The Advantages of Helical Piers
Helical piers are described as deep foundation underpinning elements, with the use of steel shafts together 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. Considered to be proven for new constructions and repairs or renovation works, this system is well used. 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.
Equipments that are used in helical piers foundation are usually smaller, lighter and less specialized compared to the equipment used in deep foundations. In this case, the cost of moving in and moving out or mobilization is usually lesser than 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 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 should be regularly monitored when contractors are installing helicals in each 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.
Helical piers installation does not require curing after installation and they can immediately be loaded. Because helical piers are screwed in or turned, minimal excavation is sufficient. 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.
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. Instead of removing the present foundation that failed and dispose it in a landfill, the helical piers are used over the present foundation, thereby creating a deep foundation system plus contributes to a green environment.
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.