There are several ways to keep your foundation from slipping away from its base. While you can’t always fight gravity, you can give a damaged and settling foundation a boost in the form of foundation piers.
Push piers can help some larger homes find their way back to their original elevations. A professional team can install a set of push piers within a week’s time, after which these piers will require no maintenance to serve your home.
Foundation Damage: Where Does It Come From?
It’s not always easy to tell when something’s gone amiss in your home. When it comes to your foundation, problems are often out of sight, out of mind. Your foundation, however, is more sensitive to the elements than you might expect.
Hydrostatic pressure, or the force of moisture against your foundation, can cause the molecules making up that foundation to expand and contract. Eventually, your foundation can start to crack and leak as it tries to keep up with those rapid changes.
What to Look For
If you know what to look for, you can get ahead of this kind of damage. Early foundation cracks tend to give themselves away. With that in mind, you’ll want to head down to your basement or crawl space to assess its overall quality at least once a year. This way, you can keep an eye out for the following:
- Mold clusters
- Standing water
- Signs of water damage
- Rotting wooden supports
- Bowing walls
- Sagging, uneven, bouncy floors
- Unpleasant and musty smells
Responding to Foundation Damage
It can be tempting to put off any manner of foundation repair, especially if you find yourself concerned about what that repair might cost you. Unfortunately, putting off foundation repair projects allows the problem festering underneath your home to worsen. The longer you wait to reach out to a professional, the more severe the damage you’re contending with is going to be—and the more expensive your eventual repairs are going to become.
It’s important to note that it’s always in your best interest to repair your foundation before installing push piers. If you’re contending with substantial cracks, a push piering system can stand in for your foundation, but the cracks themselves may still allow moisture into your home. With that in mind, be sure you ask about your repair options when you first reach out to area professionals. With a bit of luck and pre-planning, you can get ahead of any damage that may come your way.
Foundation Piering Solutions
Of course, as you’re exploring your repair options, you’re going to encounter all the types of piers you can install around your home. Piers, more than anything else, serve as aids to your existing foundation. These supports bear the weight of your home, preventing your foundation from cracking further even as they keep your home stabilized.
Some of the piers most often used to prevent foundation slippage include:
- Slab piers
- Helical piers
- Push piers
Push piers are able to bear more weight than most of the other types of piers available on the market. If you have a larger home, these piers may work in your favor.
That said, don’t think that you must commit to one home protection solution before calling it a day. There are other stabilizing and home waterproofing measures available to you. For example, you can inject some settling and uneven concrete structures with high-density polyurethane foam to stabilize the soil. This may be enough to save your home’s current problems. Talking to an expert is one of the best ways to determine the perfect way forward.
Installing a Push Pier System
It is rarely in your best interest to go out and purchase the equipment and the materials necessary to install a push pier system beneath your home. That said, there’s no harm at all in coming to understand how the installation process works and, in turn, how long you can expect professionals to spend getting the job done.
Step 1: Reaching Your Foundation Footing
When professionals install a push pier system beneath your home, they first need to excavate around your foundation. There is no way to install these piers nor any other type of pier without first getting down to the materials that have suffered the most damage.
Step 2: Installing the Bracket
Provided that you have a footing, professionals will then connect a steel bracket just beneath that lip. Older homes tend to lack this necessary footing, but you can still speak with contractors in your area to determine whether there are alternative methods of installing push piers.
Step 3: Locking and Installing
With the brackets installed, professionals can lock together the sections of your push piers. Then, courtesy of a hydraulic press, they can install these supports in the soil beneath your foundation. The specialty hydraulic tools professional contractors have on hand means that no one must do much digging around your home after your foundation has been excavated.
Step 4: Transferring the Weight and Backfilling
Once the team is satisfied with the placement and security of your piers, they can shift your concrete slab—not to mention the rest of your home—onto said piers, taking the bulk of your home’s weight off those supports that have already suffered damage. Provided that you find yourself content with the degree to which these supports bolster your home, the team can then go about backfilling the trough they excavated to reach your foundation in the first place.
The Benefits of a Push Pier System
If you are experiencing issues with the integrity of your foundation, this should be addressed right away. If the damage is left to escalate, this can lead to costly repairs in the future. Even worse, the cracks may become wide fissures and eventually let your home buckle.
Adds Stability to the Home
Push piers add overall stability to the home by using the more resilient soil that’s found deep underneath your home. If the first couple of layers are prone to shifting, expanding, settling, or contracting, push piers allow you to bypass that issue. The earth deeper down provides greater strength for stabilizing your walls and bearing the weight of your home. After all, it’s entirely compact and hasn’t had to deal with excavation issues.
Creates Installation Options Inside and Out
One of the greatest advantages to push piers is their versatility. A foundation expert can install them both inside and outside the foundation walls. This allows the piers to strengthen your home where it needs it the most, not just where you can manage. Once installed, these piers are not visible to the naked eye, making them ideal for aesthetic purposes. Many systems used to stabilize homes will involve beams that are fixed untidily in the basement. Instead, a push pier system from Innovative Basement Authority allows you to reinforce your home without sacrificing its good looks.
