What are the Uses of Helical Piers?
Known as helical piers are deep foundation underpinning elements that are constructed with the use of steel shafts with helical flights. By twisting the shafts into the soil with advanced bearing depth, the torque is also monitored to reach a pile capacity.
It is recorded that the helical pier technology is more than 100 years old. Considered to be proven for new constructions and repairs or renovation works, this system is well used. This system is proven to be a very effective solution for foundation repairs especially when the soil condition would need installation of piles to be deep. The helical system is proved to be advantageous over other systems especially if the work involves existing buildings.
Equipments that are used in helical piers foundation are usually smaller, lighter and less specialized compared to the equipment used in deep foundations. In this case, the cost of moving in and moving out or mobilization is usually lesser than other systems. These conditions allow contractors then to go in tight or confined areas in helical piles installation as compared to the larger equipment which cannot fit into the area.
Helical piers are turned in with a torque motor like a wood screw being turned into a piece of wood, and this makes helical piles vibration free when installed that gives it an advantage. Be aware that it is not wise to add structures on an existing structures close by.
The torque should be regularly monitored when contractors are installing helicals in each pier. The capacity of each pier is directly related to the torque rating, therefore the contractor will know at the end of each installation the load or capacity that a pier can support.
Helical piers installation does not require curing after installation and they can immediately be loaded. Minimal excavation will suffice in a helical pile because it is turned or screwed in. Costs of removal and disposal are saved when installing the piers because there are not spoils to be hauled or removed from the area of construction.
There is not violent hammering or banging to install helical piers and this is a big advantage with regards to the reduction of noise.
There is another very important advantage of using helical piers and that is they are great solution to projects with existing foundation that failed, on top of being used for new construction projects. Contractors also use the helical piers under the existing foundation, rather than remove and disposal it in a landfill, and when this is done, there is a deep foundation system that is created contributing to the green environment.
A word of advice, it is better to check structural engineer or repair foundation service to see which job is the right one for your project, especially each project could be different with various factors that will have an effect on the construction.