1. Why are Ram Jack solutions better than others?
Ram Jack offers the best piling system in the industry. All Ram Jack steel is ordered to our specifications directly from U.S. mills. In order to maintain the highest quality product, Ram Jack utilizes state-of-the-art manufacturing processes. Computerized CNC units machine parts within a thousandth of an inch. Meanwhile, computerized plasma tables and robots cut and weld Ram Jack products to exact specifications.
Ram Jack products are coated with a highly durable thermal-set plastic coating, which ensures all products will stand the test of time and are environmentally friendly. After the materials are clean and dry, the plastic powder is electro-statically applied. Finally, the product is guided through a 40-foot high-temperature curing oven to permanently bond the coating to the product. For more than 40 years, the people of Ram Jack have dedicated themselves to providing a product and a service second to none to repair cracked foundations. Through extensive research and development, Ram Jack has engineered permanent solutions for a variety of foundation problems.
2. What does Ram Jack do?
Ram Jack dealers (throughout the US and in Canada, Costa Rica, and Panama) install steel piles, also called helical piers or helical piles, to support foundations. Ram Jack resolves foundation cracking and foundation failure issues by underpinning existing structures or prevents foundation settlement in new construction. Ram Jack dealers offer other foundation repair related services as well. Please contact us for more information or to ask about your specific situation.
3. How long have you been in business?
Straight Line Construction Co., a Ram Jack dealer, has been in business for more than 30 years and provides both residential and commercial foundation repair solutions. Ram Jack has spent 40 years developing and refining foundation repair solutions to ensure the best quality in the industry.
4. Can I buy Ram Jack products?
Ram Jack products can only be purchased and installed by trained Ram Jack dealers. Contact us for more information on how to receive assistance from a foundation repair professional.
5. How do I know I have a foundation problem?
You can review the causes and signs of foundation failure and foundation cracking through information on our web site, but the only way to know for sure is to have one of our trained specialists evaluate your house’s foundation. Even the smallest cracks in sheetrock could be a sign of larger troubles. If you don’t have a foundation problem, we will inform you. If you do, we will recommend a proper solution to your foundation failure.
6. How can I tell if I have foundation problems or even foundation failure?
Evidence of foundation failure is seen in a variety of ways: stair step cracks in your brick are the most common and obvious symptom of foundation failure. You may see your chimney pulling away or leaning or you may even find cracks in the foundation itself. Inside your house, you may see cracks in your drywall, broken window panes, uneven floors, or doors that won’t open or shut properly. All of these signs indicate your house’s foundation has moved and your house is out of alignment through excessive or uneven foundation settlement. The value of your largest investment may now be in jeopardy, so it is wise to contact Straight Line Construction Co. immediately.
7. What happens if I call StraightLine Construction Co.?
The company will send a professional representative free of charge to examine the structural damage to your house or building, measure variances in the foundation, and determine the best solution for your specific unstable foundation situation.
8. What kind of foundation repair solutions does Straight Line and Ram Jack have?
For many situations, our technicians will install a Ram Jack steel-driven pile system. The key to this system is the powerful dual hydraulic cylinders which drive the pilings with up to 70,000 pounds of driving force. In order to withstand the extreme pressures of Ram Jack’s hydraulic pile driving system, only heavy gauge high-strength carbon steel is used along with a heavy wall-independent guide sleeve. This unique foundation repair design rifles the piling into the soil without the bending or deflection usually associated with inferior systems. Each steel pile is driven deep into the soil until our technicians encounter a layer of bedrock or adequate load-bearing strata. The depth of each pile varies according to the underlying geological formations. Once all piles are securely set, the foundation is carefully lifted to an elevation of maximum practical recovery. This permanently halts any further deterioration due to settling of your house’s foundation.
Sometimes a customized remedy is required for a permanent solution. Ram Jack’s patented helical piles are the best solution for certain soil types and for interior applications. High torque from hydraulic gear reduction motors spin helix discs deep into the soil until technicians reach dependable load-bearing strata. Ram Jack has developed sophisticated software to assist engineers in designing the appropriate helix configuration based upon soil strength and applied loads. Our engineering department is consulted every day by engineers all over North America for assistance in designing foundation solutions.
