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. Where the soil condition requires deep piles for installing foundation repair, this system is said to be a very effective solution. Especially if the work requires on existing buildings, helical piers would have competitive advantages over other systems.
Helical piers foundations need equipment that are just smaller, lighter and less specialized unlike the equipment used in other kinds of 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. 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. 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.
After installation, there is no curing time in the case of helical piers installation. Because helical piers are screwed in or turned, minimal excavation is sufficient. Since there are no spoils that are to be hauled away from the site, you save on the costs of removal and disposal.
There is not violent hammering or banging to install helical piers and this is a big advantage with regards to the reduction of noise.
Those existing foundations that are failing, can be solved using helical piers, and this is another very important advantage of helical piers, aside from being used in new constructions. 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.
Since there are differences in any project, it is advisable to contact structural engineers to see what is the right method for your project.