Foundation repair options vary greatly depending on the geographic area and site conditions for the repair. Until the late 1970s, the main repair method simply used concrete. Below is a list of some popular methods used to repair foundations today.
1. Steel piers
The introduction of steel piers revolutionized the foundation repair process. The steel piers take less time and disturb less landscape than traditional concrete piers. Steel piers have progressed and have become more technical and data-driven to install.
2. Helical piers
Helical piers work well for exterior foundation repair and interior slab repairs. Helical piers are useful for both new construction and as a repair method. Light-loaded areas, such as porch columns or structures with vinyl siding, are great matches for helical piers. Helical piers are the most versatile and underused pier in the market.
3. Concrete pier foundation repair
Foundation companies typically use poured-in-place concrete piers in the preconstruction phase of structures. However, they can also adapt for use in repairs. This was the preferred method of repair prior to invention of the hydraulic driven steel pier.
Concrete piers offer a very permanent way to repair a foundation, but there are some drawbacks. The cost and difficulty of getting drilling rigs into residential yards are less than ideal, and foundation repair contractors must dig a lot of dirt from the holes for the piers, making cleanup very difficult. Due to these factors, concrete piers are the most expensive mode of foundation repair.
4. High-density polyurethane foam
Slab repair is simplified with high-density polyurethane foam. Foundation repair technicians inject the foam in a checkerboard grid that’s approximately 6 foot on center in the affected area.
High-density polyurethane has become a real marketplace-driven product because of the price and speed of repair it offers. However, consumers must remain cautious if HVAC ducts run through the floor since the foam could infiltrate and clog them. It’s also necessary to perform plumbing tests prior to the foam injection to ensure there are no leaks in the supply or drain lines.
5. Segmented piers
This is a relatively new product in the industry. Segmented piers are a price-driven foundation repair product, and their sole merit is a low price.
6. Spot piers
Spot piers are shallow, hand-dug piers that are filled with concrete. They provide a great option for repairing foundations in light-loaded areas, such as porches.