The success of a commercial construction project may rely on many factors, but it all begins with a strong, robust foundation. As such, it pays to have a foundation expert on your side when designing and laying your property foundation; Innovative Basement Authority has many years of experience in foundation repair. Our skilled, highly trained, and creative staff relishes a challenge. Do not hesitate to contact us directly for information on availability, pricing, and consultative services.
We offer a complete line of foundation products for the repair of existing foundational issues as well as a range of services support and construction services that incorporate the lessons of geotechnical engineering to provide a superior result. Operating throughout Minnesota, North and South Dakota, and eastern Montana, we are dedicated to offering the best possible results at a competitive price so that you can get your commercial project off the ground in style.
What Makes a Great Foundation?
There’s a reason that we say someone who has made a good start has “laid a solid foundation” for progress or success; every property, every project, relies ultimately on its foundation to withstand the wear and tear that daily life can bring. So, while your commercial project is so much more than its foundation, you must get this first step right.
A great foundation takes some expertise and planning. Several factors must come into consideration including:
- The Type of Soil
The type of soil you intend to build on has a huge impact on your property’s foundational requirements. For example, while sandy soil is very stable, clay or silt heavy soils are incredibly expansive and will change in volume depending on the weather and their moisture content. These kinds of soils will require more robust and water-resistant foundations, perhaps pre-emptively supported by piers.
- The Climate
The climate around your property has a huge impact on its structure and foundation. When laying a foundation, cold is a particularly strong concern; for properties in regions that see harsh winters (like Minnesota for example), ensuring that the foundation is laid well below the frost line is key.
- The Size of the Planned Structure
The size and weight of the structure that you have planned has a huge effect on the type of foundation that you will need to provide the right level of support.
A solid, well-designed, and properly built foundation provides so much more than a stable surface to rest on. A solid foundation prevents lateral movement, structural collapse, sinking, flooding, and keeps a property strong during storms. A well-built foundation even helps to insulate a property. Of course, you know all this – the real question is how you can get the best foundation for your commercial construction project.
The Benefits of Expert Support
A professional construction firm may know what they are doing, but that doesn’t make them foundation experts. Our team at Innovative Basement Authority has spent many years gaining the niche knowledge and skills to build and repair foundations that are specifically designed for the climate and soil types that are most common across Minnesota, North and South Dakota, and eastern Montana. So, while we do not doubt that your in-house team is highly skilled and passionate, we also know that few companies can compete on our level. The benefits of hiring a foundation expert, either as consultants or as contractors on your commercial project, are many.
- Thorough Pre-Construction Inspection
Do not assume, just because the soil in your area is predominantly sandy, loamy, or clay-based, that the plot you are building on has soil that fits uniformly with the rest of the area. A foundation specialist can inspect the area, analyze the soil, and even test for underground water sources to make recommendations for the best possible way to go ahead with building. By providing a detailed report, they will help you to get a big-picture grasp of the situation as well as an understanding of the details.
While hiring out of house help may seem like an unnecessary cost, it can be more economical in the long run. A local specialist with plenty of experience will be able to anticipate and plan for common issues as well as providing more general advice that will help you to achieve a strong foundation that will be able to cope with the climate, soil, and the weight of your planned structure without cracking, sinking, or settling.
- High-Quality Results
Specialist tools and knowledge are, by their very nature, uncommon. Just as not every doctor is a surgeon, not every construction professional is a foundation specialist.
The Innovative Basement Authority team is always on hand to offer advice, engineering support, and a range of other specialist geotechnical engineering services.
Geotechnical Solutions for Your Commercial Project
Geotechnical engineering is a branch of civil engineering that focuses primarily on the behavior of earth materials and the application of rock and soil mechanics. Our geotechnical foundation services consider these factors about your property and its foundation, taking account of the pressures and likely shifts in the soil that will affect it. We offer a range of geotechnical engineering services that will help you to get your commercial construction project off to a flying start.
- Site appraisal and investigation
- Earthworks and slope engineering
- Ground improvement and stabilization
- Foundation design
A full inspection of the proposed building site and an analysis of the soil should form the beginning of every building project, we feel, but it is particularly important for commercial projects of greater size and weight. Understanding the ground under your property fully is key. Our team will help you to plan, design, and lay down a strong, resilient foundation. We can also help you to run efficient load testing procedures.
Our Commercial Foundation Repair Solutions and Products
If you are taking over a pre-existing structure for renovation, Innovative Basement Authority stands ready to help you ensure the stability of the property. We offer a range of foundation repair and restoration solutions and services that will help you to address damage caused by poor soil stability, dampness, and excessive hydrostatic pressure.
Our most popular commercial foundation services are:
If you have any questions about which of these solutions would be best for you, please do not hesitate to contact our friendly and knowledgeable team. They will be more than happy to send out an inspector to assess your site and make recommendations based on the size and location of your property as well as the severity and extent of the damage.
