The foundation is the most important part of your structure and SSC has many years of experience of designing and inspecting foundations in a variety of situations for both residential and commercial properties. Foundations are normally concrete, laid underground as a structural base to a wall. SSC takes all measures necessary that your foundation design is correct for your situation and will meet all codes.
Foundation problems should be addressed as soon as they are discovered and before the damage is irreversible. The two most common types of foundation failures are foundation settlement (vertical movement of the footers) and foundation wall bowing (lateral movement of below-grade walls).
Typical signs of foundation settlement are stair-step cracks and vertically sheared bricks or blocks.
Bowing walls will commonly have a long horizontal crack starting near a corner foundation to the opposite corner of the same wall. This crack is typically within the middle third of the wall, but can be in the upper third as well. Horizontal cracks in the lower third of the wall are often associated with a shift or offset of blocks rather than a bow of the wall.
The most common and typically most economical method of repairing failed foundations that have settled is to install a series of steel underpinning piers below the affected foundation area. The concept is founded on the principle of turning or pushing an anchor into stable subsoil strata until the torque or pressure applied indicates that the necessary load capacity has been achieved. The load-bearing steel shafts are installed independent of the structure and their bearing or holding capacity is verified as each pier is installed.
Adjustable brackets are then attached to the base of your foundation walls, connecting the anchors to the foundation. The weight of your home is then shifted to the anchors. In the process, foundations, walls, and floors are repositioned and retained (i.e., “jacked”) from further movement.
The three most common remedial methods of stabilizing bowing walls are installing a series of (1) vertical struts or I-beams, (2) wall anchors or dead-man anchors, and (3) carbon strips. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages and not all methods can be used in every situation. An SSC structural engineer can typically determine the most appropriate remediation method based on a visual observation of the failing wall.
Foundation remediation systems should only be installed only by contractors who have been certified by the manufacturer of the piering system used.