The foundation of your home is perhaps its most important feature: it’s how your house – the literal and metaphorical foundation of your family – gets its stability and support. But what do you do if you find that your home’s foundation is failing and you need an effective and safe solution? Enter helical piers – the ultimate foundation solution that not only ensures your home’s security, but also ensures it’s future.
Helical piers are a type of deep foundation system. In essence, a pier is composed of a circular, steel screwed or helical blade and shaft that is either attached to or embedded into the soil, usually beneath the building’s foundation. This pier sits deep below the foundation, providing a reliable and secure foundation for your home.
Because of their major advantages such as affordability, ease of installation, and flexibility, helical piers have become an increasingly popular option for homeowners in need of foundation repairs. They have the capability of withstanding even extreme weather conditions and can be installed in almost any soil type, making them an incredibly durable and reliable solution for damaged foundations.
It is also important to note that helical piers are a much less invasive option than other more traditional foundation repair methods. Traditional methods require lots of digging, allowing room for mistakes and significantly impacting the surrounding landscape. With helical piers, however, the key is precision and minimal disturbance to the surrounding soil.
All in all, helical piers are the perfect solution for homeowners looking for an efficient, reliable and cost-effective foundation repair solution. Not only do they provide quality and enduring repairs, but they are also kinder to
Helical piers are long steel shafts with blades or “helices” that act as anchors when driven into the soil. They work by transferring the weight of a structure to deeper, more stable soil layers, providing additional stability and support.
What are Helical Piers?
Helical piers are a deep foundation solution that is used to stabilize and strengthen existing foundations and structures, or to provide new foundations when soil conditions make traditional shallow-point foundations impractical. Helical piers employ helical-shaped steel blades that are screwed into the ground and then connected to a specially designed footing system. Once installed, they act as integral footings and transfer the structure’s weight directly to the solid earth beneath, allowing for the stabilization and strengthening of existing foundations or an expansive base for newly installed structures.
The installation process for helical piers compared to other methods of foundation repair solutions is relatively quick and mess-free. It is also less labor intensive, since there is no heavy equipment or drilling involved. Additionally, helical piers can be used in any type of environment including extreme terrain where digging would otherwise be unfeasible due to large obstructions such as rocks or trees. On the other hand, some may argue that helical pier installation is more expensive than other solutions because it requires specialized training and certifications for installers.
Helical piers offer numerous advantages when it comes to foundation repairs, though they do come at a cost. In the next section we will look at how precisely these special foundations stabilize and strengthen structures while providing exceptional performance over time.
How Helical Piers Stabilize Structures
Helical piers are effective support solutions for a variety of structures. Whether it’s a home, a bridge, or some other type of structure, helical piers can be used to stabilize them and prevent further movement or damage. Helical piers are steel shafts that come in varying colors and sizes, designed with multiple helixes (or ‘blades’) at the bottom of the pier so they can be screwed firmly into the ground. Unlike traditional concrete footing foundations, the design of the helical pier allows it to penetrate deeper layers of soil and anchor itself more securely.
Those in favor of helical piers as a stabilizing solution argue that because they’re inserted deep into the ground (not just below ground-level), this increases their stability and strength; it also makes them unobtrusive if desired. Furthermore, helical piers are made from galvanized steel, making them corrosion-resistant — and therefore highly durable — against water damage.
On the flip side, some people criticize that when very large structures need stabilization, installing helical piers may not provide enough stability and support; these larger structures may require a combination of solutions in order to be properly stabilized. This issue highlights how it is necessary to assess each situation in order to determine which stabilization methods will offer the most effective support and protection for any given structural application.
All things considered, helical piers are an ideal solution in many instances for successfully stabilizing smaller structures in domestic and light commercial locations — and due to their relatively small size and lightweight material design, they’re easy to install quickly with minimal disruption or impact on surroundings. In the next section, we’ll discuss what types of structures do helical piers support best.
Helical piers are effective support solutions for a variety of structures, including homes and bridges. They provide stability and strength due to the fact they penetrate deep into the ground, and are made from galvanized steel which is corrosion-resistant and highly durable. However, helical piers may not be enough for very large structures, so it is important to assess each situation in order to determine the best solution for your particular structural application. In general, helical piers are ideal for smaller structures in domestic and light commercial locations, as they can be installed quickly and with minimal disruption or impact on surroundings.
What Types of Structures Do Helical Piers Support?
