So your foundation has settled unevenly, resulting in foundation cracks, a flooded basement, window frames separating from the walls, sticking doors, uneven floors, or all of the above. If that’s your experience, you can at least be comforted in knowing you’re in good company, as statistics suggest at least 25% of U.S. homes will experience structural distress of some kind. That is where United Structural Systems and our foundation repair experts come in. With free estimates, we can assess your foundation and help you to understand the full scope of what foundation repair needs to take place and what costs you can expect.
Types of Foundation Repair Solutions
At United Structural Systems, our years of experience in foundation repair have led us to the conclusion that the best possible permanent foundation repair solution is the use of steel push piers. There are, however, various other options for foundation repair that we feel don’t measure up to the strength and longevity of steel.
Injections for Foundation Crack Repair
Sometimes when foundation cracks occur, it is assumed it’s a totally normal occurrence and doesn’t need attention. Other times people will go the step of a low-pressure injection of polyurethane foam or epoxy to seal the crack. Is this a quick method of sealing cracks against water seepage? Yes. Is it a permanent foundation repair solution? Absolutely not. Simply sealing the crack doesn’t address what caused it in the first place, meaning new cracks will open up.
Concrete Pier Systems
Concrete pier systems are often marketed as a cost-effective foundation repair solution. Concrete is cheaper than steel, that’s true. But when it comes to your home’s stability, cheaper is almost never better. At least 80% of foundation issues are caused by the shifting of soils underneath and we don’t believe that concrete piers in Tennessee will reach the depth needed to bypass those weak soils. You could go through all of the cost and hassle of having concrete piers installed only to find a few years down the road that the same problems are occurring.
Helical piers are a popular method for foundation repair. They are a type of steel pier, but are equipped with helical blades that make them look like giant screws. Instead of being pushed into the soil, helical piers are able to be “pulled” into the soil by the action of turning them until they reach the load bearing strata. Soil conditions have to be well-documented in order to place helical piers correctly. Their design makes helical piers more suited to supporting lighter structures, like decks, rather than the weight of your entire home.
Steel Push Piers
Over years of repairing countless foundations, we’ve come to the conclusion that there is simply no better way to permanently stabilize your foundation and protect your home from damage caused by uneven settlement than the installation of steel push piers. Steel push piers can reach the sturdy bedrock beneath the shifting soils that are causing your foundation to shift. The nature of steel is strength, making these piers able to support as much as 10 times the weight of concrete piers despite their smaller diameter. They also produce less soil drag than concrete piers, which protects the pier as time wears on.
Steel Push Piers – Our Favorite Foundation Repair Solution
While every sinking foundation presents a unique situation, what we have found in Tennessee is that most often there is nothing that can get the job done like a steel push pier. Prior to the invention of steel piers, foundation repair was most often completed with concrete piers instead.
CONCRETE PIERS VS. STEEL PUSH PIERS
Steel push piers can be driven up to 75’ into the ground until they hit the solid bedrock that will permanently ensure your home’s stability in ways that the much shallower concrete piers oftentimes cannot. Because they are driven so deeply into the ground, the shifting, expanding, and subsequent shrinking of the soils near the surface do not have an effect on the security of the steel piers. Steel piers can also support more weight than concrete piers.
ADVANTAGES OF STEEL PIERS
All in all, at USS, we have found that there are many distinct advantages to the utilization of steel push piers for foundation repair. Some of those advantages include:
- Incredible load-bearing capacity – the strength of steel and the depth steel piers can reach into the bedrock lends them unmatched strength
- Installation flexibility – steel piers can be installed either inside or outside of a structure
- Clean installation – we can install steel piers without destroying the landscaping you’ve worked so hard on because we only need to excavate a minimal amount of dirt
- Proven by science – steel piers are able to be field tested with every installation.
Call us today for a free assessment on what your foundation needs.