The slab pier system can stabilize and restore concrete slabs damaged by settlement. The pier consists of interlocking tubular steel sections. An adjustable bracket connects the top of the pier to the underside of the slab.
Slab piers are designed to be driven deep into the earth, bypassing soils that are ill-suited to support weight, so that your floor can be supported by strong, competent earth.
Slab piers also provide an opportunity to lift your concrete slab back to its original position, often closing cracks and eliminating tripping hazards.
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There are two types of slab piers: push-type slab piers and helical slab piers. Both foundation repair products can be effective, and selecting one over the other depends on your unique situation and the preferences of the contractor who is installing them. Both types of slab piers use small installation equipment, so installations can be completed in tight-access areas such as bathrooms or laundry rooms.
The process for installing hydraulically driven slab piers and helical slab piers is very similar. In both cases, the first step is to expose the soil at each pier location by drilling holes through the concrete slab.
If installing hydraulically driven slab piers, a slab bracket is n positioned in the hole so that the flanges on the bracket extend to support the underside of the slab. With the bracket in place, steel pier sections are hydraulically driven through the bracket until the pier contacts competent soils.
If installing helical slab piers, the pier shaft is rotated while downward pressure is applied. The helical blades on the pier's shaft advance the pier into the soil and also provide anchoring strength once competent soil is reached. A slab bracket is positioned around the pier and beneath the concrete slab once the pier reaches its proper depth.
For both foundation pier systems, the next step is to transfer the weight of the concrete slab through the piers to the deep, stable soil. A lift can then be attempted to bring the slab and interior partition walls back to their original position.
Grout is then carefully pumped at a low pressure under the slab to fill the void created by the soil settlement and slab-lifting process. Finally, holes at pier locations are filled with concrete, leaving the floor permanently stabilized in its new position.
More about Concrete Slab Floor Repair.
You should use slab piers in all cases except when either the floor slab is extremely thin or the cracking is extensive. The chart shown below outlines the advantages and disadvantages to each type of concrete slab floor repair:
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To replace a concrete slab, all home furnishings, floor coverings, and interior partition walls must first be removed. Then a jackhammer is used to break the existing floor slab into small pieces, and the pieces are removed from the home by hand.
Next, a new floor is poured and allowed to cure for at least two weeks. The interior partition walls will need to be rebuilt, the floors will need to be installed again, and the furnishings can be brought back in.
This is a disruptive and expensive solution, and it doesn't address the issue that caused the problem in the first place. The soil below can cause the same problems for your new floor, causing new cracks and breaks.
To mudjack a slab, a series of holes are drilled throughout your concrete floor. Then, a high-pressure grout is pumped beneath the slab to fill in the void below.
The high-pressure grout is messy, spewing grout out of other holes and cracks in the slab. The grout alone may not be able to lift heavy partition walls that are sitting on top of the slab back to their original, level position. If the slab does lift, it will be very difficult to control the lifting evenly.
Most importantly, mudjacking is not permanent. Even with the voids filled underneath the slab, the soil will continue to settle, and you'll have to call the contractor back for more mudjacking -- or to fix the problem with a different option.
To relevel the grout on top of a slab floor, the floor coverings and furniture on top will first have to be removed. Then the floor will need to be prepped so that grout will be able to bond to the slab surface. A self-leveling grout is poured over the surface of the slab, where it begins to fill in the lowest position of the floor to create a level surface. The grout will need several days to cure before the floor coverings and furniture can be replaced.
If the floor is not prepared properly, the grout may not bond well with the surface of the floor, causing it to break off in chunks.
Additionally, because this grout adds weight to the slab, the situation may become potentially worse as it sinks into the soil further. And, because the soil is not addressed, there's no reason that the problem that damaged your first floor wouldn't persist, damaging the repairs as well.
Slab piers are steel piers which are driven or advanced deep below your floor slab to a stable soil layer. These piers are driven deep into the ground past any troubled soil so that your slab is supported by a strong, competent material.
Slab piers use small installation equipment that can be used in tight-access areas such as bathrooms or laundry rooms. They provide an opportunity to lift the concrete slab back to its original position, often closing cracks and eliminating trip hazards.
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