4 Common Types of Foundation Piers

A building is only as sound as its foundation. If the foundation is built on expansive or hydro-compactable soils, or areas in which subsidence is likely to happen, it’s necessary to take action at once.

Magnum Piering specializes in the installation of foundation piers that can stabilize a structure built on less than desirable soil. It’s important for home and business owners to realize that there are several types of foundation piers available, each with its own pros and cons.

In this post, we will explore some of the most common types of foundation piers, as well as the advantages and disadvantages associated with them.

Helical Pier

Imagine a giant screw made from galvanized steel, designed to essentially attach a structure to the earth; this is the basic form and function of a helical pier. As the founders of HighCraft Builders wrote in an excellent article on the topic, helical piers are “turned into the ground until they’re stable enough to build on. While these piers are fairly common in commercial construction and in foundation repair, they aren’t widely used as a residential foundation system.”

Steel Push Pier

Also known as jacked piles, resistance piers, or hydraulically driven piers, steel push piers utilize round tube sections of high-strength steel and a load transfer bracket to lift and/or stabilize a foundation that’s shifting or sinking because of unstable soil. The full load of the building is then borne by a series of these steel push piers and transferred to more stable soil or bedrock. One major advantage of the steel push pier system is that it doesn’t require a lot of massive equipment, making it ideal for difficult to access foundations.

Straight-Shaft End-Bearing Piers

These foundation piers are very simple; much like an interior pillar supports upper levels of a home or commercial building, these underground pillars ensure that the weight of a structure is born by strong soil, “hardpan” or rock. These piers are used when the soil directly under the foundation is deemed completely useless in bearing the load of the building.

Belled Or Under Reamed Piers

These foundation piers operate in a very similar fashion to straight-shaft end-bearing piers except that their shape is slightly different. Instead of a straight shaft, these foundation piers have a bell-shaped based. These foundation piers deliver an advantage in cases where a fairly sound layer of soil is preceded by a weak layer of soil.

At Magnum Piering, we’re well equipped to evaluate the load-bearing capacities of all different types of soils and recommend the foundation piers that will be most advantageous in your case. Whether it’s a residence or commercial building, we realize how essential a sound foundation is. Our skilled engineers are ready to work with architects and contractors so that you’ll always know that your structure is built on a firm foundation.

Contact Magnum Piering to learn more about the types of foundation piers we manufacture and install, as well as the permanent repair solutions we offer to homeowners. Don’t ignore a structural issue that could result in catastrophic damage to your property!