Commercial Foundation Repair
When you’re trying to keep a commercial project on budget, it can be hard to justify bringing in specialists. However, if you are taking on an extra expense for any part of your project, it should be for the construction or repair of your foundation because of its significance to the health of the overall structure. Foundation specialists offer many niche skills and services.
- Geotechnical Analysis
The soil under and around your commercial property is all-important to the health of your foundation as well as the overall structure. A foundation specialist will be able to carry out a geotechnical analysis of the soil and landscape of the site. This has many benefits, but the most obvious is a good understanding of any potential hazards.
The type of soil that you are working with can present surprisingly strong challenges to your property’s foundation. If it is clay-based or heavy in silt, for example, your foundation expert will be able to advise you as to the best possible precautions to take to prevent subsidence and settlement in the long term. This could save you a huge amount of money on future foundation repairs.
- Superior Design and Planning
A foundation specialist will be able to take into account the local landscape, the condition of the soil, and the local climate to design and plan the construction of a foundation that is durable and robust. They will also be able to advise you on appropriate supplementary and protective measures; for example, which kinds of drainage systems to incorporate into the construction process.
If you are trying to repair an existing property, a foundation specialist will be able to recommend and implement tailored solutions that will not only rectify the problem but repair the aesthetic damage it has caused. These tailored repair solutions will also prevent the recurrence of the issue because they address both the symptoms and underlying causes.
If you have recently built a commercial property that has started to sink, or you have purchased commercial premises that have signs of subsidence, there are several potential causes of this. However, the most common and pressing are those that begin in the soil.
- Expansive Soil
Expansive soils are those which are heavy in clay or silt. These soils are heavily reactive to moisture and will change their volume based on the amount of water they hold. If your property sits on clay-based soil that is heavily saturated as a result of heavy rainfall or poor drainage, subsidence is a potential outcome.
When expansive soils are dehydrated – for example, as a result of drought – they can shrink dramatically. This shrinking can lead to gaps between your foundation and the soil below; this is only compounded by the fact that these soils can also crack as they sink. These voids leave your foundation unsupported, and as a result, it can settle into them, causing cracks and unevenness in the floor above.
- Loose Backfill Soil
During construction, a large swathe of the ground is excavated to allow for the construction of your property and its foundation. Once the structure is complete, any remaining spaces will be filled with the excavated soil. Known as backfill, this soil is far looser than the virgin soil around and under it. As a result, it is weaker to things like frost, rain, and dehydration.
Loose backfill soil can cause damage to your foundation in several ways, but the most common is the creation of a ‘clay bowl’. This term refers to what happens when loose backfill becomes saturated; the virgin soil around it prevents water from draining as quickly as it accumulates. This puts pressure on a property and can cause sinking, spreading cracks, and bowing walls.
There are many different pier systems available for different commercial and residential needs. If you’re having issues with your commercial foundation, there are two options that many experts will recommend: helical piers and push piers. These two options are a great way to permanently stabilize and even potentially lift your foundation, and they can be helpful in different ways.
- Helical Piers
Helical piers are called that because of the helical plates that the pier shaft utilizes for anchoring strength. Rather than the foundation having to hold all its weight by itself, the helical plates will hold the weight of the building and the foundation. This means you can stabilize and restore your business’ foundation, often with little to no intrusion into your day-to-day work.
With quick, effective installation options that work for foundations and masonry all around your building, helical piers may be a great way to save your foundation from irreversible damage. Plus, you can use these options to stabilize lighter structures if you don’t need help with the entirety of your building’s foundation.
- Push Piers
Push piers are an option that reaches extremely far down into the soil, oftentimes all the way to bedrock. From there, the pier pushes on the bedrock, which can allow it to gain enough tensive strength to push the building’s foundation back up. Push piers typically push straight down into the soil and can reach a further depth than other pier options.
You may also hear of slab piers, which are a type of push pier that specifically works to help stabilize a settling concrete slab. Whether you’re using a slab pier or a general push pier, these are great options if you don’t know what the soil is like underneath your building and you need to regain stability for your building’s foundation.
Innovative Basement Authority Is the Foundation Specialist for You
We have been operating throughout Minnesota, North and South Dakota, and eastern Montana as residential and commercial foundation specialists for more than 15 years, and in that time, we have found one uniting truth; clients who get good value are happier. That’s why we take a customer-centered view in all our business decisions. Whether we’re working on new construction, minor repairs, or a wholesale renovation we always keep your bottom line in mind.
That’s why we operate with transparent pricing methods and use only the best quality solutions whether we’re working on commercial premises, residential projects, or government and municipal buildings.
Where there are pre-existing design and testing standards, we take every step to ensure that our products are entirely compliant. Where there are no established standards, we seek to pioneer high-quality solutions that we feel will benefit the industry as a whole and take every possible measure to ensure that they are tried and tested before launch. This attention to detail and dedication to high-quality are just two of the reasons that our clients regularly give us glowing reviews.
Contact us directly to find out what we can offer to your commercial construction or renovation project today. We offer no-obligation, free estimates with every inspection from our friendly and thorough inspectors.