Deep Foundation Repair: An Understanding Of How Soil Quality Affects Foundation Stability

Although the initial survey of your land and property may have deemed the soil appropriate and stable enough for building a foundation, soil is rather fluid in nature, and the dynamics of each layer will change with time. The shifting soil can cause the foundation to become unstable, and experts claim that over $4 billion is needed annually to stabilize or shore up foundations.

The Different Layers of Soil

The varying layers of soil play a huge role in the shifting dynamics of the foundation. Soil can be categorized into 4 distinct layers, such as:

  • organic matter. Organic matter is layered on as the topmost layer of the soil and is made up mostly of decomposed leaves and other materials.
  • surface soil. Also known as topsoil, surface soil is still organic matter that has decomposed; however, it has matured. This is the layer where you're most likely to find earthworms, pot worms and other forms of fungus and bacteria.
  • subsoil. Expansive or consolidating soils and clay can be most commonly found in this layer of soils. Movement and change in this layer is typically what affects the stability of the foundation.
  • parent rock. This layer of soil contains mostly rocks and other large, solid materials. It is the deepest layer of all, and is mostly unaffected by environmental and elemental conditions and changes. Deep foundation solutions will target this layer of soil, as it will ultimately remain most unchanged through time.

The Deep Foundation Process

More likely than not, the foundation of your home is built on the subsoil layer. This layer is subject to changes, and changes can alter and compromise the integrity of the foundation. As a result, a deep foundation solution will stabilize the foundation by installing round, steel push piers or helical piers to the parent rock layer of the soil.

Professional contractors like Eco-Seal Home Solutions will first need to take a look at where the foundation may have collapsed, and take several soil samples to determine how far down the piers will need to be installed for added structural integrity and strength. After the push piers have been installed, the foundation can be lifted back up to its original position. 

Cheap and Efficient Solution

Because a deep foundation solution will work on foundations that have already collapsed, it is highly recommended by most contractors, as it is cheap and efficient. The foundation can be repaired with minimal work, and without having to dig up the entire foundation.