Push Piers

When a foundation settles or sinks, push piers can be installed to stabilize or even lift the foundation. Clay type soils can shrink when they become overly dry. Poorly compacted soils or native soils which are collapsible in nature can also become unstable and sink beneath a foundation’s weight. These types of soils lose their integrity when they come in contact with water. In such cases, we recommend the use of steel push piers.

Push piers transfer the weight of the home to a stable, load bearing soil. In some cases push piers will transfer the load of the structure down to bedrock.

At Rhino Foundation Systems, we recommend push piers be installed to stabilize foundations that are settling or sinking. If you see signs of foundation settlement such as cracked foundation walls, sloped floors, or doors and windows that are hard to open and close, give us a call and we will send a foundation repair expert to investigate your problem. 

Advantages of Push Piers

  • Reaches deep below the foundation to load bearing soil. 
  • Can be installed inside or outside the foundation.
  • Installation requires only small equipment.
  • Up to 100,000 lbs of capacity.
  • Can lift foundation back to original position.
  • Repair not visible after installation is complete.
  • High capacity, double wall configuration. 
  • Year-round installation.

Types Of Push Piers

Two types of push piers can be used to repair a sinking foundation. The first is the most common because of it’s easy installation. It is called an eccentric, or offset push pier. An eccentric, or offset push pier, is installed at the side of the foundation. With this pier the home or building is not directly centered over the pier shaft. 

The second is called a concentric pier. This means that the pier shaft, which transfers the building’s weight down to bedrock, is directly centered under the foundation wall. In this case, a concentric pier has some advantages to an eccentric pier with a centered load as opposed to an offset load. This gives the pier much more capacity. Imagine holding a bucket of water. Now, imagine moving that bucket away from you body. Your ability to hold the bucket in the air is lessened significantly. The same physics in this example apply to foundation piers.

At Rhino Foundation Systems we offer concentric as well as eccentric (offset piers). Why you ask? What is best for one structure may not be best for another. Our trained professionals can look at your foundation and help you decide which option will be best for you!

Push Pier Installation Process

Before We Begin

Before your Push Pier project begins, you will meet with your project forman for a pre construction walk through. This will give you a chance to discuss  things you would like to see happen during your project as well as ask any questions. It will also allow you to become familiar with the process of your project as we work on your home or building.

Excavation

An inside or outside installation requires the footing to be exposed. This means excavation and removal of concrete if necessary. 

If an offset push pier is being used, the footing will need to be notched. This will allow the pier to be installed as close to the foundation wall as possible and help to reduce the offset weight of the building. If a concentric pier is going to be used directly below the foundation wall, we will undermine the footing to gain access to the bottom of the foundation.  

Foundation Connection

In each case, offset or concentric, a foundation bracket is used to secure the pier shaft to the concrete foundation. Heavy duty steel brackets are key in transferring the weight of the structure to the push pier itself. A weak connection here will cause the entire system to fail.

Pier Shaft Installation

Push pier shafts may extend 20 feet or more below a structure’s foundation. For this reason the pier shaft is installed in short sections that link together. A hydraulic ram is used to push against the foundation’s footing. The upward force of the hydraulic ram places an opposing, downward force to the top of the pier shaft and pushes it into the earth. You might guess that this is where the pier gets its name. Each segment is pushed into the earth until the pier reaches its engineered capacity and rests on load bearing strata. 

Stabilizing & Restoring The Foundation

Before we begin your project it is important that we talk about the goals you have for your home or building.  Rhino Foundation Systems has installed nearly 5,000 piers without a single failure. Some of those have been used to lift buildings, others for stabilization. We want to talk about your needs and wants for your home so we can help you decide what’s best. Your peace of mind is most important to us so expectations are critical as we work together on your home!