The 4 Most Unanswered Questions about Shafts

What are the Uses of Helical Piers?

Helical piers are described as deep foundation underpinning elements, with the use of steel shafts together 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.

It is recorded that the helical pier technology is more than 100 years old. Considered to be proven for new constructions and repairs or renovation works, this system is well used. Where the soil condition requires deep piles for installing foundation repair, this system is said to be a very effective solution. The helical system is proved to be advantageous over other systems 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. 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. 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.

Note that helical piers can be immediately loaded after installation, meaning there is no curing time after installation. Minimal excavation will suffice in a helical pile because it is turned 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.

Note that with the use of smaller installation equipment like the helical piers, there is a drastic elimination of noise, like no 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.

Several factors would affect your project, and so it is wise to ask the help of structural engineer to see which method would be best for your project.