The Advantages of Helical Piers
Deep foundation of underpinning elements that are constructed using steel shafts with helical flights are known as helical piers. 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. 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.
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.
Another advantage of helical piers is that its installation is vibration free, and this is because they are turned in with a torque motor, a procedure similar to a wood screw being turned into a piece of wood. Note that it is not wise to create additional structure on an existing structure.
The torque of each helical pier should be continuously monitored by the contractor during installation of the helicals. 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. Another advantage of helical piers is that you save on costs of removal and disposal because there are not spoils to be removed from the site.
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.
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