Helix piles also are excellent for new construction, especially when bad soil conditions are known to exist on the building site. Concrete foundations can be poured the same day, and each pile is independently tested during installation by monitoring the torsion resistance. The Ram Jack new construction helix installations are especially useful in environmentally sensitive areas such as wetlands, tundra, or rain forests. In other situations, Ram Jack tie backs with specialized brackets may be the appropriate solution for the problem. Whatever the need, Ram Jack has a foundation repair solution.
9. What will happen if I don’t do the foundation repair?
Over time, almost all foundation problems will get worse if they are not properly repaired. It’s up to the homeowner to decide whether or not to undergo the foundation repair. It’s our job to provide you with the most appropriate remedy for your foundation situation.
10. How can I determine what type of foundation I have?
Due to its direct contact with the ground, a building’s foundation joins the structure of the building to the soil and rock beneath it. Referred to as a “second foundation,” the makeup of this soil directly impacts how well the structure performs over time.
When speed and monetary efficiency are of utmost importance, a slab-on-grade foundation is a great option. It is a shallow foundation that is made up of reinforced concrete. These foundations will shift up and down as the ground moves and do not allow for a basement. Like any other shallow foundation, slab-on-grade foundations will be impacted by seasonal movement. This includes temperature changes, rainfall, freeze/thaw cycles, and drought conditions.
A pier and beam foundation is made up of a series of concrete piers that support wooden beams and floor joists. When soil movement occurs, groups of these piers will move separately from each other. This independent motion causes irregularities in the floor levels. Pier and beam foundations usually allow for a crawl space but not a full basement.
Usually constructed in northern climates where freeze and thaw are permanently dueling, basements allow the footing of a home to reach below the frost line. As a result, the basement floor is usually below where a majority of climate-related shifts occur. Despite that, basements are not immune to heaving floors and moving walls.
A deep foundation is exactly what you’d expect it to be – a foundation that goes deep enough to avoid seasonal changes. There are many types of foundations other than the ones discussed here.
11. What is underpinning and how do I know if I need it?
When your home, or portions of your home, rest on soils that are subject to settling, migration, or swell, the only fully permanent and warranted solution is structural underpinning. Both helical piers and micropiles can be used to transfer the support of your home through the active zone of problematic soils into a more stable bearing layer.
In instances of heaving due to expansive soils beneath your home, the typical solution is to place helical pier or micropile supports, undermine the entire foundation, and place a void form to create a “breathing space” between the soil’s active zone and your foundation. Once the foundation has been supported and void forms placed, our crew will lift or lower parts of the foundation using the Ram Jack foundation bracket system. This process will return your home to as near its original state as possible. Once complete, any concrete that was removed will be re-poured and landscaping returned to its original state.
The typical treatment for settling foundations includes placement of helical piers or micropiles to bypass the active zone, finding support in deeper stable layers. The structure will then be lifted using the Ram Jack foundation bracket system, to as near original elevations as possible. The lift is often performed simultaneously with mud jacking in order to preserve floors, fireplaces, etc, and to fill any voids resulting from the lift itself. Any removed concrete will be re-poured and landscaping returned to its original state.
12. How can I find out what type of soil I have at my residence?
The USDA Natural Resources Conservation service, formerly known as the Soil Conservation Service, publishes soil surveys. These surveys contain a map and a description of each major soil found within the survey area. USDA Service Centers are designed with ease of access in mind. They allow customers to access services provided by the Farm Service Agency, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the Rural Development agencies. We will provide you with the address of a USDA Service Center and other offices in your area as well as information on how to contact them.
13. What resources may help me determine my best course of action?
The Foundation Repair Network is a resource that has solid foundation repair information available to both engineers and homeowners.
The Concrete Network shows consumers what is possible with concrete and how to find the right company for the job to be performed.