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Helical Piers

Helical Piers for Foundation RepairThere are times in the world of foundation repair where there is a need to resist a tension, or a compressive force, or both. When these applications come up, helical piers are used. They can be combined with a helical bracket as well. These helical screw type anchors actually look like a very large screw and are ideal for foundation repair applications such as support for porches, steps, stairs, chimneys, and so much more. They have been used in many residential foundation repair and industrial foundation repair applications from adding support for a leaning chimney to utility and civil construction projects. They are one of the most widely used foundation repair tools available today. Our network of foundation repair specialists rely on helical piers from Earth Contact Products because they have been proven to be the best in the industry today.

There are many cases for which the helical pier or helical anchor have been considered the best solution for a foundation project. This is because of a long list of benefits for installers and property owners alike:
  • They are easy to install
  • They cause little or no vibration during installation
  • The load of the structure can immediately be transferred after installation
  • The installed torque correlates to the capacity
  • Load testing is easily verified
  • They install well below active soils
  • You can install in all types of weather
  • There will be little to no disturbance to your landscaping or yard

Helical piers are sometimes referred to as ground anchors or screw anchors. Here are some of the many applications where helical piering systems have been used:

  • Tiebacks - for bowing and leaning walls
  • New Construction - to add support from the start for new building projects, residential and commercial
  • Foundation Repair - for lighter weight structural problems caused by settlement or shifting foundations
  • Guy Anchors - helical piers are used as an anchor in guy wire and utility pole installations
  • Shoring - for retaining walls and other wall types that need extra support
  • Tilt Walls - helical piers are easily installed and removed on temporary applications such as tilt-up walls, shoring and wall bracing projects
  • Soil Nails - helical piers are used in conjunction with soil nails for sloped areas
  • Slab Repair - helical piers can add lift and stability for sunken slabs

Helical piers have been used for over 150 years for supporting structures built on weak or wet soil. When the hydraulic motor became available, sometime in the 1960's helical piers became even more widely used because the hydraulic motor allowed an even faster, safer installation process for the helical piers. Both commercial and municipal groups find helical piers very useful for pipeline and pumping equipment support, elevated walkways, retaining walls, bridges, and many uses in the electric utility industry as well.

The helical piering system from ECP consists of a shaft that is fabricated from solid steel or tubular steel. Helical plates will be welded to the shaft. These plates can range in diameter from 6 to 16 inches depending on the application. The plate diameters increase from the bottom of the shaft upward traditionally. They come in shaft lengths from 10 inches all the way up to 120 inches, but other lengths can sometimes be fabricated if the application dictates the need. Helical plates may also be installed on an extension where the length of the lead is not enough to allow for the right intervals between the plates. Helical piers may end with a pier cap embedded into a concrete foundation. Foundation brackets are available that attached the pier or anchor to the foundation beam or footing.

Earth Contact Products and My Foundation Repairs both recommend that only a registered engineer design and oversee the design and application of helical piers / anchors when used in foundation repair or new construction projects. As you can see the helical piers used are very specific to the job, and specialized equipment is needed for the installation. If you notice signs of foundation problems such as cracks in walls, ceilings, floors, or slabs, or you notice doors that stick, chimneys that lean, or sloping and uneven floors, you should not wait. Use My Foundation Repairs to find a foundation specialist in your area to see if helical piers are the right foundation repair solution for you.