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. According to manuals, the shafts are made to bearing depth by twisting the shafts into the soil while the torque is monitored to an estimated pile capacity.
Helical pier technology is said to be well over 100 years old. For construction and repair or renovation works, this system is considered to be a proven system. For foundation repairs where soil condition would need installation to be deep piles, this system is proven to be very effective solution. Especially if the work requires on existing buildings, helical piers would have competitive advantages over other systems.
Equipments that are used in helical piers foundation are usually smaller, lighter and less specialized compared to the equipment used in deep foundations. Hence, the cost of mobilization or the move in and move out is usually lesser as against the other systems. Because of these features, the contractors can access to tight and confined areas to install helical piles versus the larger equipment which does not fit.
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.
It is advisable for the contractor to be monitoring the torque it is required when installing each helical 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.
Note that helical piers can be immediately loaded after installation, meaning there is no curing time after installation. Also, there is minimal excavation required for helical piers that are turned on 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.
Noise pollution is drastically lowered when helical piers are installed because of the use of smaller installation equipment that do not require violent hammering or banging.
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. Instead of removing the present foundation that failed and dispose it in a landfill, the helical piers are used over the present foundation, thereby creating a deep foundation system plus contributes to a 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.