One of the biggest obstacles I run into when assisting home buyers is houses requiring potential foundation repairs. It can be a big deal because homebuyers don’t want a “surprise” after they move in and start making foundation repairs. When giving advice about to homebuyers about purchasing a home that potentially needing a foundation repair if to bring in experts to give an authoritative opinion.
Engineered Solutions of Georgia will come out and inspect homes that potentially need foundation repairs and they will give a binding repair quote (with some exceptions we will discuss later). The homebuyer than knows more about the foundation repair requirements and also has an understanding of what the financial ramifications will be when it comes
time to make the repair.
One reason I use Engineered Solutions is because ES has a Professional Engineer (PE) on staff who can make certain the foundation repair is correct for the specific situation. Engineered Solutions also performs the work and it. And I have seen situations where they came out and serviced their warranty.
I live in an area of town where homes built in the 60s-80s have concrete block foundations. Because of the expansion properties of Georgia red clay soil in my area these concrete block foundations shift and crack when water causes the red clay to expand. Left unchecked these foundation cracks and shifts can cause serious problems including water penetration and even foundation failure.
When Engineered Solutions comes out to look at the concrete block foundations – they have a number of tools in their toolbox to make corrective repairs.
- Wall supporting with soldier beams, carbon fiber reinforcement, or tiebacks
- Pressure grouting with cementitious or chemical grouting
- Framing support using support columns and/or beams
- Piering with hydraulically driven piers or helical piers
When an Engineered Solutions rep comes out to the house they will first determine the cause of the crack or settlement. The second step is a design of corrective actions to stabilize the foundation and ensure the future integrity of the structure.
Foundation piering addresses soil issues that the foundation of your home or commercial property rests on. Often a foundation has been built on soil that is too weak to support the structure, or on clay dirt, which has shrinkage and swelling properties that may lead to foundation cracks. Essentially, during the process of foundation piering a certain number of galvanized steel piers, as determined by a qualified designer, are either screwed in (helical piers) or pushed through (hydraulically driven piers) the weak soil until tougher, stronger ground is reached. The pier is then secured to the house, and the homeowner or property manager can decide at that point if further action should be taken to level the house. Whether or not house leveling, basement leveling or floor leveling is attempted, the foundation is now permanently stable.
Foundation piering effectively places your foundation on durable stilts that can support the weight of the structure. There are many products and techniques we use in foundation piering, depending on the particular problems of your foundation, and the instruments and means used will be determined by your engineer and foundation contractor. They may consider using helical piers, which are screwed in, if the foundation piering is being used with light structural loads. Helical piers are also useful foundation piering tools when the foundation is particularly unstable and needs immediate extra support.
In the end, a pier design is meant to stabilize and strengthen your foundation and structure by placing the weight from weak soil onto the steel piers, therefore reducing the ability for foundation cracks to appear again. At Engineered Solutions of Georgia, our foundation company has trained professionals with experience in both residential and commercial foundation piering, using helical piers and hydraulically driven piers. Not only are we experts in foundation piering, our foundation contractors are also dedicated to increasing customer knowledge of these issues by educating you on foundation maintenance and repair.