There are many foundation repair companies in the Dallas / Fort Worth area, and there are several different repair methods on the market as well. Let’s go through each of these and look at the pros and cons of each.
Drilled piers are one of the oldest foundation repair methods on the market. At the location of each pier in the repair plan, an operator will drive piece of equipment such as a Bobcat, and drill a hole underneath your slab. The holes are generally somewhere between 10-14″ in diameter and 10-12′ deep. The whole is then inspected for depth and dryness. Once it passes inspection, rebar is placed into the hole and concrete is poured. After a 28 day curing process, the home can be leveled by pressing against those drilled piers. If the holes are drilled to the proper depth, and there is no water in the hole when the concrete is poured, the pier will cure properly and should last a long time. Depending on where you live, ensuring the hole is dry pose a challenge. If there is water in the hole, the concrete won’t cure properly, and then the pier won’t hold. The long duration of this repair method and the damage to lawns are reasons many home owners decide against this method. The Bell Bottom pier is an extension of the drilled pier. See more about our Bell Bottom Drilled Piers here.
Helical piers are another repair method you may be offered. At the location of each pier in the repair plan, an operator will drive a piece of equipment such as a Bobcat, and drive a steel pipe with a round disc at the base. The Bobcat will spin the pipe with the round disc which will pull the steel pipe into the ground. Once that section has been driven into the ground, another length of steel pipe will be connected to the already installed pipe, and the spinning/driving process will continue. This will go on until the pipe reaches a recommended depth or recommended torque limit to spin pier. Once that point is reach, a metal bracket will be connected to the foundation using bolts drilled into the foundation. Helical piers can be driven relatively quickly and can be driven deep. However, the cost is highest of all repair methods. Because of the cost and the damage to lawns caused by the Bobcat, many home owners decide against this method. You can see some picks of our Helical Piers being installed here.
Steel piers are installed by digging an access point underneath the slab. Then using a hydraulic press, 12″ segments of 2 7/8″ steel pipe are driven until they won’t go any deeper. At the top of this type of pier may be a metal bracket that bolts into the side of your foundation, or a concrete pile cap which sits underneath your slab. Steel can go deep because of its narrow diameter, and it is especially good at driving through tough, rocky soils that are often encountered in different parts of Texas such as Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin and San Antonio. Steel does cost more than concrete, so for many homeowners, choose a steel pier can be cost prohibitive. See a diagram of our steel pier here.
Concrete pressed pilings are the most common repair method in the Dallas / Fort Worth area. Just like the steel piers, a hydraulic press is used to drive 12″ long, 6″ diameter concrete cylinders to a depth of refusal. Because they are 6″ in diameter as opposed to about 3″ for the steel pipe, the concrete cylinders will not go as deep. The concrete cylinders are made of 5000 psi concrete and cured at least 28 days before making it to your home. This is the most cost-effective repair solution on the market. Different companies have different methods for connecting each of these concrete cylinders to the next. For example, take a look at our Dura Lock® Piling System.
The newest and fastest growing repair method you’ll come across is the Hybrid Pressed Piling. This method combines the durability and affordability of the concrete pressed pilings with the strength and depth of the steel pier. Using a hydraulic press, 1-4′ of steel pipe is driven into the ground and capped with a steel transition plate. Then concrete cylinders are driven into the ground on top of the steel. The steel helps drive deeper than the concrete cylinders would go on their own and also helps push through rock. The result is a cost effective, long lasting repair solution that is anchored deep into the ground. For an example of this method, check out our Dura Lock™ XD Piling System.