Offers Durable and Effective Solutions
The system includes an external sleeve that provides additional strength to the push pier bracket. This is the area that is put under the most pressure. The added strength provided by the external sleeve will halt any buckling, breaking, or rotation, as is often seen in push pier systems installed by other companies.
The Innovative Basement Repair push pier system is made from corrosion-resistant material and comes with a longtime warranty. Because the gear goes deep into the soil to ensure maximum support, there must be no risk of rust or corrosion. This design ensures that’s not a problem.
Allows You to Lift the Foundation Back Into Place
Push piers will not only help to prevent the settlement from occurring; it can realign the foundation to its original position. This can help issues like sticking doors and windows, uneven floors, gaps along walls, floors, and ceilings, and tilting walls. As such, push piers aren’t just an afterthought for when the damage is too great. They’re best installed early so that minor damage can be repaired, and worse damage can be prevented.
Adds Value to the Home
Homes with a stable foundation will hold their value on the market. If you are looking to sell the house for any reason, then sinking foundations, gaps in your walls, and floor cracks are unacceptable. A sunken or cracked foundation will greatly reduce the value of the home since the new owner will have to pay for repairs. Push piers can boost the value of the home, ensuring that your property is safeguarded against future soil shifts, temperature changes, and severe weather damage.
Reduces Complications When Selling Your Home
While a stable foundation can add value, a damaged foundation can cause serious issues during the sale of a home. If the home fails an inspection, this could end the escrow or demand you make costly emergency repairs or replacements. A foundation pier system will eliminate these issues, making sure your home is in top-notch condition when it needs it most.
Push piers are foundation supports that are made from steel. Resembling columns, these supports take the weight of your home off a cracked foundation. In turn, these piers can push your home back into place after significant seepage, allowing you to either sell your home for its original value or to better protect your family from the health problems that excessive sinkage and moisture can bring with them.
- When to Use A Push Pier System
There is no one particular force that can cause your home’s foundation to start to settle. Sometimes you can blame the shift on the presence of animals in your yard. Other times, hydrostatic pressure can get to the structural supports helping your home hold up its own weight. Push piers come in handy when you need to rapidly improve the overall quality of your home. These piers are heavier duty than helical piers and can bear the weight of your home with ease.
- Knowing Your Piers
That said, you do have the option to use alternative piers if you’re concerned about the structural integrity of your foundation slab. Some of your other options include slab piers and helical piers. Slab piers are specifically for homes with a slab foundation, and helical piers are best for lighter structures like porches and chimneys.
It is not advised to try your hand at some DIY projects involving your basement, crawl space, or foundation. When it comes to repairing a damaged foundation, you’re going to want to leave the bulk of the work to the professionals.
- Losing Money
Most homeowners start to investigate home DIY repair solutions when they’re concerned about how much repairs might cost them. Unfortunately, what some homeowners fail to understand is that those DIY projects can cost just as much, if not more, than professional repairs.
Consider this: Piering is a complicated process, as it stands. If you try and take on a piering installation without professional guidance, you’re going to need to source materials and special tools to get the job done. Where contractors may be able to secure partnership rates, you’ll be stuck with the market value of your push piers. Taking on that kind of expense could put you over your repair budget cap before you even have time to consider the work that you need to do.
- Putting Your Home at Risk
There’s always a chance that in trying to fix your home without the aid of a professional, you make the conditions you’re contending with worse. Say, for example, you decide to opt for cheaper piers than a professional would. While you’re installing them—after a lengthy, full foundation excavation—you may well damage one of your newly bought piers or the structural supports you already have in place.
Some DIY solutions even cover up the symptoms that indicate to future homeowners when something’s gone amiss with the home’s foundation. As such, you may think you’ve handled your home settlement problem without the help of the experts, while you’ve staved off the signs that could let you know when you and your family are in danger. Know that it is always best to try and get in touch with area professionals when you want to think more about what a push piering system could do for the overall security of your home.
Protecting Your Home from Dangerous Damage
You’ll want to install push piers or another type of piering system beneath your foundation after it has suffered from some manner of considerable damage. That said, you can’t expect a piering system to waterproof your foundation all on its own. If you’re concerned about seeing some of the same damage reappear in your basement or crawl space a few years down the line, you should speak with an expert about which waterproofing solutions that might suit your home the best.
Waterproofing measures, including interior drainage systems and sump pumps, help redirect water away from the perimeter of your home. Once they’re in place, these materials can prevent not only seepage but the kind of hydrostatic pressure that can cause your foundation to crack. If you have these solutions working in tandem with your piering system—even if said solutions are as simple as gutters with grates and underground downspouts—then you can rest a little more peacefully knowing that you’re doing what you can to prevent water from getting into your home.
Work with Professionals to Restore Your Home’s Foundation
It’s not always easy to know when your foundation needs a lift. Luckily, the professionals at Innovative Basement Authority are ready to help you. If your foundation has slipped at any point and you’re still contending with the damage, you can discuss whether a system like push piers can help you restore the value and security of your home.
Professionals can walk through your space with you and help you identify those symptoms of a damaged foundation. After their work is done, you can take your time looking over a repair quote to determine what kind of steps you want to take in the days to come. Contact us today to get started by scheduling a free foundation inspection and repair quote.