Foundational Underpinnings: Foundation Repair in Raleigh
Foundation failure is always a serious matter. Do not let it go unchecked by a structural engineer (as I mentioned in a prior blog https://www.goliathtechnc.com/foundation-repair-raleigh/). Foundation repair efforts can be minimal if caught early.
Left unattended, minor problems below often manifest as major problems above. This is not too terribly different than what doctors tell us about our health. If you let small problems fester, they become major health issues. What starts as a tiny crack in your basement’s floor or wall can easily lead to:
- Buckling walls
- Leaning chimneys
- Poorly fitting doors (both interior or exterior)
- Sagging roofs
In some severe cases, foundation failure can even lead to significant water damage throughout the home. This is one of the worst case scenarios. Water is extremely destructive and can cost thousands to fix.
Once things like a leaning chimney appear, now you know you have a problem. But the chimney itself is a result of the underlying problem.
The question is, how do you add extra support to your foundation, which is already supporting so much already? How do you support the support?
Foundational Underpinning — Supporting the Supports
The goal is to raise the foundation to the original level. But how? The secret lies in underpinning: a process in which you create artificial supports to prop up compromised portions of the underlying foundation. Once this is complete, necessary repairs can be started.
There are many different ways to accomplish this foundational underpinning, some of which require extensive excavations and lots of concrete. Although effective, these methods are costly — in terms of money and time. Some concrete supports take weeks to dry; and once set, these piles and pillars are very difficult to adjust afterward.
Traditional underpinning methods are also dangerous — especially when repairing foundations are set in expansive soil. North Carolina, for example, is notorious for its red clay varieties, which absorb and lose moisture more rapidly than many other soil types. Trying to repair foundations after unusually rainy seasons or dry spells often requires more support than conventional underpinning strategies allow.
This is why many foundation experts call us to assist. We are experts in the installation of helical piles instead of concrete pilings or piers.
Also known as “screw anchors,” or “Helical Piers”; helical anchors offer the structural integrity and strength of more invasive underpinning methods — for a fraction of the cost. And our helical piles by GoliathTech are the market leaders in both strength and quality.
Now that we have settled on the optimal approach, our foundation repair teams bore deep holes at carefully selected intervals along the foundation edge. The foundation repair team then attach brackets along the edge before sliding steel pipes through the brackets into the pre-dug holes. Using our mini excavator, these helical piles go deep into the earth until they hit the engineers torque requirements.
Once all of helical piles are installed, the foundation repair team then uses hydraulics to raise the entire structure to its “pre-damaged” levels. Then, the technicians can begin whatever repairs are necessary — from filling cracks to replacing entire portions of the foundation floor.
Why Are Helical Piles the Better Foundation Repair Choice in Raleigh?
There are several advantages that helical piles have over more-conventional underpinning approaches, including:
- Speed. You don’t have to wait for concrete to settle. In fact, you don’t even have to wait for the ground to dry after a rainy spell. The helical piles go deep into the ground until they hit the torque requirements.
- Strength. Our Helical Piles are usually made of deep galvanized steel (60ksi) meaning they have an almost unlimited ability to support any stress you place on them. The home will likely continue to settle even after the repair job is complete. However, the underlying helical piles ensure that the foundation doesn’t shift in the future.
- Flexibility. Our Helical Piles come in all shapes and sizes, allowing us to customize the solution for the most complex foundation repair problem
- Aesthetics. Helical piles leave a very small footprint. We are able to install the helical piles with little damage to the yard and landscaping. Clean up is quick and short..
These benefits exist regardless of geography — but in the Carolinas; Raleigh, Chapel Hill, and Durham specifically, helical piles are optimal choice, because soil conditions and inconsistent precipitation make foundation damage unusually common — and foundation repair surprisingly challenging.
Our Helical Piles represent a cost-effective and practical solution for foundation repair teams working in regions prone to erosion, landslides, floods and droughts as well as the Raleigh area.
To learn more about Helical Piles and foundation repair leveraging underpinning, give us a call.