What is hillside creep?

Do you ever go to an old cemetery and see that some headstones seem to be migrating downhill? Or have you ever seen trees do this? Trees adapt to hillside creep by continuously growing upwards.

Many factors play a role in soil behavior, moisture levels, soil composition and the presence of organic life (plants, animals, insects) can all effect the stability of your soil. Over time, things can start to creep down the hillside. When this happens settling or movement of deck posts can occur, undermining the integrity and safety of the structure.

We frequently install helical piers for deck supports, as they can be installed quickly using minimal equipment and can support large vertical loads immediately. But helical piers aren’t always the best choice for applications under a lot of lateral pressure. An engineer is the best person to determine what type of support will best suit the situation.

This particular deck was slanting downwards caused by the downhill drifting of the existing deck supports.

In order to stabilize the structure Hughes Construction installed two new footers, as well as new support posts. We also updated the framing and shored up the staircase.

If you have questions regarding the structural integrity of your property or have concerns about potential hill side creep you should consult a structural engineer.