What Are Pier Systems for Foundation Repair? 

One of many foundation repair methods, pier systems are specifically used to help stabilize foundations that are failing due to unstable soil. Foundation piers prevent further movement by transferring the weight of your home to stronger, more stable soils. There are several different types of pier systems, including helical piers, slab piers, and push piers. Each kind of pier system has its own advantages—the one chosen for your foundation repair will depend on the kind of damage your foundation incurred and what caused it. For example, the piering system used to stabilize a foundation with collapsing walls due to soil pressure will be different than the one used to lift a foundation that has settled due to loose backfill soil. 

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Strong and stable. Our pier system will permanently solve your foundation settlement problem.

Pier Systems for Foundation Repair v.s. Pier Foundations

Unlike the pier systems used for foundation repair, a pier and beam foundation is a type of foundation in and of itself. Pier and beam foundations are typically found in older homes and are made of footings with concrete bases. This creates the opportunity for a crawl space, whereas a slab foundation would not. When compared to slab foundations, pier and beam foundations typically cost more to build, but may make foundation repair easier in the long run. 

Pier systems, whether they be helical, slab, or push piers, are used to repair both concrete slab and pier and beam foundations. 

Why Do Foundations Crack and Settle? 

Before we get into how foundation piers work, we’ll first need to address the causes of foundation settlement. Most foundation damage can be traced back to unstable soil, which refers to soil that quickly changes and subjects your foundation to movement. 

The Top Three Causes of Foundation Damage: 

1. Loose Backfill Soil

The first step in building a home is digging a hole where the foundation will be poured. After the foundation is poured, the remaining voids are filled with something referred to as backfill soil. If backfill is not compacted properly, your home will sink and settle as its weight causes the soil to compress.

2. Inadequate Drainage

Inadequate drainage is the number one cause of foundation damage. Without proper water management, water can pool up and collect around your foundation walls. Like a towel gets heavier when it is wet, so does soil. As water continues to oversaturate the soil surrounding your foundation, the soil places more and more weight on your foundation walls. This can lead to the walls bowing inwards, cracking, and eventually collapsing under the pressure.

3. Expansive Soils

The type of soil your foundation is built on can compromise its stability. In Atlanta, our homes are built on an expansive soil referred to as Georgia red clay. When this soil gets wet, it expands, causing upheaval and placing added pressure on your foundation. When it dries out, it shrinks and pulls away from the foundation, leaving room for your foundation to settle. Upheaval, added pressure, and settlement can all cause foundation cracks and structural damage.

How Do Foundation Piers Work?

Foundation piers work by fighting against the causes of foundation damage. By transferring the weight of your home’s foundation to more stable soil, your home is no longer vulnerable the heaving and settlement caused by loose backfill, expansive, or oversaturated soils. 

Types of Foundation Pier Systems

Depending on the type of movement or settlement your home has undergone, the type of pier system used to repair your foundation will be different. At AquaGuard Foundation Solutions, we offer three different types of foundation pier systems, including helical piers, slab piers, and push piers.

Foundation Push Pier Systems

These rugged steel push piers feature a patent-pending external sleeve that strengthens the pier at the critical tension point below the bracket. This is the best foundation repair option available when soil conditions are unknown, providing a permanent solution for your settlement issues.

Advantages Of Foundation Supportworks Push Piers:

  • Best Opportunity to Lift Home to Original Position
  • Minimal Disturbance During Installation
  • Fast, Effective Installation
  • Reaches Greater Depth Than Any Other Option
  • Life-of-Structure Manufacturer’s Warranty

Foundation Helical Pier Systems

A helical pier owes its name to the helical plates welded to the pier shaft. These plates help to pull the pier into the soil during installation, and provide anchoring strength as the weight of the foundation or structural element is transferred to the pier. Helical piers have a great deal of versatility for stabilizing and restoring foundations and masonry elements.

Advantages Of Foundation Supportworks Helical Piers:

  • Year-Round Installation
  • Fast, Effective Installation
  • Stabilize Light Structures Like Decks Or Concrete Stairs
  • Can Help Lift Settled Foundations Back To Original Level
  • Life-of-Structure Manufacturer’s Warranty

Slab Pier System

Slab piers are push piers designed specifically to stabilize and (in some cases) raise slabs that have settled. This type of pier is driven into the soil in the settlement area, deep enough to connect the slab to stable, load-bearing soil or bedrock. A specially designed bracket connects the top of the pier to the underside of the slab, to stabilize and/or raise the slab back to its original position.

Advantages Of Foundation Supportworks Slab Piers:

  • Can extend to great depths to contact stable soil or bedrock
  • Non-destructive repair requiring minimal excavation
  • Completely hidden after installation holes are filled
  • Can help lift a settled slab in addition to stabilizing it, in some cases

Warrantied, Professionally Installed Foundation Piers

Our foundation piers are engineer-designed and tested with minimal disturbance to your home and a fast, effective installation process in mind. Our foundation push piers are installed by one of our full-time, company-employed crews of foundation experts, all of whom are fully trained and certified through the Supportworks, Inc., the largest and most respected residential foundation repair network in North America.

Each of our foundation pier systems are designed to permanently stabilize and potentially level your foundation walls, to be installed year-round, and most importantly, to be nationally-backed through the Supportworks network with a life-of-structure warranty. That warranty is also fully transferable, providing you with the peace of mind that any warrantable work is fully covered if and when you eventually opt to sell your home.