Foundation Repair and Replacement
There are two types of foundation settlement. Uniform foundation settlement and differential foundation settlement. Differential foundation settlement is what tends to cause the most problems because portions of the structure settle at different rates than other sections.
There are many causes for foundation settlement. In our area, we typically see settlement from the collapse of limestone cavities, organic soil decomposition, undermining of the foundation during severe rain events and foundations being built on top of buried vegetation.
Sometimes the foundation under a structure is in good shape, however it has begun to settle. This situation usually warrants a foundation repair instead of a replacement. Helical pilings, push piers and screw jacks can be installed throughout the structure to return the bearing back down to load bearing soils. This method is usually less intrusive and faster to install then a foundation replacement.
We typically recommend foundation replacement in older structures. Usually, these foundations were adequate for the original structure, however as more additions have been added over the years, the foundations became inadequate and began to settle. Sometimes the foundations have just outlived their life span. We see this quite often in coastal areas with structures on wooden pilings. The best option in this scenario is to replace the entire foundation system. This breathes new life into the structure and allows for a level and solid foundation.