Cracked Foundation Repair with Steel Push Piers

clock January 16, 2012 04:19 by author
Steel Push Piers are the most popular form of foundation repair for settling homes. When installed by trained foundation repair contractors steel push piers will provide years of structural support.

Foundation Repair using Steel Push Piers

Foundation repair, steel push piers

One of the advantages of using push piers (resistance piers) for foundation repair is that they use quiet vibration free hydraulic equipment to  install the steel resistance piers. All of the installation equipment is highly portable and can be easily transported on the jobsite. After all of the steel push piers are installed and load tested, the structure can be immediately restored or lifted by transferring the load of the home to the piers. There's no time wasted, waiting for concrete to cure, and no soil to remove from the site. A measured factor of safety is verified, as the piers are 100% load tested to a force greater than the actual working load. This all means that you will get verified structural support for many years when you require steel push piers to be used on your home’s foundation.

Remember to always consult with an independent professional engineer before starting any structural foundation repairs and these repairs should only be performed by trained foundation repair contractors.

Steel Push Piers Installation

Below, the following steps the typical installation procedure for the largest selling Steel Push Piers:

1. Site survey: Pier placements are located around the structure and the location of underground utilities verified.

2. steel push piersExcavation: Small excavations or the entire perimeter is dug for access at each placement location. The space required at the foundation is usually about 3 feet square.

3. Prep of the foundation: This includes notching the concrete footing to place the push pier bracket under the stem wall, preparing the bearing area under the footing to a smooth and level condition, and adjusting the face of the stem wall to vertical at the point of bracket attachment.

4. Bracket Attachment: The steel resistance pier bracket is secured to the footing using anchor bolts. Attachment of the drive stand and the hydraulic cylinder that is used to force the pier pipe into the soil is mounted on the drive stand.

5. Push Pier Pipe Installation: The steel pier pipe is advanced into the soil using the structure as the reaction force with a 10,000 psi hydraulic pump and cylinder combination. The piers may be installed from outside or inside the structure. Pier installation continues until rock or suitable bearing-strata is encountered below the unstable soil near the surface.

6. Load Test: Every resistance pier is load tested by increasing the force on the pier to insure the rock or bearing-strata will support a load greater than needed to guarantee a factor of safety. Typically an engineer will determine the load of the structure and the desired factor of safety before the load tests are performed.

7. cracked foundation repairPreps for Restoration: Once all push piers have been installed, load tested, and the installation data at each placement recorded; lifting head assemblies and hydraulic lifting rams are placed on the steel piers. The lifting cylinders are connected with one or more manifolds and operated using a hydraulic pump.

8. Restoration: Under careful supervision, the load is transferred from the existing failing strata under the foundation, to the load tested piers. The structure can be transferred gently and evenly lifted to as close to the original elevation or to the recommendation of the engineer. The nuts at the pier caps are secured at each placement and the lifting equipment is removed.

9. Clean Up: The soil that was excavated at each steel push pier placement is now replaced and compacted. The site is left clean and neat.

Foundation Repair Solutions

If you have noticed cracks in your drywall, brick or foundation you might need steel push piers to provide structural support foundation repairs. Whether your foundation is concrete block, poured concrete or composed of stone, steel push piers should be your first choice as a foundation repair solution. Foundation repair or structural underpinning projects, with steel push piers, are usually completed in just days, not weeks.



Foundation Repair Piering

clock September 9, 2011 12:49 by author blogadmin
Hot and dry weather causes foundation problems and steel push piers solve them.

Foundation Repair Using a Piering System

 

 

The dry weather has a hold on much o the Midwest and many homes and homeowners are feeling its effects.Foundation repair, steel push pier Foundation repairs and hot/dry weather go hand and hand. As many soils dry, they tend to consolidate and this consolidation causes home foundations to sink. The first signs can be drywall cracking, exterior brick cracks and misalignment of doors and windows.

To stop this, homeowners need to look to the engineering community and quality foundation repair contractors that understand the benefits of steel push piers that are designed and engineered to perform.

Small, quiet and vibration free hydraulic equipment is used to install the steel push piers, also known as resistance piers. Piers, like the ECP Steel Pier System is designed to drive deeply through soils and bear on rock or other load bearing material. As soils shrink, from the summer heat, steel piers will support the homes foundation keeping the structure stable and crack free. The galvanized steel pipe used in the ECP Steel Pier System will provide many years of support, even in wet or corrosive areas.

