Foundation Repair Case Studies: Foundation Piering at Boy Scouts Lodge

Saturday, April 15th, 2017


Damage caused by foundation settlement included visible cracks in the floor, walls and fireplace.

Thrasher Foundation Repair was hired to repair this Boy Scouts of America lodge headquarters and to ensure the safety of the structure.

This 4,200-acre reservation welcomes nearly 7,000 scouts and 3,000 leaders every summer for camping. With many campers headed to the reservation in the coming summer, it was critical that the lodge is structurally sound and that this facility could provide a safe camping site for all the scouts. 

For several months, the lodge headquarters employees had been noticing concerning signs of movement in the structure. They had seen cracking and settling of the cafeteria floor.  

The workers had also begun to notice cracking and separation of the fireplace from the rest of the structure. The employees of the lodge headquarters decided to seek the advice of a foundation repair professionals to determine the extent of the damage and the potential repair options. 

In addition to performing rock drilling, we are skilled in the installation of other more specialized products such as grouted micropiles and helical pulldown piles for both foundation repair and new construction.

Thrasher sent out a field consultant to perform an investigation of the property. While driving into the reservation, our field consultant noticed a significant amount of outcropping and rock bits strewn across the soil. Thrasher's past experience in this area of the country had told us that rocky soils could create an issue with installing a resistance pier. Based on the field consultant's site observations and Thrasher's prior experiences in the area, it was determined that an exploratory excavation would be performed to determine the extent of rock in the soil. During the on-site inspection, elevations of the foundation were taken, and cracks in the floor and walls were measured and documented. 

Through the inspection, it was determined that the chimney and the foundation wall had settled 1.5". This settlement resulted in a rotational twist of the chimney away from the structure. It also resulted in the cracking and settling of the concrete slab floor near the chimney. 

Before determining a repair plan, exploratory excavations were needed to determine the extent of potential rock obstacles in the soil. The exploratory excavation revealed that cobbles and boulders within the clay soil matrix were found to an approximate depth of 10 feet. This confirmed Thrasher's concerns and meant that the standard repair approach would not work for this property. To install a piering system, Thrasher would first need to pre-drill through the rocky soils using specialized confined-space rock drilling equipment. Once the holes had been pre-drilled, push piers could be installed through drilled holes and embedded into bedrock.   

In addition to performing rock drilling, we are skilled in installing other more specialized products such as grouted micropiles and helical pulldown piles for both foundation repair and new construction.

Knowing that any piering system would first require pre-drilling to a minimum depth of 10', Thrasher proposed utilizing resistance piers as the repair product. The resistance piers would be installed through the pre-drilled holes and driven to bedrock. To achieve the desired result of fully stabilizing the foundation, lifting it back to its original position, and rotating the fireplace back in place, 16 resistance piers would be needed. After a thorough review of the repair plan, price, and alternative repair options, the Boy Scouts leaders decided to have Thrasher Foundation Repair perform the proposed work. 

Thrasher Foundation Repair coordinated the repair work with the schedule needs of the Boy Scouts of America reservation. On the agreed-upon date, Thrasher arrived on site and quickly began working on the repair.  

In about one week, Thrasher installed all 16 resistance piers and lifted the foundation 1.5" back to its original position. Not only had the perimeter foundation walls been raised back to the original, but the interior fireplace had also been lifted back to its original spot. The stabilization of the foundation was able to restore the concrete slab's levelness in the repair area, reduce structural stress on the foundation, floors and roof, and brought the building back to within code and engineering requirements.

When choosing a contractor to repair your building's foundation, it is not only important to choose a contractor who has the right repair product for the situation, but it is also essential to select the contractor with the right expertise and experience. When choosing to work with Thrasher, you are selecting a contractor who not only knows how to do the work correctly and has over 45 years' experience doing this type of repair work. So, don't leave the work to a beginner. Hire the trusted name in the industry, and call Thrasher.