If your house is tilting or cracking, finding a solution can be difficult. Different contractors offer different solutions, some of which sound great and some of which are really only a temporary band-aid.
We are going to cover all of the different solutions in detail. We’re going to learn what push piers are, how they are installed, when they should be used, and their pros and cons. What are push piers? Push piers are made with heavy duty steel and connect to your foundation with a bracket.
Like helical piers, push piers are driven into the soil one section at a time until they reach load-bearing soil or bedrock. The steel brackets that connect the piers to your home’s foundation transfer the weight of the home down to this more competent soil. This is important because you don’t want your repair system to use the same unstable soil that caused the problem in the first place- the soil that makes up part of the active zone. Expansive soil for a more detailed explanation. When your house rests on competent soil it will stop settling and in most cases the push pier system will lift the house back to its original position.
How are push piers installed? There are two ways push piers can be installed= outdoors and indoors.
Step One: For an outdoor installation soil has to be removed from around your foundation’s footing for each pier. For an inside installation the concrete floor will be removed in an area that is about three by three to access the footing where each pier will be installed.
Step Two: A specifically engineered steel bracket is placed under each desired footing location.
Step Three: Steel pier sections are then hydraulically driven through the bracket to bedrock or load-bearing soil.
Step Four: The weight of the home is then transferred from the foundation through the bracket and piers into the load-bearing soil or bedrock. Depending on whether it’s an inside or outside installation and what the homeowner wishes it can then be decided whether or not it’s a good idea to lift your house to its original position or just to stabilize.
Step Five: Once the stabilization and/or lift is completed the soil is back filled or the concrete replaced and you will have the peace of mind to know your home is stabilized.
When should you use them? Push piers can be used in most crawl spaces, indoors and outdoors, if you want a relatively quick installation, if you want to lift your home to its original position, if you want a permanent solution, and they are the least risky solution when soil conditions are unknown. This is one of the differences between push piers and helical piers, since helical piers do require an intimate knowledge of the local soil but push piers don’t while providing the same solution.
When should you not use push piers? Unlike helical piers, push piers do require the weight of the structure to help drive them into the soil, so if you want to lift a lighter structure like a chimney, stairs, or a deck, these might not be heavy enough to drive the push piers to a sufficient depth. A helical pier system is more ideal for such situations. Here are the seven pros of push piers.
Pro number one: They can reach greater depths because of the specifically designed starter tube that is fitted with a friction reducing collar. Not all systems can go as deep or are as versatile.
Pro number two: The push pier system by Supportworks has a patented bracket and external sleeve that resists kinking and bending and ensures a vertical installation all the way to load-bearing soil. To see how this works watch our video on the pros and cons of helical piers since they also use a similar sleeve.
Pro number three: Our push pier system is available in galvanized steel that resists rust.
Pro number four: it’s underground so you’ll never see it again once it’s installed Pro number five: As stated before the push pier system gives you the most flexible options for the best chance to lift your home back to its original position.
Our helical pier system can certainly do that too but it requires a lot more engineering costs, soil boring samples, the use of heavy equipment, and excavation. Additionally it requires the removal of decks, patios, entryways, and shrubbery. That is not a concern with push piers Since push piers rarely require a soil boring sample, this makes the installation relatively quicker as well.
Pro number six: You generally don’t have to replace your foundation. Our push pier system allows you to fix the one you already have so that such a drastic measure doesn’t usually have to be taken.
Pro number seven: Push piers can be installed both indoors and outdoors. It doesn’t require heavy equipment, and this makes it ideal for relatively tight spaces where such equipment can’t be used.
There is only one con to a push pier system and that is that a non Supportworks push pier system can bend and will rust over time. This is why our push pier system by Supportworks has that external sleeve that stops this from happening. Supportworks push piers resist rust because they have the option of coming in galvanized steel but that’s not the case with every push pier system out there. We can guarantee our installations for up to 75 years. So our push pier system is really quite simple, versatile, and quite effective for lifting or stabilizing your sinking home. It’s the one we recommend and trust the most for the majority of situations where your house is settling.