Concrete Lifting vs. Piering for Foundation Repair

Foundation crack

When your foundation is failing, concrete lifting is often used to salvage it. In the hands of professional mud jackers or foam jackers, the foundation can often be restored by raising it with material pumped under the floor. However, there might be times when a foundation repair company can more effectively restore the stability of the building with helical piering.

Difference Between Concrete Lifting and Helical Piering

Helical piering uses steel posts that are driven through unstable soil as hydraulic jacks raise or stabilize sinking concrete slabs. The repair method used depends on the type of distress being treated. While slab jacking companies lift the slab and then refinish it, repair services use piering as well as wall anchoring and other engineering techniques to level the foundation.

With concrete lifting, the company drills small holes into the floor and pumps in material that lifts the sunken concrete to a level position.

Depending on the type of foundation damage, one process is often preferred over the other. Slabjacking is the process of choice for garage floors, driveways, steps, and patios, but other foundation repairs are better handled by piering.

Using Concrete Lifting for Soil Stabilization Near Foundations

Many times, foundation problems are the result of erosion of soil around it. When foundations are laid, the contractor might not sufficiently compact the soil, which means that voids are filled in loosely. The building load sucks air and water from the soil, which makes it sink. Heavy rains that are not properly diverted away from the foundation also remove the soil. In this case, mud jacking is an excellent way to shore up the soil.

Costs of Piering vs. Slabjacking

A lot is at stake when a foundation cracks, sinks, or shifts. Since the worst case scenario is the building collapsing, using the most effective foundation repair process is always cheaper than replacing the building, re-pouring the slab, or fixing other damage caused by a sinking foundation.

According to foundation repair experts, piering a house can cost from $10,000-15,000, when considering the costs of hiring a structural engineer ($300-1,500), obtaining soil reports from a geotechnical engineer ($500-3,500), obtaining building permits ($75-100), seismic work in earthquake areas ($3,000-4,000) removing tree roots ($1,000-2,500) and other obstructions, and adding 8 to 10 piers. In contrast, slabjacking techniques cost about $150 per hole. If mud or foam jacking can solve the problem, it is a more cost effective solution for certain types of foundation issues.

When you suspect foundation problems, first check with a concrete lifting specialist such as Lift Right Concrete; they may be able to fix your problem or call in a foundation repair specialist to do the job.