Helical Piles & Piers Help Settling Foundation Problems
Helical piers (also referred to as helical piles) can be used where traditional deep foundations are used but tend to be better suited for all capacity applications because they do not require conventional, larger equipment, making it a more economical option. They also tend to allow for more access in smaller spaces. In other words, they can be used for heavy commercial work and for smaller residential projects.
Helical piers are installed using a hydraulic torque that penetrates into the soil and finally into bedrock where it is secured, typically about 20 to 30 feet below grade, although that largely depends on how weak the upper soil is and the requirements of the engineer. The pressure gauge will need to hit a high enough PSI (pounds per square inch) relative to the structure’s loading requirement which is calculated using a formula called torque correlation.
The pier is then screwed into the ground and sections are added before finally capping the piers with a load-bearing plate. Once that is done, the installation is complete. The process is considered quick and can be completed within a matter of hours with minimal cleanup. Some soil can require pre-drilling, however, and that can take several days.
Helical piers are versatile in that they can resist both upward and downward forces, which is ideal for Colorado’s expansive soil and the structural problems presented by it. Post-installation techniques can also be employed if the connections and shafts need to be stiffened, although it is ideal to make those connections as stiff as possible during the initial installation process so there is no risk of buckling.
To learn more about helical pier and pile installation and to see if it’s right for your home or commercial building, call Pinnacle today at (720) 202-7015 (Denver) or (719) 650-9573 (Southern Colorado).