What is Foundation Piering?
Piering is a type of foundation stabilization in which the structure is supported through use of piles or piers (large beams made of steel or concrete) that are driven into the soil. Most often, piling is used for buildings that are very large and in environments where the soil that is underneath the foundation is unable to support and keep the structure from settling excessively.
Essentially, a piering foundation will take the weight of the large structure and transfer it from a weak soil area to a strong support system of rock or hard soil. You may need piling repair if you have noticed signs of your foundation sinking or having other issues.
There are a few common signs that could indicate an issue with your foundation.
First, if your building has brickwork, you may notice cracks that move up your brick in a stair-step formation. You may also find that windows and doors in your building stick, have separated from their framing, or have cracks that lead out from corners.
Another common sign is interior cracks within your home, such as in the ceiling, drywall, or concrete walls and floors.
Common Types of Piering Methods
Commonly used types of piling include concrete piles, micropiles, mini piles, and pin piles.
Concrete piles consist of pre-cast or pre-stressed concrete. Concrete piles have an unknown holding capacity and do not pass through the active layer of soil. Concrete piers are larger in mass and have increased weight that can negatively impact your foundation by accelerating settlement. If the weight of your home is still situated on unstable, active soil, the problem still exists.
Micropiles, Mini Piles, and Pin Piles
Micropiles, mini piles, and pin piles are made out of steel and are commonly used for the underpinning method of foundation repair. This method involves drilling the pile into the ground and sometimes, injecting grout into the soil for a stronger foundation. These products are all considered micropiles, but they tend to be smaller in diameter and provide support for lighter structures.
MDTI Foundation Piering Solutions
Our certified installers most typically utilize the AB Chance Helical Pier or Atlas Resistance Pier systems. In certain circumstances, the patented Chance Helical Pulldown Micropile system can be used for piling repair.
First, we will place the helical micro pile in your soil and install the lead displacement plate and the extension on the shaft. This will be pushed further down into the soil until a predetermined depth is met.
In certain circumstances, a void around the shaft is created by the movement and is filled with grout. Finally, we add more plates and extensions until they reach either soil that will bear the load or the minimum necessary depth.
Piling repair using micropiles is beneficial as a cost-effective system to reinforce an existing foundation. Micropiles are especially advantageous in areas with limited access, structures that closely neighbor the project, and environmental constraints.
They require minimal working space and less invasive equipment. In addition, micropiles can be used when the temperature is not suited to concrete piles or when a lighter pile is needed.
Pieing replacement is another option available for foundation issues. If your structure has an existing piling foundation that is failing, it can be fixed with a replacement piling system.
For example, you may have had a concrete piling foundation installed, and adverse soil conditions or other factors may have led to deterioration. If this is the case, we can use micropiles to add support and replace the old piling foundation.
Chance Helical Foundation Piers
Chance Helical Piles are ideal for stabilizing/lifting foundations or retrofitting to increase load capacity. They are installed at carefully selected locations along load bearing walls and columns at affected locations.
Independent of the structure, the piles are installed into stable bearing soils at depths necessary to attain the required load bearing capacity.
Special foundation repair brackets are then placed on the helical piles and secured to the concrete foundation with concrete anchor bolts.
Chance Helical Pier Foundation Repair Advantages
- No heavy equipment required
- Quick installation
- Lower costs
- Time-proven engineered system
- Installs in limited-access areas
- Limited excavation required
The Chance Helical Pile System can also be utilized with new construction foundations. They can be installed to support foundation grade beams, footings, column bases, compression & tension loads, and concrete slabs.
Atlas Resistance Foundation Piering System
Atlas Resistance Piers are used to restore and/or stabilize homes that have settled due to a wide variety of soil problems.
Properly installed, Atlas Resistance Piers can prevent further settlement by stabilizing foundations. They can also be utilized to restore settled structures nearly to their original positions, often fixing structural defects such as cracks and deformities caused by the settlement.
The Atlas Resistance Pier is installed in two stages. First, the pipe pier is driven to a firm load bearing strata or rock. The lift equipment is then attached to the foundation repair bracket. Hydraulic jacks, combined with a manifold system, are then used to lift the structure. The Atlas Resistance Pier System procedure provides measured support strength.
Atlas Resistance Piers are spaced at carefully selected locations along load bearing walls and columns at affected locations. Each pier is driven to a suitable soil stratum or rock and then tested to a force greater than required to support the structure. This procedure effectively load tests each pier prior to lift and provides a measured Factor of Safety on each pier.