating costs of buildings, and better insulation plays a key role. Mitch Clifton, director of business dev. for NCFI’s Specialty Products Division, says his company’s spray foam insulation (SPF) has become a building standard. "SPF insulation has the highest R-value in the modern available insulation field. Nothing else comes close. So, we’ve seen amazing growth in our residential and commercial spray foam insulation market. Clifton says the same is true for the roofing market. "Building owners want to lower costs by adding cool roofing, or roofing covered in white or light colors that reflect sunlight. Our roofing systems add the R-value of SPF insulation to that reflective feature and drop the heating and cooling costs dramatically. We’ve seen steady growth in roofing since we did our first job back in 1967."

Clifton credits employees who’ve made a 20, 30 and 40-year career at the company with giving NCFI a definitive competitive advantage. "Spray foam insulation is something everyone wants now, but until recently has been a small sector of the insulation market, thus few know much about the product. Architects and builders and trade contractors want experience. They want a partner who has seen and done it all. Someone they can turn to when they need answers in their business. We have that in spades."

Clifton knows what he’s talking about. His father, Ralph, was one of those first 30 employees in 1964 and worked at the company for more 42 years until his retirement. His son followed in his footsteps by working on the loading docks while in high school. Clifton [Mitch] who received his MBA last year, is now in senior management and says, "We buck all the trends: we’re a family-owned US company; we make products right here in this country, and the people who work here can choose to make a lifetime career with us. We’re a private, profitable US company willing to change to grow, and we’re celebrating our first 50 years. It’s good to know that still exists in America. Maybe we’re setting the trends for the next 50 years."


For more information or to arrange an interview on this subject contact: Dale McGlothlin, (202) 341-8615

About NCFI

Celebrating 50 years of foam. 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. NCFI is a Barnhardt Manufacturing Company, Inc. company. To learn more about NCFI please visit

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DFI Forms New DFI Technical Committee: Subsurface Characterization for Deep Foundations


Hawthorne, NJ (May 28, 2014): DFI announces the formation of a new, 16th technical committee focusing on site investigation for deep foundation design and construction. 

The Subsurface Characterization for Deep Foundations Committee was formed to increase awareness of the importance of complete and competent site investigation in deep foundation practices. The specific goals of the committee will be defined by the committee members, however, initially the committee will discuss and define subsurface characterization needs from the point of view of the entire geotechnical/foundation industry. This will facilitate getting correct and comprehensive information to the end users (designers and contractors) and minimize change condition issues/debates. The committee will liaise with associated committees from other organizations and agencies to broaden the discussion within the engineering community. The objective is to find the common ground that allows the entire geotechnical industry and all project participants to minimize disagreement during construction, align expectations, and improve communication and understanding among related parties.

The committee’s first meeting will be held at the DFI Annual Conference in Atlanta, October 21-24, 2014. DFI Trustee, Bernard Hertlein of GEI Consultants, Inc., will serve as the committee’s liaison to the board and preside over the first meeting where attendees will discuss the committee’s plans for initial activities. Interested DFI members are encouraged to contact Mary Ellen Bruce at for more information and to become involved.

It is the role of DFI Technical Committees is to focus on the unique issues of major methods and technologies within deep foundations and excavation, and to keep DFI members and the industry up to date with the state of practice through publications, guidance documents, peer-review of papers, educational events and committee reports in Deep Foundations magazine.


About the Deep Foundations Institute (DFI)

DFI ( is an international association of contractors, engineers, suppliers, academics and owners in the deep foundations industry. Our multi-disciplinary membership creates a consensus voice and a common vision for continual improvement in the planning, design and construction of deep foundations and excavations. We bring together members for networking, education, communication and collaboration. With our members, we promote the advancement of the deep foundations industry through technical committees, educational programs and conferences, publications, research, government relations and outreach. DFI has more than 3,300 members worldwide.


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Keynetix to Support the Geotechnical Academy

Keynetix_Geotechnical_Academy_1Keynetix are delighted to have been offered the opportunity to be a regular contributor to the Geotechnical Academy starting in June 2014.

The Geotechnical Academy is a collaboration between Equipe Group and Geotechnical Engineering Ltd, providing fundamental technical and commercial training to aspiring geo-professionals, helping them to apply their theoretical and technical understanding in the practical and commercial world.

The training experience is different from other more traditional offerings, in that it will take a group of delegates and their sponsors on a journey over a whole year, to greater knowledge and appreciation of their subject.

Roger Chandler of Keynetix will be taking part in the training sessions that will form part of this fantastic academy. Here he will be raising awareness in the industry of the importance of Geotechnical Data Management, AGS, BIM and the new BS 8574.

“The Geotechnical Academy is a great opportunity for both new and experienced engineers and it is great to be able to contribute to one of the modules.” says Roger “Good geotechnical data management is vital in today’s workplace and I find teaching this to engineers very enjoyable and rewarding. I’m looking forward to helping engineers experience some exciting light bulb moments over the coming months and then giving them practical advice on how to make better use of their time and geotechnical data.”

