Top 7 Major Issues During Pile Foundation Construction and Solutions To Know!

Saad Iqbal | 🗓️Modified: October 23, 2023 | ⏳Read Time: 6 min | 👁Post Views: 133

A towering skyscraper, a sturdy bridge, or maybe an industrial facility – what do they all have in common?

Any guesses? Well, it is none other than a strong foundation. After all, without having a robust base, everything will collapse within a matter of time. No wonder the pile foundations are such a popular choice.

From dealing with the tough soil conditions to the heavy structural loads, they just make everything smoother.

However, like any other construction technique, they also come with their own set of challenges that can be both frustrating and expensive.

Seems all confusing and scary? Well, no worries!

To make things easier and clearer for you, we will discuss the top seven major issues during pile foundation construction and solutions. This way, the ride becomes smoother, and you don’t have to worry about anything.

Pile Setting Out

First off, we have the pile setting out. It is the most crucial thing in the entire world of pile foundation construction. In other words, they are the meticulous procedure of placing the piles in exactly the right spot and ensuring the structural integrity of the whole building.

To simplify it, you can compare it with a puzzle, where each piece has its own role to play in the picture. And, no matter how much you try, only the right one will complete it.

Similarly, the pile setting makes sure that each pile is placed precisely where they are required to be. Otherwise, the whole project may wobble just like a house of cards.

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Solution? Well, it is all about precision. Hence, make sure to look for experts like Boh Bros. With their century of experience, these experts can ensure the best possible outcome. After all, it is all about creating a strong and stable base for your project.

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Unexpected Soil Conditions

Suppose you are planning to create a sturdy structure, and everything seems to be going smoothly. However, when you hit the ground, you get a huge surprise. Something you didn’t expect to happen even in your wildest dreams. Mushy clay or a bed of rocks. You must remember that soil conditions play a huge role and can be a real headache.

But, worry not! There are a few solutions to save you from going through all the hassles. For example, the geotechnical investigations before construction can provide valuable insight into the soil conditions. It will allow the engineers to pick suitable piles that can deal with the soil’s quirks.

And even if you happen to run into a surprise during the pile foundation construction procedure, adjustable piles can save the day by helping you adapt to the varying changing conditions, like the adjustable wrenches!

Vibration and Noise Concerns

We all know how much ground-shaking vibrations and noisy pile foundations can be. And if it is happening in a residential area or maybe near some sensitive structures, then the neighbors will definitely not appreciate the noise.

So, what can you do? Well, you can use vibration-reducing techniques, such as the silent pile drivers. They make much fewer noises and are pretty good at minimizing the ground vibrations. You can also create noise barriers and schedule the noisy work during reasonable hours so that it doesn’t disturb anyone’s peace of mind.

Structural Slip-Ups

What are Structural slip-ups? Well, they can refer to a case of piles not being installed at the right angle or maybe a mix-up in the materials that were used. And when that happens, it can literally send shivers down the spine of the most seasoned builders.

These slip-ups may include issues with load-bearing capacity, alignment, or even design flaws. It’s much like trying to build house cards in a windstorm.

Solution? You must check everything from proper planning and precision to using the right type and length of piles. And if anything goes wrong, you can go for corrective measures such as underpinning/grouting.

Concreting Problems

Concreting is the backbone of many projects. However, they are not always the smoothest ride. Instead, during the foundation work, they can be pretty tricky. Too wet, it will not set properly, and Too dry, it will not provide the necessary strength. Only the perfect consistency will do the job.

Here, the solution is about getting the concrete right with proper quality control. Therefore, from monitoring the concrete mix ratio to controlling the pouring process and using the vibration methods, make sure to implement everything so that the concrete fills the pile evenly. Much like the chef carefully measuring each ingredient that goes into baking a perfect cake.

Excavation of Pile and Socketing

Excavation is basically creating holes for the piles deep into the earth. However, it comes with its own challenges, such as misalignment, irregular boreholes, soil collapse, etc.

The only way to deal with these issues is to use tools like piling rigs and drilling devices to make sure the piles are placed accurately. For the soil collapse, you can use the temporary casing and drilling fluids to offer the support required until the pile is all set.

Moving on to the socketing, they refer to the connection between the piles and the underlying soil/rock. A little mismatch here is enough to cause some really big issues. Hence, the engineers must carefully analyze the soil conditions to figure out the appropriate depth for socketing – ensuring a sturdy grip on Mother Earth.

Reinforcement Cage Movement

They are like the foundation’s skeleton that provides the ultimate strength and stability. However, these cages can either shift or get misaligned during the construction, making you wonder what possibly went wrong.

They can happen for many reasons, such as the soil resistance, the cage not being adequately centered, or malfunctioning equipment.

What’s the solution, then? Stay steel-strong. Meaning, here, the engineers have to be extremely careful in monitoring and screwing the reinforcement cage. So they are in the exact place, avoiding all kinds of unexpected wiggles.

Wrapping Up

Hopefully, we have addressed the major issues during the pile foundation construction and offered the solutions. Always remember that pile foundation construction comes with its fair share of hurdles, but you can conquer them all with the right hacks and solutions. And most importantly, have a rock-solid foundation that will last a lifetime.

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