There are options out there when you’re looking for a piling contractor within Manitoba. Below are 6 things to look for before you make your decision.
What is the weather going to be like?
If you have a summer project and they aren’t projecting rain for the next 2 weeks, then you can consider most piling solutions. However, if you have a late or early season building project and the overnight or daytime temperatures are dipping below zero, then you’ll want to rule out any solution requiring concrete.
What are the soil conditions?
The options are varied in soil that is not saturated in water or where a high water table is present. However, should the soil be saturated or should a high water table be an issue, then again, you want to rule out concrete piles and consider only steel piles. Just be sure that the piles are manufactured in such a manner that they will not release any harmful toxins into the soil/water. Hot dip galvanized piles which conform to CAN/CSA STD G164 are best.
Are the piles long enough?
In the Winnipeg area, the frost line reaches 8 feet. This means that if you pile is 8 feet or less that you run the risk that your foundation is moving with the soil. This is one reason why you will see decks, home additions and other structures which were built on piles subject to heaving and sinking.
Are the piles anchored to ensure zero movement?
If you aren’t anchored, then the piles supporting your structure are not nearly as resistant to heaving or sinking due to soil movement above the frost line. A great analogy would be to compare a nail driven into wood against the resistance of a screw drilled into wood. Your best options are either helical piles (screw piles and ground anchors) or bell piles.
Is the company reputable and professional?
Hiring a contractor is unfortunately risky business these days. There are too many fly-by-night contractors out there cutting corners and acting without much in the way of a moral compass. These three tests should help you chose a reputable company. 1.) Are they registered with the local Better Business Bureau (BBB)? If so, what is their rating and history? 2.) Is the quote too good to be true? If the quote makes you think “how are they making money on this?’ Know that they do intend to make money and it will likely be at your expense. 3.) Do they conduct themselves in a professional manner? Do they answer your call with proper phone etiquette? Do they return your voice message? Do they show up to provide a quote at the time promised?
Are you dealing with a quality product?
Are the piles recognized by the Canadian Construction Materials Centre (CCMC)? Ask for a copy of the CCMC report. Do they comply with the National Building Code (NBC)? Can they provide you with engineer stamped documents which include allowable load capacities?