When the soil conditions around a building start to change or degrade it can start to compromise the foundation’s wall, floor, slab, or footings. Without timely professional inspection and repair, even minor foundation issues can have a major negative impact on the building above. This can be a liability or safety issue in residential and commercial properties.
Cracked foundation corners
Steps pulling away from the building
Door alignment issues
Doors that jam
Windows that jam
If you have noticed any of these issues in your residential or commercial property. Chances are good that something is wrong with some aspect of your foundation, which might also be linked to gradual or sudden changes in the surrounding soil conditions.
Professional Inspection Is The First Step In Effective Repairs
At Hydroscience Group our foundation specialists have the tools and training to accurately assess the problem with your foundation. This includes factoring in structural components as well as soil composition and soil conditions. All of this information will factor into the foundation repair strategy we present to you.
What Are Helical Piers?
Helical piers are essentially a system of steel shafts that are intended to provide deep foundation solutions to the various foundational structure. Each has a round helix plate that helps anchor it.
This type of system is most often used to address a foundation issue that is related to degrading soil conditions. The underlying goal is to create an effective solution for maintaining or preserving a building’s structural integrity. Each helical pier that Hydroscience Group uses is based on the manufacturer’s engineering and product specifications, for maximum effect.
In certain instances, the soil might need to be excavated from underneath the building. In this type of foundation repair strategy, the helical piers can serve to transfer the weight of the building to prevent foundation failure.
How Does it Work?
An individual helical pier essentially acts as a foundation pin. They are made from a special type of heavy duty steel and has helices that look very much like a screw. The helical pier is then driven into the soil, using specialized hydraulic tools and equipment. Most typically go deeper than the frost line.
A Helical pier system is most often used to support a structure’s foundation and basic integrity of the building when there is an issue in the surrounding soil conditions. They can be used as part of a foundation correction strategy, to preserve the structural integrity of the building, or to provide support during other foundation repair procedures.
Why Should You Use It
Helical pier systems are often the ideal solution or component of a foundation repair strategy where soil conditions are challenging. They are typically the ideal corrective solution to setting up, making it hard a traditional foundation pier system.
Helical piers typically don’t require expensive large excavations to be installed. They merely thread deeply into the surrounding soil with heavy duty hydraulic equipment. They are also a cost-effective method for repairing an existing foundation which has suffered from cracking or other structural defects. Helical piers also tend to cause less disturbance to the soil which helps transfers the weight of the structure, to the surrounding soil, which is likely already firm and compacted.
In certain situations, a helical pier system might be the ideal solution for repairing residential and commercial property foundation problems. They tend to be used in things like caissons, driven piles, and mini piles.
Helical piers might also be very helpful in situations where the foundation has suffered structural damage, or the foundation was built on unstable soil. This might include soil that has high water content or is prone to severe saturation issues from rain or meltwater.
Signs that a helical pier system might be needed might include:
Interior plaster walls that are cracking
An uneven floor that gradually worsens
Doors and Windows that jam or gaps when closed
Nails that loosen in the ceiling
Cracks in basement balls and corner
Nails that loosen in the ceiling
Bows in basement walls
Cracks in slabs or basement floors
A leaning chimney
Helical Piers In Commercial Floor Or Slab Repair
A helical pier system might also be the ideal solution for addressing a damaged commercial floor. They can be installed into the foundation system to stabilize the foundation and the forces being applied from the external soil.
This tends to be a much faster and cost-effective way of repairing cracked floors. Especially floors that need to bear a significant amount of weight in any given day.
Different Types Of Chance Helical Piers
There are essentially two distinct types of helical pier. A round shaft pier is the solution for addressing an area where compressions are the most likely underlying cause. A square shaft helical pier is more often called for to deal with a problem that is linked to tension forces. Each type of pile is rated to hold different loads.
To install the helical piers, special hydraulic equipment is used to screw the piles deep into the soil. The specific depth is factored by predetermined load capacity. The helical piers are also spaced at predetermined intervals established by a structural engineer.
In a foundation repair process, under punning brackets attached to the footing to help transfer the weight directly to the pile. The most common spacing requirements can vary.
Each helical piers is made from heavy-duty galvanized steel which extends its life by preventing rust. It’s estimated that once installed a helical pier’s lifespan will range up to 100 years. This duration can be influenced by soil conditions as well as the size of the building and the overall forces being transferred to the pier.