Study: My Understanding of Shafts

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. It is considered as a proven system in new constructions and repairs or renovation works. 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. Helical piers as compared to other systems will prove to be more advantageous especially if the work involves existing buildings.

Helical piers foundations need equipment that are just smaller, lighter and less specialized unlike the equipment used in other kinds of deep foundations. With these conditions, the cost of mobilization or the move in and move out, is generally lower compared to the 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. Because helical piers are screwed in or turned, minimal excavation is sufficient. 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. There is also a contribution to the green environment when using helical piers, because instead of removing the existing foundation that failed and dispose it in a landfill, contractors would install the helical piers under the existing foundation thus there is a deep foundations system that is created.

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.

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