Foundation Settlement – First Baptist Church of Denbigh

The church addition, built on backfill soil beside a creek, was the primary problem. Over the years, the soil had consolidated under the weight of the structure and was no longer able to support the weight.

The Challenge

The First Baptist Church of Denbigh, located at 3628 Campbell Road, Newport News, Virginia 23602 was experiencing foundation settlement problems. The signs included cracks on the exterior and interior walls, and sticking doors and windows.

Challenges concerning the time frame of the project arose because the church supports a k-6th-grade school and they had a one-week deadline to install 60 interior piers while the school was on break. Also, the installation of 60 interior piers would create a lot of dust, so the crew put up a containment system in order to prevent it from traveling through the AC vent and into the rest of the building.

The Solution

With the structure on a slab, the team had to cut out 2 x 2-foot sections of concrete for each pier location. In two days the crew had all concrete removed and began to drive piers, and within four days, all 60 interior piers were installed and pressurized. The concrete crew came back once the holes were backfilled to patch in all concrete that was removed.

The next phase was to install 39 Push Piers on the exterior of the building which involved the removal of the asphalt road that ran behind the building. This phase was completed and cleaned up within three days. The crews were able to achieve over 1 inch of lift on the back side of the building, where the average depth for each pier was 45 feet.

The Summary

The addition to the church, which was built on backfill soil right beside a creek was the primary problem. Over the years, the soil had consolidated under the weight of the structure and was no longer able to support the weight.

As a result, there were many interior cracks on the CMU walls and the interior doors were sticking. The interior walls of the church were 8-10 feet tall CMU construction with a footing 3 feet below the slab, and several interior partition walls were sitting on the slab with no footer.

With the design of the churches’ foundation, the best options for repair were to install Foundation Push Piers, Slab Piers, and Polyurethane foam injection. The Foundation Push Piers were installed to stabilize the walls that had a solid concrete footing. The Slab Piers were installed to stabilize the partition walls which were built off the slab, and the Polyurethane Foam Injection was injected to void fill beneath the slab to stabilize the floor load areas.

The Team:

Project Engineer: Scott Davis
Project Designer: Christian Distler-Caravetta
Installation Supervisor: Gustovo Cupado & Chuck Hartz

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