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Project Overview

A longtime homeowner in Bracey, VA, wanted to prepare for selling the house to his son. But the 27-year-old waterfront structure overlooking the Roanoke River was experiencing foundation settlement. The home was built on a hillside, and the lower-level patio which provides support for a deck was cracking and sinking.

Foundation settlement commonly happens when the soil the home was built on consolidates, expands or heaves, and cannot properly support the weight of the building. Telltale signs that a structure is settling include cracks in drywall, cracks and gaps around windows and doors, sticking windows and doors, and wall cracks in horizontal, vertical, and stair-step patterns.

These signs can be troublesome to homeowners, but they can be fixed. Owners might be tempted to patch the cracks on their own, but that’s not going to get to the root of the problem. It’s best to leave foundation repair to expert contractors who will be able to assess the situation and recommend the best method for repair.

The homeowner suspected poor soil compaction was causing the problems to his home, and he wanted to address the issues right away. After researching repair companies serving his area, he contacted the experts at JES Foundation Repair for a free inspection and estimate. A JES certified field inspector then completed a thorough assessment of the property and its foundation.

JES Foundation Repair Installs (12) Helical Piles to Underpin and Lift a House in Bracey, VA

by Holly Richards-Purpura

JES Foundation Repair

2410 Southland Drive

Chester, VA  23831


The inspector used a laser level and measured approximately 1” of settlement. He also observed several vertical cracks in the home’s exterior foundation, as well as many cracks in the patio’s concrete. The inspector recommended having Helical Piles installed along the entire downhill edge of the home’s patio foundation to stabilize and protect the foundation from further vertical settlement in the sandy soil.

The homeowner was impressed by the competitive bids and presentation from JES, so he decided to move forward with the work.

An installation crew from the JES Chester branch then completed the project. The crew first excavated around the home so proper equipment could be used for the installation. The crew then dug down 2-3’ to expose the foundation footing. Twelve round shaft Helical Piles with 6-8 helix bearing plate configuration were installed. Each galvanized steel pile was installed 15’ into the ground and down to more stable soil to better support the house.

The homeowner was pleased with the crew’s work ethic and ability to complete the challenging installation, as well as stabilize and help lift the home 1” closer to its original position. Additionally, the owner opted to have another crew install PolyRenewal, a polyurethane foam that is injected underneath concrete, to repair and protect the concrete patio.

The entire project was successfully completed in (3) working days.