Foundation piers are the pillars that support the structure of your home. They are installed underneath the slab of the building, which is in turn supported by the columns. Foundation piers can be used to support the weight of a building or to form the foundation of a new building. But what types of foundation piers are there?
What Types of Foundation Piers Exist?
There are two main types of foundation piers:
- Steel: Steel piers consist of steel tubes that are installed vertically into the ground. There are various sizes of steel piers and the type of steel used will determine the type of foundation pier. Steel piers can be driven into the ground by a standard rotary hammer or by using a special deep foundation hammer
- Concrete: Concrete piers consist of concrete pillars that are installed vertically into the ground. Concrete piers can be installed by attaching them directly onto the concrete foundation slab. A concrete foundation pier can also be installed by using special drilling equipment if the foundation slab is too old or too damaged
How do Foundation Piers Work?
Foundation piers work by transferring the weight of the building onto the soil. This is why they are needed for buildings that are too large to be supported entirely by the foundation slab.
Foundation piers are installed into soil which has been thoroughly compacted, which can be done by a bobcat, a bulldozer or a roller. Once the pier has been installed, it can be used to support a new building. In a typical construction process, foundation piers are installed before the foundation slab, and the concrete foundation slab is then placed on top of the foundation piers.
Foundation piers are used as a permanent solution to any structural problems caused by settling foundations. Foundation piers can also be used to raise lower floors, raise sidewalks or driveways, or create the foundation of a new building.
Why Foundation Piers Often Fail
Foundation piers often fail for several reasons:
- The soil surrounding the foundation is not strong enough to support the weight of the foundation
- The soil surrounding the foundation puts too much pressure on foundation piers
- The foundation slab is not installed properly
- The foundation slab shifts during the construction process
- The foundation slab shifts after it has been installed
- The foundation slab is not level
Foundation piers often fail when they are installed in the wrong location or when they are installed in areas that are not suitable for structural support. They are particularly prone to failure when they are installed in areas of soft soil. Whenever a soil sample is taken to determine the suitability of soil for foundation piers, the soil sample should be tested before installation.
Foundation piers can also be damaged by water or by extremely bad weather. However, the most common cause of foundation pier failure is poor installation.
Need Residential Foundation Repair for Your Home?
At Dodson Foundation Repair, we have been providing residential foundation repair for over 40 years in the Dallas/Forth Worth, TX area, and we have the experience you need to ensure the success of your foundation repair. Our commitment to superior customer service has led to our prestigious A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) as well as several positive testimonials from satisfied customers. To learn more about foundation piers and foundation repair, or to schedule a free inspection, please contact us today!