When you are building a foundation or repairing one, you may need to turn to helical piers for added stability. Architects and engineers use them when deep foundations need digging for massive buildings or unusual soil conditions.
There are several advantages to using helical piers that go beyond their basic ability to provide added strength to a foundation.
What Are Helical Piers and Why Use Them?
Helical piers are galvanized steel shafts with helical plates welded to them. They come in various diameters with square or round shafts based on the support that is needed. They are often used to support new foundations, but they can also be used to shore up foundations that are damaged or weakening. Helical piers are installed vertically using a hydraulic drive. But occasionally, engineers determine that they need to be installed at an angle, especially when supporting damaged foundations. They enter the ground like a screw would pierce the wood, winding in rather being augured into the earth.
Benefits of Using Helical Piers
Helical piers have become popular with contractors because of their stabilizing benefits. Prior to their use for new residential and commercial foundations, they were most commonly used in bridges, utility poles, and retaining walls for over 200 years.
Eco-Friendly Foundation Solution
Helical piers are environmentally friendly. Instead of digging deep foundations with large machinery, contractors use hydraulic systems to screw the piers into place. Because limited machinery is required for installation, there is very little impact on the ground around the site. The quick installation also means that there is little-to-no need to dampen construction vibration. Soil does not need to be cut to install helical piers. And, they are made of galvanized steel, so they last for many decades without rusting. They can be removed the same way they were installed, and new ones can be put in their place without harming the environment.
Quick Installation and Repairs
Helical piers do not require the use of any heavy machinery. Because they do not need to have any disruption to the ground around them, they can be installed quickly. Businesses that need to repair their industrial floors or fix foundation issues do not need to shut down when contractors install the piers. Unlike a typical foundation, helical piers can be installed in all weather conditions. They do not need time to set or harden. They can manage their loads as soon as they are installed.
Helical piers have several uses in commercial and residential building and repair. While most are used in a vertical position, some are being installed horizontally or diagonally to support retaining walls, or other buildings that require lateral support. Contractors place them in various positions to support innovative building designs. They are also being used to add load capacity when a foundation alone isn’t enough. Helical piers can be used in remote locations or locations where there is very little space or limited access to building sites.
Buildings, both old and new, need to have stability. Helical piers provide more than a typical push pier, and they add strength and stability to foundations that are damaged or weak. Helical piers can be used in a variety of soil conditions that a typical foundation could not. As soon as a helical pier is installed, it immediately begins to provide support, which is why they are so popular with contractors who repair foundations. Often, the helical piers become more supportive as the soil settles around them, where typical foundations often weaken as they age.
Foundation work needs to be precise. Helical piers can be installed with necessary precision by using hydraulic tools and handheld equipment that measures depth, angle, and torque. The equipment lets the contractors know when the pier is placed precisely. These tools remove any human error that can often happen with traditional foundations. They can be installed underwater, which is why they are used for bridge-building projects. Because they require such little machinery for installation, it is easy for utility companies to install new piers along roads without much traffic disruption.
Helical piers are easy to install and do not require builders to contract heavy machinery. Because of the simple installation and minimal use of tools, the cost of helical piers is relatively reasonable. When the installation is completed, there is very little clean-up required, and there is minimal maintenance needed after they are installed. To make things even better, helical piers can be recycled and reused. They can be removed from their underground locations and reused elsewhere if the need arises. When building costs need to stay within a preset budget, helical piers are a great choice.