When it comes to problems with your slab foundation, slab piers are one of the best repairs experts can recommend. Here’s what you know about using slab piers.
Foundation Repair With Slab Piers
While some homes were built with either a crawl space or a basement, many were built on a concrete slab foundation with nothing else underneath. If you have a concrete slab foundation with problems such as sinking on one side, uneven floors, or cracks in the foundation, it’s important to have a customized solution that is a perfect fit for your home and its repair needs. Because of your home’s construction and foundation type, other systems like helical piers or push piers may not be appropriate remedies. But slab piers installed underneath your concrete slab can help bolster your foundation and protect it for years to come.
What Are Slab Piers?
Slab piers are a form of underpinning used exclusively on structures with a slab foundation. Underpinning, used to bolster and support a home or building experiencing foundation settlement, is a process that entails reinforcing the existing foundation and strengthening the underlying soil by extending the foundation so that the load above is evenly distributed over a larger surface.
These galvanized steel piers are installed past unstable soil and driven into a deep, supporting soil to permanently stabilize your home and lift the concrete slab back toward its original level position. Slab Piers offer a lifelong solution with minimal mess and stress, as well as an opportunity to close cracks and gaps and eliminate tripping hazards.
What Sets Slab Piers Apart?
There are many features that are unique to slab pier systems. Here are just a few of the reasons slab piers can benefit your home and its problematic concrete slab foundation.
- Concrete Slab Foundations
First and foremost, slab piers work for concrete slab foundations. This sets them apart from other pier options like helical piers or push piers, which often work for many different types of foundations. Slab piers have a distinct construction that makes them perfect for a concrete slab foundation, and they have the added benefit of being essentially invisible after the work is complete.
There are many different types of foundations out there, and concrete slab foundations are just one type. Additionally, you may be able to utilize other pier types on your concrete slab foundation, depending on the problem. Only a foundation repair expert will really be able to help you learn about your options when it comes to pier systems.
- Level a Home
The main reason for using slab piers is to potentially level your home. If you’ve noticed your home seems to be settling, which may mean slanting to one side or sinking equally across the entire home, you’ll need some way to bring it back up. This is where slab piers come in, making it much easier for you to level the current foundation.
There are a number of elements that go into understanding whether your home is going to start sinking. It may be a combination of soil type, initial construction, and even the design of your home. Because there are so many reasons this may occur, it’s not always a good idea to try and trace back the exact initial step. Instead, you need to make sure you’re supporting the home.
- Stabilize Concrete Slab Foundations Permanently
You don’t want to just add concrete underneath your foundation if one side starts to sink. This isn’t going to work. Not only will you just add more weight to the foundation, potentially causing sinking even further, but this method of stabilization doesn’t have the ability to raise up your foundation back to its initial setting, which is what you should look for.
It’s also important to note that you want a permanent solution, not one you’re going to have to go back to over and over again. Different solutions will definitely work for different foundations and different core problems, but one thing is for sure: slab piers will be able to maintain their hold much longer than many other “fixes” on the market.
What Are Other Reasons An Expert Might Recommend Slab Piers Instead of Other Repair Options?
There are all sorts of potential foundation repair options out there that your home might benefit from and that foundation repair professionals might suggest. Here are some additional slab pier features and things experts will consider.
- Reach Deep into the Earth
Slab piers can go far, far down into the earth, way past whatever soil level is causing you problems on top. That even includes soil types that really don’t work well underneath a concrete foundation, like clay-based soils. You can protect your concrete slab foundation from continuing to sink and warp if you have slab piers installed and ensure that they reach as deep as they can go to find shelter in whatever layer of soil is the most well-suited to foundation bolstering.
- Close Cracks and Eliminate Tripping Hazards
By lifting your slab back to its original position, you’re often going to be able to fix a variety of other problems with that concrete slab. For example, you may close cracks that have started to appear in the slab, which can be small, like a hairline crack, or large, like a gaping crack in your foundation. These cracks can also become tripping hazards, especially if you just allow them to develop. When you lift your foundation back into place, you often eliminate those tripping hazards and cracks.
FAQs About Slab Piers
Some homeowners just replace their concrete slab foundation when they notice cracks and sinking problems. You might even run into an expert who suggests replacing the slab from the beginning. Here’s why it’s a better idea to fix the foundation you currently have.
- Complicated and Intrusive Process
Replacing your foundation slab can be very complicated. You need to make sure you do it properly. Otherwise, you’re running the risk of ending up with a foundation slab that doesn’t hold up your home at all, which could end up being a big problem.
The process of replacing your foundation is also ultra-intrusive. Foundation replacement requires a significant amount of wait time because you’re going to have to pour concrete and maintain that new concrete. The intrusion into your life can be extremely frustrating to deal with, especially if you’re also dealing with other foundation problems.
- Might Not Fix the Problem
The basic problem is that you’re experiencing foundation settlement. This typically happens because the soil around your foundation can’t support your foundation anymore. There can be a variety of reasons for this, including soil erosion and other foundation concerns. Getting to the bottom of the problem should be one of the most important things to consider.
You shouldn’t expect that foundation settlement will go away if you use a new foundation, so you should instead fix the one you have. This will be less intrusive, less expensive, and often more effective. Replacing your foundation slab usually won’t fix the underlying causes with your foundation, which may come from a variety of areas.
A sunken foundation has a variety of negative aspects you might associate with it, but one you might not think about is your property value. If you have a sunken foundation, your property value will fall. People won’t want to buy a home with a sunken foundation as much as they will one with a strong foundation.
- The General Benefits of Slab Piers
Slab piers are a great choice in general. You can convert your foundation into one that’s stronger and no longer sunken with slab piers. Plus, because slab piers are such a lifelong fix, your home property value may end up higher than it was initially because the next owner won’t have to worry about sinking concrete.
Additionally, slab piers can help you maintain your home’s property value over years and even decades. That means adding slab piers can be an important part of increasing your home’s property value even if you’re not hoping to sell today. It’ll increase your property value over a long period, making it a great investment for many years.
- Other Aspects of Your Property Value
Slab piers may not completely restore your property value if you’re having other problems with the home. For example, if your driveway and sidewalk concrete both have overarching problems, slab piers won’t help with the impact that these problems have on your property value. You’ll need to fix these problems individually.
However, slab piers can increase your property value either way. Even if you’re currently having other problems that are lowering your home’s property value, it’s better to only be dealing with those issues. A Groundworks expert may be able to help you with multiple aspects of your property value, including problems like crawl space encapsulation needs.
Maximize Your Home’s Structural Integrity with a Groundworks Expert’s Help
Having the right solution for your slab foundation problems is crucial, and it can be a complicated process. As a homeowner, it’s not always easy to keep up with the technical details. But it’s important for you to know what is supporting your home.
A Groundworks expert is going to be able to help you understand what you can do for more effective foundation integrity. Whether that means slab piers around your home or something else, Groundworks has what you’re looking for. Talk to a Groundworks expert today so you can get a free estimate and understand what options may work best for your home.