Pier Foundations Explained

A solid foundation is important for any structure. Learn more about how pier foundations work from Bay Area drilling experts.

foundation piers Bay Area, Bay Area drilling

Here is How it Works

Every structure needs a solid foundation that keeps it upright, gives it strength, and provides safety for its occupants and neighbors. A solid foundation supports the load of the entire building and keeps it standing against the forces of nature. It also protects the structure against the natural moisture and forces of the ground that could weaken it. An expert Bay Area foundation piers drilling company can construct a pier foundation that will provide enduring support and protection.

What is a Pier Foundation?

A pier foundation is a collection of vertical columns that serve to transfer the weight of the structure to the firm strata below. It is especially designed for for heavy structures and/or in conditions where the top strata is comprised of decomposed rock overlaying sound rock, or in stiff clay soils. There are two general types of pier foundations: concrete piers and drilled caissons. Concrete piers involve excavating and drilling a cylindrical hole to the appropriate depth and then filling the space with concrete. Drilled caissons come in three varieties. One has a large axial load at the top with an enlarged bottom. A second utilizes steel pipe with concrete filled in the pipe. A third utilizes concrete and a steel core in the pipe.

Piers can be rectangular, helical, circular, or box-shaped and can come in various diameters including 6 in., 8 in., 10 in., and 16 inc. The depth of pier foundations must be below freezing depth, usually around 5-6ft.

Typically, a pier foundation is created by excavating and drilling a square or rectangular hole that is to be wider than the pier to be installed. Formwork is then set in the pit, a reinforcement cage is placed, and concrete is poured. The formwork is then removed, and the piers are covered with a pier cap. This work is done by an experienced Bay Area footing piers company.

Advantages of Foundation Piers

Drilling foundation piers offers these advantages:

  • This approach to solid foundations is easier, requires a smaller quantity of materials, and uses less labor compared to other methods.
  • It doesn’t need extensive excavation, causes minimal disruption to the soil environment, and requires less disturbance to the surrounding area. Ground vibration required for driven piles is not necessary for foundation piers.
  • It offers a wide variety of design options for engineers.
  • Inspection of the work is easily done.
  • The bearing capacity of the piles can be increased by adding piles, spacing them closer together, and under-reaming the bottom of the piles.

A Bay Area foundation piers expert company can skillfully handle the site preparation and piers installation to provide reliable foundation support.

Choose an Expert Bay Area Drilling Company

Contact Lassiter Excavating, your Bay Area helical pier professionals. We are experts in retaining wall drilling, construction, pool removal, excavation, trenching, and pier drilling since 1989. We provide exceptional service for both residential and commercial customers.