Weak soils, shrinking and expanding clays, sinkhole activity, decomposing organic material, erosion from water drainage problems or superstorms, alternating drought and heavy rains, and other unstable soil conditions prevalent in Central Florida and along Florida’s coastlines and waterways, and the state’s porous, limestone sub-strata can often result in foundation damage or sinking. This can be quite serious, and you should get a free foundation assessment immediately to prevent further damage.
Why ECP? You want only the best products and superior, specially authorized installers when steel pier underpinning is recommended to raise and stabilize your foundation. There is no better, no more experienced, professional foundation repair company in Florida than Foundation Services of Central Florida…and no more accurate or stronger steel underpinning products than those precision-manufactured by Earth Contact Products.
Earth Contact Products (ECP) is the leading manufacturer of foundation repair underpinning, basement waterproofing and anchoring products in Florida and the United States. Its steel push piers are manufactured in ECP’s 70,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility using only mill certified materials and experienced welders, and have become the standard for all underpinning piers.
Steel piers stop settlement and provide structural lift. They can close cracks in masonry and restore other flaws, such as separations at door and window frames caused by the settlement.
Tested and proven effective in Florida’s weak soils, karst terrains and wet areas, these piers provide foundation stability and long lasting performance in all soil types. They can be installed under existing foundations in difficult situations and with minimal property disruption, from the outside or inside of the structure, as needed. Also, the steel pier is a resistance pier, an end-bearing pier that does not rely upon, nor require, skin friction to produce the needed support.
Each ECP Steel PierTM Underpinning System involves installation with a two-stage process to drive the precision-manufactured piers through the weak soils underneath your structure and down to a secure load-bearing stratum, or bedrock. This stratum must first be carefully tested and verified, with the same precision as the hydraulics used to drive the piers in phase 1 and lift your foundation in phase 2… to recover lost elevation and bring your structure back to the desired elevation.
We consider specific information about your original structural design, your foundation’s current condition, soil characteristics plus a site survey before we develop your final repair plan. In designing a restoration project, we involve professional engineers to ensure superior results and safety in every aspect of your repair.
We use the structural weight of your building as a reaction force as we drive ECP Steel Piers hydraulically into the soil. We use a friction collar on the pier as it is driven into the soil, creating an opening in the soil larger than the pier pipe’s diameter to reduce skin friction on the pier.
The friction collar also enables the installer to load test and verify that that pier has reached a firm, secure, load-bearing stratum that’s suitable to support the load of the structure.
The piers are installed individually, using the maximum weight of the structure as the reaction force, and are load tested individually to create a factor of safety.
Significant safety factors are inherent during your foundation restoration with the system’s usage of different, carefully calibrated methods between pier installation and load transfer. The piers are driven, tested and monitored individually, with the entire structure working as the reaction force.
The load on each pier is reduced to only the design working load through the placement of hydraulic jacks at multiple locations during load transfer. Structural strength is an important pier safety factor, as a strong building of substantial construction and rigidity can develop greater safety factors than a weaker structure.
There is minimal impact on lawns and landscaping with ECP pier systems. The piers are installed with state-of-the-art, quiet, vibration-free hydraulic pumps that are carried onto your site. There is no need for disruption by any large equipment.
After the piers are load tested and safety factors are established, a manifold lift system is used to gently lift as many pins as needed all at once. The process is fast, efficient, safe and quiet.
To accommodate different size structures and load capacities, steel pins / steel piers come in three standard sizes with ultimate load capacities ranging from 55,000 to 99,000 lbs.
The standard pier section used most by Foundation Services is a galvanized pipe 3-1/2″ in diameter and 3′-6″ long. We couple the sections of piers together and then drive them to the load bearing bedrock.
For underpinning slabs that have settled, we use a 1-5/8″ diameter pier pipe. It comes in 3″ sections and has an ultimate load capacity of 20,000 lbs.
To remediate a structure that has settled both around the perimeter footing and under the interior slab, these steel pier underpinning products are often used together.
Click to View the Steel Pier Underpinning Process Step-by-Step
For information on Steel Pier Underpinning in key Florida Service Areas
Ocala, Gainesville, Spring Hill, Citrus Hills, Orlando, Tampa and throughout FL
“We would gladly pass their names [Sinkhole Pros at Foundation Services] on to anyone struggling with foundation problems. In fact, our neighbor is using them now.”