What happens if your piles holding up your house are not put to a sufficient depth? The answer is that they will not perform properly and your house will still settle again. Every installer in this business provides a lifetime warranty with their products, however this warranty is only as good as the people who stand behind it.
So how could a pier not reach sufficient depth? In Arizona piles often run into large boulders or rocks that are embedded in soft soils. If the pile while driving to its depth runs into these embedded rocks it will stop the pile from reaching the depth required to bear the loads of the house.
We have run into this problem before. As a matter of fact the very first job that we did had this issue. This was almost 16 years ago. At that time I was a Ram Jack dealer. And Ram Jack sent out their trainer to help us with the job. The piles locked up at 5 feet below surface. I heard the representative call his supervisor in Oklahoma to discuss the situation, and heard them say to each other well… If the pile has run into a “shelf” then there is nothing we can do about it.
Fast-forward 15 years. The owner of the house notified me that the piles were not performing properly. After investigating with a 3rd party engineer we agreed that the piles were not doing their job and concluded that the reason for that was the installation at a shallow depth. So of course we honored our warranty and fixed the problem.
How do we avoid this problem today? The solution is that we have over the years invested in and became trained in and developed additional tools to help us. What are those tools? We have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars investing in several TEI Rotary down-in-the-hole-hammers as well as several micro pile drilling pieces equipment. These pieces of equipment require large hydraulic pumps and very large compressors to run them and other ancillary equipment.
So what that means to you is that if we run into unknown soil profiles that are not conducive to helical piles, we have additional technologies at our disposal to solve the problem and make sure that your home will be supported.