As a home ages, it can settle many times over the years and into many different levels. As moisture levels expand and contract, weather floods nearby areas or dries the earth out, or earthquakes shake the property, your home can be tossed to-and-fro, and that is enough to result in your house settling at just enough of an angle to cause difficulty in opening or closing doors, windows, or cupboards. When that occurs, your home’s structural integrity is compromised, so what can you do? Keep your foundation even by using piles, piers, and caissons.
The use of foundation piles is nothing new. Hundreds of years ago settling homes were lifted, and piles were placed under the foundation to straighten the house. Wood, composite, and concrete are all popular pile materials, and are used to block water, loose soil, and absorb the building’s weight. The most popular of the piles is the helical piles which use two flat steel plates with a heavy pipe between them. The home lifting company utilizes a jack to lift the house, and the plates are screwed into position, and then cement blocks are used for security purposes.
Steel pipes can be driven into the ground and secured to the foundation. These piers and are often used on homes on secure soil with only one side shifting. The caisson, on the other hand, secures homes built on poor soil or when the building is heavy or large, such as an apartment building. Caissons are created by drilling a large hole deep into the ground and filling it with concrete to make a reliable foundation to secure the building to.
There is no way to prevent shifting of the earth, damage from earthquakes, or settling after an area flood. But you can be certain you can shore up your home with piles, piers, and caissons. Contact your nearest house lifters or foundation specialists at the first sign of trouble to make sure you fix the problem early. Your home will thank you.