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What is Foundation Benchmarking?

Addressing foundation settlement involves more than pier installation. Benchmarking is essential for effectively diagnosing future complications and ensuring continued foundation pier performance.

This page explains the benchmarking process and why it matters in comprehensive foundation repair. First, let’s discuss foundation settlement to understand better why benchmarking is essential.

Quick Foundation Settlement Guide  

Foundations settle over time due to various factors, so stabilization is crucial for long-term stability. The primary factors contributing to settlement include:

dry, cracked soil during drought
  • Dry Soil: Moisture loss caused by dry, warm weather causes soil cracks and voids beneath your foundation.
  • Soft, Damp Soil: Soil cracks beneath the foundation allow water seepage during heavy rain, leading to soft, damp soil that becomes too weak to support your home’s weight.
  • Poor Compaction: Poor soil compaction during initial home construction often leads to foundation settlement, as your home’s weight compresses the soil over time.

Structural engineers have various methods for analyzing foundation movement, most adhering to the American Society of Civil Engineers guidelines. These guidelines standardize examinations, considering factors like foundation deflection, localized foundation deflection, and tilt.

What Are the Signs of Foundation Settlement? 

The symptoms of foundation settlement are often obvious but frequently ignored. Look for these common problem signs:

crywall crack on home interior wall

These problems worsen over time, making professional repair crucial for long-term resolution. Contact a local foundation repair expert, like JES Foundation Repair, for an inspection and precise diagnosis.

What is the Best Solution for Foundation Settlement? 

There are several options for foundation repair, but only a few provide long-term solutions. At JES Foundation Repair, we use push piers and helical piers to stabilize foundations. These foundation piers are driven into the ground until they reach stable soil or bedrock resistance. Here’s our installation process:

  • Dirt is excavated around the foundation to expose the footing.
  • The footing is carefully notched, positing the pier bracket beneath the foundation.
  • A heavy-duty steel bracket is then secured to the footing, ensuring a straight, vertical pier installation.
  • Starter tubes and external sleeves are inserted into the bracket in preparation for the drive assembly.
  • Pier sections are pressed through the external sleeve. Pressure is gauged every few feet.
  • The piers are driven deeper into the ground until they reach stable bedrock.

Foundation pier installation is performed one pier at a time, ensuring a fully stabilized, long-lasting result.

Does Foundation Benchmarking Really Matter?

row of helical piers in dirt

Yes, benchmarking is essential for effective foundation repair. In the past, the absence of benchmarks made addressing foundation settlement very difficult. Without these reference points, installations and repairs were inaccurate, time-consuming, and often ineffective. Contractors needed a guide to determine whether their repairs were successful.

Today, benchmarking allows contractors to identify the pier’s depth and location accurately, ensuring efficient and effective foundation repairs.

How to Benchmark a Foundation

The foundation benchmarking process includes the following:

two crew members installing helical piers with heavy machinery
  • Piers are installed beneath the settling foundation.
  • The installation crew begins benchmarking above each pier after each is installed.
  • A laser level is set up, and small rivets or other markers are installed on the foundation wall.
  • These benchmarks establish reference points for future inspections and settlement monitoring.

After benchmarking, the foundation soil is then replaced and compacted. Benchmarking provides successful pier installation and monitoring for long-term foundation stability.

Can I Benchmark the Foundation by Myself? 

closeup of helical pier with crew member and heavy machinery

Foundation benchmarking isn’t a DIY project, so we do not recommend doing it yourself. Stabilizing a sinking foundation involves more than just driving piers into bedrock. Structural engineers determine the placement and load-bearing support capacity, then install and benchmark the piers. Without proper training, you risk installation errors and expensive fixes.

Contact JES Foundation Repair for a free inspection. If we determine your home requires piers, our crews will benchmark your foundation following installation and provide reference points for future inspections and repairs.

Contact JES Foundation Repair for Expert Solutions

JES work truck

Professional benchmarking is crucial for your home’s structural integrity. If you notice signs of foundation settlement, don’t wait. Contact JES Foundation Repair for a free inspection and quote. Our experts will provide tailored piering solutions to ensure your home’s long-term safety and stability.

    Contact Us For Your Free Inspection

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    Foundation Repair FAQs

    It is generally recommended to have your foundation inspected at least once every few years, especially if you notice any signs of foundation problems such as cracks in the walls, uneven floors, or doors and windows that stick. Regular inspections can help identify any potential issues early on and prevent them from escalating into more significant problems. Additionally, if you live in an area with unstable soil or experience extreme weather conditions, more frequent inspections may be necessary. 

    Foundation pier installation is a specialized task requiring expert knowledge, skills, and equipment. It is not advisable to undertake this task independently. Rely on JES Foundation Repair’s expertise for assured quality installation of foundation piers.

    Yes, push piers are designed to stabilize and lift settled foundations. They are installed beneath the foundation and driven deep into the ground until they reach stable soil. Once in place, the piers can be used to lift the foundation back to its original level by exerting hydraulic pressure. 

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    Shaye Glisson

    Shaye Glisson

    Shaye is an SEO Content Writer for Groundworks with over twelve years of experience creating helpful content across various industries, including home services and retail. She is a Gulf Coast native and writes from her firsthand knowledge of the area's hurricane and flood impacts on the local community. In her free time, Shaye enjoys exploring the local food and music scenes.

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    JES Foundation Repair service area map of the Mid-Atlantic region.

    Our Locations

    Baltimore

    8361 Town Center Ct
    Nottingham, MD 21236

    Fredericksburg

    311 Central Rd.
    Suite 2-02
    Fredericksburg, VA 22401

    Hampton Roads & NE NC

    2569 Quality Ct
    Virginia Beach, VA 23454

    Northern VA & DC

    7940 Gainsford Ct.
    Bristow, VA 20136

    Richmond

    309 Quarles Rd
    Ashland, VA 23005

    Southwest Virginia / Roanoke

    2033 Cook Dr.
    Salem, VA 24153

    Western Virginia

    456 Old Courthouse Rd
    Appomattox, VA 24522

    Winchester

    45 W Boscawen St,
    Winchester, VA 22601