What is the Difference Between Helical Piers and Push Piers?

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When you hear the word “pier” when it comes to foundation work and repair, you might not think there are many differences between the types of piers out there other than what they may be made of. A pier essentially underpins an existing foundation by holding the weight of the foundation and transfers the stress of the load deeper into the soil to solid ground like bedrock. This re-established stability to the original foundation while also providing a long-term solution that resists the effects of soil shifts and erosion.

All piers for foundation repair and stability solutions essentially provide this function. So what is the difference then between helical piers and push piers?

Good question. Let’s take a look.

Push Piers

Push piers are piers that are literally pushed or driven into the soil. This is accomplished by using a hydraulic press and the weight of the building to drive the pier all the way to bedrock or solid enough ground to support the building’s load.

Because push piers rely on the weight of the building to do a lot of the work in driving the pier down, if the building isn’t heavy enough or if solid ground is too deep, then push piers are not a viable option.

However, in cases where the building is heavy and solid ground is attainable, push piers are a possible option for foundation remediation. Push piers provide reliable and effective support and are hard to destroy, however, helical piers provide more control, are readjustable while inserting if needed and also provide more stability from the fins on the helicals.

Helical Piers

Helical piers perform the same function as push piers. However, unlike push piers, helical piers are rotated into the soil like a screw being driven into wood. Because they are twisted into the ground, they act more like an anchor than a push pier, which makes them ideal for a variety of loads that push piers can’t be utilized for, including lighter buildings and horizontal loading like retaining walls. They also don’t need heavy loads to help screw them into place, nor do they need the weight of a load to find bedrock or load-bearing strata.

Because helical piers are also more effective at shallower depths, they are a much more appropriate and effective choice for lighter buildings whose weight can’t help push push piers reach all the way to bedrock.

The Big Difference

The big difference isn’t only that the helical pier is twisted or screwed into the ground compared to a push pier being pushed. It’s also that helical piers don’t have to rely on bedrock or significantly solid ground to perform the same job for light loads. The twisting action into the soil allows for better stability and load transference at a shallower depth than push piers can provide.

Helical piers are also functional stability solutions for compression loads like a foundation, but also lateral loads like a basement wall that’s bowing.

Lastly, the installation time for both push piers and helical piers is rather quick. It doesn’t take big equipment to drive or twist either type into place. That being said, because helical piers don’t rely on finding solid strata or bedrock for light loads, they provide immediate load-supporting capability. This means our professionals at Bluebird CFW can install the helical piers quickly and efficiently, and they immediately start performing the work they designed and rated to do.

The Bluebird CFW Difference

As noted, helical piers don’t need to find load-bearing strata before they start providing stability support for light loads. That doesn’t mean that as soon as a helical pier is twisted into the ground the work is done. No, our experts ensure the helical piers we utilize are rotated to the right depth for the load they are providing stability for. Because helical piers are effective for both heavy and light loads, we only utilize helical piers to supply our customers with the highest quality of service.

The same goes for all of the repair work we do. We only use helical piers because they are so versatile and quick to install. Moreover, we leverage the control, easy readjusting while inserting and the stability that helical piers provide over push piers to give you the best results. Whatever process is used in order to strengthen your foundation, we always make sure the job is done right with first-time quality.

Contact Us Today

If you believe your foundation may benefit from helical pier underpinning, or you have any concerns about your foundation, contact us today. We recommend taking advantage of our free inspection and price quote. Only with our experts taking a look will you know for sure if your foundation needs any work.

Contact us today for a free inspection and estimate for your next foundation repair project.

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