It can be difficult to understand the significant effects of foundation settlement if you don’t really understand how it impacts people. This case study, in which JES was able to help the First Baptist Church of Denbigh in Newport News, VA, showcases not only the significant impacts of foundation settlement but also the ways in which JES can help.
1. The Challenge
There were two main problems that JES dealt with when helping the First Baptist Church of Denbigh: foundation settlement and strict deadlines.
The most obvious problem here was the foundation settlement concerns the church was noticing. Signs included cracks on both exterior and interior walls, as well as doors and windows that stuck as people closed them. The primary problem that caused much of this foundation settlement was an addition to the church, which rested on backfilled soil right next to a creek. Because this addition had been there for years, the weight of the structure had consolidated the soil, making it unable to support the weight of the structure.
Another problem arose because of the schedule the church had to stick to. The church supports a K-6 school, which meant children needed to be able to come in and out every day. The answer came from the school’s upcoming break. However, this meant the church had only a week to go through the entire process. JES needed to be able to rise to the challenge and help the school handle this problem in just one week.
2. The Solutions
To fix the problems that First Baptist Church of Denbigh was experiencing, JES was able to utilize a three-pronged approach. This included foundation push piers, slab piers, and polyurethane foam injections.
The first step was to cut out 2×2-foot sections of concrete for each pier location in the structure’s slab. This took two days, and then the crew began to drive the 60 interior slab piers into the concrete. Once the crew installed and pressurized all 60 interior slab piers, the concrete crew came back in to patch all the concrete. Overall, the removal, installation, and re-pouring phases took about four days to accomplish.
The next phase included 39 push piers on the exterior of the building. To do this, the crew had to remove part of the asphalt road that ran behind the building. From there, the crew could install push piers that could hold more weight than the soil underneath the building. This phase, which included removing the asphalt, installing the push piers by driving them down approximately 45’ to more stable soil, and refilling the soil and asphalt, took another three days. That ensured the JES crew was able to complete the job before children had to come back to school.
Polyurethane foam injections also were an important part of this process. The JES crew used polyurethane foam injections to fill the void beneath a slab foundation, stabilizing the floor load areas.
This is an important part of the process because it ensured that the foundation was able to maintain the weight that it would be handling over the coming years.
3. The Result
Overall, JES was able to install 60 interior slab piers and 39 push piers, which were able to stabilize the church’s partition. Using these solutions, the crews were able to achieve more than an inch of lift on the back side of the building, ensuring it would stay held up on its own.
This is a great example of how JES can identify a problem and help a group handle the problem. By working together with the First Baptist Church of Denbigh, JES was able to fix the problem in a long-lasting manner.
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