Thanks to innovations in the field, helical pile systems are growing increasingly more effective and more practical. Originally designed to be used with lighthouses and moorings, helical piles now find use in stabilizing foundations of historic structures and brand new buildings alike. Helical piles are time and cost-effective and can be used in a variety of circumstances. IDEAL Foundation Systems has presented some common reasons that an engineer or construction manager might elect to use a helical pile system.
Limited Access To a work Site Or Foundation
When a foundation is in need of repair or to prevent further settling and shifting, the building’s foundation may not be readily accessible for a variety of reasons. Specialized machinery and equipment may not fit into the narrow alleys around a building, or may disrupt the day-to-day activities of those around the work site. Helical piles can be drilled in with minimal impact to the area, and the pile itself can be varied in size to fit the needs of the project. While some sites may only need a small helical pile, others might need a far deeper pile that cuts through the loose topsoil and embeds itself in the harder soils deeper in the earth.
When The Project Is Under A Time Constraint
If a building’s foundation has been found to have shifted or is starting to crack, likely the building owner will want these issues resolved quickly. Unlike mudjacking, or concrete jacking, which requires the materials to settle and harden, helical piles do not need any time to cure. The use of metal piles means that they can be weighted immediately. The innovative STELCOR® system also fills the helical pile with grout as it’s being driven, which means that while it can be weighted immediately, it also reinforces itself as the grout dries in place, displacing the soil and ensuring that the helical pile and the foundation are secure. This, in effect, accomplishes two tasks at once, speeding up the overall foundation repair process.
When The Site Is Sensitive
In some cases, there is a need to minimize the amount of disturbance a work site is subjected to. This might be protected wetlands, or historic buildings and spaces. In either case, bringing in cumbersome and clumsy excavation materials can leave a heavy mark on these landscapes. Helical piles, however, can be placed using minimal equipment, and because they do not remove any soil, instead just displace it, no materials of any kind are removed from the work site. The use of smaller equipment also limits the number of vibrations that are created during the process and limits the noise as well. The use of helical piles is one of the least obtrusive ways to improve or repair a site.
There Are Environmental Concerns
After decades of using materials and chemicals that only recently have been known to cause damage to the environment, many contractors are tasked with finding ways to repair a foundation that is on soil that has been contaminated. In order to prevent further environmental damages, these soils should only be minimally disturbed, if disturbed at all. Unlike traditional excavation or dredging excavation, using a helical pile doesn’t remove any soil, and in fact, much of the soil stays in place. This means that there is no need for environmental remediation projects after a helical pile has been installed, and there is no need for the contractor or the client to arrange for costly removal services.
Use The STELCOR® System
Helical pile systems are undoubtedly useful and can be found in applications outside of the few that we’ve mentioned here. If you or your contractors are in need of a precise, and durable method of strengthening an existing foundation or supporting a new one, our STELCOR® system is the IDEAL solution for you. Contact us today to find out more.