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Recognizing and Addressing

Foundation Settlement

It is important to maintain any structure and ensure homes will be safe for current and future owners.

A general contractor with a property preservation company was completing various repairs on a bank-owned home in Chester, VA. The 65-year-old one-story brick ranch house on a basement built on clay/clay loam soil was showing signs of foundation settlement.

The 4’x20’ front porch featured telltale settlement symptoms including severely cracking bricks and mortar, as well as gaps between the bricks. Clay soil also is notorious for expanding and contracting during wet and dry conditions, which also contributes to settlement of soil that can no longer properly support a structure.

The general contractor wanted to find the best way to correct these issues and restore the home’s safety, structural integrity, and appearance. After learning about JES Foundation Repair, he reached out to the local Chester branch to obtain an inspection and repair estimate.

One of the local JES branch sales managers visited the property to assess the home’s condition as well as measure for settling. Settlement ranged from 1”-4” along the front of the brick porch. The most significant settlement measuring between 3.5” and 4” was observed near the stairs leading up to the porch. The sales manager recommended having several helical piles installed underneath the porch.

Helical piles are used to help permanently stabilize settling structures, prevent further foundation settlement, and even lift structures back to their original level positions. They are ideal to use for lighter structures such as porches.

JES Foundation Repair Installs (4) Helical Piles to Reinforce, Lift a Severely Cracking and Settling Residential Porch in Chester, VA

by Holly Richards-Purpura

JES Foundation Repair

2410 Southland Drive

Chester, VA  23831


Installation Project Overview

The general contractor agreed to proceed with the proposed solution, and a JES Chester installation crew completed the work in one day.

Along with digging down 2’ to access the foundation footing, the crew had to demolish and remove the existing front steps. The crew then installed four helical piles along the length of the porch, spaced 5’ apart. The piles were installed 17’ in the ground to better support the porch. Once the proper depth was achieved, the top of each pile section was connected to heavy-duty foundation brackets attached to the footing. The weight of the porch was then transferred through the piles and down to the more stable soil strata beneath the structure.

The project was successful in permanently stabilizing the porch, as well as achieving varying degrees of lift ranging from 1-4”. Benchmarks also were installed to allow for future assessment of the structure.

The general contractor said he was impressed by the crew’s work ethic and team mentality, and that he looks forward to working with JES on future foundation stabilization projects.