The Advantages 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.
The technology of helical pier is over 100 years old. For construction and repair or renovation works, this system is considered to be a proven system. 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. 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. 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 also advantageous in the sense that they are installed vibration free because they are turned in with a torques motor similar to a wood screw that is turned into a piece of wood. 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. The contractor usually would know at the end of the installation the load or capacity of each pier since the capacity of each pier is directly related to the torque rating.
Note that helical piers can be immediately loaded after installation, meaning there is no curing time after installation. 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.
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.
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. 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.