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Groundworks Company Installs (9) Helical Piles to Lift and Stabilize a Pool House in Birmingham, AL
by Hannah Moulton
Protecting The Pool House
Foundation settlement is something virtually all homeowners will have to deal at some point in time. Ensuring a home or other building is structurally secure is absolutely imperative. Cracks in your walls and floors, unevenness in your concrete slabs, and even water damage are signs that there are problems with the foundation of your home. Foundation repair can be what stands between you and a stable, secure home. Helical piles are a type of underpinning that is used to lift and support structures undergoing foundation settlement. AFS – also known as Alabama Foundation Services – specializes in this method of foundation lifting and stabilization.
Homeowners in Birmingham, AL, recently ran into the problem of needing to lift and stabilize the pool house. The owners have lived on the property since 2012, and decided to build the pool house in 2014. These homeowners understood the importance of foundation maintenance, and contacted AFS for remediation. The pool house showed signs of foundation settlement, including cracks in walls and floors, sunken concrete slabs, and uneven concrete. The Northern Birmingham homeowners first noticed their pool house was beginning to settle in 2017, around three years after it was built.
Assessing the Area
Once they arrived at the site, technicians took note of cracks in the patio around the pool house, as well as uneven concrete. It was decided that nine helical piles would be installed on the sides and back of the pool house. There were several unmovable obstructions in the way that the team needed to work around. Technicians noted that they would use a handheld tool to install the nine piles. Technicians surveyed the pool house, as well as the retention wall. The homeowners, however, did not wish to have any repairs done to the retaining wall at this time.
The technicians also took note of the soil. In Alabama and other parts of the South, the soil is called expansive clay. This clay is also known as “heavy clay,” and it is a soft-texture soil is rich with minerals. It undergoes considerable volumetric changes during periods of heavy rainfall and when moisture is high. Expansive soils absorb water and start to swell by at least 10 percent once it is saturated with water. As the soil dries out, it begins to shrink and crack. It was wet weather when the job was performed, making it somewhat challenging for the technicians.
Fixing the Foundation
After assessing the damage, technicians decided to lift and stabilize the home using helical piles. They removed the soil and found the footers. Along the sides and back of the pool house, nine helical piles were installed. They were installed at both 7 and 14 feet, depending on the location. The crew did run into solid ground when drilling, and were unable to drill through. This, however, did not greatly affect the job. Overall, lift and stabilization was achieved due to the installation of helical piles. The homeowners were pleased, and the soil around the helical piles was backfilled and replaced. The pool house now stands firm, and the homeowners don’t have to worry about it sinking further into the soil.
Groundworks®, headquartered in Virginia Beach, VA, is the nation’s leading and fastest-growing foundation and water management solutions company. Groundworks Companies provide residential foundation and water management solutions including, foundation repair, basement waterproofing, crawl space repair and encapsulation, plumbing, gutters installation, and concrete lifting services. Since inception, our combined brands have helped nearly 1.5 million homeowners protect and repair their most valuable asset, their home. Groundworks operates over 45 offices and has been named numerous times to the Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Companies, Qualified Remodeler Top 500, BBB integrity award, and Best Places to Work.
For more information on Groundworks, check out our website: https://www.groundworks.com/
The Local Groundworks Company Serving Birmingham, AL is:
AFS (Alabama Foundation Services)
130 Interstate Commerce Crt.
Bldg. 100 & 200
Alabaster, AL 35007