Unsupported Foundation Case Studies
No matter what you do to take care of and protect yourself, there’s
nothing you can do to prevent a natural disaster. And in the case of a
natural disaster, there is often little you can do to prevent damage to
In Littlefield, Arizona, when a river overflowed its banks and flooded
the area, it eroded away soil beneath the residence. The flood waters
washed away so much soil the front corner of the home was hanging in the
air with no structural support beneath it. The owner of the home acquired
a large beam to temporarily add support to the structure, but he needed
a permanent solution. The owner called Ram Jack Utah to take care of the problem.
Initially, the engineering firm’s plans included helical piles to
support the structure, the creation of a form around the perimeter of
the eroded area, and filling the interior with a sand slurry through holes
to be drilled in the slab of the structure.
The experts at Ram Jack Utah proposed an alternate solution that would
both fill the empty space perfectly while providing the structural support
the front corner of the home needed. Ram Jack proposed using structural
polyurethane foam rather than slurry to fill the void beneath the home’s
foundation. This provided numerous advantages, including being lighter
in weight, requiring less time to install, costing less, and not requiring
removal of the floor covers for installation. Ram Jack Utah also proposed
using strategically placed steel helical piles in order to lift the structure
to an even level.
The helical piles were installed using a rotary torque driver and a mini
excavator. After the first corner pile was placed, the temporary wood
support beam was removed, and the rest of the piles were installed. Foam
was installed throughout the process and allowed to cure as needed. When
finished, the foam extended to the perimeter of the structure, occupying
over 200 ft.3 Seven (7) 2 7⁄8 in. helical piles with guide sleeves
and low profile brackets were installed to an average depth of 25 ft.,
lifting the structure 1.5 in. for complete recovery.
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