Helical piers are a reliable foundation support solution for many types of structures, from residential homes to commercial office buildings. The exact scope of application will vary depending on the environmental and structural factors at play. Helical pier systems involve inserting deep foundation supports into the ground at a predetermined angle and loading them until they reach the desired capacity. Once installed, these piers provide strong and durable support and stability for all structures placed upon them.
The typical uses for helical pier systems include underpinning weak foundations, shoring up new foundations, managing settling problems, supporting precast beams and shoreline protection projects, among other applications. For example, if a home has been built on unstable soil that is prone to shifting and movement, helical pier systems can be used to ensure long-term stability and prevent any potential damage from occurring. Similarly, if there are existing foundation problems due to natural settling or aging materials, installing helical piers can help improve the performance of the foundation and bring it back up to par with current building codes. Furthermore, helical pier systems have also found success in supporting large precast beam installations such as retaining walls and staircases.
On the other hand, some argue that helical pier systems should not be used in areas with expansive clay soils or soils with high cohesive strength because they are prone to frost heave—the process by which soils expand in cold temperatures. Therefore, it is important to evaluate the local soil conditions beforehand and consult a professional engineer with any questions or concerns about helical pier systems in higher levels of expansive clay soils.
In summary, helicial piers provide strong and durable support for many types of structures and are proving their worth in wide range of construction projects. In the next section we will discuss the benefits of installing helical piers in your structure’s foundation system.
- Helical piers provide a reliable, cost-effective and environmentally friendly solution for foundations requiring additional support.
- Helical piers can be installed quickly, using small equipment; enabling projects to move ahead without long delays.
- The combination of affordable price and minimal disruption makes helical pier technology ideal for residential, commercial or industrial applications.
Benefits of Installing Helical Piers
Installing helical piers, or grounding screws, as they are sometimes called, can offer immense benefits to both homeowners and commercial building owners. Primarily, helical piers are a structurally sound foundation solution that can be used to lift and support a structure properly. This foundation solution is much more cost effective and quicker to install than traditional concrete or block foundations providing numerous advantages.
The main benefits of installing helical piers include but are not limited to:
• Earthquake resistance- Helical piers create an additional layer of stability around a structure, since they penetrate deep and provide great lateral stiffness. As the ground shifts due to seismic activity that may otherwise cause structural damage, helical piers generally maintain their tension and provide extra hold to the structure.
• Cost efficiency of installation- Helical piers require minimal labor for installation which translates into reduced costs for the entire project. A professional contractor experienced with helical pier installation can usually complete the job in less time than it takes for conventional foundation solutions. Additionally, because their installation does not disrupt surrounding soil, there is no need for supplemental work such as backfilling or landscaping repairs upon completion making them an ideal choice for those on a tight budget.
• Increased drainage- Due to the shape of helical piers, they allow water to quickly drain away from buildings reducing the risk of hydrostatic pressure which can cause damage over time. This property makes them an ideal choice in areas where water retention is an issue as well as in buildings with crawl spaces and basements where flooding could occur due to poor drainage systems around the home.
When making the decision to opt for utilizing helical piers instead of traditional foundation solutions, there are some instances when this may not be recommended depending on the size or load of the structure being built. In these cases, engineering should be consulted prior to proceeding with this solution just to make sure it is adequate for your particular needs. However for most structures, helical piles are highly beneficial when it comes to increasing stability and reducing overall project costs.
In conclusion, installing helical piers has numerous advantages ranging from cost savings on construction projects through increased earthquake resistance and improved drainage around buildings. However it is important to always consult a qualified engineer prior to proceeding with this type of solution to ensure it meets all requirements needed for your particular circumstances. Now that we have discussed all the benefits of installing helical piers let’s take a closer look at different types available on the market today.
Types of Helical Piers
Helical piers are a type of deep foundation system used for transferring structural loading from above ground structures down to bearing strata. Helical piers can be used in many applications and are particularly useful when traditional shallow foundations cannot provide the necessary support. Depending on the specific needs of each project, different types of helical piers can be installed for maximum support and stability.
The two main types of helical piers are those with an unreinforced shaft and those with a reinforced shaft. Unreinforced helical piers consist of several helices attached to a single central shaft. This type of pier is relatively simple and cost-effective, but provides a lower load capacity than reinforced helical piers. In reinforced helical piers, a machined steel ring or radial plates are added around the central shaft. This reinforcing increases the load capacity significantly enabling it to hold larger loads.
Some people argue that unreinforced helical piers should never be used as they provide less protection against lateral displacement when compared to reinforced models. On the other hand, others maintain that unreinforced helical piers are appropriate for lighter loads as they still provide increased support when compared to plain footing systems.
