Foundation piering is designed with a rugged steel pier and bracket that is designed to connect the pier to the foundation footing. They're designed specifically to add support to a home with sinking walls or a foundation that is experiencing vertical movement. They can perform their job in most soil conditions, lasting for more than a hundred years. These piers are available as push piers and helical piers, with each option offering its own strengths and weaknesses.
Foundation helical piers offer an effective way to add structural support to smaller, lighter structures such as sun rooms, patios, steps, porches, and other similar installations. However, when they're used to support the heavy weight of a house, they can prove much less effective.
Helical piers are designed with a steel shaft that includes a corkscrew design at the end. To install them, a section of the foundation must be excavated. The shaft is drilled underneath the home, and the installation is attached to the structure by a steel bracket. Helical piers install easily on older or weaker structures and can be used for pre-construction or new construction bearing systems in poor soils.
Helical piers are able to provide the opportunity to attempt to lift the structure, returning to a flatter, more level position. By doing so, cracks in the structure can close or shrink, and leaning chimneys may be straightened. However, helical piers will not guarantee perfectly flat or level conditions, and they're unable to improve the water tightness or lower the moisture level of a basement.
Foundation push piers offer the maximum in foundation support, making them most appropriate for large jobs and heavier loads. They're designed to drive deep into the earth to bedrock or solid supporting strata below the foundation. Because they install with minimal skin friction, they offer the deepest penetration of any type of foundation support without bending in the strata. Additionally, push piers are able to be used in low-impact interior installations.
Push piers can allow for the likelihood of the stricture being raised to a flatter, more level condition. With careful application, they can close and shrink existing cracks in stucco, drywall, brick, and other exterior finishes, and other problems suck as sticking doors, jamming, windows, and leaning chimneys may be improved with a push pier application as well. However, like helical piers, push piers will not ensure perfectly level or flat conditions, or a water or moisture-tight condition. Additionally, they will not be effective as a repair for bowing or fatigued foundation walls. To repair bowing walls, foundation wall anchors are the best option.