Advantages Of Steel Piers Vs. Concrete Piers In Foundation Repair
Both steel piers and concrete piers are commonly used in the construction industry, and each type has its own advantages and disadvantages. It is known that concrete is very versatile and it has been used for centuries across different areas of application, it is steel that is ultimately the best choice for a foundation given its unparalleled structural support.
This aspect is particularly important since a home’s foundation must be able to withstand a tremendous amount of weight over the years. Having a sturdy and durable foundation is paramount; this is why one cannot take any chances when deciding on the most suitable type of pier, and here you will find a deeper insight into the advantages of steel piers vs concrete piers in foundation repairs.
The Average Depth For Steel Piers Is Higher Than That For Concrete Piers
Another important difference between these two types of piers is the average depth – the deeper the piers are inserted, the stronger and more reliable the foundation (and the overall structure, for that matter). Having said that, the average depth for steel piers is influenced by a wealth of different factors, including the type of soil they are inserted into, but on average these piers are inserted up to 20-25 feet into the load-bearing bedrock. In some cases, it is not uncommon for the steel piers to be inserted as much as 50 feet deep into the ground, which is essential for skyscrapers and other commercial buildings.
On the other hand, the concrete piers are not as strong as the steel ones and they often allow a maximum insertion depth of around 10-12 feet; this makes them slightly less reliable particularly for taller buildings which require a sturdier foundation. The steel piers are hydraulically driven to the bedrock and any foundation repair that is done with steel is strong, durable, reliable and permanent.
Steel Piers Are More Expensive But Also Stronger And More Stable
Apart from their performance and long-term efficacy, one of the most notable differences between steel and concrete can be noticed in terms of pricing: while it is true that concrete piers are a cheaper and considerably easier to make than their steel-based counterparts, the latter are widely considered to be stronger and more stable in the long run. As a matter of fact, steel piers have been used in the foundation repair industry for more than half a century now, and most construction and repair companies consider them to be superior to concrete piers, especially when it comes to restoring the structural integrity of a foundation after it has previously failed. If a foundation that was based on concrete piers starts to show signs of degradation, then it would be recommended that steel piers be used for any additional repairs.
No Further Repairs Will Ever Be Needed
When you opt for steel piers, you can rest assured knowing that this will be the first and the last foundation repair process required, unlike it happens with concrete piers which can degrade over the years, slowly but surely. Steel piers are solid and they feature no shims or loose parts whatsoever – consistent, extremely strong and reliable at the same time, steel piers allow you to secure your building in place without worrying about any potential points of failure in the foundation system.
Time-Efficient And Hassle-Free
Given the fact that the steel piers are hydraulically driven solid into the bedrock, the entire process is very quick and straightforward. Not only are steel piers minimally invasive, as they only involve some basic excavations, but they are friendly with the surrounding environment as well: as opposed to other piers that require extensive excavation, the steel-based ones do not disrupt the landscaping and the environment, neither do they take their toll on the native soil or the flora and the fauna in any way.
Steel Piers Offer Homeowners The Peace Of Mind They Need
Last, but not least, steel piers are specifically designed to last for tens of years – repeatedly tested to withstand thousands of PSI and treated to resist chemicals and harsh weather conditions, steel piers are truly reliable and can benefit a foundation on many different levels. Besides this, most geotechnical engineers recommend steel piers these days!