We have all heard the old adage, “It is only as strong as its foundation”. This is particularly true with your home and the additions that you make to it. When adding a deck to your home, using helical anchors for its foundation gives you the security of a deep foundation with the ease of installing a helical soil screw. For years helical piles have been used in the new home construction and boardwalk industry due to their ease of use and material savings. This same technique is now being used in deck construction for many reasons including ease of installation, all weather installation, and simple economics.
The old fashioned method of buying extra long and expensive deck posts and concrete is being replaced with simple steel helical foundations. Helical foundations are a steel shaft that has a helix shaped flight welded to its leading end that uses installation torque as an indication of capacity. These helical anchors come in many sizes, configurations, and lengths. The anchor is turned into the soil via a hydraulic gear motor that is either attached to a small machine--such as a skid steer--or even installed by specialized hand held equipment. The gear motor slowly turns the helix into the soil until it is significantly embedded past the upper active regions of soil. After installation a simple steel bracket is attached between the steel foundation and the deck posts.
Gone are the days when we need to excavate soils and fight the placement of deck posts. If a helical anchor is installed in the wrong place they can simply be reversed out of the soil and placed in the correct position without having to backfill the hole. Gone, also, is the need for concrete mixing and filling around posts. The helical piles install with minimal disturbance to the soil so backfilling and concrete is not required. And lastly, gone are the days of watching your buried deck posts rot away due to water and termites.
On your next deck project save on lumber, concrete, and installation costs by using helical anchors as the preferred method of foundation building. You will now have the confidence that your new wood deck will last for many backyard barbecues and neighborhood gatherings for friends and family.