Stabilizing your settling home is one of the most important foundation repair decisions you can make. If your home has sinking floors, cracked foundation walls or doors and windows that stick, the foundation specialist at BQ Basements & Concrete have industry-leading foundation pier solutions to repair your home permanently.
Over the years, the soil and water around and beneath your home can cause foundation damage.
In this section we’ll break down the reasons you may be experiencing foundation damage, problem signs to watch out for, the different pier options your inspector may recommend, plus what to expect after installation.
The experts at BQ Basements & Concrete understand the unique sandy loam soil that is prevalent in the Philadelphia area and know the best piering solutions for this mostly well-drained soil. Foundation settlement solutions are nothing to wait on, contact BQ Basements & Concrete to schedule your foundation inspection.
What are Foundation Piers?
Piers are a steel shaft, either straight or with spiral blades at the bottom, driven deep underground to load-bearing soil to solve settlement problems. These shafts are installed beneath your home using brackets and provide the support needed but is no longer provided from the soil beneath it. Piers stabilize the structure, prevent further failure, and can even lift your home to its original position. This process is also called foundation underpinning.
Signs of Foundation Settlement
Piers are designed to address foundation settlement problems, but how do you know if your home needs piers in the first place? Below are several signs you will notice and should be addressed quickly.
Signs Inside Your Home
Discovering cracks in your home is often the first sign of settlement. The location of the cracks can help you identify how severe the damage is. On your home’s upper level, you may notice cracks or gaps around window and door frames, cracks in the drywall or plaster, or doors and windows that stick. In your basement look for cracks in the foundation wall. These may be horizontal, vertical, stair-step cracks through the mortar or cracks through the bocks themselves.
Signs Outside Your Home
Several signs of foundation settlement are only visible from the outside. Check the bottom of your home for foundation cracks. Some hairline cracks can be normal. However, more severe cracks that worsen over time indicate a problem. Stair-step cracking along the mortar is especially worrisome.
You may also notice your chimney is tilting or leaning away from your home. Not only can this look terrifying, but it is a clear sign of a foundation problem. In addition to foundation repair, a contractor will also need to repair the damaged chimney bricks to ensure water and insects can’t enter your home through the cracks.
SettleStop Foundation Pier System
Foundation piers, more than any other foundation product, serve to support your existing foundation. The steel piers hold the weight of your home and prevent it from future failure, resulting in additional cracks and other damage.
All pier options come with a 25-year manufactures warranty and have the ability to lift your home and repair cracks and gaps. Made of triple-galvanized steel, the piers will not corrode or bend, offering long-term solutions and restoring value to your home.
Below are several pier options your inspector may recommend. With nearly two decades of experience, the experts at BQ Basement and Concrete can identify the proper solution for your problem.
SettleStop™ Helical Pier
The helical pier is named as such because of the helical screw at the end of the pier shaft. These plate-like surfaces help pull the rod through the soil during installation until it reaches load-bearing soil. Brackets are connected to the foundations footing and the weight of the home is transferred. The helical plates also act as additional anchoring strength once they are responsible for stabilizing the home.
SettleStop™ Push Pier
The push pier is similar to the helical pier, but is straight rather than helical and is hydraulically driven through the bracket that is installed on the foundation footing. The pier is driven through bedrock until it reaches stable soil before the weight of the home is transferred. Push piers can bear more weight than any other pier, making it ideal for larger homes or commercial buildings.
When the soil beneath the structure is unknown, often a push pier is the best choice. It also offers the best opportunity to raise your home back to a level position. Push piers can be installed inside or outside your home and are not visible once the repair is complete.
SettleStop™ Slab Pier
Created for slab foundations exclusively, slab piers are essentially a push pier or helical pier designed to lift sunken concrete slab foundations. This specialized pier is driven deep into the earth until it finds solid, stable, load-bearing soil. A slab bracket is then installed after the pier reaches its desired depth.
If the slab is able to be lifted, a material is used to fill the void created by settlement. The crack can then be sealed, eliminating the tripping hazard. Slab piers use small installation equipment, so work can be completed in tight-access areas like laundry or utility rooms.
Stabilize Your Sinking Foundation in PA, NJ & DE
The BQ Basements & Concrete team has proven solutions to stabilize your home and repair your settling foundation. The work can be done any time of year, and installation normally takes one to three days depending on the size of the job. Our exclusive piering systems come with a written, 25-year transferable warranty, and are installed by the trained experts at BQ Basements & Concrete with the right tools and expertise to repair any setting or cracked home foundation.
We serve in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware includingthe Greater Philadelphia area, Camden, Trenton, Cape May, Atlantic City, Wilmington, Dover and the surrounding area. Contact us for a free inspection to ensure the right solution for your specific settlement problem.