How to Repair a Settling Garage Column – Part 2

How to Repair a Settling Garage ColumnRepair a Settling Garage Column

In our first part of discussing Garage Column Repair – we talked about many misnomers about the garage column itself.  Here will talk about the ways of repairing the garage column and why some of them just do not work (no matter how good the salesman is).

You can dig a hole under the column and pour concrete:
This is about the worst thing a contractor can do. The column is generally failing because there is too much weight for the soil to support.  Soil generally weighs around 75-100 lbs per cubic foot (for loose to medium soil). Concrete on the other hand weighs roughly 150 lbs per cubic foot. By adding concrete you may be adding additional weight (think of an anchor on a ship) an only make the problem worse. In addition, now that you have poured concrete it only makes repairing the column more difficult in the future.

You can just pressure grout under the column:
Maybe – in most cases you are dealing with slabjacker or mudjacker who only pumps the grout directly under the slab and on top of the soil. In this case you are doing the same thing that the concrete guy does. Adding more weight under the column. It may work in the short term but long term this is not the best idea. You will not be able to lift in almost all cases.

This contractor says he can install 1 push pier and fix the column:
From a price perspective this is very temping to homeowners, but the cost of this repair will be greater in the long term. In order to install a resistance pier you use the weight of the structure to push the pier in the ground. From an engineering standpoint you cannot install just one resistance pier unless you “overdrive” or over stress the building. This is a problem waiting to happen.

I know you can install 1 helical pier and repair the column:
Maybe. From a capacity standpoint, Atlas Piers could easily install 1 pier to support the capacity (most of our competitors cannot make this claim). The problem can be two fold.  One, if the brick or column sticks out past the edge of the garage slab then this would be an issue for the bracket and pier assembly. The bracket needs to go as close as possible under the load – so the farther the brick or column sticks out the less this happens – which only weakens the pier. The second issue is the concrete footing now has to carry the garage floor (and cars) from the side of the garage to the center of the column (generally 9ft).

Lifting a garage column will only cause more problems:
If I were a company that couldn’t lift – I would say the same thing. We lift almost all of the failed structures (including columns). Why stabilize when you can restore
garage column repair using helical piers?

These are only some of the misnomers and ways to repair a garage column. At Atlas Piers – our standard garage column repair consists of 2 helical piers and we can typically lift the column very close to normal. When you consider what the results are – the price is very reasonable.