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Foundation Issues Job in Boston

clock June 23, 2011 07:31 by author blogadmin
Helical piers are used for a limited access foundation project in Boston by Atlas Systems of New England.

Local Contractor looks to Atlas System of New England for Foundation Support

A local Chinatown contractor wanted to build a 5-story addition to an existing structure but was stymied by foundation issues: how to support a 5-story building with the difficult soil conditions often found in the Boston area; with these soil types it was apparent that a deep foundation system was needed but which type and the footprint of the new addition is located within a walled area several building lots from the closest cross street and highly inaccessible. Because restricted site accessibility, poor soil conditions, and the need for a deep foundation system, there was only one possible solution. The solution involves utilizing Atlas Systems of New England to install a helical pier foundation support system specifically designed for the client.

Foundation Repair Solution

helical piersBy installing helical pier foundation solutions, your foundation becomes stable and secure with little to no disturbance to the worksite. Helical piers is a structural piering devices for residential and commercial foundation applications in use today. When installed deep into stable soil they can be used to lift homes, stabilize foundations, elevate walkways, and retain walls.

The process to design a proper deep foundation support system for this project was dependent on the following:

    • Having a series of soil borings taken on-site to determine actual soil classification, location and depths of soil strata, and soil bearing capacities.

    • Having a geotechnical/structural engineer review the soils to determine what type of deep foundation system is best suited for the project.

    • Develop a foundation plan showing pile design, pile locations, and depths of installation.

    • Keeping accurate pier installation logs that record depths of piers and installation torques.

Atlas Systems of New England was subcontracted by the contractor (CC Brothers of Chinatown) to provide the deep foundation helical pier support system for this project. Our team of professionals offer the best foundation repair solutions to fix any situation. The Structural Engineer for this project hired by the owner was:

Mark Liao, P.E. Liao Associates, Inc. 625 Bedford St. E. Bridgewater, MA 02333

For additional information on this project please contact: 
Dennis P. Geisser at Atlas Systems of New England. Call 800-688-9774 and visit us at www.atlassystemsnewengland.com.



Carbon Fiber and Basement Walls

clock June 16, 2011 13:41 by author blogadmin
Carbon fiber was used for race cars, now it is used in the foundation repair industry to fix cracking and bowing basement walls.

Using Carbon Fiber to Repair Basement Walls

 

What is basement wall grade carbon fiber? We have all heard of it being used for race cars, NASA and tennis rackets, but basement wall reinforcement? Why would it be used in foundation repair applications?

Carbon fiber is lightweight, noncorrosive and virtually impossible to stretch. With a tensile strength of more than 350,000 psi makes it up to 10 times stronger than steel. Accordingly, high quality carbon fiber provides an alternative to such intrusive methods as installing steel beams with heavy equipment to brace and shore up foundation walls: no digging, jack hammering, moving utilities and duct work are required.

A foundation's structural integrity becomes compromised when hydrostatic and lateral earth pressures exceed the strength of a concrete or masonry wall. As lateral pressures press upon the foundation, basement or crawlspace walls bow inward. It’s effectiveness in counteracting such tendencies is based on standard engineering principles following Hookes law and a linear stress/strain relationship. For every action there is a reaction, the action is the soil pressing on the basement wall and the reaction is the carbon fiber applying a resistant force, making the wall stronger to help eliminate shifting, cracking and bowing.

One of the other big benefits of carbon fiber is its ease of use and aesthetics. You will not have I-beams lined across the basement wall. The thin layer of carbon fiber material can be painted over without creating an eye sore. Duct work and plumbing penetrations can be left alone due to its flexible nature.

