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Foundation Repair During the Midwest Drought

clock December 15, 2011 05:42 by author
High quality steel piers are used by engineers to make foundation repairs. Concrete pressed piles are a cheap repair method used by unskilled contractors.

Foundation Repair Systems



Foundation repairMuch of the Midwest, especially from Kansas City to Dallas has experienced a tremendous drought.The soils have dried out to the point where homes are settling everywhere. Record numbers of foundations are being repaired throughout the Midwest. When there is a spike in any home repairs, whether its roof replacement, basement waterproofing or foundation repairs, bad contractors pop up everywhere. These contractors come in and use cheap methods of repair and move on to the next area as soon as the work dries up.


Not all methods of foundation repair were created equal. In fact, most techniques rely on the very dry, unstable soil for support. When choosing a foundation repair method for your home, you should know what the contractor performing the repair is offering. If they use concrete cylinders, pressed concrete piles, bottle jacks or some other cheap repair method, run far away. If your local contractor uses a steel pier method that is designed and engineered, like the ECP Steel Piers, invite them in and get a written quote for your structural repairs.

High quality steel piers are driven through the soil until they reach bedrock or other load bearing material: 

  This insures that the structure will not depend on the expansive soils prevalent in Kansas and Texas.

Engineered and designed to last a lifetime:

 The steel push pier method is the permanent solution to foundation problems, unlike concrete which may crack over time, steel piers last.

Each steel pier is individually tested to insure integrity:

Performing a synchronized lift or stabilization ensures high capacities and long term support.

Every ECP Steel Pier is mill certified and load tested for superior quality:

This insures that quality is not compromised, and is always superior.

Most projects are finished within a few days:

A typical project lasts no longer than 3-4 days, thanks to fully trained and skilled workers.


Methods of Foundation Repair

On the other hand, concrete pressed pilings or concrete cylinders are cheap and quick. Contractors use unskilled labor and low grade products to get in and out as quickly as possible leaving homeowners with short term fixes that almost always require regular adjustments due to ever changing weather conditions. These precast pressed piling are driven into the soil using bottle jacks and require soil friction for support. This is the same soil that is settling due to the dry weather.

Concrete pressed piles can crack or crumble under the homes load:

Concrete breaks under uneven loads due to misalignment

Precast concrete piles are unable to resist bending moments due to lateral loads:

Segmented piles are only held together by friction or a thin cable

Pressed concrete piles cannot attain sufficient depth:

6” diameter concrete cylinders cannot be driven deep enough for end bearing support

Many contractors use water-jetting to “lubricate” concrete pressed piles:

Injecting water into expansive soils is ill advised

Using cheap bottle jacks and shims to lift a structure as valuable as your home is not advisable:

Bottle jacks and human power does not compare to a hydraulic synchronized manifold lifting system as used on ECP Steel Piers.

Buyer beware, in times of tremendous drought. There are plenty of high quality foundation repair contractors available that use steel piering methods and will install them at reasonable prices. If you still are not convinced, contact an independent foundation engineer and ask him for his recommendation.


Helical Piles at Berklee College of Music

clock November 18, 2011 11:45 by author
Helical piles were used to renovate the Berklee College of Music just in 10 working days.

Helical Piles for Renovation


Helical piers, Helical piles

Berklee College of Music was renovating two existing buildings to make safety upgrades, including the installation of a new elevator. The project involved constructing several new foundations inside the buildings. Deep foundation support was required because this area of Boston was filled-in and the soils conditions were generally unfavorable for conventional spread footings.

Helical Piles: Engineered Foundation Technologies installed a total of 40 ECP helical piles to support the new loads. The pilings advanced through the poor fill soils and anchored into the Boston Clue Clay below. Pile lengths varied from about 18 feet deep to 28 feet deep.

EFT built a load frame and conducted a pile load test on a helical pier. This testing was done to confirm the performance of the helical pier system. The project was successfully completed in 10 working days.

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. Get a free estimate for settlement issues today!

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.




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