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Stabilizing a Sagging Foundation

February 18, 2019

Tree stumps are not a solid base for footings

This homeowner contacted us when she noticed a large crack in her garage wall near a corner.

Upon inspection, our design specialist observed few signs of settling within the house aside from windows being slightly stuck.

However, on the outside of the garage there were significant signs of sinking, which would then lead to extensive damage within the home.

The house was built in the mid ‘70’s, but this sinking section was added to the house 10 years ago. The solution: push piers to raise the sinking corner 3-4 inches and prevent the foundation from sinking any further.

We excavated the outside of the garage wall down to the footing of the foundation.

The steel bracket attaches to the bottom of the footing and receives steel rods, which are pushed into the ground. It is held in place by those blue jacks.

The steel rods are driven into the ground and capped off once there is enough pressure under them. This ensures the home will no longer settle or sink.

The footing, which was separated from the foundation, was then hydraulically lifted and reattached, preventing any further cracking in the walls and stabilizing the entire foundation.

We found that the general contractor who built the addition had placed the footings and foundation directly on stumps and trees, which of course is a big mistake.

As the trees decomposed, the ground began to sink and took the foundation with it.

The push piers were securely fastened to the bottom of the footings on the foundation and driven down 10-12 feet, beneath the sinking soil and into the bedrock below. This will prevent the home from sinking any further.

The push piers need to be placed under the footings, so we prepped and cleaned the surface around the installation points.

We also slightly lifted the footing up to the bottom of the foundation to reconnect them. However, we chose to not lift the house too much because there was little damage within the house. Lifting the house too much could possibly have cracked the drywall.

Problem solved and customer satisfied.

—Niles Erikson works with Erickson Construction and Erikson Foundation Supportworks in Hudson, NH

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