Louisiana soil is fairly varied, but in the Baton Rouge area the soil is classified by the LSU Ag Center as “Southern Mississippi Valley Loess.” According to An Update of The Field Guide to Louisiana Soil Classification by David C. Weindorf with the LSU Ag Center, “Some Areas are used for urban development,which is expanding near the metropolitan areas. The major soil resource concerns are water erosion, maintenance of the content of organic matter and productivity of the soils and managements of soil moisture.”
Baton Rouge and surrounding areas experience many wet seasons and soil changes throughout the course of the year. Depending on the year, Baton Rouge may experience prolonged periods of drought or constant deluges of rain, all of which can be problematic for a homeowner if foundation instability turns into foundation damage. These shifts in moisture and soil instability are the most common cause of foundation failure.
So, if you have a suspicion that your home or business needs foundation repair, it may be helpful to see why WCK, a southern Louisiana born and bred company, provides and specializes in drilled pier foundation repair.
DRILLED PIER METHOD
For foundation repair in Baton Rouge and surrounding area soils, WCK and countless structural engineers and builders recommend using the drilled pier method. It is the only form of foundation repair used by WCK. The drilling method is used by almost ALL commercial operations, from roads to airports, highways and byways. In fact, the drilled pier method is the only form used in high-rise buildings. We think that if it’s good enough for a skyscraper, it’s good enough for your home.
The piers are actually “drilled” into the bedrock and may sustain a whopping 3,000 pounds per square inch. This allows for your home to have less structural resistance and repairs are PERMANENT. The piers extend well below active soil depths so they are not affected by moisture variations which is the most common cause of foundation problems.
The drilling method is float resistant due to widened portion at the top of the pier. The support of the foundation is concentrated at the bottom where the soil is far more compressed and dense. In light of these soil condition and moisture fluctuation impacts, the drilled pier method of foundation repair is by far the most optimally suited for area homes and businesses in and around Baton Rouge.
DRIVEN or PRESSED PIER METHOD
In the very expensive driven piers method, pilings are pushed into the ground with a hydraulic jack or in some cases using the weight of the house against itself. The piers may or may not reach the bedrock or stable ground. Furthermore, there is no way to verify whether or not the pilings are in fact, straight.
If the soil is dry and hard, the pipes cannot be pressed to adequate depth, and the foundation may begin to rise. The use of much smaller pipes is required with the driven piers method, and they have no conical friction capacity.
SPREAD FOOTING METHOD
This form of foundation repair is very shallow in comparison to the drilled or pressed method. It is a concrete pad approximately 2′ square by 1′ thick. As it only extends to a depth of 2′ to 3′, it will not reach below the active soil nor is it resistant to moisture variations. Most engineers consider it to be a temporary solution, as it is far less effective than the drilled pier method of foundation repair.
So, whether you live in Baton Rouge, Denham Springs, Zachary or any of the surrounding areas, WCK Foundation Contractors know how to combat the impacts of the soil conditions on your foundation and how to repair damage with the drilled pier method.
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