Do I Need Caissons?

  • Is your home built on a hillside?
  • Do you own an apartment?
  • Do you own a commercial space?
  • Is your home’s retaining wall up to par?
  • Can you see loose dirt and/or rocks?
  • Does your home have lots of pressure and weight that needs support?


In New York City, caissons were used for the Brooklyn Bridge, but here in Los Angeles, caissons are perfect for protecting your property from the largest of loads. Caisson shoring provides the strongest support that you can give a home’s foundation! There are a variety of different uses for caissons. For example, caissons are often used to support bridges, underpasses, and to prevent hillside damage. Because they are so effective, caissons make exceptional supports for a home’s foundation. In short, caissons are used by everyone, from the basic home or commercial building owner, all the way to a city contractor

that builds freeways and bridges. Each caisson is built deep into the ground, drilled into solid rock that is subsequently covered with concrete. If the soil around your home moves, for example due to seismic activity, your home will not move with it. When your home is supported with a central caisson made of steel that goes so deep into solid ground, you can be confident that your investment is secure. The depth one drills into bedrock to anchor a caisson varies depending on the location. Sometimes bedrock is found at only a foot below the ground, while in other areas it can be up to 15 feet deep, and sometimes even deeper. However, caissons go even deeper because they are drilled 2-5 feet into the bedrock. On a funny note, caissons are also sometimes referred to as a “pile foundation” because of the pile of dirt that forms after you dig it out of the ground! Caisson piles can get pretty big!

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    Have you ever seen the Brooklyn Bridge? This great bridge has always been an icon, beginning on the Manhattan side, and ending at the Brooklyn side. The massive stone towers of this
    suspension bridge were built on top of compressed air caissons, which were large wooden boxes open at the bottom that were slowly filled up with concrete. These floating caissons were anchored, offering limited access for workers to dig out the riverbed by hand. Sadly, many of the workers dove into New York’s East River later died of “caisson disease” (or “decompression sickness”) but happily, we don’t have to worry about that today! The construction of the Brooklyn Bridge caisson piers made them into the bridge’s deep foundation. Interestingly, the Brooklyn Bridge caisson construction is in fact not all that different from the construction process used in more modern buildings. Modern buildings quite often use various types of caissons, but the same principles still hold true.


    Drilled piers and caissons are even more essential for homes built on hillsides. Not only do steel caissons keep hillside homes safe, but in doing so they can help keep everyone living inside hillside homes safe as well. In other words, ask yourself a simple question: if your home is on a hillside in an area prone to mudslides or landslides (which are very likely to happen when you live on, or close to, a hillside), or if your home is situated in “Earthquake Country,” would you rather have your home protected by caissons drilled into solid rock, or do you want to chance it
    without caissons?


    Erosion is a problem that many hillside homeowners contend with on a regular basis.  When water, dirt, and other debris come down the hillside, this causes erosion which, over time, typically does get worse until it puts a property in great jeopardy, potentially causing it some very serious damage.

    Weinstein Construction professionals can use retaining walls to block erosion from mudslides and landslides from damaging your home. Interestingly, in some cases, slide and erosion pressure can become so powerful that even retaining walls need support! In such cases, caissons are used to give extra support to retaining walls, helping to keep homes safe from sliding downhill, and caisson pumps create a dry work area by pumping out the water around the structure and retaining it, until it had been pumped out.

    Here is another way of looking at it:  piles and caissons are so strong that they are used to support the weight from all the cars and trucks that drive on the freeway. If caissons are used to hold up bridges and freeways, think about how much support your home or building will have if it is protected by caissons!

    Harry Sinanian

    Excellent. I recommend, and the whole job was done on time, as promised, in and out.

    Harry Sinanian

    Mary Brimmage

    They did a great job and it was awesome, they did great!

    Mary Brimmage

    How We Install Caissons,caisson,


    Caissons are constructed by placing fresh concrete and reinforcing steel into a drilled shaft. Then, reinforced concrete piles are cast in holes of predetermined diameters and depths drilled through soil and rock to a desired bearing stratum. A strong and massive caisson is then lifted in the air in order for it to be placed into the dug hole in the ground, along with added support. After this is all complete, the hole is then ready for concrete to be poured in. A modern caisson might resemble steel pipes, steel casings, or concrete construction.