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Foundation Repair Tips For Warehouse Owners

Your warehouse or storage center undergoes a lot of heavy use. The weight of stored products combined with the equipment used to move it and the trucks that deliver it can all put stress on your foundation. If your warehouse is also a workroom, and you have the added weight of your business’s manufacturing equipment to contend with. The following guide can help you spot foundation trouble early, while also providing you with some possible solutions to the concerns.

Signs of Foundation Distress

Warehouse foundations are usually in plain sight, since nothing covers the concrete floor. The appearance of any crack on the interior floor or the exterior edges of the foundation should raise alarm. Hairline cracks are the least concerning, while cracks that begin to open or gape may indicate a more severe issue.

Heaved concrete is another sign of a problem. Uneven cracks are the most obvious signs of heaving. You may also notice heaving if steps no longer align properly or evenly with door frames, or if loading dock platforms are no longer level. Check the outer perimeter of the building as well. Buckled or heaved soil near the foundation line may indicate an issue below the soil.

If you notice these signs, contact a foundation contractor or a structural engineer to survey the property for issues.

Underpinning Methods

Underpinning is usually the best option for repairing and strengthening the foundation under a warehouse. The following are a few methods that your repair specialist may recommend:

  • Pour Method: This is the most extensive repair choice, since it effectively provides a new foundation. The area around your existing foundation is excavated, and then a new, deeper and wider foundation footing is poured. This distributes the weight over a larger area so the old foundation is under less stress.

  • Piling Method: In areas where foundation issues are caused by soil movement or high water tables, it may not be possible to pour a foundation deep enough to prevent trouble. In this case, screw pilings are installed around the foundation, so that the old foundation now uses these pilings as piers. Brackets secure the pilings to the foundation. It’s much easier to install a few deep piers than it is to excavate below the area of soil movement. As an added benefit, the pilings can bring your building back to level.

  • Beam Method: The use of beams and piles is usually best suited to foundation issues that affect a single wall. Piles and beams are installed along the foundation wall to provide additional support. This method also works well if you need to add to the weight capacity of your building, such as if you are adding on another level or extending the size of the building from that wall. Contact someone like T Luckey Sons Inc for more information.