Coastal Foundation Repair: Common Problems and our Solution
Building a home along the shoreline and retiring each evening with a relaxing waterfront view is something we have all dreamed about at some point in our lives. It is like a beach trip that never ends. There are numerous positives to building a home or buying a home along the coast – life often just seems simpler there. Homes are designed intrinsically with the idea of building a “dream destination for everyday use” in mind, but the construction of these homes is done with one simple goal, to fight off the harsh elements year-round.
In relation to a home’s foundation, it must remain sturdy and capable of supporting the load of the home without fail. However, the truth is, foundations fail all the time, especially in coastal regions.
The elements are impossible to predict regardless of what region of the country you are in. Although beautiful, the coastline that embodies both North and South Carolina is home to some of the harshest elements. Some problems you will face when living on the coast, particularly on a waterfront property, include:
- High winds – By the coast, winds can reach up to 150 miles per hour during hurricane season each year and can wreak havoc on the health and stability of your home.
- Punishing waves – Waves start out deep in the sea and build bigger and bigger until they crash at the shore. Waves are considered the shorelines’ natural “sculptors” because they quickly erode the land. A house close enough to the shoreline during high tide can easily be affected by this erosion.
- Flooding – Flooding is the most common issue on the coastline. The constant fluctuation of sea levels makes flooding a consistent threat.
To resist the effects of these three problems, home builders will build your home with an open foundation. An open foundation is a design in which the foundation of your home is open to the world and not blocked off like a traditional home that has a closed foundation with foundation walls. With an open foundation, they use wooden timber piles (imagine a wooden telephone pole) that are driven, not screwed, down into the sandy soil and will act as a pair of stilts that elevate your home and away from the effects of the waves and flooding as well as sturdy enough to withstand high winds. Although safe, the construction of these open foundations does not come without problems of their own, such as:
- Inadequate pile embedment – It is not uncommon to find that the timber piles are not installed to the proper depth (embedment). When piles are installed too shallow, it can lead to the potential of future settlement within the home. Piles that are installed too shallow are also at great risk of being undermined, which is caused by the erosion of the surrounding soils and sand.
- Rot and decay of woodpiles – Wood piles have been commonly used for construction in coastal regions for hundreds of years, as they do have many benefits and advantages over other pile types. However, they are susceptible to rot, decay, and deterioration, caused by insects (such as termites and carpenter ants) and fungal growth. Over time, the damages caused by insects and fungi can significantly compromise the integrity of the piles.
Coastal Solutions by Carolina Foundation Solutions
Using CHANCE helical piers and our custom timber pile brackets Carolina Foundation Solutions can ensure that your home’s foundation will remain stable year-round. Benefits of our solution include:
- Fast Installation
- No vibration
- Quality control – field measurable torque
- Immediate results
Our hot-dipped, galvanized steel piles are driven down deep into the sandy soil adjacent to the existing wooden timber piles until the desired torque is achieved to support your home. Our timber pile brackets are then attached, securing the helical pier to the existing timber pile to ensure an unshakeable foundation.
Carolina Foundation Solutions is a proudly certified CHANCE installer and has provided foundation repairs to all regions of the Carolinas for nearly 2 decades. Our superior methods of foundation repair make it easier for you to decide who to trust with your home. If you need our services, call now at (877) 770-7050 or contact us online to schedule a FREE inspection.