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The ultimate challenge with this project was putting together a comprehensive solution that would not only encapsulate the crawlspace and provide a long lasting solution for under the house, but to include foundation stabilization features that would prevent any further settling of the home. Needless to say a lot of time, planning, preparation and execution went in to this project.
The first challenge was to properly encapsulate the crawlspace which included nearly 50 posts. Some posts were connected to the house directly, some were hovering mid air due to the settling foundation and some were simply laying on the ground that had fallen out of place due to the settling foundation. Accommodating these posts with nearly 1500 sq. feet of Cleanspace would not be tricky, but time consuming. This was all to happen while another team supported the foundation from the outside and hopefully achieve some lift.
The second challenge was to stabilize the foundation which sat unevenly on top of a loose soil and boulder combination. The biggest challenge the crew ran into while uncovering the foundation footing was maneuvering around boulder after boulder after boulder. Some of which were so big they couldn't be taken out. At one location along the east side of the home, we did have to de-construct part of the deck, but that is never a problem.
So, this was a double challenge project to say the least, However; not only does our team have the proper tools to do outstanding work on the home, but we are always up for the challenge.
To maximize our time and efforts we started working on both projects simultaneously. Encapsulating the crawlspace went smooth as Cleanspace barrier is easy to maneuver around the posts and corners. A crawlspace drainage system was dug around the perimeter, which collected water in the lowest corner where a sump pump was installed. A Sanidry dehumidifying unit is always a good idea to include (and was used in this case) in order to control and regulate air quality at all times. All of these factors contributed to a complete crawlspace restoration resulting in a healthy home. This was the simple part of the project as we run into multi post crawlspaces in tight areas all the time. The foundation work was a little trickier.
Push piers were installed around the southern and eastern perimeter of the home in order to stabilize settling. We encountered a lot of rock and boulders underneath the top soil and spent much more time digging and pulling out boulders than we would have liked. Brute force turned out to be an effective solution. In some cases we were able to dig and hammer straight through and give our piers a direct route to load bearing soil. In other cases, when trying to go straight through the rock, we found our piers being pinched tight by the pressure given by the adjacent rock structure. Now not only were we unable to push them down any farther, but we were unable to pull them out and try a new spot. Quick thinking by foreman drew allowed us to chop off the bracket and to part of the pier unit and place it next to the first attempt to bypass the rocks. With these piers now successfully in place, the home is now stabilized permanently, the cracks on the walls in the home closed up and there are foundation systems in the ground that will prevent from further soil settlement.
The only touch up work that had to be done was to add some shams under on top of the crawlspace posts in order to accommodate the new leveling created by the stabilized/lifted foundation.
System Design Specialist: Ryan Lahley
Certified Foundation Installer: Andrew Schattenkerk
Certified Cleanspace Installer: Nate Schattenkerk