Concrete Pier Failure
Having a “newly constructed home” does not necessarily mean
it will be free from foundation issues. A beautiful new home perched on
a hillside on the outskirts of a small urban area in southern Oklahoma
was purchased by a young family ready to grow. What they didn’t
know was that this new purchase would have significant issues within the year.
Situation: During the building phases, the hillside which afforded beautiful views
from the back patio had to be leveled using a process called “cut
and fill.” Drilled concrete piers were placed around the perimeter;
however, with no soils information or monitoring tools, the preventative
measures taken were improperly prepared and poorly executed. Only a few
months after moving into the home cracks began appearing in the sheetrock
and brick exterior. Doors no longer worked, causing issues for emergency
exits and daylight could be seen through the walls. Over the course of
the next two years the settling would become severe enough to compromise
the structure causing the home to become unlivable. Displaced from their
home and fighting a legal battle, the owners turned to Ram Jack for support.
Proposed Solution: After close monitoring, Ram Jack of Oklahoma & Arkansas identified
the entire home to have experienced structural damage due to foundation
settlement—over 11” in some areas. The entire perimeter of
the home needed to be stabilized by driven steel piling, and the interior
slab needed helical slab stabilization. Before installation could occur,
all existing concrete piers had to be disconnected from the structure,
then 60 interior helical piles and 39 exterior driven steel piles could
be installed to a proper load-bearing strata to support the home for the
lifetime of the structure.
Outcome: The Ram Jack foundation system went more than 30’ deep, a stark
contrast to the 10’ depth reached in the preventative concrete pilings.
By the end of the project, 10” of lift and more than a 90% recovery
was achieved, allowing the family to return to their home and have peace
of mind that the problems wouldn’t return.
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