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Stabilizing a foundation on steel piles | Bisson Expert provides you comprehensive information on how to stabilize and raise a foundation on steel piles to strengthen the foundation.

If you notice changes in your house and think that it is settling, it may be adversely affected by ground movement due to soil composition. To help you stop worrying, here is some useful information on how to stabilize the foundation. You will know exactly what to do if your house starts to settle, which warning signs to look for and who to contact to protect your investment.

What are the early warning signs ?

• Open joints and cracks in the exterior cladding
• Doors or windows that are hard to close or are no longer airtight
• Floors that are not level
• Various structural distortions
• Abnormal cracks on the interior walls of the house

An important nuance :

It should be pointed out that these warning signs are not always related to problems due to drought or urban development. They may be caused by other environmental elements, such as a mature tree with deep roots located close to the house. Roots extract liters of water from the land, which in turn can result in land subsidence.

To confirm that the house is indeed settling, the warning signs must be inspected to see how they progress over time. For example, a crack may appear in the foundation and not move for several years. In other cases, a crack may appear and rapidly expand up to the point that it adversely affects the building structure. In this case, it is best to call a foundation expert who will determine the source of the problem and recommend an appropriate solution, such as stabilizing the foundation on steel piles.

If you are worried about your house, the experts at Bisson Expert recommend documenting the early warning signs. You can, for instance, take pictures of the cracks and measure their width in order to be able to compare them in the following months. This way, you will be able to see how the warning signs have progressed. Don’t hesitate to ask advice from an expert if the situation gets worse.

What are the causes ?

A house usually starts sinking due to soil compaction in the ground on which it is built. The foundation then becomes unstable because the soil can no longer support it like it should.

There are numerous factors that lead to land subsidence under a building :

Soil that is prone to soil compaction has insufficient load-bearing capacity : some soils are made up of materials that cannot support the weight of a building, such as loose backfill that becomes compacted over the years and clay soil subsidence in times of drought.

Clay soil that dries out : The composition of the soil can react to weather conditions and cause instability. In the province of Quebec, in the metropolitan area, the soil is mostly clay. For example, drought and clay that loses its water can lead to soil compaction. The building will look like it is gradually moving and will start showing signs of settling: large cracks in the brick walls, doors and windows that are hard to close.

Other factors can also dry out the soil, such as mature trees located near a property, the addition of parking spaces or a sidewalk. Even streets can deprive the land from the water it needs to maintain its natural mass, given that they divert the water to drainage systems.

What should you do if the house is settling ?

1. Talk to an expert :
If you are worried and if you see the above-mentioned early signs, contact our experts to explain the warning signs that tend to indicate that your building is settling. They will assess the situation and guide you through all the steps.

2. Assess the situation :
A member of our team will meet you on site to inspect the warning signs of settling and conduct a survey of the building. The report will confirm whether or not the building has settled and by how much.

Our expert may, in some cases, recommend resorting to alternative methods such as getting rid of a tree that is too close to the house. In other cases, the solution will be to stabilize and raise the foundation on steel piles.

3. Ask a permit from the city :
Cities require a permit to perform the work needed to stabilize a foundation on piles given that the piles will have an impact on the structure of your building. Bisson Expert and its Engineering Department are there to support you through this process. As soon as everything is in order, our experts will start stabilizing the building.

What is stabilizing and raising a foundation on piles ?

A house that settles is a major problem that needs to be addressed without delay. Installing piles sunk into the bedrock, i.e. to where the ground is solid and stable, is the most efficient solution. Because this is a permanent solution, you will be sure that the building will no longer be exposed to the problem even if it is located in a risk area.

As soon as the piles are sunk into the bedrock, they start supporting the house and ensuring its stability. To do so, an engineer must first take into consideration the weight of the house and calibrate the size and location of the piles. This is an important step because if the house is incorrectly supported, there is a risk of damaging it.

Why it is important to call on experts :

Stabilizing a foundation on piles is a complex procedure for the above-mentioned reasons. This is why it is important to call on experts like Bisson Expert. Not only will you be assured of the quality of the work, but you will also benefit from comprehensive services that are guaranteed. Our experts and foundation engineering specialists will at all times be there to advise and guide you.

For more information on this subject, click here.

Do you qualify for financial assistance ?

The City of Montreal, for example, has been providing financial assistance for the past several years to residents at risk. This financial assistance, in cooperation with the Société d’habitation du Québec and the municipal services, covers part of the costs and ensures that the work is carried out by a renowned company. If you are concerned by this problem, find out more about the Stabilization of Residential Building Foundation Program to see if you qualify.

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