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Myths About Concrete Pressed Piles

View of failed concrete pressed pile (double barrel pressed pile failure)


Myth #1: Your foundation will be stabilized!

Stabilizing a foundation implies the foundation will not move again. However, simply lifting your foundation by pressing concrete piles into the ground and propping the foundation up does nothing to the soils that have moved and caused the cracks in your walls to appear. As an informed consumer, understand that lifting a foundation to provide you a level floor is simply that, a leveling job; it is not a method of foundation stabilization. This means that the foundation is still susceptible to movement. Please read our article on Foundation Repair Deception.

Myth #2: Your foundation is out of tolerance!

The tolerance that is quoted is a perspective tolerance and is NOT defined by our City code. The tolerance of 1” that is tossed around by foundation repair companies is not a code defined tolerance nor does the City require you to level the foundation for a 1” difference in elevation. The 1” tolerance comes from a guidance document that the American Society of Civil Engineer published. This document is guidance, not a code. If the document was a code, then a city ordinance should recognize it to make it enforceable. You may ask the foundation repair company to quote the title, section, page and paragraph of the code document that they use to claim the tolerance.

Myth #3:  The press pile will be pushed to the point of resistance or bedrock!

The point of resistance may be translated to mean “effort”. Some foundation repair companies will press the concrete piles to a point that they feel is enough to lift the foundation. The point of resistance is not measured the same by all foundation repair companies. Each will claim that they have been doing “repairs” for years and they know the industry and how to “fix” a foundation. If the foundation repair industry that uses concrete pressed piles is well experienced then why do different contractors give different recommendations for the same foundation using the same concrete press pile system. Foundation repair companies typically do not test or check to see how deep the bedrock is so this is purely speculative without a geotechnical study (soils study). Read about Engineers misinforming people about structural Engineers. By the way, Most of San Antonio and Many Parts of Austin, clay is present for a depth of up to 100ft. We have never heard of these repair companies going down to 100ft with their concrete press piles. Actually, most of the foundation companies go no more than 12ft!

Myth #4: Your foundation “repair” comes with a life time warranty!

Most foundation repair companies offer a warranty. Some offer a life time warranty. Regardless of the length of the warranty, be sure to read the section within the warranty that lays out the conditions that voids the foundation repair warranty. We once read a warranty that stated the warranty would be voided if “the foundation moved due to soil movement”. This clause clearly gave the foundation repair company an easy out since most foundation movements are caused by soil movement. Remember, a foundation typically moves when the soils move; therefore, if the concrete press pile is supported by the same problem soils then movement should be expected and the warranty may be voided.