Helical Pier vs. Push Pier: What’s Better for an Existing Building?

A sinking foundation poses a major threat to your residential or commercial building. If left unrepaired, it could result in structural failure.

Building owners with sinking foundations don’t need to panic. We can use helical piers or push piers to secure your foundation.

What’s the difference between a helical pier vs. push pier? Which one is better for an existing building? Keep reading below to learn more about these repair methods.

What are Helical Piers?

A helical foundation pier (also known as a helical pile) functions to support or resist loads transferred into the pile by any structure. This load can be tension, compression, lateral, or a combination of all three.

Helical pier installation involves a hydraulic-powered drive head typically attached to a mini excavator or skid steer on a residential scale, or a full-size excavator. They look like a giant self-tapping screw or auger.

Do you have a structure that is settling or sinking, and doesn’t have a large amount of weight? Then a helical pier would be the preferred method of underpinning. These structures may include a sunroom, front porch, entryway, three-seasons room, or a deck.

They can be used in any soil type and the advantages include a faster installation time, less disturbance to the ground soil, and the transfer of weight deep into the soil. Helical piers are a permanent fix to your foundation issue.

What are Push Piers?

Push piers are better for heavier structures because the weight of the building is what helps “push” the piers into the ground.

If you use a push pier or resistance pier on a lighter structure, building, or shallow foundation, it might not be driven to the proper soil pressure. It’s installed by attaching the underpinning bracket to the existing foundation and using a hydraulic cylinder with a drive stand.

Foundation repair experts need to be precise when using push piers. Sometimes, the hydraulic force applied to a lighter structure can lift a foundation off the ground before they go deep enough. This can damage the structure. They must stop advancing at the precise moment.

Choosing Between Helical Pier vs. Push Pier

When you call for push pier or helical pier foundation installation, our team of professionals will examine your foundation and soil type and determine which pier would work best.

The biggest consideration in choosing between these two piers is the weight of your structure. We’ll also consider whether you’re trying to secure a large structure like a building or an addition like a deck.

If you have an existing building with foundation problems, the helical pier would be the better choice.

Call Professional Foundation Repair Experts

At United Structural Systems of Illinois, Inc., we know the difference between installing a helical pier vs. push pier to secure your damaged foundation. We’ve also been serving residential and commercial clients throughout the Chicago area since 1995. You need our knowledge and experience.

Call us today at 847-382-2882 if you have any questions about helical pier installation or if you’d like to schedule a free consultation.