The Advantages of Helical Piers
Deep foundation of underpinning elements that are constructed using steel shafts with helical flights are known as helical piers. In performing the construction, shafts are moved to a bearing depth by twisting them into the soil, and at the same time the torque is monitored to the 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. Where the soil condition requires deep piles for installing foundation repair, this system is said to be a very effective solution. Especially if the work requires on existing buildings, helical piers would have competitive advantages over other systems.
Helical piers foundations need equipment that are just smaller, lighter and less specialized unlike the equipment used in other kinds of deep foundations. With these conditions, the cost of mobilization or the move in and move out, is generally lower compared to 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. Be aware that it is not wise to add structures on an existing structures close by.
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. Since there are no spoils that are to be hauled away from the site, you save on the costs of removal and disposal.
There is not violent hammering or banging to install helical piers and this is a big advantage with regards to the reduction of noise.
Aside from being used in new construction projects, another very important advantage of using helical piers is that they can be great alternative for projects with failed existing foundations. 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.
Several factors would affect your project, and so it is wise to ask the help of structural engineer to see which method would be best for your project.
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