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Settling of Unsupported Foundation Case Studies

Introduction: Sometimes a simple home project or repair can turn into something much more complicated. Such was the case with a home in Joanna, South Carolina. The homeowner was excavating the area around his home prior to building an additional basement when he noticed that the rear, right corner of his house was almost entirely unsupported. This could spell disaster if left unrepaired.

The Situation: After several weeks, the homeowner excavated a large amount of soil on one side of his home when he noticed that in just a few short weeks, the wall adjacent to the excavation site had settled around 1⁄2 in. A Ram Jack inspection revealed an unsupported foundation in the corresponding area, a settling and failing wall, and numerous significant cracks in the cinder block above the compromised region of the home. Intervention was absolutely necessary to avoid further damage, prevent potential structural collapse, and stabilize the structure.

Proposed Solution: Ram Jack proposed the installation of four (4) 2 7/8 in. helical piles with standard brackets and 7 ft. of angle iron between them to stabilize the exterior wall on the previously excavated side of the home. The helical piles would be used to restore the integrity of the structure and provide the needed support in the wall above the compromised area.

Outcome: Four piles were successfully installed to an average depth of 35 ft. for complete recovery of the structure. In order to ensure the piles functioned properly, each was installed at an individual angle that maximized contact with the wall above and established adequate support below. Not only was the structural integrity of the home restored, but the cracks in the damaged wall were closed. The homeowner was completely satisfied with the job.

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