Could a Steel Cable Anchored Pier Be An Answer To Difficult Texas Soils?

The cable-anchored pier is a popular solution to the challenges posed by the high-density clay soil found in so many parts of Texas. They are similar in concept and function to steel-pressed piers.

However, with a cable-anchored steel pier, installers thread a quarter-inch steel through the pilings. This minimizes soil separation that is so common in Texas clay soils that expand and contract to such a degree. With the entire piling locked together by the cable, the lower part anchors the overall pier, preventing upheaval under wet conditions.

In general, steel pilings are smaller in diameter than concrete ones, so they can more easily penetrate the soil to greater depths, even when the soil is rocky or clay-based. Steel piers consistently reach rock, regardless of depth. Once a cable-anchored steel pier is in place, it is unlikely that it will ever require adjustment.

Texas Soil Conditions

Dense clay soils frequently cause foundation problems in Texas. During dry periods, the clay shrinks and potentially compromises the structure’s foundation. Drought conditions may exacerbate the problem. Keep in mind that the soil is not uniform at varying depths. Soil layers are often stratified, with some including more high-density clay than others. This means that soil layers expand and contract at different rates when they go through repeated wet-dry cycles, and this sometimes increases stresses on foundations. Improperly compacted soils may also lead to future foundation problems.

Ultimately, cable-anchored steel piers greatly stabilize a building’s foundation under different soil conditions. The result is a safe and reliable foundation that helps to restore the value of the property.

Advantages of Anchored Cable Systems

The equipment used during pier installation does not cause much vibration. During installation, it is possible to perform load tests. Workers can locate a cable-anchored pier directly under the footer. The strong steel cable guarantees alignment. In fact, the tensile strength of the cable material is actually higher than that of rebar.

A Perma-Lock device prevents any long-term loosening of the cable. The cable ensures that the pier reaches the maximum desired depth. It also adds overall strength and stability. Another advantage is that a cable system makes it easier to accurately establish depth, because a cable runs from grade level to the bottom of the pier shaft. Thanks to the cable’s presence, installers can test the pier throughout the installation process. This helps to ensure the future performance of the cable-anchored pier.

Expert installation helps to guarantee that the cable will not unduly flex during installation. Finally, the customer, engineers and municipal inspectors can verify performance. Ultimately, the manufacturer’s warranty backs up the work and provides peace-of-mind.

Comparisons to Non-cable Installations

For many residential and commercial structures, cable anchoring is a highly durable, long-lasting solution to one’s foundation needs. However, keep in mind that some pier installations imitate or mimic the cable-anchored pier concept.

There are potential drawbacks with cable-less installations. First, proper installation cannot be verified. Second, underground obstructions seriously interfere with pier alignment. Third, city inspectors cannot verify the work after-the-fact, so paid inspections are typically necessary as work progresses. Fourth, the final depth of the pier cannot be verified. Fifth, since the pilings are not locked together by a cable, they may shift or get damaged during installation. Also, they may shift to an undesirable degree as soil moisture levels change.

Contact Us Today

Perma Pier offers free inspections. Please contact us for more information. It is possible for our staff (all of whom are trained in geological sciences) and foundation experts to visit your site within 48 hours to evaluate your foundation. Ask about the details of our flexible financing options, including our “No payments for 12 months” option.

Transferable Warranty

Learn about Perma-Pier’s transferrable warranty, and why our history in Texas makes our warranty worth so much more than most warranties out there.

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