c) Why this type of Foundation Repair System doesn’t meet the code
So, can we say that a concrete press pile foundation repair system stabilizes the foundation? We certainly believe not. As we have seen, if the foundation is not stabilized with a sound foundation system (as we saw in Concrete Press Piles Foundation Repair: Building Code non-compliance Part 1), then the only thing left to do is to stabilize the soil as previously described, and the concrete press pile foundation repair system doesn’t do that either.
d) Conclusion: Don’t use Concrete Press Piles Foundation Repair
As we saw in Part 1, from the get-go, the very first paragraph on foundation design, concrete press piles foundation repair system doesn’t meet the requirements of the building code, which bluntly means, this foundation repair system just doesn’t work (and you can ask many of the current owners who did foundation repair and you’ll see their foundations are still moving). But, we are structural engineers who like to be thorough, so we will examine all the paragraphs of the building code to prove that many, if not most, if not all of the code says that the most common type of foundation repair system doesn’t work. Once again, in part 2 of our series on exploration of the building code, we prove that concrete press piles also do not comply with this part of the building code and simply do not work. Any foundation repair contractor that uses this repair system and claims the foundation or soil has been stabilized may not have an adequate understanding of the building code. We are appalled, as structural engineers with intimate knowledge of the building code, that some foundation repair companies (and many engineers) dare go inside your house and measure elevations and claim the foundation needs repair because it doesn’t meet the building code and then try to sell you this foundation repair system.
Get a structural engineer knowledgeable in pure structural engineering. In fact, ask them if the concrete press piles meet the building code. That is the test you can do to weed out those engineers who claim they are structural engineers. Some Engineers may try to tell you that “everybody does it”, or that there have been studies, etc trying to get their way out of explaining why this system is not approved by the building code and doesn't meet sound principles of engineering.
e) A side note: Slab Jacking and Mud Jacking
Since we’re on the subject of soil stabilization, we thought this might be a good time to briefly talk about another type of foundation repair that is many times compared to the concrete press piles (we’re not sure if maybe the foundation repair contractors that provide concrete press piles also perhaps offer this other system), which is called slab jacking or mud jacking.
Slab jacking or mud jacking is injected concrete or slurry or some type of viscous liquid under the slab so that the pressure exerted by the application of this liquid raises the slab and levels it.
Although slab jacking or mud jacking does have its good uses, when if comes to foundation repair, slab jacking will not prevent your foundation from moving because what it is moving is the soil. So, unless you’re stabilizing the soil as we have seen in part 2 described above or you have a foundation system designed by a structural engineer as shown in part 1 previously described, slab jacking and mud jacking alone will not stop the slab from moving because all you’re doing is treating the symptoms.