(Top) This chimney has pulled away from the house wall by about one inch.
(Bottom) After it was stabilized with FSM helical piers, we were able to close the gap as shown. A pier system foundation repair on the main house foundation was also required.
FSM repairs chimneys that tilt or lean due to inadequate soil support under footings. Weak soil that has been disturbed, eroded, or backfilled is often the culprit. Expansive soil, poor drainage, and footings placed above the frost line may also be contributing factors. To stabilize such chimneys, we drive piers to stable soil and then transfer the weight of the chimney to the piers.
Don’t panic Your chimney may be leaning for reasons that are far less serious than a sinking footing. They include mechanical damage, such as from a fallen tree limb or an extension ladder, mortar issues, and missing lateral support. Contact FSM for a free consultation about what’s causing your chimney to lean.
Rebuilding a chimney is a big undertaking that’s expensive and disruptive. It involves the demolition of the existing chimney, excavation for new footings, formwork, pouring the new footings, and the construction of the new chimney. All of this means that a large portion of your yard will be off-limits for several weeks while a crew removes rubble and brings in supplies and equipment. Our compact hydraulic equipment is far less invasive and will not affect nearby plantings.
FSM uses the Supportworks helical piers to stabilize and straighten leaning chimneys. Helical piers have helical bearing plates welded to high-strength steel shafts and look a bit like a giant screw. Hydraulic rotary drive equipment is used to insert the piers deep into the ground beside the chimney. When adequate torque resistance is achieved, underpinning brackets are attached to the piers and slipped under the footing. Hydraulic jacks are then used to carefully lift the footing – and chimney -- to a level position.
Helical piers have a long track record. Hand-driven helical piers were used to support lighthouses in the early 1800s! Our galvanized helical piers are designed to last for the life of the building.
At Foundation Services of Michigan, we specialize in foundation repairs of all kinds -- including those related to tilting, leaning chimneys. Our warrantied solution will quickly and permanently solve your foundation or chimney issue. We provide free foundation repair estimates to homeowners throughout our service area. Each estimate is made in person, on-site, and comes with no obligation to you. Our service area includes Ann Arbor, Saginaw, Traverse City, Midland, and nearby areas such as Petoskey, Grosse Pointe, Troy, Bloomfield Hills, Sterling Heights, Charlevoix, Jackson, Flint, in Michigan. Call or e-mail us today to schedule your appointment!
We have 2 locations to better serve Michigan: Livonia & Traverse City