Roger comes from a Geotechnical background and has been an active member of the AGS Data Management Committee since 1997, a member of DIGGS Cone SIG since 2005 and was the co-author of AGSM.

Equipe TrainingLiz Withington of The Geotechnical Academy says “This is on-the-ground practical development for early stage career geo-professionals. The Geotechnical Academy is a partnership between Geotechnical Engineering Ltd & Equipe Training, providing unique, high quality vocational geotechnical CPD development for early career engineering professionals. We are delighted to have Roger Chandler from Keynetix as a regular contributor. Rogers’s innovative approach to geotechnical data management demonstrates The Geotechnical Academy’s commitment to challenging young geo-professionals in to stimulating change within the industry“

Attendees of the academy will gain knowledge, join in practical demonstrations of equipment and techniques, take part in discussion about a wide variety of technical and commercial topics relevant to their work and hopefully have a thoroughly enjoyable experience to inspire them into the future! All training days will be eligible for CPD certification.

For further information or to apply for a place on The Geotechnical Academy , please visit

Changes in Management for Geobrugg North America, LLC

GEOBRUGG NORTH AMERICA, LLC: ERIK J. ROREM assumes new position of Business Development Manager; PIERCE RUNNELS, PE takes over as General Manager

Erik J. RoremAlgodones, New Mexico USA – March 3, 2014. Geobrugg AG, Switzerland, the world leader in natural hazard protection systems, is pleased to announce the appointment of Erik J. Rorem as new Business Development Manager for North America. His current position of General Manager, Geobrugg North America, LLC will be assumed by Pierce Runnels, PE.

Mr. Rorem is a pioneer of Geobrugg in America, established in 1985. He has successfully grown the affiliate company into a leader in natural hazard solutions across North America. Under his watch as General Manager for over 14 years, the North American affiliate has increased five-fold in sales and has recently moved to a newly-built manufacturing facility twice the size of the original Santa Fe factory. The full time staff has increased 1000%.

In his new position, Mr. Rorem will dedicate his efforts to take advantage of emerging markets in underground mining and to promote new product lines. He will also become Regional Manager for Mexico. Mr. Rorem will remain based in New Mexico.

Pierce Runnels, PEPierce Runnels, PE will take over as new General Manager for North American operations. He will be based in the manufacturing facility in Algodones, New Mexico (20 miles north of Albuquerque).

A long-time “New Mexican,” Mr. Runnels brings a strong business background from an engineering perspective. He is a licensed professional engineer in New Mexico and Arizona. His nearly 30 years of experience in engineering, project management, business development and leadership will provide a seamless transition for Geobrugg’s thriving North American business.

Mr. Runnels holds a Master of Science, Civil Engineering degree from the University of New Mexico and is a Certified Professional in Erosion and Sediment Control (CPESC) and a Certified Floodplain Manager (CFM). He has spent the last 16 years with WHPacific, Inc. where he was the VP, Southwest Regional Manager, including New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado. He brings the leadership excellence, technical expertise and client focus that matches the unique culture of the Geobrugg team.

The twenty-first century goals of the worldwide Geobrugg family are personified in this reconfiguration of the North American leadership. “Regardless of changes,” states Mr. Rorem, “the partners and friends acquired over nearly 30 years of business in North America will continue to experience a company that cares, that listens, and that works tirelessly to support client projects in safety and in value.”


Deborah Johnson

22 Centro Algodones, Algodones, NM 87001
Ph: 505-771-4080


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Additional Tests Boost KeyLAB’s Appeal

Over the last 18 months Peter Keeton has been heading up a team at Keynetix to write British Standard and ASTM Standard compliant test definitions, laboratory worksheets and reports for KeyLAB. This work has now been included free of charge with the latest installer of KeyLAB and enables new users of the software to be operational much quicker than ever before.

Peter Keeton has over 40 years of experience working in and managing geotechnical laboratories for Soil Mechanics and was an influential member of the CEN European Standards working group on geotechnical testing. Over this time he has produced many versions of laboratory worksheets for each test.

“By including the latest versions of Peter’s work into the system we have already seen an increase in the number of customers who are running trials of KeyLAB” said Dr Roger Chandler, Keynetix Managing Director. “The out of the box value of KeyLAB has increased significantly with this work and many users are now adopting the system with the standard sheets and only need to modify them with their company logos and details.”

Peter has also been working more with small and medium sized laboratories to help them use the software efficiently and prepare for gaining accreditation status.

In order to assess the current status of a laboratory’s progress toward accreditation, Peter conducts an in-depth independent audit covering all of the accreditation elements. The audit report provides the laboratory with a good understanding of that status and more importantly, identifies any and all deficiencies. The laboratory can then, with guidance and assistance from the auditor and Peter, produce a detailed plan for improvement.

