October 25, 2023
The Evolution of Foundation Repair in New Orleans
- Residential Services
History of Foundation Repair
THE EVOLUTION OF FOUNDATION REPAIR IN NEW ORLEANS
Brick and Mortar
Older buildings used traditional bricks for their foundations, but they were not reliable or suitable for our city’s soil. This led to the development of new methods and materials.
Steel Reinforced Concrete Spread Footings
In the 1910s and 1920s, concrete became popular for foundations because of its strength and durability. However, in some places, these foundations tended to sink.
As the city expanded, houses were built in increasingly unstable areas. To support the structures, foundations made of wooden pilings or concrete piers were needed, reaching depths of 30 to 50 feet. These methods are still employed, but they have evolved it to include steel pilings and other high-strength materials.
House Raising became popular in some areas of the city where homes were built on small lots. As families grew, they had no space to add on; so, they would raise homes to add a second level. In areas prone to flooding, house raising was a common practice as well. After Hurricane Katrina, elevation techniques have become more advanced, including raising concrete slab homes and historic buildings.
Modern Methods of Foundation Repair
Auger cast concrete pilings
In the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s, auger cast concrete pilings were used. They could only go about 10′-15′ deep because of the soft soil at that depth. This limited the use to a few areas around the city.
Segmental pre-cast concrete pilings
This method uses hydraulic power to place small concrete sections with steel pins under a foundation for stability. This system allows us to go to much greater depths and offer a lasting repair to most homeowners.
New technology called helical piles screw into the ground and provides stability based on soil conditions.
Possible Foundation Repair Complications in New Orleans
The silty and sandy soil in New Orleans presents unique challenges for foundation repair.
The high-water table in the city complicates foundation repair efforts.
Building codes and regulations have evolved, necessitating updated foundation repair methods to meet these standards.
As with many other industries, sustainability is becoming a significant consideration, affecting the materials and methods used.
Companies are introducing advanced sensors, AI, and other technologies to monitor foundation health in real-time.
The drive to make these advanced methods more affordable for homeowners is a constant focus.
Our Continued New Orleans History
Abry Brothers has been around for the last 183 years. We have witnessed these changes and have had a significant impact on many of the repairs mentioned above. We will continue to be a driving force for the future.
No history of foundation repair would be complete without the contributions of Abry Brothers.
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