What Are Helical Piers and What Are Their Benefits?

Written by  //  September 1, 2021  //  Construction Equipment  //  Comments Off on What Are Helical Piers and What Are Their Benefits?

What Are Helical Piers and What Are Their Benefits?

As you construct a new house or fix up a failing foundation, you or one of your contractors must install foundational supports to ensure the new structure is secure. Helical piers may be an option for either operation—even if you need to work inside a basement.

When you’re searching for easier alternatives to concrete piers, these screw-like rods of solid steel provide some of the best structural protection. If you find yourself wondering what helical piers are and what their benefits are, you’re not alone.

What Are Helical Piers?

A helical pier is your foundation’s anchor to solid earth. By tethering the foundation to the soil below, both the building and the concrete base will stay in place undamaged for a longer amount of time. The pier itself is a steel rod with a screw-like helix to ease it into the ground. The top is a smooth steel pipe, and once the installation is complete, you’ll place a cap on top of it.

The solid construction is perfect for foundation construction projects on unstable terrain, such as soil by a body of water or shifting soil. Once the pier drills into the solid ground below the surface, construction can begin on the foundation of the house. If you use helical piers for bridge supports, you can even begin building right on top of them.

The Installation Process of Helical Piers

Installing helical piers isn’t as difficult as it may sound. There are only a few pieces of helical pier installation equipment involved, and the process doesn’t disturb neighbors or the ground below. Each pier takes mere minutes to install, unlike concrete piers, which require you to wait for the concrete to set.

With a small machine like a small excavator and a hydraulic drive attachment, you can complete an entire building’s worth of foundational supports in less than a day. Alternatively, you can use a specialty handheld hydraulic drive to install the pier from within a building.

The Benefits of Helical Piers

The quick installation of helical piers is only one of the many benefits to using them in your construction efforts. Helical piers can last at least 150 years in soil without cracking under pressure—concrete, on the other hand, will crack and break long before then.

Because the engineers calculate the exact measurements that the helical piers need to be to connect to solid ground, it’s much more difficult for flaws to develop in the structure over time. There’s no guesswork with helical piers. Soil engineers work with helical pier manufacturers for each project, which provides you with piers that reach the exact depth you need.

The manufacturer and engineers will also work with you to help you understand what helical piers are and what their benefits are for your project. Whether you’re building a house or another type of structure, these handy piers will hold a foundation in place for the long run.

image credit: Adobe Stock

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