Exposing Cheap Foundation Repair In Amarillo: Concrete Shoring Pads
Concrete Shoring Pads Are Inexpensive For A Reason…
They Simply Don’t Work!
BY CORY DAVIS, CO-OWNER
Welcome to another edition of Exposing Cheap Foundation Repair In Amarillo. In this series, we focus on foundation repair “solutions” that come with a cheap price tag… but are so low quality they end up costing you BIG bucks in the long run.
In this article, we take a look at a commonly used, yet cheaply made, foundation repair solution: Concrete shoring pads.
A lot of foundation repair companies use them, even though they’re probably the worst solution to level a foundation. Why?
Let’s find out…
Cheap Foundation Repair Spotlight: Concrete Shoring Pads
Concrete shoring pads are pretty much what they sound like. A foundation company digs a shallow hole under your home, then fills that hole with concrete and let it dry. The end result is a “pad” that props up your foundation.
Sounds like a reasonable solution, right? If you don’t know much about foundation repair and soil, it probably does. But concrete shoring pads have seriously major problems.
Problem #1: Concrete Shoring Pads Don’t Go Deep Enough
The biggest issue is that concrete shoring pads can’t reach past the active zone of your soil.
The active zone is the soil that’s prone to moisture-driven movement. In the city area, this soil typically comprises the first seven feet down. Past that seven feet of active zone is stable soil. Stable soil is what you want your foundation-repair solution to hit because it doesn’t succumb to weather- and moisture-related shifts.
Unfortunately, concrete shoring pads only go two or three feet… tops. They never make it to stable soil, so they’re at the mercy of the active zone 24/7/365. As a result, concrete shoring pads take a constant beating as the soil in the active zone expands and contracts.
This constant beating contributes to concrete shoring pads’ short life cycle of one to two years. But it’s not the only problem…
Problem #2: Concrete Shoring Pads Can’t Carry A Big Load
Which supports more weight when in water: A 10-foot fishing boat or a 200-foot oil tanker?
The oil tanker, obviously!
Sure, it supports more weight because it’s a bigger boat. But it also holds a bigger load because it has more surface area.
It’s the same with concrete shoring pads. The wider the surface area of the concrete shoring pad, the more weight it can hold. That’s why a one-foot shoring pad will sink more quickly than a four-foot shoring pad. The one-foot pad is simply too “skinny” to hold up for long.
Companies that use concrete shoring pads are already the type to pinch pennies (they’re using concrete shoring pads, after all!). So it’s not surprising that they always try to get away with installing the smallest possible pad to save on costs. That poses problems for YOU, their customer, when those shoring pads start to fail.
Do Concrete Shoring Pads Ever Work?
That depends on your definition of “work.”
If “work” means lasting one or two years, then, yes, concrete shoring pads work. They’re a temporary fix for leveling your foundation.
But if we’re talking foundation repair that lasts long term, concrete shoring pads are just about the worst solution. They simply can’t go deep enough or hold enough of a load to last.
Since that’s the case, why do companies use concrete shoring pads at all?
Concrete shoring pads are easy on a company’s overhead and labor costs. They don’t require specialized equipment or any kind of training to install. Companies can (and do!) pull any random guy off the street, give him 10 minutes of “training,” and let him loose on a customer’s home.
Yeah… it’s scary!
Why Investing MORE In Foundation Repair Will Cost You LESS
When you install concrete shoring pads, you WILL have to end up getting them repaired or replaced in just a few short years.
I know this from experience. At Childers Brothers, we consistently get homeowners calling us to fix concrete shoring pads a company installed. To do this, we typically install a helical pier on each side of the shoring pad to carry the additional weight. When necessary (and if possible), we may also remove the concrete shoring pad all together and replace it with helical piers.
The bottom line is this: Concrete shoring pads are a cheap solution that will cost you pennies up front… but MUCH more in the long run. I’m talking THOUSANDS of dollars.
That’s why we’re the kind of company that doesn’t mess with cut-rate remedies like concrete shoring pads. We specialize in foundation leveling via methods like helical piers.
Helical piers are essentially giant screws drilled under your home to lift the foundation. Helical piers last for life, have a 2-to-1 safety factor, and can go as deep as necessary to reach stable soil.
Do they cost more than concrete shoring pads on the front end? Yes.
Do they cost more in the long term than concrete shoring pads? Not even close. They are the ultimate long-term foundation solution.
If you’d like to know more or schedule a free estimate, contact us today. Even if you’re on a strict budget, our special financing and customized solutions can ensure your foundation gets repaired RIGHT… and at an investment that’s comfortable for YOU.