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Last updated: April 15, 2024 • Home Improvement

Foundation Crack Repair Using Push Piers

Foundations, like all other structures, have the potential to settle or sink slightly after being built. It is not an issue as long as the settlement is complete. The real problem is uneven foundation settlement, also called different settlements. The pressure exerted on the foundation walls due to differential settlement leads to issues like:

  • Cracks in walls
  • Uneven floors and
  • Gaps in windows and door frames

If your foundation encounters any of the problems mentioned above, you must devise an effective foundation crack repair solution. Underpinning with the help of push piers is a standard method in this regard. In this article, you will learn all about push piers, their installation, pros and cons, and how they’re linked with residential glass repair. Suppose you are searching for more home improvement ideas. Then, you can connect with a reliable real estate agent who can provide additional insightful information.

Table of Contents

What are Push Piers?

high quality galvanized steel pipe

Push piers are galvanized steel pipes that are propelled mechanically underneath the ground. A hydraulic pump provides the necessary force to drive them into the soil. They are anchored deep into the soil, stabilizing themselves in the bedrock. Some other names for push piers include:

  • Resistance piers
  • Hydraulic push piers
  • Push piles

Push pile installation requires minimal invasion and extends the foundation to distribute the load evenly. It provides a permanent, long-lasting solution for stabilizing your foundation with minimal disruption to your property.

What are the Components of Push Piers?

There are three components of push piers.

1.Steel Bracket:

The steel bracket or the remedial bracket is an L-shaped structure attached to the footer of a foundation. It is installed to make an angle of 90 degrees with the foundation footing. The remedial bracket weighs around 70 pounds.

2.Starter:

It comprises metal tubing, which is fixed using a skin friction collar.

3.Extensions:

Extensions are metal pipes fitted together and driven to the desired depth until the piers reach the load-bearing soil or the bedrock.

How Do Foundation Crack Repair Experts Install Push Piers?

hand pointing brick wall due

Professional contractors follow the underlying process while installing push piers.

Step 1: Analyze

Analyze the foundation to estimate the number of piers needed for repair. During foundation inspection, use a Zip Level to measure elevations. Then, mark areas where piers have to be installed.

Step 2: Excavate

The second step is to dig out the areas around the foundation where piers need to be installed. Excavate until the foundation footing is visible.

Step 3: Attach Steel Brackets

Install steel brackets to the foundation foot. These brackets will help support the piers.

Step 4: Install Push Piers

A hydraulic pump drives the push piers into the soil through the brackets. Push piers can reach 25-60 feet under the soil, but the depth can vary from one project to the other.

Step 5: Lift the Foundation

Use hydraulic lifting to raise the foundation to the level of maximum recovery. Remember, the foundation can never be lifted back to its pre-damage state.

Step 6: Fill the voids

Sometimes, a void is created under the concrete slabs following the foundation lift. Sealants like polyurethane foam can fill these voids. 

Step 7: Backfill

After the foundation has been lifted and stabilized, refill the excavated soil. Replace any tiles or landscaping that were removed or damaged during the push pier installation.

Benefits of Push Pier Installation

benefits torn paper

There are manifold benefits to installing push piers. Still, it does not mean they are better than the rest of the foundation crack repair solutions. Some advantages of choosing to push piers for foundation crack repair are given below:

Minimal Invasion

Push pier installation causes minimal disruption to the property as it does not require extensive drilling. Typically, the experts excavate the exterior of your home without harming the interior.

Cost Effectiveness

The ease of installation and minimal labor make push piers a cost-effective solution for your foundation restoration.

Permanent Solutions

Foundation settlement is an alarming situation for your house and must be addressed. Push piers’ versatility and long-term warranty make them excellent for restoring foundations.

Minimal or No Maintenance

Once installed, push piers require little or no maintenance, unlike other foundation crack repair methods that need regular care. You can take expert home improvement ideas if you own a smaller property.

Enhanced Property Value

Push-pier installation enhances your home’s structure’s overall sturdiness and durability, increasing its market value.

Drawbacks of Push Pier Installation in Foundation Crack Repair

man hand trowel plastering foundation

There are some drawbacks to installing push piers as well. Some disadvantages of using push piers for foundation restoration are given below:

Limited Suitability

Push piers are not suitable for all types of foundations. For some structures, helical piers are ideal for addressing the problem of differential settlement.

Reduced Curb Appeal

Following push pier installation, steel brackets remain visible even after backfilling. As a result, the curb appeal of your home is devastated.

Risk of Damage

Sewer lines or electrical cables can break down during excavation. Therefore, experts should carefully plan excavation to ensure the safety of water lines and electricity cables.

How Can Push Pier Installation Contribute to Residential Glass Repair?

windows glass instalation

Although push pier installation is not directly meant for residential glass repair, it indirectly contributes toward the safety of window panes and door glass by addressing one of the causes of its damage, i.e., compromised foundation. Look at how push pier installation favors the security of residential glass. Property managers need to clearly understand how foundation repair contributes to residential glass repair during the maintenance of residential properties.

Favoring Structural Stability:

Differential settlement causes the entire building and its foundation to move, which puts stress on windows and doors. Push piers prevent foundation movement by stabilizing a home’s foundation. In this way, they eradicate the structural movement problem, potentially leading to glass damage.

Uniform Weight Distribution:

Differential settlement can lead to uneven weight distribution throughout the house, which ultimately causes the window and door frames to become misaligned. Misaligned window and door frames can damage window panes and door glass. However, push piers to resolve the differential settlement problem, thereby eliminating the need for residential glass repair.

Preventing Water Damage:

Water trickles through the gaps and cracks, damaging the foundation, the window, and door frames. The water drips through the damaged frames into the space between the panes and causes condensation. As push piers restore the damaged foundation, the water no longer seeps through the gaps or cracks.

Conclusion

Push piers are commonly employed foundation crack repair solutions in case of differential settlement. Also known as resistance piers or push piles, they comprise three components: a steel bracket, extensions, and a starter. Experts follow a step-by-step approach to installing push piers into the soil. 

Push piers cause minimal landscape disruption and offer a comprehensive foundation restoration solution. Plus, they are cost-effective! However, they are only suitable for some types of foundations. They also play an essential role in residential glass repair by addressing one of the causes of glass damage, i-e., compromised foundation. Therefore, we recommend you install push piers to address the foundation problems on time.

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