FSM repairs chimneys that tilt or lean due to inadequate soil support under footings.
(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.
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Please Note: You must be the Homeowner to receive our Free Estimate. Prospective buyers, renters, and non-homeowners will be charged a $250. fee for the written quote. This fee is payable upon setting the appointment, but will be credited to the final job cost if the work is completed by Foundation Systems of Michigan.