Your home’s foundation could sink at some point in time. If this happens, your local foundation repair specialist may recommend a variety of foundation piers – push piers, helical piers, or slab piers. These piering systems are time-proven solutions that will stabilize your home and can even bring it back to its original level. However, to ensure this solution is working effectively and your home is not sinking further, a repair specialist will benchmark your home. Let’s take a look at what benchmarking is and how it is done.
How Is Benchmarking Done?
Your contractor needs to benchmark your foundation for future repairs. However, before any benchmarking can happen, a foundation repair specialist will install a pier system to stabilize your home and attempt to lift it back to its original position.
If your foundation contractor comes to your site and starts doing the following, don’t be surprised:
- Your contractor will start by recommending a suitable underpinning or piering solution to raise the foundation and stabilize it.
- They will identify the ideal location for pier installation and mark it out with tape.
- Their technicians will start digging the holes where the piers will go.
- Piers are then inserted around your foundation until they meet resistance with more stable, load-bearing soil or bedrock.
- Each pier is load tested to establish the proper depths and space for your piers and a reading is taken for reference.
- For your peace of mind, the installer will benchmark above each of the piers in the ground.
- As part of the benchmarking, a laser level will be set up and small rivets installed in your foundation. This is the essence of benchmarking.
Foundation contractors usually record pier locations, their respective depths, and the hydraulic resistance that they encountered. They will save this data and use it for the life of your building. Should the foundation need further repair in the future, the benchmarking will help foundation specialists understand the current state of your home with regards to settlement.
How Is Foundation Shift Determined?
We can’t talk about benchmarking without addressing another important aspect: foundational movement and specifically how it’s determined. Structural engineers usually follow the guidelines set out by the American Society of Civil Engineers, which standardized assessments. Some of the factors they’ll consider include localized foundation deflection, overall tilt, and foundation deflection.
A foundation survey provides you with data that you can use to compare your foundation’s elevation before and after the shift as well as the tolerance level. But that’s not all. A survey also helps verify that a poured foundation is done properly. You also need to do comparative checks on the state of your foundation now and then, ensuring there are no elevation issues or discrepancies.
Can I Benchmark My Foundation by Myself?
Benchmarking is one of the most important aspects of ensuring the continued stability of your settling foundation. Without it, foundation experts that come to inspect your home in the future will have a hard time figuring out whether your foundation has settled further or is staying in place. So, benchmarking isn’t something you can do on your own or by reading a self-help guide. Proper benchmarking requires a skilled contractor with the requisite training and experience.
Foundation piers can be an expensive undertaking. If your home has settled and there is a need to have piers installed, it is only natural that you want to make sure the job was done correctly. Benchmarking was invented with this specific purpose in mind. Its main goal is to give you, the homeowner, peace of mind.
Every time you have a foundation inspector over, they will take a look at the benchmarking and tell you whether your foundation is settling or staying put. In other words, you will know whether your investment in piers has paid off.
Do you suspect that your foundation is settling? Contact Foundation Recovery Systems to arrange a free foundation inspection and repair quote. Our foundation experts will help you make sure your home stays safe for a long time.