Common foundation repair methods for your home: slabjacking vs. piering

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How important is a house foundation? This question has only one answer — it is THE priority while constructing a house. So, even a tiny flaw in your foundation spells doom for your whole home. A simple crawl space repair may be a quick fix but not a reliable solution. 

Conventional adjustment repair or crawl space repair, finding the right fix for the right issue is the key. 

With foundation repair in Knoxville growing in demand, knowledge about the same is lacking. Knowing the common concerns and house foundation repair methods can save you last-minute hassles. Also, it helps you in making well-informed decisions to save your home’s foundation.

Before the repair methods, let us see regular causes of foundation damage:

  • Poor materials
  • Plumbing leaks
  • Improper drainage
  • Poor soil conditions
  • Temperature changes
  • Inefficient ground preparation
  • Moisture imbalance
  • Poor design and selection of foundation
  • Improper site preparation

Now, if you have ever faced any foundation issues, you would have heard phrases like slabjacking and piering. But do you know what are they? How do they solve foundation issues?

They are the most common house foundation repair methods. Let us delve deep into these methods to know how they work and assist in foundation repair.


This is a specialized process of foundation repair used when the home is built on a concrete base. It is also known as concrete lifting and works with little to zero disturbance to daily life.

Slabjacking works by pumping mud into the foundation materials used beneath to alter the foundation. They use drilled holes to facilitate the movement of mud to elevate or level the foundation. 

The mixture of mud or concrete with water and additives is used in slabjacking. Fly ash is a common additive used in the process.

Steps involved:

  • Identification of issue

This is to know the gravity of the foundation damage. Displacement of soil, basement wall repair, sinking foundations are the common ones. 

Amongst this, a few factors influence the pattern of holes required for slabjacking and the additives needed. On the flip side, a few factors assist in knowing if slabjacking is the appropriate solution.

  • Designing the pattern of holes

This is a vital factor for slabjacking to work. Vaguely, the pattern of holes is directly dependent on the size of the slab. Moving on, the slab thickness decides the spacing required. Also, the size of the holes needs to be decided and has no right size.

  • Grout mixture

It is the additives, the aggregates, mixed with enough water to produce the desired consistency. Wetting agents are often used to increase the flowability of the mixture. The addition of wetting agents ensures there is less pyramiding in the foundation. 

  • Pumping the grout

The holes are designed and drilled, the grout is prepared, why are we waiting? We need to pump the grout mixture into the drilled holes. As easy as it sounds, it is tough and needs experience. The pumping should start from the lowest point of the slabs.  As the slab rises, the pumping of grout progresses by lowering into successive holes. As we start to reach the desired elevation, the lifting rate must reduce.

  • Patch — Plug — Clean

First, the remaining grout is removed from the drilling holes. Then, temporary wooden plugs are used to maintain the pressure. As the desired elevation is reached, the temporary plugs are removed. The holes are filled with a mixture of water and cement grout. Now, clean the adjacent areas from excess grout and slurry cement.


Another process, albeit a more permanent one to fix foundation problems is piering. It involves the installation of steel pilings beneath the foundation. Then, using hydraulic pressure, these pilings are raised to desired levels. It is similar to the working of a pushpin pier system.

For the steel pilings to be installed, excavation around the house is needed. This means, unlike slabjacking, daily life is disturbed by piering. But, this should not be a reason to neglect the foundation issues. And here are enough reasons why delaying foundation repair in Knoxville is senseless.

How does piering work?

Similar to most house foundation repair, piering starts with preparing the foundation.

  • Preparation

Grade A contractors like Guardian services spend a lot of time preparing the foundation for piering. This is the most important step in laying down the framework for the entire process.

The ground needs to be excavated and the foundation of the building needs to be seen clearly. Then, any excess soil or uneven concrete is scraped off to create a leveled surface. 

  • Installation

The hydraulics and brackets are installed in the right places. Then, a guide sleeve is installed through the support bracket. Then, the piers are installed in stages until they reach the top of the support bracket. Or they are driven into the ground until the steel piers hit rock bottom. It is usually a solid rock or stable portion of the soil. 

  • Elevation

Next, hydraulic jacks are used to elevate the foundation to the original height. As the desired height is reached, the support bracket and the fastening plate are attached to the pier permanently.

  • Cleaning

After the elevation, the soil dug up earlier is used to cover the foundation. Any plant or crop removed during the excavation must be ideally replaced. 

This process, done to perfection, shall secure your foundation from future cracks or damage. The structural soundness is achieved when the piers are firmly installed and the desired elevation is reached. 

Now, you have understood both slabjacking and piering processes. It is time to evaluate which method suits your home the best and opt for it.

Key considerations:

  • Slabjacking is a temporary fix whilst piering is a permanent solution.
  • Likewise, piering is expensive compared to slabjacking.

Both these methods can be effective only if done correctly. Guardian Foundation Repair is the pioneer of foundation repair in Knoxville. From assessing your home’s foundation to complete fixation, they are your one-stop solution. Guardian Foundation Repair services are well-known for their vast experience and efficacy in foundation repair.

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