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Stabilizing Foundations With Helical Piles


Every building needs a strong foundation to evenly support its weight. Whether you are starting from scratch with a completely new structure or repairing a cracked foundation on an older building, understanding how to work with helical piles is an essential part of the job.

What Are They?

Helical piles are sometimes also referred to as helical piers, helical anchors or screw piles. They can be used to strengthen and stabilize old foundations or secure new foundations into the ground. Having been used for almost 200 years, helical piers are tried and true in the world of construction. Most modern helical piles are screw-like in appearance, featuring a central shaft with spiraling plates welded onto the shaft. The entire pier is usually made of a sturdy material such as galvanized or epoxy-coated steel.

How Do They Work?

The application process for installing helical piles is relatively straightforward. Brackets are affixed tightly to the edges of the foundation. The piles are then driven into the ground around the foundation’s perimeter and attached to the brackets. The weight of the foundation and subsequent building helps to determine the depth at which the piles are placed in the ground. If necessary, it is possible to increase the length of the screw shaft by adding an extension shaft, locking the pile even more deeply within the soil.

Given the proper equipment, installing helical piles is a simple process. In many cases, a building may remain occupied while it is being modified with screw piles. Moreover, reinforcing a foundation using helical piles is rarely a time-consuming project. Each pile typically only takes a few minutes to position and can work in a variety of soil types such as loose sand, dense sand, hard clay, soft clay and loam.

Helical piles are one of the most effective methods of anchoring a building firmly into the ground. If you are interested in starting a new construction or if you suspect that your current home has foundational damage, contact professional foundation builders for assistance today.