A foundation is a critical part of any building structure. This is because a house sits on the foundation that rests on the footing thus dispersing the weight of the structure upon the soil. When a house foundation gets damaged, the foundation begins to settle necessitating major repairs which are costly.
One of the main reasons that cause a foundation to get damaged is if the original foundation wasn’t strong enough. Other causes of foundation damage include earthquakes, floods, changing usage of a structure, Change of soil supporting the foundation and construction of nearby structures causing soil excavation.
There are many methods to fix a damaged foundation. However, underpinning the foundation with a pier system is one of the best and most effective techniques. This process involves using piers to strengthen a building’s foundation.
Why It Is Good to Use an Experienced Professional To Underpin Your Foundation
Some contractors fail to do a good job because of lack of good engineering knowledge or attempting to save costs. Contractors interested in simply making a sale may ignore fundamental guidelines associated with using piers to underpin a house foundation.
Cost of repairs is often dictated by the number of piers that are used to underpin the house. Some contractors recommend fewer piers than required to lower project costs. If the piers are spaced too far apart, the foundation is weakened causing it to sag and crack. This is dangerous because aside from compromising the safety of your house, the foundation soon gets damaged necessitating more repairs.
What Are The Qualities Of A Properly Engineered Pier System?
Unlike rogue contractors who try to take shortcuts using piers, a reputable expert follows the right procedure. Reputable contractors also offer their clients a full warranty that covers the entire repairs as opposed to a limited warranty.
A properly engineered pier system should address these 3 key factors:
- Type of structure i.e. it is a frame or brick structure?
- The number of storeys in a building
- Height of the building’s foundation.
Unfortunately, some contractors only install piers at the far ends and not on the foundation in between, causing weak points. A properly underpinned foundation conforms to the appropriate engineering technologies. Focus is not only restricted to installing the piers but also strengthening the foundation between them.
To prevent any foundation failures in future, correct pier spacing must be adhered to. The following are guidelines to be used when repairing sunken foundations. The underpinning foundation Texas guidelines have been released by The Foundation Performance Association.
General Pier Spacing Requirements & Guidelines:
While there are numerous guidelines, the following are general pier spacing guidelines:
- Regardless of the pier type, pier separation along exterior walls shouldn’t exceed 8 feet for a single story building and 6 feet for a two-story structure.
- A monolithic wing wall that exceeds 3 feet should be supported after every 8 feet.
- In the event of a wall setback, such as the front entrance of the building, a setback exceeding 3 feet and less than 9 feet should have not less than 4 piers.
- Piling or Pier supports should be installed at each corner when an exterior wall changes direction. There should be a minimum of one piling support on every side of the corner piling.
- A masonry fireplace measuring two by five foot should be supported by 4 piers for a two story and 3 piers for a one story structure.
Correct pier spacing in concrete slab foundation repairs should be done accurately to ensure there are no additional failures in the foundations future.
Granite Foundation Repair is a member of the Foundation Performance Association.