As you may have noticed, there is a common theme in the cause of foundation problems. Most foundation problems that require foundation leveling occur due to issues involving the soil supporting the foundation.
Loose or shifting soil can erode from under your foundation, causing a lack of support for your foundation walls. This can result in foundation settling, or differential settlement, causing your foundation to be uneven. Differential settlement simply means that one part of the foundation is settling at a different rate than another part of the foundation. Since changes in soil moisture are what cause foundation problems, we must address the soil when considering how to repair the foundation.
There’s no great one-size-fits-all solution for foundation repair on houses. Every home is different so each specific concern should be addressed individually. That’s why it’s a great idea to have trained foundation repair experts help diagnose your home and provide the best recommendations to suit your needs and preferences.
Here are a few of the most common foundation repair solutions used today in VA and NC:
House Leveling Jacks
Crawl space jacks can be installed to offer stabilization to your floor structure. If any support piers have dropped or beams have sagged or joists are bowing under the weight of the house, we can install crawl space jacks with the opportunity for house leveling.
Equally important as the quality of the components is the footing. The foundation supporting these jacks should be 2X as strong as the weight it is designed to support. In engineering, this is called a ‘Factor of Safety’ and is critical to the long-term support of your house.
With house leveling jacks, we can also install new floor support beams. New beams, footings, and crawl space jacks should always be stronger than what’s required to prevent failure. The beams can support your floor joists ‘mid-span’ and restore the strength to your floors, reducing slope and bounce.
Foundation Push Piers
Foundation push piers bypass the weakest layers of soil and support your home on the strongest soil layers under the house. We use the weight of the home to drive heavy steel pipe sections into the ground until we reach the strongest, most stable soils.
Once the home is resting on the strongest soils, we have the opportunity to attempt house leveling. We can unilaterally apply pressure to several push piers at the same time and lift the house slowly and strategically. This is your best chance for correction.
With properly installed foundation push piers, we can Guarantee Stabilization for the Life of the Structure. Our Titan SP-90 Push Piers are capable of supporting up to 90,000 pounds each. All push piers are approved by a licensed professional engineer.
Helical foundation piers are like giant screws or augers that are twisted into the ground to support a structure. The surface area of the spiral coils, aka helices, is what actually supports the weight of the structure.
Helical foundation piers are great for new construction but not so great for ‘Retrofit Applications’. Here are some reasons why helical piers are not recommended for residential foundation repair on existing homes:
- Without expensive engineering analysis of the soil layers, the install could be ineffective.
- Roots, rocks, and other obstructions could provide false ‘pressure readings’ leading to inadequate support.
- In ‘Retrofit Applications’, the piers cannot be driven straight down but are installed at a slight angle which weakens the support.
This foundation repair option is basically installing a footing underneath your footing. We only recommend this approach when push piers are not an option such as when the structure is too light or when the push pier installation equipment won’t fit due to space restrictions.