The Use of Concrete Piles vs Steel Piles

Steel piling and concrete piling are not interchangeable solutions for foundation repair. Each requires different methods of installation and the choice to use one or the other will depend upon the kind of structural damage your home is exhibiting. We’ll explain the difference and the factors that dictate when each method is most viable.

What Are Piles?

First, let’s explain how foundation-supporting piles work. These are thick, vertical pillars pressed deep into the soil. This provides a firm support base for a foundation when the soil is weak and unable to keep the foundation steady. The pillars themselves don’t fully support the weight of the building. Rather, they transfer the weight to the stronger layer of rock and gravel that rests several feet below the surface soil.

Concrete and steel piles are the two main types, which we’ll be discussing for this post. However, some applications may also call for other pile types, such as those erected from timber or composite.

What Is Concrete Piling?

Concrete piling is usually a foundation repair method for residential homes and light commercial facilities. It consists of heavy-duty concrete columns pushed deep into the soil to provide support for the foundation. The top portion consists of durable concrete caps followed by a concrete cylinder that sits between the column and foundation.

What Is Steel Piling?

Now that you understand concrete piles, you can probably guess that steel piles are more or less the same, with the exception that the columns consist of steel instead of concrete. Steel offers the highest tensile strength. The exceptional durability also enables them to be driven further into the ground and past dense layer of hard gravel.

Steel piling is designed to handle the heaviest structures, such as skyscrapers, highway bridges, and vertical towers. Due to the material, this pile type is costlier. However, this is a nonissue for Texas residences, as most of homes only require concrete piling.

Side-By-Side Comparison

 

Concrete Piles

  • For residential and light commercial buildings
  • Cheaper to install

 

Steel Piles

  • The strongest pile in the industry
  • Reserved for the heaviest structures, such as skyscrapers and bridges for public roads
  • More expensive installation

Reinforcing Your Foundation

Align Foundation Repair performs both concrete piling and steel piling installations. Give us a call if you notice structural damage in your home or place of business. A free inspection will determine the best method for your foundation repair in the Dallas-Fort Worth region. Soil types can also dictate which pile material is appropriate.

 

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