Earth Contact Products (ECP), is the leading manufacturer of foundation repair and basement waterproofing products made in the industry. The steel piers belong to a family of patented foundatio repair products. These piers are the top choice for foundation repair used by contractors. Each pier is load tested after it is installed. The piers are able to develop a factor of safety because the piers are installed and load tested individually using the maximum weight of the structure as the reaction force. During the load transfer, high pressure hydraulic jacks are placed at many locations, reducing the load on each pier. 

Piering Systems

Many other pier systems may look like or are promoted to be “as good as” the best steel pier system but fall short on many fronts. Some systems drive concrete cylinders very shallowly into the soil and try to provide support for homes. During dry season the short comings of concrete cylinders become obvious. First, as the soil dry’s it shrinks and pulls away from the cylinders much the same way you notice that the soil around your home pulls away from your foundation. This causes settlement and cracking throughout your home. This shallow piering method is not a long term solution to supporting your home.

Other pier systems use un-galvanized pipe or low pressure hydraulic systems that cannot drive the pier pipe nearly deep enough. Many systems also use bottle jacks (simple car jacks) in an attempt to drive pier pipe or to lift a home. Bottle jacks simply are not designed for this type of application. Many times they can create more damage to the home than was originally found.

Simply, your home is probably your most valuable asset – don’t settle for inferior pier systems to be used to support your home. Demand that your foundation repair contractor use the best designed and engineered products like the ECP Steel Pier System. Your home is worth it and you will not have to worry about future foundation repair problems.

 



Foundation Repair Methods – The good and the bad

clock July 19, 2009 19:04 by author blogadmin
Understanding the good and the bad of the different foundation repair methods prevents homeowners from spending their hard earned money badly.

 

Understanding the positives and negatives of each foundation repair method will help with your decision when picking a foundation repair contractor. Some contractors advertise that they can put in every type of piering system, other concentrate on just one or two piering methods. The “jacks of all trades” usually are the master of none. They generally take short cuts and due to the fact that they are not thoroughly trained in each specific method. The foundation repair contractors that pick a system or two and stick with it generally can master the methods and provide a better quality job. They may not have the answer for every situation but they will generally provide better quality work on the jobs that they accept.

The next thing that you need to know is the positives and negative (limitations) of each foundation repair method. All commonly accepted methods have their place or application where they shine. Some methods, like steel push piers and helical anchors, are more adaptable to different situations, yet even they have their limitations. Using the correct method for your particular application is the difference between a job well done and job that is only a temporary band aid.

 

 Concrete Concrete Cylinders  Helical  Push
cheap      X       X    
utilizes skin friction for support      X       X    
bottle jacks used      X       X    
shims used for leveling      X       X    
high failure rate      X       X    
works in confined spaces         X     X    X
engineered lifting system         X    X
multiple bracket designs         X    X
Load tested during installation         X    X
Design flexibility         X    X 

 

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Foundation Repair

clock March 22, 2009 19:26 by author blogadmin
The solution to fixing a settling foundation, is to hire a professional engineer. An expert can provide foundation repair methods to make your home stable.

Does your basement or slab foundation need repaired?

 

Understanding the reasons for foundation repairs is the first step to deciding which method is best for your home. It is crucial for homeowners to not only understand the reasons for foundation repairs but also the limitations of said repairs. Homeowners must also know who to contact for these repairs. There are many different methods and solutions that must be waded through before making the correct decision for your home and family.

Foundation repair is defined as: the art of underpinning or stabilizing a structure that has moved from its originally constructed design. To underpin a home or structure one must extend the current foundation into a soil strata or layer that is deeper and more stable than the current soil that the foundation is resting upon. This is accomplished by providing additional support from the current footing or wall via piers or anchors. Methods of foundation repairs include push piers, plate anchors, helical anchors or drilled concrete piles.

The people responsible for designing and instituting these methods include foundation engineers and foundation repair contractors. A foundation engineer is responsible to evaluate the structure in question and then provide a proposal for his design. Generally the engineer will recommend a foundation repair contractor to carry out his proposed plan for repair and then sign off on this plan upon the completion of fixing your foundation problem. While it is not always legally necessary for an engineer to be involved it is highly recommended anytime structural repairs are executed.

