Soils in Texas can range from clay, to limestone, to sandy loam. Each of these soil types offer pros and cons, but all can end up causing problems for your foundation. Helical piers work to support your foundation without relying on surface soils. Our team at Foundation Support Specialists is here to explain everything you need to know about this helpful solution, and how it benefits homeowners in Austin and San Antonio.
How Helical Piers Work
Helical piers are specially designed to support your foundation independently from the surface soil. With a specialized helix blade design, this pier system supports your home with exceptional strength.
- Exposing the Foundation Footing: First, our team removes some dirt from around the foundation. This exposes the foundation footing where the piers will eventually be attached. Plywood and plastic are used to minimize damage to your lawn and to provide a place to store excavated soil, so it isn’t all over your yard.
- Attaching Brackets and Advancing the Pier: Next, our team attaches pier brackets to certain sections of the foundation footing. These brackets ensure that the pier will be held in place and insert straight into the ground. Once placed, our team advances the helical pier deep below the soil. It uses the strength of load-bearing strata (such as bedrock) to stabilize and support your home.
- Securing with Brackets: As each pier is fully inserted below the ground, our team secures them with an external sleeve and bracket which make the piers even stronger. Once fully installed and reinforced, your home is officially protected against future settlement. At this point, you have the option to request your home be lifted by our team. If so, our team will hydraulically lift your home for even more stabilized protection.
Why Our Helical Piers Stand Out from Others
- Installed with a 2x safety factor, which means the piers will always be twice as strong as the weight they are supporting.
- Specialized helix blade ensures that the pier does not disrupt soil – other piers have poorly designed blades that churn up the soil below your home.
- Our helical piers are suitable for both light and heavy loads. No matter the weight of your home, our piers can handle it.
Signs Your Home Needs This Solution
Your home’s entire structure is dependent on its foundation. When your foundation experiences settlement, cracks may form in the walls of your home – both indoor and outdoor. Wall cracks inside your home often appear over doorways or windows, as these are some of the weakest sections of drywall. Outside, wall cracks will appear on siding, or may form a stair-step like pattern if your home is made of masonry. No matter where you notice wall cracks, it may be an indication of foundation damage, and helical piers can close these cracks.
Stuck Doors and Windows
As mentioned, your home’s structure depends on the foundation. When any shifts affect your home, it can cause door and windows to become unaligned in their frames. This makes it much harder, or even impossible, to open windows in your home. Doors may drag across your floor or become crooked in the doorframe. If your windows and doors are suddenly much harder to open, contact a foundation professional to inspect your home for foundation damage.
Settlement & Sinking
Almost all foundations experience some form of settlement, but sometimes, it goes too far. Your home may settle unevenly which causes certain sections of your foundation to sink into the ground further than others. Over time, your foundation may crack under this uneven pressure. This leads to the aforementioned problem signs, and even more issues around your home. Helical piers stabilize your home and prevent settlement and sinking from occurring in the future.
Foundation Support Specialists offers three types of pier systems – push piers, slab piers, and helical piers. You might be wondering how these pier systems differ. Keep in mind, each pier system accomplishes the same overall goal: stabilizing your home and keeping it protected from settlement. However, each pier system is designed differently for use in different situations. Push piers use a simple long, straight, steel rod design that is inserted deep below the soil. Slab piers are specifically designed to be installed directly below a concrete slab. They share many design similarities with the push pier but differ in the way they are installed. Helical piers use a helix blade design to “screw” into the soil without disturbing it.
Helical piers are not readily available to the average consumer. You won’t find these tools at your local hardware store. Even if you could, helical piers require special equipment and training to be installed properly. You need a whole team of people for the installation process, so a homeowner couldn’t install these piers on their own.
That all depends on the extent of foundation damage, and your personal preference. After inspecting your home, our team will recommend the best place to install helical piers – usually where the most settlement or damage has occurred. However, once these initial piers are installed, you could choose to support your entire foundation with helical piers.
Call Foundation Support Specialists for a Free Inspection
Foundation Support Specialists was founded on the idea of providing solid, reliable foundation services to our neighbors in and around San Antonio and Austin, TX. Our commitment to combining exceptional customer service with the highest quality workmanship helps us make foundation repair into a positive experience for our clients. With accolades from Home Advisor and the Better Business Bureau, as well as tons of positive online reviews, our commitment to honest business is clear.
Contact us to learn more about our foundation solutions. All of our products are proudly manufactured in the USA by Independence Materials Group, and expertly handled by a team of technicians with over 20 years of experience. Book an appointment today and schedule a free inspection so you can start protecting your home!