What are Helical Piles?

Helical Piles

Have you ever driven across an old bridge and noticed extensive cracking in the concrete and gotten worried that you weren’t going to make it across? What about sitting on a patio on a hillside that has crumbling concrete or uneven portions throughout? As scary as these experiences are, you probably don’t need to worry. There is likely something underneath that is making it stable. The structure can still be sturdy if the foundation is good. One way to ensure a structure is stable and strong is through the use of helical piles.

Helical piles are hollow steel tubes that stabilize a structure. They are screwed deep into the ground, which anchors the load securely to the earth. This is often done section by section, depending on the size of the structure. They are used until there is proof that the structure can safely hold the required weight capacity. Helical piles can be used in new foundations, to strengthen weakening foundations, or to create a more stable environment on existing structures that need to be able to handle heavier loads. Other names for helical piles include screw piles, helical piers, screw anchors, helical anchors, or helical foundations.

When to Use Helical Piles

When a structure needs to be built on a location where the soil conditions are not naturally suitable for that structure, helical piles can be used to secure the structure firmly. Popular projects for using helical piles include railroads, docks (especially within wetlands), harbors, bridges, or anywhere with weak soil structure. For many structures, even a small amount of foundation settling can create huge issues with the structure over time.

Installation of helical piles is relatively quick compared to other methods, and they are easily modified on the job site. This makes them an easy product to work with and customizable to each project. They are great for use in high water table areas and areas with limited access for other stability options. They’re also a cost-effective choice for providing strength and stability to a structure’s foundation.

Helical piles are generally used on structures that can be categorized in three areas: Heavy, average, and lightweight. Heavy structures include bridges, large building foundations, and cabins. Average structures would consist more of docks and walkways. Light-weight applications would include sheds, fences, or patios.

Almost any uneven or sinking foundation could benefit from the use of helical piles. Not only do they help lift the foundation, but they also provide additional support to the entire foundation, creating a safer and more stable structure overall. Some people think they have to completely rebuild a structure when they notice heavy sinking or settling, but this isn’t always the case. You can save thousands of dollars with the use of helical piles. If you’re concerned about your foundation, whether it be your home, shed, swimming pool, retaining wall, business structure, storage facility, or anything else, Lift Right Concrete is your expert source for help. We have the experience and professionalism to ensure foundations are repaired appropriately for safety and longevity.

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