Stable Foundations Frequently Asked Questions

Is Stable Foundations certified by A.B.Chance?

Absolutely! Stable Foundations, LLC. became a certified installer for the A.B.Chance products in 1992. The A. B. Chance Company requires contractors to be certified by Chance Company Instructors for installation of the Helical Piers in underpinning applications. This requirement is in accordance with the Chance Company's quality assurance program as outlined by the International Standards Organization (ISO) 9001, Certificate No. 001136. The Chance Company commitment to quality controlled product and quality controlled installation is your assurance of a job well done. No other piering company requires such quality assurance from product to installer.

Does Insurance cover the cost of my foundation or walls being repaired?

If your foundation or cracked wall issue was caused by a plumbing leak or other serious issue, your insurance company may cover the cost of repair or offer assistance. However, most foundation issues have been creeping up over time due to poor soil, drainage or initial construction and are not covered by insurance. At any rate, it's important to get your free inspection so we can determine the cause and type of repair you need.

Do Helical Piers need to go very deep & how much load do they carry?

In Richmond, our Helical Piles are generally 15' to 20' deep. Piers need to be deeper than the active zone of the soil. The zone of seasonal wetting and drying is known as the Active Zone of the Soil, and in Central Virginia is approximately the top 6'-7'. Helical Piers need to use the depth for achieving torque. This twisting and turning of the system to the depth needed will be specified on the plan of repair from your A.B. Chance and Stable Foundations engineer. We measure torque to install the helical piers. Torque is a direct relationship to the amount of load the helical pier will support. We install our piers to a minimum Factor of Safety (FOS) of 2. This means that each pier will hold a minimum of twice the load that is required. If anything changes the helical piers will more than compensate with this additional FOS. Other foundation repair methods use the weight of the house to install the piers. This results in a FOS of 1.

Will I need a lot of Piers to support my home?

When we arrive for your free inspection we will take into consideration the following

  • The weight of your home Brick or Frame / One-Story or Two
  • The structural integrity of the foundation footing and the wall
  • The soil characteristics for the area
  • Any outlaying safety factors to consider: Electrical, Trees, AC Units.. etc..

Most piering systems are spaced 5 - 7 feet apart. Our average job is 7 piers, Once your inspection is completed, we'll know more about what you need for your situation.

There are several companies offering Helical Piers. Are they all the same?

Stable Foundations LLC. is a Certified A.B. Chance Helical Pier provider and installer. A Certified Licensed Contractor. We only use the best product for you environment to last a lifetime of your home. The Helical Piers offered by other companies are not manufactured the same as the ones offered by A.B.Chance - The FIRST Helical Pile manufacturer ever. While others look the same they are not. The following are some examples of how a client may be deceived:

  • A. B. Chance products are Class B-1 hot-dipped galvanized in accordance with ASTM A153 (American Society for Testing and Materials). Competing manufacturers offer products as "galvanized" which in many cases means they were powder coated. Powder coating is NOT the same as hot-dipped galvanization and does not provide the same corrosion protection. Hot-dipped galvanization penetrates the steel surface and is not just a surface coat.
  • A. B. Chance Company extensions are constructed with a forged coupling. Some competing manufacturers weld oversized stock to form coupling joints to accommodate extensions.
  • A. B. Chance Company products are all welded in accordance with AWS (American Welding Society) standard D1.1. All A. B. Chance welders are certified to AWS standards. Competing companies state that their products are welded in accordance with D1.1 standards, but they fail to identify their workers as Certified Welders.
  • A. B. Chance Helical Piers and Anchors are manufactured to the International Standard Organization (ISO) 9001 Certificate No. 001136. This is a manufacturing standard which means that the material used to manufacture Chance Helical Piers and Anchors is NEW, UNUSED and traceable to the steel mill of origin. This is a building code requirement for deep foundations (Uniform Building Code and the International Building Code). Chance products carry a manufacture and heat treat number on each item and section. There are other manufacturers who do not comply with the code requirements because of the method of manufacture.
  • A. B. Chance Helical Piers have been thoroughly evaluated and approved for code compliance in the building industry as described in the following reports:

Be sure to browse these files. Many companies reference these report numbers in their evaluation services and literature but they won't provide the documentation to back it up.

What are the advantages of a Helical Pier?