Regardless of which type is chosen for any given project, careful consideration must be taken into account in terms of design requirements for proper installations. The next section will focus on design considerations for helical piers installation to ensure optimum performance and longevity.
Design Considerations for Helical Piers
When considering helical piers for your home‘s foundation, there are several design considerations to keep in mind. One is the type of soil that the pier will be sitting in. A heavier clay-based soil will require a bigger diameter pier than one made out of sand or silt. Additionally, there might need to be additional bracing around the perimeter of the hole where the pier is being installed if the soil is especially soft or shifting.
Furthermore, when installing a helical pier, it’s essential to make sure that it is correctly sized and driven at an appropriate depth. It’s also important to note that while these elements may contribute to an increased cost up front, they will pay off in the long run by providing a higher level of stability and durability over time.
Another factor to consider is the current weight load on the structure itself and how many additional loads are expected to be added in the future. This can help determine the number and size of piers needed for optimal support. If not properly accounted for, this could lead to instability in the foundation which can cause major structural damage over time.
Lastly, it’s important to understand that when installing helical piers, it should be done within local building codes. This ensures that all safety protocols and regulations are being followed during installation, resulting in a safer and more secure foundation solution for your home.
Overall, helical piers offer a strong foundation solution for homeowners looking for an effective way to fortify their homes against shifting soils and other environmental effects such as moisture dynamics. However, proper consideration must be given to ensure correct sizing and depths for optimal stability over time. With that said, let’s look now at installing helical piers in order to ensure a successful outcome.
Installing Helical Piers
Installing helical piers is an important step in the foundation process for any property. It requires specific expertise, skill and equipment to ensure a secure and dependable installation. To begin the installation process, engineers or contractors will use specialized equipment to connect a steel shaft to the surface of the foundation base. The shaft is then connected to an auger or helix, which is driven into the ground by a hydraulic system.
The professionals will determine how many piers are necessary and necessary helical pier features such as size, type and depth depending on soil composition before they begin installing them. The task can be difficult because helical pier installations require more than just drilling through the soil– it must penetrate through any hardlayer depths (such as bedrock) and achieve basic compression ratios. This can take much longer when compared with other methods that don’t need to pass through hard layer depths. The technical aspect of this project requires experienced professionals who are up-to-date with current industry standards.
Due to its complexity, installing helical piers can come at considerable costs. On the other hand, one should consider the long-term savings associated with using helical piers given their superior advantages over traditional foundations methods that may not have ideal stability over time.
Therefore, despite potential high upfront costs of installing helical piers, their longevity makes them worth the investment for providing secure foundation solutions for your home or other structures in addition to delivering cost savings in the long run when compared with other traditional methods requiring regular maintenance and repairs over time.
Next, we’ll look at the advantages of using helical piers as a way to provide secure foundations for your home or other structures including cost savings in both short and long term perspectives.
Advantages of Using Helical Piers
Using helical piers to create strong foundations can be beneficial in a number of ways; its advantages far outweigh the potential disadvantages. Firstly, helical pier installation is much easier, faster and quieter than the traditional concrete footings. Helical pier installation doesn’t require manual labor or heavy machinery since it’s a small machine that only requires one person to operate. This saves a great deal of time and money compared to traditional methods such as concrete footings.
Secondly, helical piers are also much more versatile for foundation repairs that may be necessary due to water damage or fluctuating soil conditions. Since these piers have a wide range of length and thickness options, they can easily be adapted to different types of soil conditions without needing to undertake large-scale construction projects. Additionally, they can be installed both vertically and horizontally based on what’s needed in a given situation.
Thirdly, helical pier foundations provide added stability to homes or structures because they are embedded deep into the ground which reduces the risk of foundations sliding with changes in soil conditions over time. These piers are secured firmly into bedrock so that future problems with shifting soils can be avoided.
Helical pier foundations offer many clear advantages proportional to their cost-effectiveness, ease of installation and strength that makes them an ideal choice for most homes or other structures requiring foundation systems. However, there are also some potential drawbacks associated with this type of foundation system that need to be considered before making a final decision. With that in mind, the next section will discuss the disadvantages of using helical piers so you can make an informed decision about the best choice when seeking foundation solutions for your home.
Disadvantages of Using Helical Piers
While helical piers are a great solution to provide dependable and long-term support for foundations, there are a few disadvantages that must be taken into account.
