Among several foundation repair methods, two of the most widely used are hydraulically driven piling method and the bell bottom pier method. Today, we’ll take a closer look at these two methods, and the conditions that make one the better choice over the other.
Hydraulically Driven Pilings
Hydraulically driven pilings are also known as friction piling, pressed piling or segmented piling. It is the older of the two methods, having been used over a thousand years ago in Europe in building bridges, castles and cathedrals. The installation process involves the use of several precast, reinforced concrete cylinders. These cylinders are aligned, piled and driven to the ground using hydraulic pressure. This method has since become the industry standard, particularly used in commercial properties.
Bell Bottom Piers
Also known as drilled or poured pier, bell bottom piers are called that because of its shape, which has a heavy bell-shaped bottom. Unlike pilings that use pre-made pieces, bell bottom piers are made by using a special drill that fans out when close to the intended bottom. The hole is then partially filled with concrete, rebars are inserted then the rest of the concrete is poured in. While originally used as a repair method, bell bottom piers are now also used for new home construction.
Pilings vs. Piers
Both methods, when properly done, can support heavy structures, such as commercial properties. It must be noted that bell bottom piers require soil testing to calculate the pier size, while pilings do not. Bell bottom piers also require inspection and adjustment after the first 10 years, while pilings can be pretty much left alone for their entire expected lifespan.
However, note that pilings need to be pre-made, unlike piers which are made practically on the spot. Piers are also ideal for repair work, especially in homes with little to no space to spare for the required equipment for pilings. When it comes down to choosing the appropriate method for foundation repairs and installation, all of these factors are considered before finalizing the project plans.
To learn more about our foundation repair services, including installation of root barriers, call Vulcan Foundation Repair today at (713) 234-0216. You can also fill out our contact form to schedule a free, no-obligation inspection of your home’s foundation. We serve Conroe, TX, and the surrounding areas.