helical piers

The Many Benefits of Utilizing Helical Piers

In Commercial Blog Posts, Residential Blog Posts by John Topa

Helical piers also are known in the soil remediation industry as helical torque anchors, helical piles, screw piles, and screw anchors. They are a key component for stabilizing new foundations and raising existing foundations for residential homes and commercial structures. There are many benefits of using helical piers, especially in the state of Florida where loose granular soils can be found in many sites throughout the state.

General contractors in the state are now seeing the benefits of pre-construction helical pile underpinning as well as the cost savings associated with expensive callbacks for foundation repairs after the job is complete. Helical piers have been used for almost two centuries for underpinning the support of new bridges and structures as well as foundation slab repair, elevated walkways, tieback anchors for retaining walls, pump and pipeline supports, and electric utility applications.

Load Bearing and Bearing Capacity Benefits

Since helical piers are designed with helices much like a screw, they can be driven deep into the ground below by using hydraulic machinery to increase the load bearing of heavy structures and bearing capacity of foundations. Helical piles work exceptionally well in the state of Florida where most soil conditions are challenging at best.

By and large, when loose granular soils make construction difficult for traditional foundation installation, helical piers benefit general contractors with the cost savings associated with avoiding expensive and large excavations because they simply thread into the ground.

The Benefits of Utilizing Helical Piers for General Contractors

As mentioned above, there are many benefits of utilizing helical piers for increasing the load bearing for weak granular soils and improving the bearing capacity of foundations. Florida is known for having high water tables, but general contractors can save significant sums of money and time by utilizing helical pier applications. The benefits are far-reaching and include:

  • Fast installation and immediate load-bearing capacity
  • Ideal for limited access sites
  • Pre-engineered and easily modified on site
  • Cost savings as opposed to using auger cast piles and drilled shafts
  • Instant torque-to-bearing capacity feedback for better production control
  • Uses smaller equipment and cleaner installation
  • No downtime waiting for concrete to cure
  • Provides a deep foundation for increased bearing capacity
  • Discourages soil disturbance during the installation

The Benefits for Foundation Repair

Helical piers installed for foundation repair by a certified soil remediation company is the preferred choice for home and business owners as well as general contractors throughout the state of Florida. This method is a proven solution that adequately and effectively raises settled concrete and stabilizes foundations for proper repair with deep foundation support. Other reasons to consider helical pile underpinning existing structures and additional benefits include:

  • No vibration
  • Ease of installation
  • Installed torque correlates to capacities
  • Immediate load transfer after installation
  • Easily load tested that verifies capacity
  • Installation in any weather condition
  • Little to no site disturbance
  • Installs below active soils
  • Lowers excavation costs

Deep Foundation Benefits

Helical piles and other complex variations are generally utilized for deep foundations. They’re important because they transfer the load of a structure or building deep into the ground rather than having the load sit on the surface. Helical piers are a great choice for deep foundation projects and structures that involve poor soil conditions, site-unique constraints, and large loads.

Although there are many parts to a foundation such as drilled shafts and footings, the most important part of a deep foundation is the pile itself, which can be a large pillar, rod or column driven deep into the earth. The pile that benefits deep foundations that best is the helical pile. Helical piers can support large loads and anchor the structure in place by a system known as underpinning. Additionally, helical piles are quicker and more cost-effective than other types of piles or deep foundation support systems.

The Benefits of Helical Piling for Varied Terrain

Helical Piers can be installed in varied terrain with a wide range of soil types and possible configurations. This makes them ideal for sites with sloped landscapes and soils that range from loose sand to stiff clay. They can also be installed in locations with high water tables, making them an excellent choice for clients and investors building structures in coastal regions like Florida.

The Faster Installation Benefits of Utilizing Helical Piling

When compared to other types of pile installations that can be time consuming and expensive, helical piles offer a much faster rate of installation with typical rotation rates ranging between 6 to 10 rpm. Although certain factors can impact each site differently, most anchors can be driven approximately two feet per minute.

Meaning, a 50-foot helical pier installation can be achieved in under 30 minutes. This amazingly fast approach not only speeds up the construction process, but it also eliminates the need to wait for concrete to cure. And lastly, the major benefit of fast helical piling is its ability to instantly carry loads upon installation.

Engineering and Sustainability Benefits

Helical piles are designed with advanced engineering and sustainable technology for easy removal once they have fulfilled their purpose. Meaning, they are the perfect solution for sites that have temporary structures built on them or turning a developed site back into its natural state, leaving minimal impact on the environment. Helical piers are sustainable because they can be reused from site to site, making them more cost-effective than permanent pilings like concrete.

The Benefits of Hiring a Company Specializing in Helical Anchors

When it comes to professional engineering and installations of helical pilings, hiring a soil remediation company with vast experience and extensive knowledge of soil composition is highly recommended. Professional businesses utilize advanced analytical soil data and the latest technology to properly install helical anchors at the correct depth with underpinning in key locations to ensure foundation stability and bearing capacity.

Professional soil remediation companies offer a wide range of helical anchors and can recommend the best type to use for your specific site and structure. They also provide guidance and custom engineering to meet complex construction designs. When you hire a soil remediation company that specializes in helical anchors, your biggest benefit is knowing that your structure won’t sink and cost you thousands in unnecessary foundation repairs down the road.