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. By twisting the shafts into the soil with advanced bearing depth, the torque is also monitored to reach a pile capacity.
It is recorded that the helical pier technology is more than 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. Helical piers as compared to other systems will prove to be more advantageous especially if the work involves existing buildings.
Unlike deep foundations that require more specialized equipment, in the helical piers, the equipment used are usually smaller, lighter and less specialized. With these conditions, the cost of mobilization or the move in and move out, is generally lower compared to 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 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.
After installation, there is no curing time in the case of helical piers 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.
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. 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.
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.