“Having been working in the background for the last 18 months with KeyLAB I am really enjoying the challenge of helping laboratories implement the software and working towards accreditation” said Peter Keeton. “We will have the final tests available over the next two months and by the end of April should have most of the standard BS, ASTM and Rock testing covered, as well as our previously announced enhancements for concrete cube, cylinder and core testing. As most LIMS systems charge per test, I have advised the board in Keynetix to raise the price of KeyLAB once all tests are available as the product will include around a man year of my work and allow laboratories to cut their implementation time by many weeks.”

KeyLAB trial copies are available to laboratories who wish to investigate the system further by visiting

Laboratories can employ Peter as part of their preparation for UKAS accreditation and should contact Keynetix directly at

Existing users can download the latest release from

About KeyLAB

KeyLAB is the leading laboratory management system built specifically for geotechnical and construction laboratories. It will improve your laboratory’s efficiency at every stage of the geotechnical and construction testing process from sample and storeroom management, through to electronic scheduling, testing and reporting.

Its clever integration with Microsoft Excel® allows you to easily customise worksheets and reports whilst staying in complete control of your laboratory data. This unique feature allows you to quickly implement the system and reduce the learning curve for all staff to the point where most laboratories report a full Return on Investment (ROI) period of less than 6 months.

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Keynetix are Recruiting

Keynetix - Join the Team!Over the last three years Keynetix have redeveloped their software products to appeal to an international audience whilst increasing their visibility and sales outside of the UK. This strategy is working well and enquiries and interest are at an all-time high resulting in sales outside of the UK increasing by 300% over the last three years. This transformation was recognised by the UKTI when Keynetix reached the final of the UKTI Global Growth Awards in 2012.

To capitalise on the company’s momentum within the UK and overseas markets, Keynetix is currently seeking a Sales and Channel Manager who will assume a key role, selling their industry leading Geotechnical Data Management offerings directly to customers and indirectly via Channel Partners. This position is a high-profile growth opportunity that demands a highly motivated individual with strong sales, communications and organisational skills who is eager to learn and become part of a rapidly growing company.

For more information on this role please check out Keynetix’s Join the team page

About Keynetix

Keynetix are experts in Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Data Management. Their solutions cover every stage of the Geotechnical Data journey from planning, through site work and reporting to 3D Modelling, BIM and National Archives.

Keynetix has a comprehensive range of products covering the complete Geotechnical Data journey.

Click on the product name for more information on each of these products

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DFI 2014 Awards: Call for Entries

Hawthorne, NJ (February 24, 2014) DFI announces a call for entries for its major 2014 Awards. Submissions for the 2014 Awards are due by April 15, 2014. Information and nomination forms are available at

The first three awards are presented at DFI’s Annual Conference on Deep Foundations, this year in Atlanta, GA, October 21-24, 2014.

The Outstanding Project Award recognizes the superior work of DFI members. Each year, a project is chosen from several geotechnical projects submitted for consideration by DFI members.

The Distinguished Service Award recognizes individuals who have made exceptionally valuable contributions to the advancement of the deep foundations industry.

C. William Bermingham Innovation Award encourages and recognizes innovative contributions to deep foundation technology. The award pays tribute to the innovative spirit of Bill Bermingham, DFI past president, and his contributions to DFI and the deep foundations industry.

Ben C. Gerwick Award for Innovation in Design and Construction of Marine Foundations recognizes excellence in marine engineering. The award is a tribute to Ben Gerwick, and recognizes his exceptional achievements and contributions to the design and construction of marine foundations. This award will be presented during the Marine Foundations Seminar: Design and Construction of the New Tappan Zee Bridge, being held in August in New York.

About the Deep Foundations Institute (DFI)

DFI ( is an international association of contractors, engineers, suppliers, academics and owners in the deep foundations industry. Our multi-disciplinary membership creates a consensus voice and a common vision for continual improvement in the planning, design and construction of deep foundations and excavations. We bring together members for networking, education, communication and collaboration. With our members, we promote the advancement of the deep foundations industry through technical committees, educational programs and conferences, publications, research, government relations and outreach. DFI has more than 3,300 members worldwide.



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“Foamjacking” Solution for Seneca Rocks USFS Visitor’s Center

Seneca Rocks Visitor's Center was experiencing geotechnical foundation problemsU.S. Forestry Service Saves Thousands with Use of TerraThane Geotechnical Foam by NCFI Polyurethanes at Seneca Rocks Discovery Center

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.

Injecting NCFI polyurethane foam to fill voids and cracks beneath the Seneca Rocks Discovery CenterAny 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’s messy, time-consuming, and, again, requires the facility to close part if not all of the facility being worked on for weeks, maybe months.

Mid-South Concrete Leveling truck at Seneca Rocks Discovery CenterBolton, 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

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