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Piering a foundation is the process of modifying an existing foundation system by extending into the ground below, a section that is much deeper and more stable than the near-surface soil that supports your existing foundation system (by foundation piering). This is done to provide vertical support that is not present in the existing design. Methods of underpinning include the construction of footings, stem walls, and driven pilings for drilled piers.
Foundation Piering, if properly designed and installed, provides the basis to lift the structure to a more acceptable elevation and provides vertical support to prevent the underpinned area from settling. There are many systems and many contractors that perform foundation repair work. The buyer must be educated and selective when deciding on the repair method for their home. Improper foundation repair methods could cause tens of thousands of dollars in additional defects.
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Causes Of Foundation Failure
Many houses are constructed with foundations that are inadequate for the soil conditions existing on the site. Because of the lack of suitable land, homes are often built on marginal land that has insufficient bearing capacity to support the substantial weight of a structure. In addition, there are many areas of the country where the near surface soils consist predominately of expansive clays that shrink and swell as their moisture content changes.
Foundation piering specifically involves installing steel piers under the footing of your foundation and then driving the piers through the ground to load the bearing stratum. The piers can then be used to either support your building or actually lift the structure if needed.