Why are Louisiana soil conditions unique?
There is no rock or consistently solid ground for thousands of feet below the ground. The soil here is very expansive clay. This soil contracts and expands drastically with moisture changes in the soil. The subsoil layer (approximately 5 to 20 feet below the surface) is extremely unstable. We have commonly found very hard, dry soil when drilling one hole, then very moist soil when drilling the next hole just a few feet away.
What are the most common causes of Foundation failure in Louisiana?
The most common cause of foundation failure is changes in moisture and the density of the soil.
For example, when residential subdivisions are developed, especially in wooded areas, the top soil layer is quite thick. This soil layer contains decomposing matter and root systems which will continue to decompose and compact for years after the subdivision is developed. It would not be practical or cost effective for contractors and developers to remove 2 to 4 feet of topsoil before developing the many acres it takes to build subdivisions. Also these soils often are very moist. The developers remove vegetation off the top of the soil. They bring in hard clay and river silt and build the soil up making it very hard on the top. Then they put in excellent drainage to prevent flooding. Now when it rains the water drains off the hard top soil. The water does not penetrate deep into the subsoil layer. This causes the subsoil layer to shrink. We also have decomposing top soil and root matter beneath the land fill layer. Thus most homes in subdivisions in Louisiana will eventually need foundation repair.
Why is your method for Foundation repair the best for Louisiana soil?
We machine drill holes 12 inches in diameter about 6 to 10 feet deep. Then we dig about 36 to 24 inches around the top. Then we pour concrete up to about 10 inches below the footing. The only consistent soil layer in Louisiana is the top 5 to 10 feet in depth. Because our piers are conically shaped we take advantage of the harder, dryer soil layer. We also go deep enough to penetrate below the moveable soil layer without hitting the softer, wetter soils below.
Over the years, WCK has had the full support of the engineering professionals who specialize in solving foundation problems in our community. In fact, every engineer in Louisiana that we've worked with or consulted has preferred our system for foundation repair in this state.