Buildings can move, and when they do, their foundations often settle or sink. Loose, unstable soil caused by erosion, poor soil composition, water, decomposing organic matter, or insufficient compaction during construction can compromise the foundation and structural integrity of your structure.
Commercial buildings are particularly susceptible to the shifting of foundations due to the loads they bear. Offices, multi-family housing, and municipal buildings generally have wider and deeper footings and taller walls than residential spaces. Many also contain heavy pieces of equipment, which adds to the structural load. If not addressed promptly, a compromised or failing foundation can develop into more costly repairs down the road.
TerraFirma is your best defense against escalating repair costs. Since 2005, we have partnered with facilities managers, general contractors, and property owners to protect their investment and ensure the safety and stability of their commercial buildings. Retrofit piering is a sound, less-invasive solution that stabilizes an existing foundation, even for large buildings like shopping centers, warehouses, or other commercial properties.
Our licensed, bonded, and insured employees have decades of combined experience in retrofit piering installation and can provide you with a permanent foundation repair solution quickly, often within days. We're committed to delivering a great experience - on time and within budget.
TerraFirma is the Pacific Northwest's expert in commercial building retrofit piering, and our award-winning products and service can fix foundation issues at any scale.
There are two main types of retrofit piering: push piers and helical piers. TerraFirma's commercial foundation experts can help you identify which will best support your structure over its entire lifetime. We are the leading Pacific Northwest provider of Supportworks solutions in the region, and our proven solutions provide peace of mind to commercial building owners and facilities managers that their structures are safe and stable.
Push piers, which are also known as jacked piles, resistance piers, or hydraulically driven piers, utilize high-strength steel tube sections and a load transfer bracket to stabilize and/or lift sinking or settling foundations.
The process for stabilizing a sinking foundation with push piers begins by installing the piers directly next to the existing structure, using side-load transfer brackets. These high-strength brackets extend through and below the foundation bracket to secure the foundation and provide solid footing for the piers.
Pier sections are then driven through the bracket, deep into the soil below, using hydraulics and the weight of the commercial structure itself. The pier sections are driven down into the ground until they reach load-bearing stratum, stable soil, or bedrock - at least 10 to 25 feet, and sometimes as deep as 100 feet below the surface. This transfers the weight of the building from the unstable soil to the solid ground below, permanently stabilizing the commercial structure above it and protecting against future settlement.
Push piers can typically be installed without heavy equipment, minimizing disruption to your jobsite.
Helical piers are often used to support commercial property foundations built on particularly weak soil, such as clay or sand. These piles take advantage of helix-shaped blades welded onto a central tube, decreasing the stress placed on the surrounding soil. With reduced pressure, the potential for soil shifting is reduced, and the capacity for foundation shifting or settling is nearly eliminated. Helical piers have a greater resistance to bending than many commercial foundation retrofit options, ensuring long-lasting support for your building.
Helical piers can be installed using mini excavators and other small construction equipment, which enables their use in smaller spaces. The piers are driven deep into the earth onto competent soils through a bracket attached to the building's footing. This transfers the weight of your building to soils capable of bearing the structure's weight and can lift your building back to a level position. Once installed, helical piles immediately stabilize your foundation.
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