Addressing the Problem | Best Pick Reports

Installing steel piers under the foundation to support the structure’s weight is a common solution to foundation settlement problems. The first step in installing piers under a foundation is to dig access holes around the inside or outside of the house to expose the footing. The access holes are then used to install the piers. Two common types of piers are helical piers and push or resistance 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. Because of their design, helical piers are better for lightweight structures and pavement. No force is applied to the house during installation.

Push or resistance piers are driven into the earth under the house until they hit either bedrock or hard, compressed, load-bearing soil. Then, plates are installed on top of the piers, and the house’s weight is transferred onto them. Push piers are best for heavy structures and larger homes.