Foundation Repair During the Midwest Drought

Foundation Repair Systems to Support Problems from the Drought

dry soilMuch 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 ensures 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 ensure 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 ensures 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 pilesConcrete 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.

 

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