The More Common Foundation Issues Are Addressed with Steel Piers

The More Common Foundation Issues Are Addressed with Steel Piers
November 9, 2023

Even in newer homes, the Oklahoma soil has been known to be a source of destabilization or unpredictable settlement. From OKC to Norman to Stillwater, these homes can show the classic signs of movement and potential structural troubles—gaps between the bricks and windows, gaps around doors (the garage door, in particular), cracks in the brick or concrete, and the displacement of the freeze board. There are, however, engineer-approved processes that Oklahoma Foundation Solutions, LLC (“OFS”) use to address the instability.

Before problems are addressed, though, the structure of a foundation must be known. In Oklahoma, almost all single-family residential houses that have a concrete slab foundation are built the same way. The exterior footings and stem walls are poured first. The interior concrete slab is poured second. It is important to note that the two are not tied together. A foundation repair service that addresses the exterior footings, stem walls, and walls will not help or hurt any issues that may be present on the interior. Conversely, addressing the interior concrete slab will not help or hurt any issues that may be present on the exterior.

With that in mind, those exterior signs are far more crucial to addressing the foundation of a home. OFS calls upon the installation of hydraulically-driven steel piers to address it the majority of the time. The primary intent of this engineer-approved process is to stabilize and protect against future movement of the exterior footings, stem walls, and walls in the areas where the steel piers are placed. OFS backs the work with a lifetime transferable warranty.

“Noah and his team came out and installed piers as directed by my structural engineer. They were able to support and level the house as the engineer directed. Repairs done to long-term cracks in the brick are almost not noticeable. I don’t think anyone will even spot them if I don’t point them out. Great job, fast response. Happy with the work and happy that the warranty is transferable. I’m an investor and will definitely use them again. They came highly rated from all my investor friends in my mastermind group.”
– Eric, Google Business Review

The process for installing hydraulically-driven steel piers is as follows: installation crew members manually dig with shovels until they reach the bottom of the footing. The depth of the footings varies wildly from house to house. Some footings are several feet deep while others are only a few inches deep. Once the installation crew members reach the bottom of the footing, they manually dig a pocket. A steel bracket is placed underneath the footing that sits like a chair.

With a hydraulic ram, a steel pipe is driven through the bracket until the pipe hits the point of refusal (some people refer to this as bedrock or as load-bearing strata). The pipe is then welded to the bracket and the crew members backfill and tamp the dirt that was removed. It is important to note that, because the primary intent of this service is to stabilize, the exterior cracks will still be present after the installation of the steel piers is complete. At this point, crew members re-mortar and caulk as needed around the areas where the piers were installed. Both structural and cosmetic issues are addressed.

While there is a myriad of other services OFS provides regarding exterior issues, the hydraulically-driven steel pier is by far the most common fix for the most common foundation issues.