The biggest disadvantage of using helical piers is their cost. It’s expensive to source the right materials and hire an experienced contractor or engineer to install them. Furthermore, the installation process can be labor intensive depending on the size and scope of the foundation project involved. And while they do reduce long-term maintenance costs, if a homeowner needs more than one pier to stabilize their home, the overall costs incurred could exceed those associated with traditional slab and footing systems.
The location of where the piers will be installed is also something to consider since there may be additional charges for working around obstacles such as large trees or other landscaping elements that cannot be moved. Certain geological conditions can make it impossible for helical piers to be safely used as well. Additionally, homeowners should note that helical piers may not transfer weight from structures such as walls unless a bearing plate is used to connect the two.
Finally, while helical piers are relatively easy to adjust or repair if needed, they require considerable diligence in monitoring over time because they may not penetrate deep enough into solid ground and can eventually fail if other environmental conditions change. This means that regularly scheduled maintenance visits may need to take place in order to ensure their continuing strength and effectiveness.
Overall, helical piers provide an effective and reliable way to support foundations and many times they offer a better option than traditional methods; however, certain restrictions or extra considerations may apply which affects both cost and performance. As with all construction projects, it is best to consult your local building department for permitting information and speak to qualified professionals about any installation concerns prior to beginning a project involving helical piers.
Common Questions Answered
What are the advantages of using helical piers?
The advantages of using helical piers are numerous. One of the most important benefits is that they provide a strong, reliable foundation for your home or building. Helical piers are more cost effective than other types of foundations as they require less labor and materials, and can be installed more quickly than traditional methods. Additionally, because installation is a minimally-invasive procedure, disruption to the environment is minimized. Also, since helical pier installations do not require large amounts of excavation and debris disposal, they generally have shorter turnaround times compared to traditional foundations. Finally, because the system is modular in nature, you can easily add on or replace sections down the line.
What type of soil is best suited for helical pier installation?
The best type of soil for helical pier installation is compacted and consolidated clay or silt. This type of soil provides the most stability, resistance to erosion, and adequate bearing capacity for the heaviest loads. Compact and consolidated soils also provide improved drainage, which helps prevent settlement of the piers over time. Clay and silt soils are typically easier to work with than sand, gravel, or organic soils because they resist vibration from pounding, which can cause damage to the surrounding property during installation. Additionally, when these soils are compacted properly, they don’t require additional measures to ensure that the pier is stable once it is installed.
How do helical piers work?
Helical piers work by using large helical blades to screw down into soil and bedrock. This creates a secure, stable foundation for structures such as houses and other buildings. They are drilled at a 90-degree angle until the pier reaches a stable stratum of soil or bedrock. The pier is then locked into place with a steel bracket that distributes weight across the length of the pier. Because of the secure lock, these piers transfer loads from unstable soils to stronger soils, providing an extremely strong foundation solution with minimal disruption to the environment. Additionally, they can be adjusted even after installation if necessary, which makes them easily adjustable to changes in settlement beneath the structure over time.
Are helical piers a cost-effective solution?
Yes, helical piers are a cost-effective solution for many home foundations. The initial installation of helical piers is more affordable than traditional methods such as installing concrete footings and pouring a slab foundation. In addition, the installation time for helical piers is much faster which can translate to substantial labor cost savings over traditional methods. Furthermore, since the job is usually completed in one day there are also fewer delays due to weather which can further bring down overall expenses. And, because they are light weight and often can be hand carried to their installation site there are fewer transportation costs when compared to traditional foundation solutions. Lastly, their minimal ground disturbance allows for quick clean-up after setup and this time-saving can result in additional cost savings. All these factors make helical piers an attractive and cost-effective solution for many home owners.
What are the potential limitations of helical piers?
The potential limitations of helical piers include the following:
1. Installation can be difficult and costly depending on soil conditions, including intransigent soils, boulders, and dense clay. Installation in these conditions requires the use of drive-through adapters or high-torque extension shafts to get down to the desired depth, which can add significant time and cost to the project.
2. In some cases, it isn’t always possible to achieve optimal installation depth due to obstructions that may be encountered below ground level such as bedrock and existing foundations or pipes.
3. Spaces often need complex bracing systems when using helical piers because they provide limited lateral stability, making them more complicated than other foundation solutions such as steel piles or concrete slabs.
4. Helical piers are not suitable for very high load applications due to their relatively slender shape which makes them prone to buckling failure if subjected to too much stress. For especially heavy loads, steel piles or concrete slabs are usually a better choice over helical piers.
5. Proper assessments of bearing capacity must be conducted prior to installation in order to avoid costly surprises such as having to abandon a pier system because the soil is too weak for its intended use. Professional design consulting is strongly recommended for best results.
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