What are the Uses of Helical Piers?
Deep foundation of underpinning elements that are constructed using steel shafts with helical flights are known as helical piers. According to manuals, the shafts are made to bearing depth by twisting the shafts into the soil while the torque is monitored to an estimated pile capacity.
Helical pier technology is said to be well over 100 years old. For construction and repair or renovation works, this system is considered to be a proven system. For foundation repairs where soil condition would need installation to be deep piles, this system is proven to be very effective solution. Helical piers as compared to other systems will prove to be more advantageous especially if the work involves existing buildings.
Helical piers foundations need equipment that are just smaller, lighter and less specialized unlike the equipment used in other kinds of deep foundations. Hence, the cost of mobilization or the move in and move out is usually lesser as against the other systems. Because of these features, the contractors can access to tight and confined areas to install helical piles versus the larger equipment which does not fit.
Another advantage of helical piers is that its installation is vibration free, and this is because they are turned in with a torque motor, a procedure similar to a wood screw being turned into a piece of wood. 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 capacity of each pier is directly related to the torque rating, therefore the contractor will know at the end of each installation the load or capacity that a pier can support.
Note that helical piers can be immediately loaded after installation, meaning there is no curing time after installation. 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.
There is another very important advantage of using helical piers and that is they are great solution to projects with existing foundation that failed, on top of being used for new construction projects. There is also a contribution to the green environment when using helical piers, because instead of removing the existing foundation that failed and dispose it in a landfill, contractors would install the helical piers under the existing foundation thus there is a deep foundations system that is created.
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.
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