Ensuring that your foundation is in top shape is essential. When homeowners from Cleveland, OH, called us about their leaning chimney, we immediately suspected that foundation settlement was the cause of the problem. Luckily, the homeowners called us in time and we were able to stabilize the home in two days.
Once we got on the site, it became evident to us that the cause of the problem was foundation settlement. Since a lighter structure was in question, helical piers were the best solution. These are steel tubes fitted with screw-like plates at the ends. Simply put, helical piers keep the foundation in place just like screws hold a shelf up.
Meeting the Customers
Homeowners from Cleveland, OH called our office because of a problem with their chimney. It was cracking and leaning away from the house, and they were afraid that it would fall on their car or the neighbor’s house.
The homeowners have lived there since 2010 so they were familiar with every nook and cranny of the place. While the house was built in 1920, the chimney was built in 1963 as an addition to the home.
When our inspector got to the house, he was immediately able to spot the problem the homeowners were talking about. A large chimney on the east side of the structure was leaning and there were noticeable vertical cracks in the masonry. On the other side of the chimney, some bricks were missing.
After a thorough assessment, our inspector recommended installing helical piers under the chimney’s foundation to address settlement. The customers agreed that this was the best solution, especially because helical piers can be quickly installed and they were afraid that the chimney would collapse very soon and cause huge damage.
How Does Settlement Affect Chimneys?
When the soil underneath the structure shifts, it causes gaps in the ground. Since the foundation is no longer properly supported, it begins to weaken and eventually settles into the ground. Numerous factors can cause this to happen.
In the spring, when large amounts of snow begin to melt or during heavy rainstorms, the soil around the house becomes overly saturated. Because of this, the soil particles soften and are no longer able to provide stable support to the foundation. In addition, excess water can wash away some of the soil, causing gaps in the ground. Since Cleveland, OH, is located in a part of the country where rain and snow are rather common, a lot of homes deal with settlement.
Settlement can also occur during droughts. When the soil dries out, the particles shrink, leaving gaps in the ground. If this happens underneath a structure, foundation settlement occurs. Another cause of settlement is poorly compacted soil. The problem with settlement is that it causes cracks in the foundation walls and floor as well as deformities. One of the telltale signs of foundation settlement is a leaning chimney.
Repairing the Damage
To keep the chimney in place, we needed to install four helical piers under it. Helical piers are specifically designed to address foundation settlement and permanently stabilize the structure. To prepare the terrain for installation, our crew excavated the soil around the chimney to expose the footing. Our team then installed the piers into the ground using small equipment. Once the piers had reached proper depths, durable steel foundation brackets were connected to the foundation footing.
The main purpose of helical piers is to transfer the weight of the foundation to load-bearing soils. In many cases, they are able not only to permanently stabilize the foundation but to push it back into its original position. Our helical pier system comes with a longtime warranty. It is made of galvanized steel so it is rust-resistant, and its round shaft makes it resistant to bending.
The entire project was completed in two days. One of our experienced crews was able to pier the chimney and stabilize it, but they talked to the homeowners and recommended that they call a chimney repair company that will address the broken bricks.
Our customers were completely satisfied with our work and happy that their chimney was no longer presenting a threat to their home, car, or neighbor’s property. Since helical piers come with a longtime warranty, homeowners can be at ease knowing that this part of their home was thoroughly protected.
Are you worried that something is wrong with your foundation? Is your chimney leaning, or are your doors and windows sticking? If so, you might have a problem with foundation settlement. Addressing this problem as soon as you notice it can save you a lot of money and nerves, so be sure to contact Ohio Basement Systems the moment you realize that your home is in trouble. We offer a free inspection and repair quote, so without any cost, you can find out exactly what the problem is and how to fix it. Our skilled and experienced team can restore your home to its previous state in a way that is most suitable to you and your wallet.