Saturday, March 25, 2023

Are Steel Piers Better Than Concrete for Foundation Repair?

Home & GardenAre Steel Piers Better Than Concrete for Foundation Repair?

Foundation repair can be an intimidating process, especially if you’ve never been through it before. Suddenly, you’re faced not only with a potentially critical home problem, but several foundation repair methods to choose from. Repairing foundation issues can be an expensive process, and you’ll want to ensure that whatever repair method you choose lasts a long time so that you don’t have to go through it again in a few years. Let’s take a look at which method of foundation repair works best: steel piers or concrete. For further resources related to foundation repair, visit the website

Can Piers Be Used For Any Type of Foundation?

The first thing to know when deciding what method to use for your concrete foundation repair project is whether or not you can use piers in the first place. The good news is that most foundations can be repaired with piers using a process known as underpinning. 

Underpinning is used to repair and strengthen a foundation that has weakened over time due to age or damage, and it involves pushing piers into the ground underneath a foundation using hydraulics. The piers, either concrete or steel, are used to support and strengthen an existing foundation, usually a slab. 

Piers vs. Slabs: Which One is Sturdier?

When first building a house, you’ll need to decide what type of foundation to build it on. Which type of foundation will keep your house the sturdiest and last the longest? 

The answer to this question will depend on your location. Not only do you have to consider the angle of the ground your house will be built on, you also need to think about the type of soil your area has. A professional foundation repair company will be able to advise you on this. You also may be able to find local soil studies online if you are interested in the composition of the soil. Its makeup will determine how much your foundation is able to shift in place with precipitation and droughts.

You also need to consider potential natural disasters when deciding whether to build on piers or slabs. If you live near the ocean and are concerned about floods, piers may be the best choice since they hold a home off the ground. On the other hand, slab foundations may be best if you are in an area that suffers earthquakes regularly.

Can Houses Be Built On Concrete Piers?

If you have decided that you’d like to build your home on concrete, your first thought is likely a concrete slab. However, not every home can be built on a slab. If the place you are building is on a slope or the house needs to be elevated off the ground, you will likely need to build it with concrete piers and beams instead, which will hold your home just as strongly.

What’s More Cost-Effective: Steel or Concrete?

Cost is a key factor in deciding what type of foundation repair to go with. While any foundation repair project will be an investment, researching and choosing the most cost-effective materials will make a big difference in the final foundation repair cost.

Generally, concrete is far cheaper than steel. It is less expensive to manufacture, though just as strong, and comes at a cost to the consumer that is about one-third the cost of steel. This is because steel takes more effort to manufacture and shape into piers. Manufacturing steel is also quite a dangerous process, using extreme heat and pressure, so companies must account for that in the price of the material as well.

Is Steel Better Than Concrete For Foundation Repair?

Concrete and steel, though both used to support homes, are vastly different materials with different properties. It’s important to know which one is the strongest and sturdiest when you’re trying to decide between a concrete foundation repair and using steel.

The good news is that concrete and steel are both strong enough to get the job done. Steel can be driven down into the soil to depths up to 24 feet, while concrete piles are usually about 10 feet long. Concrete may require a few repairs over the years, but will ultimately hold a house just as well and for just as long as steel will. 

Which Type of Foundation Repair is Best?

A number of factors must be taken into account in order to determine the best type of foundation repair for your home. Foundation repair is not one size fits all! The type of concrete foundation repair that suits your home best will depend on the type of foundation it is and the kind and extent of the damage it has suffered. 

For concrete slab foundations that have begun to sink or become uneven, the best choice will likely be slabjacking, which uses a weight-bearing mixture and hydraulic pumps to lift one side of the foundation up from underneath.

For foundations that have weakened in the middle or lost some of their structural support, underpinning is a great option to lend some extra strength.

Foundation Repair Costs

No matter what piers you decide to use, the cost of a foundation repair may be intimidating at first. Let’s take a look at the average cost of repairing a foundation across the United States.

Bob Vila puts the average cost of foundation repair in the US around $4,500, but there are several factors that can bring this cost up or down. The area you live in is a deciding factor in cost. States such as Ohio, where cost of living is low compared to the national average, will likely see lower concrete foundation repair costs. Meanwhile, you would almost definitely end up paying more towards the higher end of the spectrum in California. 

Whether your foundation has suffered damage from a natural disaster or wear and tear, or has just aged since your home was first built, steel and concrete are both solid choices for your foundation repair. Contact your local foundation company to learn more about which choice will be best for you.

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