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Apartment Elevation Recovery | Helical and Driven Pile Recovery

Case Studies

3.5 in. Maximum Practical Recovery Achieved on Apartment Building

San Diego, CA

Foundation settling can lead to door and window frames being misaligned, causing them to not work properly. Doors sticking can be a life or death situation: Property managers take tenant safety seriously.

The owner of an eight-unit, two-story, wood frame apartment building contacted Ram Jack Pacific when tenants made complaints of being stuck in apartments from sticking doors. Other warning signs of foundation issues were present: one corner noticeably sinking, sloping floors, out-of-square door frames, sticking windows, large cracks visible throughout the slab of a laundry room on one end of the building. While the building itself is situated on a relatively flat graded partial fill lot, the environment surrounding the structure likely caused settlement. A vacant lot on the south side of the structure on a partial fill slope descends approximately 20 ft. to a drainage course. Rainfall and landscape irrigation around the structure contributed to infiltration of surface water.

Ram Jack and Grantham Engineering took elevations and assessed the damage, noting a 3.6 in. settlement. Ram Jack Pacific proposed using both driven and helical piles to both repair the foundation and ensure the structure would not experience further settlement. Ram Jack also proposed providing crack repair and filling void space under the slab once the foundation was lifted.

Demolition of the laundry room and slab, as well as removal of plants and stumps, was necessary before excavation of holes for piles could begin. The Ram Jack crew worked tirelessly in narrow working space around the perimeter of the building. A total of 14 piles were placed on the exterior of the structure: 11 driven piles and three (3) helical tiebacks torqued at a 30-degree angle. Four (4) driven piles were installed on the interior at strategic grade beam locations. Maximum practical recovery was achieved with a 3.5 in. lift. Ram Jack Pacific dug footings and installed five (5) helical piles with new construction brackets to support a new laundry room slab. Ram Jack Pacific addressed cracks and voids once all pile work was complete. Fifty-plus (50+) linear feet of crack were repaired with carbon fiber staples and gravity-fed epoxy injection. A 2:1 ratio polyurethane foam was injected to fill any voids left after the lift.

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Project Type: Commercial
Year: 2016
Foundation Type: Slab
Pile Diameter: 2 7/8"

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