MOUNT AIRY, NC—Soil consolidation and settlement happens. It’s a fact of farm life. Secondary consolidation slowly forces water out of the spaces between soil particles. As this happens, soil particles move close together and settling occurs. Floors drop and become uneven. Newer grain silos and bins are using concrete floors instead of metal, and as secondary consolidation occurs beneath them, depressed or “settled” areas, form within the bin. Grain accumulates in the depressed areas, but cannot be retrieved by the bin sweeper. In fact, the sweeper, a kind of auger that transports grain up from the floor, can become damaged from prolonged exposure to the uneven floor.
This is exactly what Kirk Roberts of CJGeo, a Williamsburg, Virginia-based commercial foundation repair and geotechnical contractor, found when he got the job to repair the foundation of a massive 106-foot diameter grain bin at a poultry processing facility on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. “Once they removed the hundreds of thousands of bushels of grain, we found the floor had dropped some three inches in one section of the bin leaving a large pocket of grain out of reach of the bin sweeper.”
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