A revolutionary improvement in the most commonly used foundation repair system in Texas has been announced by Houston Foundation Pros According to the owner, Martin Dawson, these changes are the result of intensive brainstorming and discussion by his staff and independent structural engineers. Their goal was to eliminate or reduce as many of the drawbacks of the pushed pile system while keeping its overall cost comparable than competing repair systems.
“What we have noticed for a number of years is that many home owners simply cannot afford our premium product, Bell Bottom Piers, despite the fact that they offer a permanent solution,” said Mr. Dawson, “and we had never offered these lower cost repair methods because of their inherent limitations and disadvantages. However, the fact is that a homeowner with a $90,000 home has a hard time budgeting for a $5,000 to $10,000 foundation repair job. Often this homeowner would select a lower cost and lower quality repair method because that was all he or she could afford,” added Mr. Dawson.
As described by one of the independent structural engineers who assisted in this project, the re-engineered driven pile system has three major improvements. First, Houston Foundation Pros is using a threaded steel rod that will run through each of the concrete cylinders and connect all of the cylinders in a vertical column. This will enhance the probability that the concrete cylinders will be driven in as a vertical column without skewing off to one side or the other. Second, the cap, a rectangular block of concrete that transfers the weight of the house onto the column of vertical concrete cylinders has been significantly strengthened with a steel cage. This steel cage gives the cap the ability to support more weight without concerns about fracturing. And third, the company will use a pressure injected grout slurry around the cap to give it a larger footprint in the soil. This will expand the cap about five inches on each side and greater assist in the prevention of water seepage down the column of concrete cylinders. Too much water seepage down the column of cylinders will reduce the skin friction and the thereby reduce the ability of the column to support weight.
The pressure grouting around the cap also offers a significantly higher Factor of Safety, one of the most important benefits of the new Dawson Driven Pile System. As explained by Mr. Dawson, “All foundation contractors know that the Factor of Safety for the various older pushed pile systems is 1. That is, the column of pushed piles will never support more than the weight of the house at the time of installation. With our technical upgrades, the calculated Factor of Safety is between 4 and 8. Now the homeowner doesn’t have to worry about buying a home gym, extra furniture, or parking cars in the garage because this driven pile system can handle far greater loads.”
“We also provide extra services that other companies don’t provide to help ensure that the repair job will last,” explained Mr. Dawson, “which includes a soil core test before the repair work begins and mud pumping voids at the end of a repair job.” A core test will indicate if there are any immediate concerns such as water or sand near the surface. Mud pumping voids will prevent large, unsupported areas of the concrete slab from sinking or sagging after the house has been leveled.
Houston Foundation Pros
3730 Kirby Drive
Houston, TX 77098