Perhaps you’ve never heard of push piers before and don’t know much about house foundations. However, it’s not uncommon for a house to need repairs to its concrete foundation. At some point, you might need to have push piers installed.
Understanding the function of push piers can help save a house foundation in many cases. These remarkable devices can lift a sagging foundation and possibly correct related damage to the home.
Foundation settlement is a widespread problem among homes in areas with unstable soils, such as:
House foundations in colder climates can be affected by snow or prolonged periods of 32-degree weather (the freeze-thaw cycle). A sinking foundation can also be due to poor drainage generally.
In virtually all cases, the weight of the house tends to shift downward unevenly as the soil shifts. When this happens, structural damage is often the result.
Since a large portion of most foundations lies underground, homeowners usually can’t see most foundation changes or damage directly. Instead, they should watch for signs like the following:
We expect you to be quite pleased once you see what push piers can do for these problems.
Push piers are extremely helpful for foundation stabilization. They are essentially hydraulic supports for stabilizing sinking foundations and can eliminate all but the most advanced damage caused by the sinking foundation.
Push Piers Stabilize a Sinking Foundation
Push piers are installed onto a home’s foundation after it’s been excavated. The excavation is needed so that the pier’s 48-square inch bearing plate can be slid under the foundation or slab.
Rugged, interlocking steel pier sections are hydraulically driven through the bracket and into the pier pipe until they reach either bedrock or stable soil. The weight of the house thus transfers through the new steel piers to the load-bearing rock or soil.
The foundation footing at the new, now driven pier is trimmed, and a load-bearing stabilization bracket placed under the footing of the foundation. The steel pier that has replaced the sinking one supports this bracket.
A Happy Ending
After removing the hydraulic power source, the new pier and stabilizing bracket combination remain in place to support the foundation and hold up the house.
This process should be repeated as needed with more foundation push piers. Consult with your Bay Crawl Space and Foundation Repair representative about whether this is advisable in the case of your home.
There are several methods for buttressing a sinking foundation other than push piers. The one that’s right for your home will depend on an assessment by a structural engineer or a similarly-qualified expert. Some of these methods are:
This solution works by installing additional foundations under the existing foundation to improve its integrity. The new foundation under the existing foundation utilizes more soil to add more support.
Often used by contractors as a ‘simple approach’, they can be installed with bad engineering, causing failure in the future. Be sure to ensure the specific concrete underpinning solution has been engineer approved.
Functionally differently from push piers, helical piers are used in situations where other types of piers are ineffective. These are large steel pins with screw-like helices at the end, which are drilled into the ground at an angle.
Just as it sounds, these involve pouring concrete columns either perpendicular or at an angle to the sagging foundation. These can present more problems than they’re worth, though. They can’t be installed beyond the active soil zone and frequently need replacing.
Complete Foundation Removal and Replacement
This costly undertaking should be a last resort. Not only does it involve tearing up a basement or crawl space, but it can also compromise the structural integrity of the entire house.
All of these other methods usually leave us saying, “Choose push piers.” We feel strongly that these are among the best solutions for foundation stabilization.
Why do we say this?
Ask us about installing push piers for your damaged or failing foundation!
Push pier installation is not a DIY project in any way. It should only be done by a certified contractor using the proper equipment.
The project can cost from $1,200 to $2,500 per pier. If this seems high, remember that it’s a lasting solution for a shifting or settling foundation
“An excellent experience. All crews and office personnel were very courteous, professional, and hard-working. Everything was explained as the work progressed. Clean-up was also well done. We were very pleased.” – Juanita B.
“If you need foundation work or any work under your home, this is the company to call.” – Diann S.
“Could not be happier with my decision to hire Bay Crawl Space and Foundation Repair to make my 16-year old house whole again. From the time of inspection to the completion of work, I was kept informed of the project’s status, next day’s goals, and daily accomplishments.” – Dave B.
Have you recently started noticing cracks in your walls, buckling of your downstairs flooring, or inside doors that stick when opening or closing?
These could be signs of a sinking foundation, as we’ve discussed in this article. If you have them, you should have one of our well-trained technicians come to your home to look at the problem—whether it turns out to be a sinking foundation or something else.
We’re Bay Crawl Space and Foundation Repair, and we have been serving Hampton Roads for five years. Contact us today at (757) 301-5088! We know how to fix foundation problems before there’s permanent damage to your home.