Inadequate soil conditions are caused by several factors. With suitable building sites becoming more scarce many home builders have been building houses on less than ideal lots. These subpar lots have less than suitable soil conditions to support many structures. There are also homes built on expansive soils that shrink and swell as rainfall and moisture levels change. Due to these conditions foundation support products must be utilized to supply support from deeper layers that are not as affected by fluctuating moisture levels. This underpinning provides a way to lift the home to an acceptable level and prevent additional settlement.

Slab on grade or pier and beam foundations are the most susceptible to weak or expanding soils. Due to the nature of having a large surface area resting on the uppermost soil layers these foundations have a tendency to move as the soil moves. Most slab on grade homes are monolithically poured with the slab and beams cast together creating a rigid foundation. This rigid foundation becomes susceptible to differential settlement when moisture levels under the slab do not remain consistent. This can result from broken water lines, poor drainage or even inadequate guttering. Trees can also affect soils by their roots drying out areas under these slabs while the rest of the slab has normal moisture content.

Differential settlement causes slab on grade foundations to rise on the perimeter (dish) or fall around the perimeter (dome). Steel push piers and helical piers are generally an engineer’s recommended solution for these conditions. These piers penetrate through unstable soils down to a more consistent soil layer that has adequate strength to support the structure. These piering systems provide a deep foundation that can now be lifted off of to regain an adequate elevation.

In the case of homes with basements, expansive clay soils that have been over saturated with water can cause hydrostatic pressure on walls. This newly imposed pressure can cause wall bowing and concrete cracking. In extreme cases, catastrophic failure can occur from these wall stresses. When basement homes are originally designed it is with normal moisture content. Poor drainage often causes undue pressure to build behind basement walls exerting forces on the basement foundation. This is often the source of concrete cracking and water to infiltrate the space. Once again it is generally the differential movement that causes the foundation repair problem.

There are two common fixes to bowing basement walls. Plate Anchors (wall anchors) are an effective solution for many homes. These wall anchors are imbedded into competent soils beyond a zone of influence surrounding the structure. Threaded rods are then connected to these anchors on one end with the opposite end being attached to a wall plate inside the basement. With this system total excavation is not required and because of this additional soil load, wall recovery is accomplished over time with continued tightening of the anchor rods.

Next, there are helical tiebacks. This system of basement or retaining wall anchoring involves the complete excavation of the affected area. Helical anchors are screwed into the soil hydraulically, and then attached with a wall plate situated inside the basement wall. With the full excavation the wall can be instantaneously pulled back to plumb. The helical anchor can resist very heavy loads due to their design and the fact of their installation force equates to their resisting force.

Whatever the solution to your concrete cracks knowing the cause of your foundation problem is the first step to fixing your foundation. Hiring a professional engineer is always the first step to making your home structurally sound. Now go out and check your foundation for a concrete crack or settlement.

 



Concrete Foundation Repair

clock February 26, 2009 19:44 by author blogadmin
Our concrete foundation repair solutions include quality hydraulic piers. Our piers are designed to lift, support, and stabilize your sinking concrete.

Hydraulic piering can be used to lift and stabilize sinking concrete. Whether you have cracks, water problems or settling basement walls hydraulic push piers may be the best solution for your foundation repairs. Foundation settlement and movement requiring foundation repair can be caused by building on expansive clay or improperly compacted fill soils, or the lack of maintenance around foundations. Whatever the reason, understanding steel hydraulic push piers is the first step to fixing your concrete foundation problem.

Hydraulic push piers are driven pier systems consisting of sections of galvanized steel pipe supporting steel foundation brackets. The piers are a point bearing pile that are driven with a hydraulic ram through unstable soils to a load bearing strata. Sufficient hydraulic pressure is required to make sure that the pier material is able to reach this load bearing stratum or bedrock. Pressures of 4,000 to 8,000psi are very common on average homes.

Each pier is then individually load tested, and the structure is either stabilized or lifted with a synchronized hydraulic manifold system to insure maximum practical recovery. The manifold system is generally required by foundations engineers to lift or effectively stabilize a home. This system has been shown to successfully support structures in virtually all soil conditions, and can be used for stabilizing foundations and slabs built on questionable soil, as well as seismic protection, and commercial applications.

For more detailed information on the steps of repairing a failed foundation visit http://www.earthcontactproducts.com/PierInstallationSequence.asp

 



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