Selecting the Right Method for Restoring a Concrete Foundation

Posted on: 14 June 2017

Your building's foundation stands up to the weight of all the parts built above the ground. On that note, foundations often run into problems because of the immense pressure caused by the weight of the whole building and the treacherous conditions in the soil. Some of the warning signs of a bad foundation include sinking walls, wall rotation, and cracked walls. Misaligned doors are also an indication that you are running into problems. Engineers have come up with numerous ways that can help you restore the strength of your foundation. Here is a look at two of the best techniques used for restoring concrete foundations:

Slab Jacking

Sinking concrete foundations often result because the foundation is installed on dirt that hasn't been compacted properly. However, excessive surface run-off and erosion can shrink the soil around the foundation and force the foundation to sink. This is where slab jacking comes in handy. Slab jackers restore the position of the foundation by floating it back to the original position. The process involves pumping a mixture of cement, sand, additives and fly ash beneath the foundation to lift it back to the original position. Essentially, the slab jackers drill patterned holes one and a half to two inches apart to provide an avenue for the grout mixture. The mixture is then pumped at a pressure of around 10psi.

Benefits: Slab jacking comes with a host of benefits when compared to other methods of restoring concrete foundations. First, the procedure can be carried out in any weather. Secondly, you do not dig up or disrupt the landscape around the concrete foundation.

Piering or Piling

Piering is another method employed in the restoration of concrete foundations. It relies on mechanical jacks placed strategically to raise the foundation's beam back to its initial positon. When doing this, due care must be taken to prevent any further damage to the beam. Piling involves the insertion of steel pilings to rectify a sinking foundation. The pilings are made from epoxy coated or galvanised steel, and they are driven into the foundation using a hydraulic ram. Generally, piering is ideal for cases where the foundation has shifted adversely from its position, necessitating angular, vertical and horizontal adjustments.

Benefits: Piering is a reliable technique because engineers can determine the appropriate number of piers to use after comparing the load capacity of each pier and the weight imposed on the foundation by the building. Moreover, piers also reach deeper into the soil for better anchorage.