What Homeowner’s Need to Know About Push Piers for Foundation Repair
Your home’s foundation is arguably one of the most important structural elements and one of the most difficult to repair. Shockingly, according to the US Government Accountability Office, one in four homes has foundation issues. If it is not resolved, these problems can cause up to a 25% drop in the home’s value. Thankfully there is a viable solution known as push piers.
But first, let’s explain why so many homes need foundation repair. The moisture level in the ground beneath is the most common cause of foundation troubles. If the soil beneath is too wet, it could swell, sink, or erode some of the foundations away. On the other hand, if the ground is too dry, the soil will shrink and cause the foundation to shift.
This can lead to issues like cracks, movement, or even slanting. If these issues are left alone, the entire structure could become unlivable as it could crumble completely.
But since the foundation is deep down in the ground, it can be difficult to repair. This is where push piers come in.
What are Push Piers?
Push piers are structural steel piers that are pushed deep into the ground to add stability to the foundation. They can descend deep into the soil, even to the bedrock beneath, to support the structure. The pressure of the weight from the home below and the solid ground beneath helps hold the piers in place, regardless of soil or ground shifting.
Push piers can be used to help certain foundation issues, such as:
- Settling soil changes caused by mudslides, droughts, or floods.
- Broken footings at the base of the foundation.
- Slanted or uneven foundations.
- Cracks in the paneling, drywall, plaster, or concrete floor of the foundation.
Replacing a foundation entirely can be extremely expensive, so using push piers is a far more affordable option. These do not require invasive renovations, will not disturb the surrounding landscape, and can be installed quite quickly.
First, part of the foundation is exposed by removing the dirt in the surrounding area. Next, a bracket is secured to the footing of the foundation, which will connect the push pier to the structure. Then, the push pier is pushed deep into the earth through a drive stand. Once it hits a solid, stable surface, it is securely attached to the bracket.
How are Push Piers Different from Other Options?
Now, push piers are not the only option for foundation repairs. Another option is to use a polyurethane foam, which is injected underneath the foundation. However, this is only used for a sinking foundation that needs a slight lift. It cannot be used to repair major foundation issues.
Another common option that is often confused with push piers is helical piles. These work similarly to push piers, as they are long steel beams that are pushed underneath the surface to add support to the foundation.
The difference here is that helical piers are shaped as giant screws, with helical plates that drill into the ground at an angle. In addition to being inserted at an angle, if need be, they can also be placed before the foundation is laid if the ground is unstable.
Push piers use hydraulic pressure to push the piers into the ground. They can sustain heavier weight than helical piles, so they are preferred for larger structures like multi-level homes. Push piers and helical piles can also be used together to provide added stability throughout the entire structure.
Does My Home Need Push Piers?
So, how can you know if push piers are the best solution for your home?
The first indication is to determine the type of structural damage in your foundation. For example, if your foundation is sinking, the walls are sagging, or you notice small cracks, the chances are that your home needs stabilization. Push piers can help in this case if the damage is not too severe.
Your next step should be to consult a professional foundation repair service for an opinion. Push piers are a great way to add support, but they are not always the best solution for every home. You should only consult with a trustworthy foundation expert who will let you know the ideal solution for your home’s specific needs.
Looking for Foundation Repair Services?
If your Logan, UT home has foundation issues, give Poly-Lift a call at 435-999-9309. We provide concrete lifting, piering, and sealing services to repair all kinds of foundation problems. We also offer free estimates and quick services. Contact us today to learn more!