Whether you’re constructing your dream home or looking to repair your foundation, helical piers provide a cost-effective solution that’s highly durable and designed to last a lifetime. But how exactly do they work? And how do they differ from other support systems, like concrete piers? This article explains all the essentials you need to know about this revolutionary structural element.
What is a helical piers?
Helical piers are screw-like metal shafts that are drilled and then “screwed” into the ground to create a solid connection between your foundation and the load-bearing soil beneath it. This provides better stability than conventional poured-in-place foundations or traditional driven piles and requires significantly less excavation. In addition, helical piers are more versatile than other foundation solutions and can be used to support a wide variety of structures.
Each helical pier is typically composed of three parts: the lead section, the helix and the bracket. The lead section consists of a shaft that is made from a steel alloy that’s built to withstand the structural loads it will be required to bear. The helix is attached to the lead section and can be customized to match your project’s unique requirements, including the type of soil you’re building in.
Finally, the bracket connects the helix to your structure and is custom-made for the size of your foundation. Multiple bearing plates on each helix increase the pier’s stability by distributing the structural load across more surface area. Because of these features, helical piers are ideal for areas with high seismic and wind exposure or environmentally sensitive soil conditions, and they’re particularly well-suited for use in situations where water is prevalent.