Thursday, June 21st, 2012 by Nina Schey
Jefferson, OR - Workers from TerraFirma Foundation Systems reinforced the foundation of a building that has been home to the office of the Jefferson Review and Scio News for the past eight years. The crew inserted seven steel piers into the ground on the south and west sides of the building, hydraulically driving them down to a depth of 13 to 16 feet until they hit bedrock. These piers were attached by brackets to the building's foundation, transferring the building's load to the solid bedrock below.
Due to the shifting over time, the southwest corner of the building was nearly six inches lower than the front door. The piers that the workers inserted will stabilize the building and prevent it from sinking any further. Even if you were to dig away all the dirt around that area, the piers would still be holding the buildinig up, and the work is guarnateed for 75 years!
Foreman Wesley Johnson said that the shifting probably occurred as a result of the small culvert that flows along the south side of the building. Over time, running water like that can cause the soil to be loose and erode, weakening the foundation of a building. It was only a matter of time before the bulding would have sloped far enough to cause significant damage.
Glen Albrethsen, who owns the bulding and publishes both newspapers, said that when he looked into doing some remodeling to the bulding, the contractor recommended he first take care of the foundation issue.
Although there had not been any urgent problems or safety issues, the building was leaning more noticeably recently than it did eight years ago, and Albrethsen decided to hire TerraFirma to insert the piers, ensuring that there would be no structural issues in the future.
The foundation repair for this building was a pretty easy job, according to Johnson, because they were able to find solid ground at a depth of about 15 feet. He's worked on some houses, such as at the coast, where they had to go 100 feet before finding bedrock. TerraFirma does foundation repair, basement waterproofing, and crawlspace repair in Oregon and southwest Washington.
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