The Advantages of Helical Piers
Helical piers are described as deep foundation underpinning elements, with the use of steel shafts together with helical flights. 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.
The technology of helical pier is 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. Especially if the work requires on existing buildings, helical piers would have competitive advantages over other systems.
Unlike deep foundations that require more specialized equipment, in the helical piers, the equipment used are usually smaller, lighter and less specialized. Hence, the cost of mobilization or the move in and move out is usually lesser as against 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 of each helical pier should be continuously monitored by the contractor during installation of the helicals. 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.
Helical piers installation does not require curing after installation and they can immediately be loaded. Also, there is minimal excavation required for helical piers that are turned on or screwed in. 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. Contractors also use the helical piers under the existing foundation, rather than remove and disposal it in a landfill, and when this is done, there is a deep foundation system that is created contributing to the 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.