One of the advantages of using push piers (resistance piers) for foundation repair is that they use quiet vibration free hydraulic equipment to install the steel resistance piers. All of the installation equipment is highly portable and can be easily transported on the jobsite. After all of the steel push piers are installed and load tested, the structure can be immediately restored or lifted by transferring the load of the home to the piers. There's no time wasted, waiting for concrete to cure, and no soil to remove from the site. A measured factor of safety is verified, as the piers are 100% load tested to a force greater than the actual working load. This all means that you will get verified structural support for many years when you require steel push piers to be used on your home’s foundation.
Remember to always consult with an independent professional engineer before starting any structural foundation repairs and these repairs should only be performed by trained foundation repair contractors.
Below, the following steps the typical installation procedure for the largest selling Steel Push Piers:
1. Site survey: Pier placements are located around the structure and the location of underground utilities verified.
2. Excavation: Small excavations or the entire perimeter is dug for access at each placement location. The space required at the foundation is usually about 3 feet square.
3. Prep of the foundation: This includes notching the concrete footing to place the push pier bracket under the stem wall, preparing the bearing area under the footing to a smooth and level condition, and adjusting the face of the stem wall to vertical at the point of bracket attachment.
4. Bracket Attachment: The steel resistance pier bracket is secured to the footing using anchor bolts. Attachment of the drive stand and the hydraulic cylinder that is used to force the pier pipe into the soil is mounted on the drive stand.
5. Push Pier Pipe Installation: The steel pier pipe is advanced into the soil using the structure as the reaction force with a 10,000 psi hydraulic pump and cylinder combination. The piers may be installed from outside or inside the structure. Pier installation continues until rock or suitable bearing-strata is encountered below the unstable soil near the surface.
6. Load Test: Every resistance pier is load tested by increasing the force on the pier to insure the rock or bearing-strata will support a load greater than needed to guarantee a factor of safety. Typically an engineer will determine the load of the structure and the desired factor of safety before the load tests are performed.
7. Preps for Restoration: Once all push piers have been installed, load tested, and the installation data at each placement recorded; lifting head assemblies and hydraulic lifting rams are placed on the steel piers. The lifting cylinders are connected with one or more manifolds and operated using a hydraulic pump.
8. Restoration: Under careful supervision, the load is transferred from the existing failing strata under the foundation, to the load tested piers. The structure can be transferred gently and evenly lifted to as close to the original elevation or to the recommendation of the engineer. The nuts at the pier caps are secured at each placement and the lifting equipment is removed.
9. Clean Up: The soil that was excavated at each steel push pier placement is now replaced and compacted. The site is left clean and neat.
If you have noticed cracks in your drywall, brick or foundation you might need steel push piers to provide structural support foundation repairs. Whether your foundation is concrete block, poured concrete or composed of stone, steel push piers should be your first choice as a foundation repair solution. Foundation repair or structural underpinning projects, with steel push piers, are usually completed in just days, not weeks.
What causes foundation failure? There are many reasons why your foundation may be failing. Hot and dry weather conditions could cause soil to pull away from your foundation. This results to moisture imbalance causing cracks in the interior and exterior of the home. Your landscaping could also cause foundation failure. Trees and shrubs planted too close to the foundation causing transpiration. During transpiration, tree roots dehydrate the soil underneath the home leading to soil shrinkage and settlement of your home. Make sure all leaking pipes are repaired. Leaky plumbing can lead to foundation problems. As a homeowner, make sure you have the best waterproofing solution. Having proper drainage, can eliminate moisture build up that causes soil to expand. Clean all of your gutters and make sure you have the downspouts to redirect the flow of water away from your foundation. Poor building site preparation and ground preparation are also key factors leading to foundation issues. Knowing the causes of foundation failure will save every homeowner time and money in the long run. Repair these issues as soon as possible before it is too late.
There are crucial signs to look out for when identifying foundation failure. These signs can be in the interior and exterior of your home as well as the garage. Walk around the perimeter of your home and look for cracks in the bricks, gaps around the window frames, a leaning chimney, concrete cracks, and garage column cracks. Look inside of your home for cracks in the drywall, sticking windows, concrete cracks, misaligned doors/windows, and sloped floors. Check your basement for cracked floors, water stains on floors and walls, and bowed walls. Don't forget to check your crawl space. It can be an area that many homeowners overlook. Inpsect this area for tilting or leaning walls, bowing walls, insect infestation, and cracks in the foundation. There may also be a musty odor due to high moisture and mildew. Without foundation repairs, these conditons can get worse costing you time and money in the long run. Don't jeopordize your family's health by exposing them to dangerous mold.
When homeowners notice cracks in the foundation along with doors and windows sticking many realize that they know nothing about these structural defects nor do they even know what their options are. Just knowing your options can lead many people to a solution that fits their home, situation and budget. Knowledge is power when it comes to the structural foundation repairs.
The chart below provides which foundation repair underpinning and wall support products are used across the country. This data is a cross section of information gathered over the past decade.
Contact your local foundation repair contractor or professional foundation engineer to find the best solution for your foundation problems. Your foundation repair contractor will inspect the situation and repair it.