As the AB Chance Certified Dealer for Central Virginia, we are the area’s foundation experts on new construction and existing repairs. In some cases, we work on renovations using Chance helical piles. We recently installed 11 helical piles on a home undergoing renovations in the Charlottesville area.
The homeowners were adding a second story over their garage. As they had plans drawn and preparations were made to begin construction, they discovered quite a bit of settlement. As they measured the garage floor, it became apparent that the front corner of the garage floor had settled approximately four inches in relation to the rest of the house.
The existing house was built on some fill and that area of Virginia generally has very bad soil. The original builder must have known about the bad soil because for the one story home, the footings were 18 inches thick and 30+ inches wide. What large footings for a relatively small house! Were they compensating for bad soil? Probably – but their solution actually contributed to the settlement due to the weight of dead load.
So, what is dead load?
First we need to define a load, which is simply a demand or weight that is put on a structure. Generally there are two types of loads in your home: dead loads and live loads. Dead loads (also known as static loads) remain constant or permanent over the life of your home. For example, the framing materials, roof, and the weight of the foundation are all contributing to your home’s dead load. On the other hand, live loads are weight demands on your home that may change frequently. Furniture, occupants, snow & ice, and storage are all included in determining your home’s live load.
On this project, the dead load was so great due to the massive footings that the structure had settled in the bad soil.
When we arrived to do our portion of the project, they had already removed the walls and roof structure. We installed 11 helical piles, securing the structure with accurate measurements for dead load, soil quality, and previous settlement. We’d be happy to help you with your renovations using Chance helical piles. Contact us today 434-293-6724 for an estimate!