Skip to Main Content
Piers JES

Foundation Underpinning

Foundation underpinning or stabilization can be performed using several foundation repair methods, including piering, wall anchors or mudjacking.

Schedule Free Inspection

Understanding the Types

maintain your piers

Foundation underpinning or stabilization can be performed using several foundation repair methods, including piering, wall anchors, or mudjacking.

Piering can be performed with round shaft piers, square shaft piers, or concrete piles depending on the situation.

Underpinning methods should be determined by a professional engineer at a reputable foundation company.

Foundation Piering or Piles

There’s a big debate going on about round shaft piers versus square shaft piers. We believe each type of pier has a place depending upon the situation. For compression applications, JES utilizes round shaft piers. For tension applications, square shaft piers are used.

We use galvanized steel piers and helical anchors for foundation underpinning that have been evaluated by the ICC-ES. These products are galvanized in accordance with ASTM A123 and ASTM A153.

Round Shaft Piers

Round shaft helical or resistance piers are designed for compression applications. Round shaft piers have a higher moment of inertia (resistance to bending), which makes them ideal for compression applications. The round shaft piers also have a higher installation torque rating and a higher lateral resistance because there’s a larger surface area exposed to the soil.

Square Shaft Piers

Square shaft piers work best in tension applications, like wall anchors, soil nails, or tie-backs. However, when installed under a building (in compression applications), the square shaft is warped and bent under pressure. This is due to the socket and pin coupling, which increases variances from straightness and can increase the potential of buckling. The load is transferred through double sheers of the single coupling bolt, making shaft-to-shaft coupling difficult to achieve.

Concrete Piles

The concrete piles are either pre-cast before being driven into the ground or cast-in-place. For cast-in-place concrete pillars, a cylindrical shell is driven into the ground then filled with concrete.


There are considerations to take into account when using concrete piles. The force of driving can cause cracks and other problems in the surrounding structures. Heavy machinery is required for installation, which can create logistical challenges. Thus, cast-in-place concrete pillars need time to harden and dry.

In certain applications, concrete piles can be appropriate. However, the installation and side effects can be detrimental to surrounding structures. Due to these potential problems, we only use helical and resistance piers.

basement wall systems wall anchors

Wall Anchors

A square shaft is used for helical wall anchors, which are installed in tension applications. The anchors are designed to provide lateral stability for foundation walls. Helical wall anchors can be installed in limited access areas without the use of heavy machinery. This type of installation doesn’t generate spoils.


Mudjacking, also called slab-jacking, is one of the methods used to stabilize a building’s foundation. First, holes are drilled into the slab or under the foundation before concrete is pumped under the slab. The theory is that concrete will eliminate settlement problems.

This foundation underpinning method can stabilize a foundation and even lift the building to its original position. However, this method is flawed. Without extending the stabilization solution all the way to the bedrock, there’s a likelihood that the building will begin to settle and shift again. Mudjacking, in conjunction with piering, can offer a long-term solution to settlement and other foundation problems.

The Experts at JES can Help!

At JES Foundation Repair, our team of in-house foundation experts has warranted solutions for structural issues related to basement wall failure and settling foundations of all types. If you would like a free quote, we’re ready to help you. Call or e-mail us today to schedule an on-site consultation and written quote.

Are You Looking For Foundation Underpinning In Virginia, DC, Maryland, or Northeastern North Carolina?

We’re proud to serve all of Hampton Roads, from Virginia Beach throughout Williamsburg and surrounding areas; Northern Virginia, DC, and Southern Maryland. View a complete list of our service areas.

If you’re not sure of the source of your foundation problem, give us a call at 757-301-4820, and schedule a free inspection. We’ll find out the cause of the problem and help you find the perfect solution.

    Contact Us For Your Free Inspection

    * All fields are required.

    Publish Date:

    Last Modified Date:

    Service Areas


    8361 Town Center Ct
    Nottingham, MD 21236


    311 Central Rd.
    Suite 2-02
    Fredericksburg, VA 22401

    Hampton Roads & NE NC

    2569 Quality Ct
    Virginia Beach, VA 23454

    Northern VA & DC

    7940 Gainsford Ct.
    Bristow, VA 20136


    309 Quarles Rd
    Ashland, VA 23005

    Southwest Virginia / Roanoke

    2033 Cook Dr.
    Salem, VA 24153

    Western Virginia

    456 Old Courthouse Rd
    Appomattox, VA 24522


    45 W Boscawen St,
    Winchester, VA 22601