Bowing Wall Repair Using Carbon Fiber

In most residential situations where bowing basement walls occur there are several sets of forces which interact to cause the problem. The largest mobilizing force is the addition of lateral earth pressure (soil forces) in conjunction with hydrostatic pressure (water forces). These forces put a horizontal load on the wall which in turn creates a large amount of bending stresses on the masonry or concrete. The bending stress creates an unbalanced condition within the wall due to the very low tensile capacity of concrete and masonry, causing horizontal cracking in the structure. The weight of the structure above the wall helps generate a stabilizing compressive force on the wall until the lateral deflections become too large. As the wall deflects beyond the "center of mass" of the above structure a phenomenon known as the "beam-column effect" creates additional bending stresses on the damaged wall, speeding up deterioration. Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymers (CFRP's) provide the required additional tensile force needed to fully develop the compressive strength and create a "balanced" situation within the wall to prevent further bowing and cracking. 

Wall Crack Repair Using Carbon Fiber

Carbon fiber fabric is placed over basement wall cracks to provide strength to the cracked area. No drilling is necessary as with other crack repair systems. The advantages of using carbon fiber fabric to repair wall cracks are:

    •Lightweight

    •Flexible wrap conforms to any shape

    •Minimal change to structure's shape

    •Repair time is minimal - minimizing cost

    •Minimal disruption and noise

    •Heavy equipment is eliminated

ECP Carbon Fiber products provide our customers with a durable, high strength, and aesthetically appealing fix to the common problem of bowing basement walls. The repairs are waterproof and can enhance the flexural capacity of steel reinforced and un-reinforced masonry walls the original capacity. The high stiffness of these Carbon-based products can stop lateral wall movement virtually instantaneously without the problems associated with steel alternatives including corrosion, aesthetics, obstructions, and lower strength capacities. The epoxy polymers used to bond the Carbon fiber systems to your basement wall have been successfully tested over 20,000 hours of continual exposure to resist chemicals, temperatures, and moisture much more aggressive than typical basement environments assuring a long-term repair.



Foundation Repairs Caused by Summer Heat

clock June 14, 2011 17:26 by author blogadmin
Fluctuating moisture levels and soil conditions cause cracks in your foundation. Hire a professional to assess your damages to make foundation repairs.

 

Foundation repairs to your home and summer heat go hand in hand.

Spring is over, the outside temperatures start to rise and the rains slow down our focus needs to be on our foundations. Foundations are very susceptible to fluctuations in moisture level of soils. Spring brings moderate temperatures and steady rains. Summer brings high temperatures and dry weather. These fluctuations cause movement in your homes foundation which can result in cracks in basement walls and sticky doors and windows.

In the spring the weather is mild and wet, which causes the soil to become saturated and swollen. The wet soils expand and become very heavy around and under your homes foundation. Often you will notice new cracks in basement floors, drywall and foundations. These rigid surfaces show these signs of stress because of the expansive soils surrounding them and their movement.

As summer starts, the soil begins to dry out, crack and shrink. You will notice cracks to develop in your lawn and the soil pulling away from the foundation. As this continues the process goes deeper and deeper in your yard causing your foundation to settle. As the homes foundation starts to settle new cracks will develop vertically in the basement walls. These vertical cracks are due to differential settle or uneven settlement caused by different soil moisture levels around your home. The location of trees, flower gardens and shade will help determine the drying time and extent.

To prevent further foundation damage caused by soil movement foundation repairs become necessary. Whether it is helical tiebacks during the spring rains or steel push piers in the heat of the summer, slowing or stopping the movement is the key to preventing major structural damages. Foundation repair methods are successful when they move the bearing surface of the foundation to soils that are not affected by moisture changes in the upper levels of soils. By bearing on deep soils the foundation remains stable and less affected by active soils.

As the temperatures increase in your area keep an eye on soil moisture levels and any new cracks in your home. These are signs of future movements and potential foundation problems. While some will tell you that you can reverse the effects of drying soils with soaker hoses, the amount of water necessary to do this is usually unpractical. A simple one inch rain that falls on a 1,500 square foot roof equals nearly 1,000 gallons of water. When you add in the water that falls on your lawn it is simple to see replacing this quantity of water can become very difficult and expensive. 



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