The following procedures are followed by Granite Foundation Repair during the installation of concrete pilings to assure that the customer receives the best possible foundation repair in Plano, Dallas, or any of the surrounding areas by driving the piling system as deep as possible.
Clay soil limits the installation depth of pressed concrete pilings. Pressed concrete pilings are carefully driven by Granite Foundation Repair to refusal. Refusal is defined as the depth at which the piling system encounters sufficient resistance to prevent the attainment of further depth. Resistance is caused both by the sides of the piling and the end.
In Dallas, Coppell, Garland, and surrounding DFW Metro areas, the refusal may be caused either by compressed clay, or rock/sandstone and typically occurs at depths of ten to twenty-five feet. It is possible to attain refusal at depths as shallow as five feet, but this is not a recommended practice except unless refusal is caused by stone.
Review Locations of Utility Markings
This knowledge is essential to prevent any accidental damage to these utilities during the construction process, which could lead to safety hazards and costly repairs.
Crew Chief Reviews General Condition of Structure
This comprehensive inspection helps identify any pre-existing structural issues, weaknesses, or damage that might impact the foundation work. By assessing the overall state of the building, the crew can plan accordingly and make necessary adjustments to ensure a successful foundation project.
Identify Pier Locations Per the Pier Diagram
Some location adjustments may be necessary due to trees, plumbing, A/C, buried cables, etc. It’s important to note that sometimes adjustments are required due to various factors such as the presence of trees, plumbing systems, air conditioning units, or buried cables.
Collaborate with Property Owners
With the property owner, review pier placement in those areas with bushes, trees, garden plants, flowers, and concrete breakouts. Concrete breakouts are necessary to install pilings in areas covered by sidewalks, driveways, or patios. In places where concrete breakouts are necessary to accommodate the piers, it’s crucial to discuss these plans with the property owner to ensure alignment with their preferences and expectations.
Place Protective Ground Cover (Plastic or Plywood)
To safeguard the property during the foundation work, protective ground cover, such as plastic sheets or plywood, is laid down as needed. This helps prevent damage to the landscaping, surfaces, and surrounding areas.
Identify Locations for Electrical and Water Hook-up to the House
The crew identifies the locations where electrical and water hook-ups will connect to the house. This step is essential to ensure that these utilities are properly integrated with the foundation work and the overall structure.
Remove Plants as Needed for Pier Installation
Small plants and most bushes may not survive being transplanted. In preparation for pier installation, it may be necessary to remove plants from the designated areas. It’s important to note that small plants and most bushes may not survive being transplanted, so removal is often the most practical option.
- If concrete break-out is required for the pier location, saw cut edges and jackhammer out the concrete. When concrete breakouts are necessary for pier placement, the crew uses tools like saws to cut precise edges and jackhammers to remove the concrete efficiently.
- Dig top holes approximately 3’x 3’ to a depth of approximately 27” below the grade beam. Cut sprinkler lines as needed and later splice. During this process, sprinkler lines may need to be cut, but they will be spliced later to restore functionality.
- Place pre-cast concrete cylinders under grade beam and use hydraulics to slowly drive the pilings to refusal. The grade beam should rise 1-2 inches to assure refusal. Driving adjacent piers at the same time is not recommended.
- Place trapezoidal block atop concrete cylinder piling, and hydraulic jack atop block.
- After all pilings are installed, lift house in pre-determined sections using hydraulic jacks. Lift as much as practical. Place 2 concrete cylinders cut to length atop block. Insert steel shims as needed. Requires one individual periodically inside house to monitor lift.
- Fill holes with soil, mounding to allow for future settlement. Splice sprinkler lines. Replace plants where practical.
- Patch concrete breakouts, touch up mortar and caulk in areas of pilings.
- When specified by contract, epoxy patch cracks in slab.
- Rake area and remove excess dirt.
- Final walk around property with customer to assure customer satisfaction.
Interior Piers/ Pilings:
Same process as exterior piers, with the following additions:
- The customer should have the furniture removed and the carpet lifted for an area of 6 feet from any pier location. We recommend a carpet repair specialist, who can as well remove and replace furniture and re-seam. Pets must be removed.
- The customer shall have the area cleared so that a worker with a standard wheel barrel can transport dirt outside of the house.
- Pier location shall approximate drawing, and where practical the pier shall be located at a grade beam. When no beam is available, depending upon slab strength, metal reinforcement may need to be used under the slab. Typically that reinforcement is a 4”-6” I Beam, approximately 2 feet long.
- The floor shall be covered with sufficient plastic and/or fiberboard (RAM BOARD) to create a walkway to the outside, except in areas of bare concrete breakout.
- It may be necessary to put plastic on the walls to minimize dust accumulation.
- Interior openings in occupied structures shall be covered overnight.
- Saw cutting can create a dust storm and is seldom used inside the structure.
- Remove plastic and sweep or vacuum as needed after pier installation and patching of the concrete.
- Final walk around the property to assure customer satisfaction.
Installing pressed concrete pilings in clay soil is a complex process that requires extensive foundation repair knowledge. It’s, therefore, best to rely on a professional. If you need help inspecting your property’s foundation consider partnering with the experts at Granite Foundation Repair. We have the skills to protect your property and ensure that its foundation remains in good condition!