Before a determination if foundation repair is necessary, it is important to have a basic understanding of the geological content of the existing soils.
Soil composition can radically vary from one lot to another for a number of reasons. If foundation repair is necessary, the solution could be a different pier system, drainage solution, or something else.
Often times simple corrections to grading, water mitigation, a redirected A/C drip line, or even a repaired plumbing leak can prevent potential foundation repairs in the future.
Having a basic understanding of both physics and applied mechanics is of paramount importance when assessing potential foundation repair. A direct correlation between the foundation movement, and the cause movement in the soil must be identified to determine the correct foundation repair.
Depending on the plasticity index of the clay soils, the amount of shrinking or swelling will vary.
For these reasons, this information is essential in identifying the right solution for long term stability.
Plasticity index is known as Atterberg limits, and is the basic measure of the critical water contents of soil.
Soil injection, drainage, and a complete underpinning of a foundation lifted beyond the total potential vertical rise, can be used to mitigate further movement. This is often misinterpreted as settlement, or soil consolidation, where no problem exists at all.
Consolidation is a process by which soils decrease in volume. It occurs when stress is applied to a soil that causes the soil particles to pack together more tightly, therefore reducing volume. Once saturated soil that had the water squeezed out, can create a need for foundation repair.