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. In performing the construction, shafts are moved to a bearing depth by twisting them into the soil, and at the same time the torque is monitored to the 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. The helical system is proved to be advantageous over other systems 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. Remember that it is not advisable to work on additional structure on neighboring properties with already existing structures.
The torque of each helical pier should be continuously monitored by the contractor during installation of the helicals. 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.
Since there are differences in any project, it is advisable to contact structural engineers to see what is the right method for your project.
Supporting reference: news