The Difference Between Gridlock Foundations vs Push Pier Foundations

| Blake Heron |

As a contractor, you always want to ensure that your client is happy and that the repairs you perform for them are top-notch. No homeowner wants sagging floors, drywall cracks, or shifting foundations, and it’s the contractor’s job to ensure they get the stability they need in their home or commercial building. Until now, you had only two good options for foundation stabilizers. One of those, the push pier system, was a permanent fixture in the ground that utilizes 3” steel pipes to attempt to hold up the foundation.

That has all changed. At Gridlock Foundations, we offer new technology products that modernize the repair process and cut down on costs simultaneously. This new product will revolutionize how we stabilize houses and diminish reliance on push piers. Learn how GridLock Foundation Stabilizers are the future of foundation repair.

How Are Push Pier Systems and GridLock Stabilizers Similar?

Foundation repair experts use both the push pier systems and the GridLock stabilizers to stabilize a home’s foundation. Contractors can install both of the foundation repair systems within just a few days. Both are steel support structures designed to support the house foundation permanently.

Push pier systems resemble another common foundation repair support system: helical piers. Helical piers are shafts that use helical plates, so they function similarly to giant screws. The biggest difference between helical piers and push piers is that helical piers are screwed into the ground rather than driven into the ground. They are hydraulically rotated, which does not apply force to the foundation, with a pressure gauge determining when the pier reaches the proper depth. Steel brackets are then permanently secure the pier to the foundation.

What is the Difference Between Push Piers and GridLock Stabilizers?

Push pier system installation uses steel piers that are heavy tubes like steel pipes driven hydraulically through a foundation bracket into the earth. They are driven far enough to reach refusal under a home’s foundation and cannot go any further due to ground resistance. After the user installs the piers, each can be attached to hydraulic jacks, which are then used to attempt to raise the house to near its original position. After it reaches as close to the original position as possible, the contractor secures the pier columns to brackets.

The GridLock Foundations system, on the other hand, uses rebar cages created from rebar mats. Each rebar mat requires six chairs and four clips which easily snap together, and the mat then lays flat upside down. Adding four loose rebars, which snap on, creates the cage structure.

This system was engineered over dozens of iterations with professional engineers. Gridlock Foundations stabilizers passed an extreme load test of 20,000 pounds using power from massive stable soil volume for support. Load-bearing soil conditions vary from place to place. Most soil conditions can support between 1,000 and 2,000 pounds per square foot.

Though used for a long time, steel pier systems have several notable cons. Among the most significant cons of these systems include the limited surface area of support.

Push pier systems require between 1,000 and 5,000 psi from the hydraulic pumps to drive them down. If the weight of the structure is lightweight, it could begin to lift at as small as 1,500 psi, which may not be enough pressure to allow these foundation piers to combat settlement issues. This means the home starts to lift before the push piers reach the depth needed to secure the home. This is why construction professionals often recommend them for larger homes and commercial buildings.

Other cons of push piers include the fact that many contractors attempt to lift foundations off supporting soils with them causing a host of additional issues. Lifted foundations tend to settle because the whole weight of the structure is only supported by 3” of soil at the bottom of the push pier pipes. Also, lifting foundations commonly causes additional damage to the building.

GridLock Foundation Stabilizers, on the other hand, are an ideal crawl space foundation repair that are installed horizontally and provide lifetime stability.

For more information about how GridLock Foundations Stabilizers are the ideal choice for contractors, contact us at 1-855-66-STEEL.

How Long Do Push Piers Last?

Push piers do not compare to the lifespan of GridLock Foundations stabilizers. Unlifted push piers may last more than 25 years, but lifted piers fail often. GridLock Foundations, due to the cage structure and the use of high-strength power-vibrated concrete, can last far longer and are far less likely to fail.

The Importance of Good Concrete When Stabilizing a Home

The type of concrete used in a structure’s foundation makes a huge difference in stabilizing the structure. Construction professionals create some buildings with concrete block foundations which do not hold steel pier systems. Buildings with poured concrete are better for these types of stabilization because they offer more solid structures with which to anchor the pier.

However, the real issue with the concrete used with helical and push piers is that it is often not designed to be a part of the stabilization itself. Even poured concrete does not always have full rebar underpinning in the structure, which means that while concrete is designed to last for a long time, it can be more prone to breaking down due to the lack of additional structural support. This means these structures are not as stable as those used in GridLock Foundations stabilizer systems.

GridLock Foundations stabilizer systems, on the other hand, use incredibly strong concrete footings which are power vibrated and can withstand up to 4,000 psi and even greater pressure. Because they serve as horizontal foundation footings and do not need to be driven into the ground, they can also support lighter loads with equal stability.

The Foundation Stabilizer You Use Will Depend on the Type of Job

While Gridlock Foundations stabilizer systems are extremely durable, endure up to 20,000 pounds, and last far longer than push piers or helical piers, they have limitations. Builders may still recommend push piers for the job if you are working in an exceptionally tight spaces and onchimneys. In some cases, a combination of stabilizer systems serves the best purpose.

Helical screw piles are good options for new construction projects in poor soil conditions.

Reliable and Durable: GridLock Foundation Stabilizers

Several traditional methods exist for stabilizing a foundation. Each of these carries pros and cons. They do not last as long as the GridLock system. They may use lower-quality concrete, which is not pressure-vibrated and has no underpinning steel rebar system, and the user must install them vertically. They may not be able to handle lighter weights, and they are permanent once installed. They can also require expensive work, either in terms of up-front cost or as the years go on.

GridLock stabilizers, on the other hand, are useful to just about any contractor and can handle a wide range of loads and situations. They are easy to install in crawl spaces, and users can install them horizontally. The steel rebar cage system and power-vibrated concrete are designed to last for the life of a structure. This makes them a trustworthy, easy, and cost-effective solution to new construction or repair stabilization projects for an existing homeowner.

Push Piers Don’t Last a Lifetime. GridLock Does

In the end, when one weighs the pros and cons of helical screw piles and push pile systems, in most situations, the GridLock Foundations stabilizer system outshines both for a major reason: it is built to last for life. The use of power-vibrated concrete with an engineered steel rebar underpinning structure means it has unmatched structural integrity and strength. It does not require drilling or punching holes in the foundation and is easy and inexpensive to install.

If your company is taking on new construction or foundation repair, GridLock Foundations is undoubtedly the future of stabilization systems. For more information and pricing, get in touch with us today at 1-855-66-STEEL.

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Written By Blake Heron