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About Foundation Repair

 

BEFORE                            AFTER

Foundation repair for pier and beam structures consists of repairing and or reinforcing the wooden floor joists and beams or girders. Reputable foundation repair companies use only treated wood materials in replacing rot or adding additional support.

Concrete and steel are, the preferred repair materials for piers and shims respectively.

The repair of slab foundations varies in methodology. One process advocates the process of hydraulically pushing concrete cylinders, or concrete blocks into the ground until another one of the same is placed on the top of previous one.

These individual pieces may, or may not, be linked by an insert or cable or some type of linkage between pieces.

They are in no sense of the term, solid concrete piers. They are pilings pressed into the ground using hydraulic ram cylinders and the weight of your home. Hence, the name pressed pilings. The piles are pressed into the ground, one on top of another, until a "point of refusal" is reached. The house is then raised into position.

"Point of refusal" is dependent upon one factor, weight bearing density at that time. If rock is reached, the house is then raised. If a bit of a rock is reached, the house may be raised.

If the soils are dry and hard, then the house may be raised. Finally, if enough skin friction is accumulated, the house may be raised. There is no way to ascertain the reason for reaching this "point of refusal" without visual inspection and without access to the base of the pier there is no visual inspection. Increasing the pressure of the jacking process only raises the home higher in the air.

Sometimes, to achieve a certain depth or number of piles, the house may be raised into the air past level position to allow the weight of the house to push the piling down. In this case, forces exerted on the slab that it was never intended to withstand are present, and damage may result. Plumbing lines may be ripped, pulled and torn from their original position.

Another type of pressing operation involves hydraulically pressing steel pipes into the ground, thus the name steel piers. The concept is basically the same, but more depth is achieved due to a smaller surface area. Again, no visual inspection is available using this type of pressing operation.

Of course, there is a variation of the previously described builder's pier. This would be a steel reinforced, cast in place, concrete foundation repair pier. With a bell bottom footing attached to the base of this pier, the base can be double or even triple the size of the shaft. A bell bottom footing is only applied to this type repair pier.

The excavation process prior to the pouring of concrete allows for the visual inspection of the rock or soils at the base of the pier. This is critical, for as the soils shrink away from your home in the summer. they are also shrinking away from the top of your repair pair leaving the base as support. It's good to know what is supporting that base and your home.
 

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