In this era of DIY, many homeowners take on home improvement projects on their own. While this is a great way to save money, it can be dangerous regarding foundation repair.
DIY solutions like spreading self-leveling compound over a concrete slab are not only ineffective but can actually make the problem worse. Fortunately, experts have the proper tools and knowledge to repair serious issues. Contact Sugar Land Foundation Repair Solutions for professional assistance.
Drilled concrete piers are used in foundation repair and new construction projects that require a deep foundation due to unstable soil conditions. You might also hear them referred to as caissons or cast-in-place piles. Essentially, they transfer the weight of your house into a stronger, more stable soil layer. They’re particularly useful in older homes or those located in a climate where clay soil is common.
This solution is very cost-effective and often less costly than slab jacking or high-density foam. It also provides the benefit of keeping your home’s crawl space intact. This allows for easier access to pipes, wires, and ducts that run through the area and allows foundation professionals to check for signs of moisture build-up and structural damage.
When a poured concrete pier is used, the first step of the process is excavation. A hole is dug next to the existing foundation at a depth that’s been determined by your geotechnical engineer. This is done using an auger drill, a piece of equipment that can dig holes up to 35 feet deep. Once the hole is excavated, steel reinforcement is inserted into the drilled shaft. This helps the pier resist both lateral and vertical stresses. Then, concrete is poured over the steel to finish the job.
Another option is to use hollow, cardboard Sonotubes that are filled with concrete and then steel is inserted in the center. This type of monolithic pier had a short-lived heyday and is now rarely seen in newer homes. A more modern approach involves a more permanent solution known as stacked concrete piers, also referred to as “shotcrete.” This method starts with the same basic excavation steps but, instead of digging a hole and inserting a concrete form, a shotcrete crew sprays a mix of water and cement onto the existing foundation walls. This forms a strong, waterproof coating that is extremely durable.
Once the concrete has cured, the shotcrete coating is removed and hydraulic bottle jacks are placed on top of the concrete piers. The team can then begin raising your home and leveling the structure. As the foundation is lifted, the piers will begin to stabilize and prevent any future shifting or movement.
Concrete piles are vertical cylindrical piles that are pushed into the ground, usually to a point that is called “the point of refusal.” These piles have been used in construction for many years and are especially popular when building the heaviest structures like skyscrapers and highway bridges. When used for foundation repair, they are primarily utilized as support for commercial buildings and residential homes.
The reason why concrete piles are so widely utilized for foundation repair is that they require little to no excavation, allowing for a much quicker and cheaper solution. Also, these concrete cylinders can be installed in tight spaces and can be made to fit the unique needs of your home.
But while these concrete cylinders may be cheap and easy to install, they are not a permanent or effective foundation repair solution. One of the main reasons why these foundation piers fail is because they do not provide a solid enough base for your home, and they do not offer an effective way to transfer your house’s load to the stronger soil or bedrock that lies beneath the weaker top layer.
So, why do so many foundation repair contractors continue to use these squat, chubby piles as an affordable and quick foundation repair solution? They do so because of the high profit margin that they yield. These foundation repair contractors typically charge between $350 and $700 for each concrete pier that they install.
When installed correctly, concrete piles can be an effective and long-lasting foundation repair solution. However, to ensure that your foundation repair company is using this method effectively, it is important to know how these chubby piles are supposed to be installed.
In most cases, these piles will be drilled into the ground with a hydraulic machine, and then a concrete cap is placed over the top to ensure that they are protected from the elements.
These piles are a great choice for the Dallas area because our ground soil is prone to shifting and expansion, which can cause major problems with your foundation. This hybrid system uses a combination of steel and concrete, allowing it to penetrate deeper into the soil. This allows for a stronger and more durable foundation than other repair methods, while still allowing the piles to be transported easily and spliced together to create longer piles as necessary.
When a concrete slab is poured over poorly compacted soil, it may sink as the ground beneath erodes. If left untreated, sunken concrete can cause serious damage to the home or business. Slabjacking, or mudjacking, is a foundation repair method that involves injecting a material into the ground under the slab to raise it back to its original position. It’s commonly used for slab foundations, patios, driveways, and garage floors that have settled over time.
In order to use this technique, a pattern of holes is drilled into the area that needs to be lifted. Then, a synthetic lifting solution is pumped through these holes to fill the space and raise the slab. The concrete is then topped with a layer of new concrete to finish the job. This type of work is typically performed in warmer weather since the mud can be hard to work with when cold.
The main advantage of this method is that it doesn’t require excavation or breaking up the old slab, making it an environmentally friendly option. However, mudjacking isn’t as effective as other methods for leveling or raising sunken concrete. This is because the mud mix is often only a temporary fix. Depending on the soil, the mud can wash away or sink into the ground again, leaving the slab still sunken.
Another concern is that mudjacking does not address the root of the problem, which is shifting soil. This is often caused by long droughts and can lead to the movement of a house or building over time. Mudjacking is also a labor-intensive process, since the contractor must drill many holes in order to raise the concrete.
In contrast, polyurethane foam concrete leveling is a faster and more convenient method that provides a permanent solution for sunken concrete. It involves injecting a two-part chemical mixture into the ground underneath the slab to trigger a chemical reaction. The foam then expands and lifts the concrete. Injection is done through a series of small holes, similar to those used for injection insulation. This is a less invasive option and can be completed in one day.
Helical piers are a powerful solution for foundation stabilization. They can be used to lift and stabilize a foundation in existing homes, as well as build new foundations in soil conditions that are not appropriate for traditional concrete piers. In general, helical piers are more flexible and versatile than other types of foundation piers, such as push piers. This allows them to better adapt to a variety of soil conditions and to accommodate heavier structures.
Like many advanced structural work, helical piers require some advance planning and preparation to ensure a successful project. This is especially true if the work requires extensive excavation, heavy machinery or concrete pouring. However, these factors do not prevent professional helical pier installers from performing this work in an efficient and timely manner.
The installation process begins with the Olshan team identifying helical pier locations for each home. This is done by examining the condition of the foundation, as well as analyzing soil conditions in the area. Once the helical pier locations are determined, each pier is driven into the ground with portable driving equipment until the pier reaches its predetermined torque capacity. This step is critical to ensure that each helical pier will be able to support the weight of the structure above it.
Once each helical pier has reached its load-bearing capacity, the top of the pier is connected to a bracket that is attached to the foundation wall. Then, the weight of the structure above is transferred to the helical piers through a hydraulic system. This transfer of weight reduces stress on the foundation, which in turn helps to stabilize the building and correct any heaving or sagging problems.
When helical piers are installed properly by an experienced professional, they can provide long-lasting stability for a wide range of residential and commercial buildings. This is especially important in areas of the country that experience diverse soil conditions. If you are concerned about the stability of your home or business, contact a foundation repair specialist in your area to learn more about helical piers and how they can be used to correct your foundation.