Foundation Supports

Installing supports under the foundation to support the structure’s weight is a common solution to foundation settlement problems. The first step for installing supports under a foundation is to dig access holes around the inside or outside of the house to expose the footing. These access holes are then used to install the supports. The most common types of supports are steel piers, helical piers, and push or resistance pilings.

Steel piers are driven into the earth under the house until they reach the point at which the house’s weight can no longer drive the pier deeper. When the bottom of the pier either reaches bedrock or hard compressed soil, or when the friction on the outside wall of the pier is greater than the house’s weight, the house’s weight is transferred onto the piers.

Helical piers are shaped like giant screws. With the use of a hydraulic system, they are gradually screwed into the earth below the house until the helical piers reach either bedrock or hard, compressed, load-bearing soil. Then special brackets and tools transfer the weight of the house off the fill dirt and onto the newly installed helical piers. No force is applied to the house during installation.

Push or resistance pilings are similar to steel piers in that they are driven into the earth under the house, but unlike steel piers, push or resistance pilings are usually constructed out of concrete or a combination of concrete and steel.