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. It is considered as a proven system in new constructions and repairs or renovation works. Where the soil condition requires deep piles for installing foundation repair, this system is said to be a very effective solution. Helical piers as compared to other systems will prove to be more advantageous 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. Hence, the cost of mobilization or the move in and move out is usually lesser as against the other systems. Tight and confined areas are then more accessible to contractors when installing helical piles because of the specifications, while the larger equipment simply cannot 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. Note that it is not wise to create additional structure on an existing structure.
It is advisable for the contractor to be monitoring the torque it is required when installing each helical pier. Because the capacity of each pier is directly related to the torque rating, the contractor will know the load or capacity that each pier can support.
Helical piers installation does not require curing after installation and they can immediately be loaded. 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.
Aside from being used in new construction projects, another very important advantage of using helical piers is that they can be great alternative for projects with failed existing foundations. 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.