Much of the Midwest, especially from Kansas City to Dallas has experienced a tremendous drought. The soils have dried out to the point where homes are settling everywhere. Record numbers of foundations are being repaired throughout the Midwest. When there is a spike in any home repairs, whether its roof replacement, basement waterproofing or foundation repairs, bad contractors pop up everywhere. These contractors come in and use cheap methods of repair and move on to the next area as soon as the work dries up.
Not all methods of foundation repair were created equal. In fact, most techniques rely on the very dry, unstable soil for support. When choosing a foundation repair method for your home, you should know what the contractor performing the repair is offering. If they use concrete cylinders, pressed concrete piles, bottle jacks, or some other cheap repair method, run far away. If your local contractor uses a steel pier method that is designed and engineered, like the ECP Steel Piers, invite them in and get a written quote for your structural repairs.
High-quality steel piers are driven through the soil until they reach bedrock or other load bearing material:
On the other hand, concrete pressed pilings or concrete cylinders are cheap and quick. Contractors use unskilled labor and low grade products to get in and out as quickly as possible leaving homeowners with short term fixes that almost always require regular adjustments due to ever changing weather conditions. These precast pressed piling are driven into the soil using bottle jacks and require soil friction for support. This is the same soil that is settling due to the dry weather.
Concrete pressed piles can crack or crumble under the homes load:
Bottle jacks and human power does not compare to a hydraulic synchronized manifold lifting system as used on ECP Steel Piers.
Buyer beware in times of tremendous drought. There are plenty of high-quality foundation repair contractors available that use steel piering methods and will install them at reasonable prices. If you still are not convinced, contact an independent foundation engineer and ask him for his recommendation.