Foundation Repair Case Studies: Foundation Piering Stabilized Leaning Chimney

Monday, May 8th, 2017

Challenge

100-year-old Brick Chimney Pulling Away From House, Repaired

A gap between your chimney and exterior wall is a symptom of foundation settlement issues.

The homeowners had recently purchased a home built in the 20th century and were making renovations.  Their contractor noticed that the chimney was leaning and was concerned that it would put stress on the rest of the house.  Thrasher suggested underpinning the chimney to stabilize it and prevent future movement.

Our customers and their contractor were impressed with the efficiency of the crew while working in such difficult conditions – the project was completed in 2 days. The customer has since referred Thrasher on several occasions.

An unstable chimney may lead to bugs and water making it into the gap between the siding, bricks falling, or (if the lining is cracked) combustible gasses leaking into your home. A chimney's weight also onsets other foundation problems, such as cracks gradually forming in foundation walls. Many warning signs may indicate a soon-to-be leaning chimney, including having been built on a disconnected footing, separate from your house. Additionally, settling foundation on active soil causes your chimney to lean along with the ground expanding/contracting.

Similar solutions that apply towards the repair of bowing walls also applies to leaning chimney repair since the problem typically begins with footing and foundation. Piers, braces, and hydraulic jacks are all practical solutions in keeping your chimney upright and aligned with your home. These distinct methods work to add support to your chimney in various ways, from attaching consistent weight or pressure to reaching load-bearing soil. Thrasher offers everything you'll need to keep your chimney and foundation as a whole stable.

Thrasher's skilled SDS's can diagnose the problem correctly. The Thrasher way is, "there is only one way to do the job right." Be assured that our professionals will adequately address the issue the first time. 

What is important to us at Thrasher is, do they want "Peace of Mind," "Protect Property Value," or "Quality of Life?" With this in mind, our SDS team can determine what is essential to the customer and help them achieve it.

Our Approach to Leaning Chimney Repair

Rely on our team of foundation repair experts, backed by structural engineers, for long-lasting repairs for your leaning chimney. With more than 45 years of experience, we understand the ins and outs of structural foundation repairs.

We use leading-edge repair solutions, coupled with decades of knowledge and tried-and-true methods, to stabilize and support your chimney for years to come.

Here is how we do it.

THE SUPPORTWORKS PUSH PIER SYSTEMS

In need of an effective way to lift your home back to its proper place with minimal disruption to your property? Push Pier Systems may be the answer!

Are you in need of an effective way to lift your home back to its proper place with minimal disruption to your property? Supportworks Push Piers may be the answer!

Our systems are made of steel and are driven deep into the soil beneath a foundation to solve settlement problems. Push piers can be installed inside or outside your foundation walls and are not visible once the repair is complete.

In many scenarios, push piers stop settlement and lift the foundation back to its original position, closing cracks and improving window and door operation.

Our push pier system is the permanent solution you need.

How Foundation Push Pier Systems Work

The soil is first removed to expose the foundation footing where the pier will be driven to install a push pier system. A heavy-duty steel bracket is then installed below the footing.

Next, rugged, interlocking steel pier sections are hydraulically driven through the bracket until bedrock, or stable soil is reached. The weight of the home is then transferred through the piers to this load-bearing soil.

Once this has been completed, your foundation contractors may attempt to lift the foundation, elevating the settled foundation back to its original position.

Once the homeowner and installing contractor are satisfied with the stabilization or lift, the soil can be backfilled. The structure is now permanently stabilized in its new position.

Our Push Pier System

As with any family of products, there are good, better, and best. When you're talking about investing in your home's structural stability, it's a good idea to go with the best.

Along with their corrosion-resistant design that includes galvanized steel and a 25-year warranty, the Supportworks Push Pier System also consists of a patent-pending external sleeve.

This external sleeve is designed to strengthen the push pier directly below the foundation bracket, which is the most critical location for added structural support.

This external sleeve will strengthen the push pier and prevent the kinking, buckling, and rotation commonly seen with other push pier systems.

When to Use Foundation Push Piers

Product features

· Year-round installation

· Warrantied for 25 Years

· Galvanized steel design available

· Below-grade solution -- not visible after completed installation

· Piers reach greater depths than any other repair option

· Can lift the foundation back to the original position

Because push piers are driven to bedrock or a stable soil layer, they are often the least risky solution when local soil conditions are unknown. If your goals are as follows, then push piers are the option for you:

· You need the best opportunity to lift your home back to its original position.

· You'd like minimal disturbance during installation.

· You're looking for a fast, effective installation.

· Restoring your property value is a priority.

However, if you're installing foundation piers on lighter structures such as stoops or decks, a solution such as a helical pier might be more effective than a push pier. This is because the structure may not be heavy enough to drive the push piers to sufficient depth to support your structure.

Our customers and their contractor were impressed with the efficiency of the crew while working in such difficult conditions – the project was completed in 2 days. The customer has since referred Thrasher on several occasions.

Challenges presented during the project included poor access and utilities in the area. Thrasher had to remove brick and separate layers of concrete before reaching the footing. Two of the piers were installed in a crawl space with less than 4 feet of headroom.