There’s no doubt that a fireplace adds a beautiful, inviting glow to your home’s interior. But what happens when the exterior chimney goes unnoticed, the foundation of your home starts shifting, and suddenly, your chimney is pulling away from the rest of your home?
We’ll tell you: You’ll call around to different foundation repair companies and get the same answer every time, “We don’t repair fireplaces.”
Fireplaces are a concentrated heavy load (meaning they can weigh over 30 tons) and most companies do not have the equipment to fix your fireplace. Expert House Movers, however, uses only the best, galvanized steel products to repair foundations and chimneys alike.
There are many different conditions that can cause poor soil quality including the growth of tree roots, bad drainage, underground plumbing leaks, or simply natural soil movement. These can all affect the ground under and around your home’s foundation.
Over time, concrete foundations will naturally shift and sink regardless of how high the quality of the construction or the strength of the material.
During home construction, if the soil was not properly compacted before the concrete was poured, it can result in foundation and footing problems including shifting, sinking, and cracking.
While low-grade concrete is often used because it keeps construction costs down, it also brings down the quality and durability of the home’s foundation and the chimney’s footing.
It can be difficult to spot foundation damage when you don’t know what to look for, especially in the case of poor soil conditions. Oftentimes, homeowners aren’t aware of poor foundation construction until there are visible cracks in the interior walls or doors that don’t open or close properly and, by that time, the damage has been done. When you notice any of the following signs, it’s time to call in the professionals at Expert House Movers to stabilize your chimney right away.
Step 1: Inspection
To start the process, one of our foundation contractors will inspect the footing at the base of your chimney, evaluate the damage, determine the cause of the damage, and strategize with the homeowner on how they plan to proceed.
Step 2: Specialized Shoring Piles/Piers
These piers are long shafts that are designed specifically for fireplace shoring and are driven into the ground underneath the chimney pad where they rest on strong soil in the home’s foundation. This is all done with highly specialized hydraulic rotary drive equipment.
Step 3: Bracket Installation
After positioning the piers, our experts will install steel brackets around the footing of the chimney that will transfer the weight of the chimney onto either galvanized helical piles, push piles, or earth anchors.
Step 4: Pad Leveling
Once the technicians have stabilized the structure, they raise the footing pad to its proper height. This step is done so that the chimney is back at its original position.
In this final step, the hydraulic jacks are removed, permanently securing the brackets under the footing. This keeps it from sinking in the future as the chimney’s weight is now entirely supported by the pad installed in step 4, the brackets, and the piers.