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Helical Piers

Helical piers are a great repair tool for sinking foundations. How can helical piers benefit your home?

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Helical Pier on Concrete

Foundation Repair with Helical Piers

Helical piers are a form of underpinning used to bolster and support a structure experiencing foundation settlement. Underpinning is a process that entails reinforcing the existing foundation and strengthening the underlying soil by extending the foundation so that the home’s load is evenly distributed. This is done by installing piers underneath the home’s settling foundation.

One type of pier commonly used for lighter structures because it doesn’t need to rely on resistance is helical piers. Also known as screw piles, helical piers feature round blades attached to the lead pier section. They are mechanically advanced or screwed into the ground and have strength in biting into the soil. These galvanized steel piers are installed past unstable soil and down to load-bearing strata like bedrock that will better support the weight of the home.

Why Are Helical Piers So Effective?

When reviewing foundation repair solutions with an expert, it’s helpful to know why helical piers are an effective, long-lasting fix for your home. Helical piers drill down into the soil underneath your home and go all the way down to the bedrock further down. Here are the top reasons that helical piers are so effective.

  • Going Down to the Bedrock

If your home has sinking problems right now, it’s almost definitely because of problems with the structural capabilities of the soil underneath your home’s foundation. However, if you can dig down deep enough, you’ll hit bedrock, which is incredibly strong and can bear a lot of weight.

  • Shifting the Weight

Helical piers allow you to move the weight of your home to the bedrock layer. By shifting the weight of the home to bedrock, you’re able to manage the fact that your home’s weight is currently on top of the soil. The bedrock tends to be much more stable than the soil, making it a better option for your home.

  • Raising the Foundation

When you drill helical piers underneath the foundation, you’ll be able to push the foundation without relying on the soil underneath it, which can be an effective way to manage your home’s sinking problems. That can even raise a foundation that’s currently sinking.

Why Would an Expert Suggest Helical Piers Over a Different Repair Solution?

There are many different repair solutions that can be used to fix your foundation sinking problems. What makes helical piers such a great choice? These are a few of the reasons foundation repair experts might recommend helical piers for your home. 

  • Permanent Solution

Helical piers are a permanent solution to an otherwise permanent problem. Your home isn’t just going to stop sinking all of a sudden. Your foundation won’t lift itself out of the area it’s currently in. You’re not going to be able to stop the sinking problem unless you apply some pressure. Helical piers aren’t a low-quality DIY fix or a weak temporary option. They’re a permanent foundation settlement answer that can be incredibly beneficial. They can even lift foundations up to their original position, making them better than just a solution to the problem of sinking. When you combine helical piers with concrete lifting around the rest of the property, you’re likely to end up with a nearly new-looking home.

  • Extreme Strength 

The strength of helical piers makes them a perfect option for all sorts of foundations that are currently experiencing any kind of concern. For example, if your foundation has sunk far enough that one side of the home currently sticks out over the patio concrete and the other has sunken far down underneath it, you’ll need some way to re-adjust the piers. The round shafts and galvanization of Groundworks helical piers make it easier for you to have faith in the strength of these tools.

  • Different Foundation Repair Needs

Quite simply, different types of foundation problems have different end goals in mind. Your foundation may need something that someone else’s foundation doesn’t. Additionally, you may have more or less space to work in, different types of soil underneath your foundation, and different problems you’re experiencing. That’s why it’s important not to just look at a pier solution that worked with one person and assume it’ll work with everyone. Talk to an expert so you can learn more about your foundation repair needs and attack your foundation with the right product.

FAQs About Helical Piers

Understanding more about helical pier installation works can help you feel more comfortable when a foundation repair expert recommends it as a lasting solution for your home. Here’s what you might want to know about helical pier installation as a whole.

  •  Prepare the Soil

The first step is to make sure the soil is ready for helical piers. To do this, an expert will expose part of the footing on your foundation, making it easy to ensure the helical piers go into the soil properly so they can lift the foundation.

  • Advance the Piers Into the Soil

Next, using a mechanical tool, the expert will advance the piers into the soil. Helical piers have a circular design, which means they twist into the ground. That makes it easier for the expert to ensure that the piers go far enough into the ground to shift the weight over.

  • Transfer the Weight

Lastly, the expert will attach a foundation bracket to the footing so the pier and the foundation come together. Utilizing these piers, the expert will transfer the load-bearing weight onto the strata. With some additional power, the expert can try to lift the home back to level if necessary.

Some people who have had problems with foundation sinking are suspicious when they hear that helical piers can raise their foundation back to the original level. After all, it’s absolutely true that your home and its foundation are incredibly heavy; that’s why the foundation is sinking, after all. Could these piers really make it easier for your foundation to stop sinking and raise the foundation up? 

  •  Incredible Strength

Helical piers have hydraulic drivers in them, which means they’re incredibly strong. This is one reason that helical piers can actually raise the foundation. Because they’re so strong, they can support the entirety of your home’s foundation without having to rely on the soil underneath the foundation.

  • Lots of Force

Once you have helical piers underneath the foundation, they can push up with a lot of force. You might have to see it to believe it, but it’s true that helical piers can make sure your foundation goes back to its normal space.

Get Expert Advice For Repairing Your Settling Foundation

Different underpinning and foundation repair solutions will work for different homes and different situations. Just because a solution works for one home doesn’t mean it will for another. Helical piers are effective for a lot of people, but if you want to know whether they’ll be effective for you, it’s important that you talk to an expert about it.

Groundworks helps homeowners permanently repair their foundation repair issues, no matter what those issues are or why they’ve arisen. You can contact the Groundworks team to get a free estimate and even learn more about whether helical piers are the right choice for you.

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