5 Things to Know About Foundation Piers
Owning a home comes with a never-ending to-do list. Jobs pertaining to your foundation, however, should instantly jump to the top.
Your home is most likely your biggest investment and its foundation is crucial to maintain stability. If you notice foundation problems, foundation piers may help.
In this article, we’ll explore what foundation piers are, how they work, and why they’re so important for your home’s stability.
What Are Foundation Piers?
Piering, also known as underpinning, is a technique that can be used to stabilize a home’s foundation by shifting the weight from unstable soil to piers which are anchored into stable bedrock soil.
By doing so, piers can offer instantaneous stability and even elevate the home to a level position, resulting in the closure of cracks.
Now that you have a better understanding of what piers are, let’s jump into the five things you need to know about foundation piers.
1. Piers Are Needed Because of Soil
While Denver boasts sandy, and even occasionally rocky soil, the majority of Colorado soil is troublesome bentonite clay.
This clay is extremely turbulent, meaning during dry conditions it shrinks drastically and expands quickly when water is introduced.
2. Piers Stabilize Your Home
Piers are a stabilization tool. Meaning, more than anything, the main goal of foundation piers is to stabilize your home from further movement.
Brackets are attached to your home’s footing; steel tubes are driven deep to stable soil. The weight of your home is then transferred.
3. There Are Signs You Need Piers
Are you noticing cracks in your brickwork or struggling to open doors and windows? Do you have uneven floors or cracked basement slabs? These are all signs your home may need piers. But you’re not alone!
The bentonite clay soil in Colorado is notorious for its movement, and your home may be experiencing settlement as a result.
4. There Are Three Types of Foundation Piers
When it comes to repairing the damage to your home, there are a few different pier options to choose from. Depending on your situation and the type of damage, experts may recommend one of these three pier options:
- Push Piers
- Helical Piers
- Slab Piers
Each one is designed to address specific issues and get your home back on solid ground.
So, let’s explore which one might be right for you!
Push piers can effectively stabilize heavy structures like your home. Here’s how they work: brackets are first attached to the home’s footing, and then hydraulic equipment drives the piers deep into the ground.
The term “push” pier comes from this hydraulic drive, which uses the weight of the home to push the piers down.
Helical piers, similar to push piers, connect to the home’s footing. However, helical piers have an additional feature that involves welded helical plates. These plates are used to screw the pier into the soil, providing more anchoring strength than push piers.
Helical piers can stabilize structures of any weight since they don’t depend on the structure’s weight to reach the proper depth.
Slab piers work on the same principle as other piers, but they are designed specifically for homes with slab foundations.
Instead of attaching to the footing, brackets are secured to the underside of the concrete slab.
Then, the piers are driven deep into the ground, bypassing unstable soil until they reach solid bedrock, where they transfer the weight.
5. Piers Are Installed Quickly
Depending on the size of the home, and the amount of damage, piers can usually be installed in a few days.
The foundation crew will use specialized tools and years of experience working with bentonite clay soil to determine the proper placement and depth for installation.
Groundworks Stabilizes Your Home with Piers
If you’re a homeowner in Colorado with bentonite clay soil, it’s essential to know the warning signs that suggest you may need foundation piers. By having this knowledge, you can take the necessary steps to ensure your home’s stability and safeguard your most significant asset.
Choosing a reputable foundation repair company is crucial as your foundation is the backbone of your home.
Groundworks wants to work with you to fix your foundation. Our experienced team has been helping Colorado homeowners for over 20 years by addressing foundation damage head on.
To begin, either call us or fill out our online form to schedule a free foundation inspection and repair estimate without any obligation. We’ll work together to create a secure and stable living space that you deserve.
Ignoring foundation problems can have severe consequences for your home and your wallet.
Foundation issues typically worsen over time, leading to increased repair costs and potentially causing additional costly secondary repairs.
Plus, ignoring foundation problems can lower your home’s resale value and make it more challenging to sell.
Foundation piers are typically a permanent solution. Once installed correctly by a reputable foundation repair company, high-quality foundation piers can last for the lifetime of your home.
Unlike temporary fixes such as patching or filling cracks, foundation piers provide a long-term solution to foundation problems and prevent future damage.
Foundation piers attach to your home’s footing. If your home doesn’t have a closed footing modifications can be made.
Consult a qualified foundation repair expert to help ensure your foundation is properly evaluated and factors like soil composition, and local building codes are considered.
Groundworks is happy to serve many different communities across the U.S., and we pay special attention to Colorado where foundation damage is common because of bentonite clay soil. We serve various areas in Colorado, including:
- Fort Collins
- Colorado Springs
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