Underpinning Foundation

Structural stabilization with underpinning helical piles. Three layered waterproofing applied, along with a new weeping tile system.

Power Foundations was called to complete a comprehensive foundation repair on this residential home in London, ON. The issues included a settling foundation, causing cracks and water seepage issues.

Working closely with engineers, the crew at Power Foundation Systems completed underpinning of the foundation with helical piles for structural stabilization to prevent further settlement.

What is Underpinning with Helical Piles?

  • Engineered, galvanized steel helical piles are driven deep into native soil to secure the foundation and lift it back to its original position, closing up any cracks or gaps.
  • While rotating the shaft of the helical pile, torque is applied and transferred down the shaft to the helix plate. The helix bites into the ground acting like a corkscrew. Installation torque is monitored in real time to ensure accuracy of load capacity.
  • This is considered a permanent solution as the piles are driven well below the foundation – typically greater than 12’. This means that the newly supported foundation will not be affected by any further changes in the soil surrounding the building.
  • Helical piles are fully engineered, CCMC approved, and a permit friendly solution to a compromised foundation.

Signs of a compromised foundation:

  • Floors not level
  • Doors/windows out of alignment
  • Cracks in foundation
  • Interior: plaster, wall, floor tiles
  • Exterior: step cracking to brickwork, concrete cracks

What causes foundations to settle?

Reactive Soils

  • Most often the problem involves the shrinkage and expansion of soil which compromises the integrity of the foundation, causing heaving, sinking, and visible cracking in foundations and walls.

Poorly compacted fill

  • Fill soil is typically looser and lighter than the dense, hard-packed soils already present in the lot. If proper compaction of the fill soil is not done, or is done poorly, your home’s weight may cause the soil to compress, leading to foundation settlement issues.

Soil Erosion

  • Erosion by water can be caused by many reasons including a burst waterpipe, inadequate drainage, or high water tables

Trees taking moisture

  • All plants remove moisture from the soil. If a large tree is planted too close to buildings, this can lead to removing enough moisture from the soil to accelerate soil shrinkage and compromise the foundation