Foundation settling can have a variety of impacts on a building. In fact, you might not even realize that foundation settling can cause certain problems. In this Maryland home, the chimney had begun to detach from the rest of the house. This case study, which allowed JES to help the owner of the home, showcases how important it is to address foundation concerns before it’s too late.
The challenge in this Maryland home stemmed mainly from two separate problems, chimney detachment and chimney sinking, although they actually had the same cause – foundation settlement.
The most obvious problem in this situation was that the chimney had begun to detach from the rest of the home. The weight concentrated in the chimney caused it to lean away, breaking away from the general house. An important thing to note is that the chimney is typically the heaviest portion of the home. However, it’s also one of the smallest areas of the home. The weight concentrated in this small section causes it to pull away from the house.
Another thing this concentrated weight does is contribute to the chimney sinking. This wasn’t the most obvious problem in the case of this Maryland house. However, it was a clear problem that was part of why the chimney was detached from the rest of the house. The chimney can sink whether the foundation itself is unstable or the soil resting under the foundation is unstable. Either problem can lead to soil consolidating, which is more likely to cause a sinking chimney over time.
2. The Solutions
What do you need for a sinking chimney? In this situation of foundation settlement, JES was able to use the perfect solution to stabilize the chimney; push piers backed with a lifetime warranty.
JES experts first excavated the soil from the chimney, then installed two push piers to stabilize it. The piers were driven down to a depth of 27 feet, which is deep enough to ensure that nothing can dislodge them, no matter what happens. These push piers are a major part of ensuring that the house can once again hold the weight of the chimney. With the push piers and the chimney combined, the chimney’s weight becomes redistributed, which permanently stabilizes the chimney.
Foundation brackets are an important part of the push piers’ installation process. JES experts excavate the foundation at the pier location, then install heavy-duty steel foundation brackets into the foundation footing to ensure a strong fit. Another piece of this process is the installation of galvanized steel pier sections, which JES experts install through the bracket and into competent soils. These sections, foundation brackets, and push piers allow for the weight of the chimney to transfer from the unstable soil to the load-bearing strata.
This system also is protected by a lifetime warranty. Although not everyone offers this, JES goes above and beyond to make sure the situation never comes up again. The only way to fix the chimney leaning and peeling away from the home is to redistribute the weight, and JES instills confidence in its push pier system by offering a lifetime warranty. The complete stabilization comes from the unique way in which the push pier system rests on the chimney. If the owner of this home ever has an issue, they can call JES again and ensure they receive incredible service.
This Maryland home presented with some genuinely troubling concerns surrounding the chimney. Although these concerns are definitely important, this homeowner no longer has to worry about it because JES was able to stabilize the chimney permanently.
Many homeowners, when faced with giant problems like these, feel lost and uncertain. This is proof that you don’t have to be. Instead, you can contact a JES expert for an inspection, where they’ll be able to help you learn more about what’s happening and how you can fix it.
Project Engineer: Scott Davis P.E.
Project Designer: Christian Tesi
Installation Supervisor: Donald Hoffman