Helical Piers are true end-bearing piers. The weight of the structure is transferred to the helical plates. Helical Piers are installed independent of the structure and do not rely on the weight of the structure for installation. This prevents shaking or moving of the structure. Helical Piers are installed to a known capacity and a known competency of soil. This means that the helical pier can be installed with a factor of safety (most often 2 times the dead and live loads of the structure) and terminated in a soil strata or bedrock capable of supporting the load. Unfortunately, push piles cannot do this unless they are resting on rock.

What are the resistance piers or push piers that I have been hearing about?

Resistance piers are steel pipe that are pushed into the ground by a hydraulic ram until the house lifts up. AB Chance purchased the largest manufacturer of resistance piers, Atlas Piers, in 2005. These type piers do have a use, but not in Central Virginia. It is our experience that they generally have to go into the ground 50 feet to achieve half the load carrying capability of our helical piers at 20 feet.

What documentation is part of the installation contract I receive?

In addition to the plan of repair, you will be provided a signed pier log, which needs to contain:

  1. Project name and location
  2. Name of contractor or responsible party with complete address and telephone number for contact.
  3. Date and time of the installation.
  4. Location and reference number of each pile.
  5. Description of lead section and extensions installed at each pier location.
  6. Overall depth of installation, as referenced from bottom of grade beam or footing.
  7. Torque reading for the last three feet of installation, or the torque reading at the time of pier termination.
  8. Any other relevant or pertinent information relating to the installation.
I see a small crack inside, does it mean my foundation is sinking?

Not necessarily. When exterior and interior windows and doors start sticking upon closure or opening, you might have a problem. Some Richmond residents have uneven floors that happened over time. Outside stairs that appear to be coming away from the foundation wall are good indications of foundation settlement issues. Take a look at your trim boards around the top of the brick foundation. A sign of movement is when large gaps at the top between foundation and board appear - often at the corners. Our Richmond residential foundation repair company has experts that will be able to explain to you what that your basement needs. 

What's the best time of year to perform stabilization of my walls or foundation?

Generally, Stable Foundations, LLC. works year round. There is no preferred time to correct foundation issues. We can't work in heavy rain or iced ground areas, but we can definitely arrange a schedule to accommodate your busy schedule and the weather. Don't wait too long after your free estimate to arrange the work - your foundation is shifting as we speak!

How does Stable Foundations decide what treatment is best for my home?

While there are several types of pier products on the market, we have put our name and trust into A.B.Chance Helical Piering Systems and StrongHold™ Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymers (CFRP's) for bowing or cracked wall treatments. We have been repairing foundations since 1992 and over 2300 homes have successfully been repaired. Several factors are involved in designing the right system for your home: Cost | Depth to Rock | Weight of the Home | Surrounding Soil Conditions | Type of Walls Inside | and.. Your Budget. Make a list for us! We will discuss all your concerns during your free estimate visit.

Thanks for the estimate - What if I choose not to have anything done?

Of course this is your call, you are the homeowner. We'll check back with you down the road. Your home can continue to settle causing several things to happen: Sinking foundations can cause roof structures to pull, appearing to "sink a home". Often plumbing damage can occur - when sewer lines and septic lines are being stressed or pulled away from the walls or foundations. This might result in a broken water line. Or in the event you need to sell your home, you might be required to fix all the foundation issues or submit a warranty statement from the work Stable Foundations did, which is homeowner transferable.

Will I have to dig up my plants and grass before you come?

No. Stable Foundations, LLC. will do everything in its power to keep your foundation area clean and put back to normal. Some plants do not do well in transplanting. If the season does not permit transplanting, you should probably have someone transplant them in holding till proper time to replant them. We will address any concerns you may have about your foundation area, our work and the final process when we give your free estimate. We pride ourselves on clean, neat and tidy work areas. Our Richmond area and Virginia Customers have been delighted with our residential foundation repair work since 1992.

Is your foundation repair work transferrable?

Absolutely! Stable Foundations, LLC. is backed by A.B. Chance - their products and our work stand together to offer each homeowner a Limited Lifetime Warranty! Should your foundation need adjustment in the coming years, we'll do it for FREE - Just give us a call. All work is transferrable to the new homeowner. This guarantee is why we are the Richmond residential foundation repair company you should work with!

Do you offer financing options?

We gladly accept cash, checks, all major credit cards, and two convenient financing options. Call our office today, our customer relations team is standing by to help you get the information you need to make the best decision for your home. See more details.