What are the Uses of Helical Piers?
Known as helical piers are deep foundation underpinning elements that are constructed with the use of steel shafts 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.
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. 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. 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. With these conditions, the cost of mobilization or the move in and move out, is generally lower compared to 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.
Helical piers are also advantageous in the sense that they are installed vibration free because they are turned in with a torques motor similar to a wood screw that is turned into a piece of wood. 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. Because the capacity of each pier is directly related to the torque rating, the contractor will know the load or capacity that each pier can support.
Helical piers installation does not require curing after installation and they can immediately be loaded. Minimal excavation will suffice in a helical pile because it is turned 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.
Since there are differences in any project, it is advisable to contact structural engineers to see what is the right method for your project.
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