Foundation Heave Recovery
Located in a Washington, Utah housing tract built on expansive bedrock
locally known as “blue clay,” this residence looked to be
in perfect condition on the surface. However, underneath its post-tension
slab foundation, the “blue clay,” which is particularly susceptible
to expansion and contraction, was slowly shifting, and the residence could
not escape the resulting foundation issues.
Over time, the “blue clay” absorbed extensive amounts of water,
causing expansion of the clay. Faulty irrigation and grading in the backyard
exacerbated the problem, and the final result was up to 4.5 in. of heave
at the back of the house. From the back to the front, the house had a
significant slope, and the floors were clearly uneven.
After a thorough inspection and analysis of the soil, Ram Jack Utah engineers
recommended the use of helical piles to support the post-tensioned slab
while the soil beneath was excavated. Once removed, the pile support system
would lower the single family residence back to its original elevation,
removing any slope and restoring the structure to its original condition.
After removing the concrete from the perimeter of the home, the helical
piles were installed and the “blue clay” soil was excavated
using a Vac-Tron high pressure water system. Ram Jack Utah employees were
careful not to compromise any existing rebar and foundation. Once the
soil was excavated, the home was lowered to proper elevation. A water
barrier was also installed to prevent subsequent water damage in the newly
created space beneath the home. The pavement was replaced, and the home
was good as new. The owner was more than satisfied with the job.
Download the full case study in pdf format