The Advantages 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.
The technology of helical pier is over 100 years old. It is considered as a proven system in new constructions and repairs or renovation works. 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. Especially if the work requires on existing buildings, helical piers would have competitive advantages over other systems.
Unlike deep foundations that require more specialized equipment, in the helical piers, the equipment used are usually smaller, lighter and less specialized. Hence, the cost of mobilization or the move in and move out is usually lesser as against the other systems. These conditions allow contractors then to go in tight or confined areas in helical piles installation as compared to the larger equipment which cannot fit into the area.
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.
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. 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.
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.