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Home Foundation Repair: Hydraulic Push Piers vs. Wall Replacement

Jan 11, 2013 • By Matthew Stock with Barry Schilling.

Home Foundation Repair: Hydraulic Push Piers vs. Wall Replacement


Home repairs are no different than any other field of endeavor – methods change as technology improves and what was standard practice just a few years ago may have been replaced by something better, faster or stronger.

Plumbers, for example, had to fit lengths of cast-iron pipe to repair home drainage and sewer systems; today, they cut PVC with a hacksaw and glue it together.  Basement waterproofing companies used to use bentonite clay on the outside of a foundation to fill wall cracks; now, we inject cracks from the interior with expanding urethane.

Repairing structural damage when your home’s foundation has dropped is no different except that some contractors still stick to old methods despite the advance of technology in the field.

Why Hydraulic Push Piers are Better than Wall Replacement for Structural Foundation Damage

When your foundation suffers significant settlement damage it places your entire home in jeopardy so it is critical to choose the best permanent repair method.  Some contractors may recommend replacing the damaged wall but installing hydraulic push piers is the better process.  Here are some facts:

Wall Replacement Process

  • Temporary shoring of the home to support the structure while wall is removed
  • Demolition of the existing wall and removal of debris
  • Construction of new wall with steel reinforcement, ties to foundation footings and aboveground structure
  • Replacement of any affected utilities, plumbing and drain tile

Hydraulic Push Pier Process

  • Small holes are dug next to foundation at installation points
  • Pier brackets are attached to foundation footings
  • Pier sections are driven through brackets until a load-bearing stratum (bedrock) is reached and structure is leveled.
  • Excavations are backfilled.

Disadvantages of Wall Replacement

  • Very expensive!
  • Most disruptive process – requires use of heavy equipment, lots of debris
  • Doesn’t prevent additional settlement or dropping of foundation

Advantages of Hydraulic Push Piers

  • Much less costly, priced per pier installed
  • Minimally disruptive – usually requires no interior work, no demolition
  • Completely stabilizes home and foundation – no further movement or dropping
  • Repairs are invisible once small excavations are backfilled

With the availability of hydraulic push piers there is no reason for a 21st Century homeowner to suffer through the disruption and expense of having a foundation wall replaced.  Push piers will stabilize the home and ensure that it remains stable and the affected foundation will no longer settle or drop.

Of course, when repairs are completed the homeowner must address the issues that created the problem in the first place, typically done by managing water in the soil surrounding the foundation.   This is accomplished by keeping gutters clean, installing downspout extensions to carry water away from the foundation and fixing any grading problems that allow water to run toward the house.

If you are seeing the signs of serious foundation damage, don’t delay seeking help for the problem.  If repairs are done quickly costs are usually lower and damage to the aboveground structure is minimized. 

The experts at U.S. Waterproofing are a trained group of specialists who know how to diagnose and repair even the most serious of foundation damage permanently and at a reasonable cost.  The recent drought has caused a number of homes in the area to suffer foundation damage so why not ask for a free consultation to make sure your home is safe and secure?

Tags: foundation repair, house foundation repair, home foundation repair, structural foundation repair, hydraulic push piers

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