New Pier Technology Resistant to Clay’s Differential Problems

DynaPier is the creation of Matt Price, a 12-year veteran of the foundation repair business. Price’s interlocking, patent pending system is comprised of high-strength concrete pre-cast in a galvanized steel sleeve segment. The result is a system that stabilizes a home’s foundation no matter the weather or the soil a home sits on.

DynaPier

Foundation problems generally originate from clay and water. In many parts of the country homes are built on soil that contains clay minerals. Clay expands and swells as it absorbs water molecules. It shrinks as it dries. Clay can affect the behavior of soil even if it makes up only 5% of the soil by weight. This moisture differential caused by the presence of water can also be affected by the proximity of trees, drainage and a variety of other factors.

An older home may be especially prone to problems if the foundation’s support structure is not below the Active Zone, or depth of seasonal soil moisture variation.

For most homeowners with foundation problems the only answer is foundation repair. That’s when a pier from DynaPier can help. DynaPier’s construction allows them to resist corrosion, provide superior shear strength and compressive resistance.

The DynaPier™ segments are hydraulically driven into the ground one at a time. After one segment is driven, another segment is connected to the foundation pier, and the process is repeated until the foundation pier hits bedrock or a dense strata of subsurface material. The foundation pier is then topped with a galvanized steel cap, and finally, the house is lifted and secured to the foundation pier.

Piers are driven down at least 20 feet to clear the soil’s Active Zone, but in some cases may be driven in deeper. A pier may be driven as deep as 80 feet, according to Price, to be sure that a pier rests on bedrock. The result is a foundation that is:

  • Resistant to the pushing and pulling caused by moisture differentials.
  • Resting on bedrock, not on suspect soil.
  • Supported by load-bearing steel and concrete.

“Our DynaPier system creates a foundation that exceeds its original structural integrity,” says Price. “The foundation is now built to last.”

PierMagicTM of Grandview, Missouri, a foundation-repair company owned by Price, is using the system currently in the residential foundation-repair industry. To date the company has used the DynaPier system in over 100 homes.

As Spring begins there are several things homeowners can do to be foundation-friendly. Price offers these tips:

  • Scale back trees near your home – Mature trees can pull up to 150 gallons of water a day from soil. Trees that are too close to a foundation may cause a moisture differential that effects your foundation.
  • Good drainage – Limit surface infiltration of water during the rainy Spring by making sure downspouts discharge water at least 3’ to 4’ away from the foundation.
  • Look for other sources of moisture – Leaky pipes close to the foundation can also cause swelling. If you see a problem get it repaired as soon as possible. Not only will you save on water utility bills, but you may save yourself a foundation repair later.
  • Don’t forget the pool – If you have an in-ground swimming pool next to the house check your foundation regularly. Many swimming pool shells are constructed of airblown mortar that is rarely designed for swell pressures created by expansive clay. Moreover, water percolates through the shell and adds water to adjacent soil, creating its own moisture differentiation problems. If not periodically examined the added water may cause soil to swell around your pool deck and an adjacent home foundation.

“Preventative maintenance may not solve all problems, but it can make the difference between saving your foundation or having to call someone to fix it,” warns Price.

The DynaPier system is now available through PierMagic in Alabama, Kansas, Missouri and Tennessee.

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