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Foundation Repair Case Studies: Princeton, IN Cracking Foundation in Home Repair

Monday, December 8th, 2014 by Cassi Sherman Henes

Challenge

These Princeton, IN homeowners had noticed that one portion of their east wall was settling, along with a chimney in the same area.  The initial concern about cracking and cosmetic issues was quickly overtaken by a tilting chimney.  The biggest issue was to immediately stabilize the chimney, which was shifting moment by moment.

Solution

The Healthy Spaces foundation specialist, Damon, was able to design a solution both for the failing section of the home's foundation and for the chimney.  Damon proposed having two helical piers installed under the chimney foundation and 4 push piers under the home.  Chimneys are generally too light to have push piers installed because push piers require resistance weight from the structure to help stabilize them during the installation process. 

The crew went to work quickly to install the helical piers under the chimney.  After excavating around the chimney base, they notched the foundation footer to align the helical pier bracket directly under the foundation wall for optimal support.  Next, they hydraulically turned the helical pier sections into the ground, similiarly to turning in a giant screw.  After achieving resistance pressure, they capped the piers and were able to restore the chimney to level condition.

Next, the team went to work excavating around the failing section of foundation wall in the home.  There were some tight conditions due to the chimney's location, but the crew was still able to use a trench excavation method.  Next, the team notched out the foundation footer where the four push pier brackets would go and aligned the brackets directly under the foundation wall.  Push pier sections were then hydraulically driven down through the brackets into the ground.  Once the piers reached load bearing strata, the installation team reported their readings and capped the piers.  During the installation process, they were able to regain 3/4" in lost elevation and close up an exterior crack completely.  After that, the team took laser level measurements and placed tiny rivets along the exterior of the structure at intervals to allow for easy determination if the structure was moving over time.  The homeowner was thrilled with the speed of the installation and the overall results!

Project Summary

Project Manager: Damon Cheatham

About the author
Cassi holds over 15 years experience in the construction, real estate, and education industries. She is certified in foundation repair technology, soil dynamics, and system design from the Foundation Supportworks Institute.

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