4 Steps to Installing Helical Piers on an Existing Building

Are you scheduled for commercial helical piers installation and wondering how we’re going to do it?

United Structural Systems of Illinois, Inc. has been repairing residential and commercial foundations around Chicago since 1995. We have perfected installing helical piers to secure your commercial foundation without disrupting the ground soil around your building.

In this article, we want to provide you with a step-by-step explanation of helical pier foundation installation. Keep reading below to find out how it’s done.

Step #1: Excavating Each Pier Location

One of the main benefits of commercial helical piers installation is that you don’t have to conduct a major excavation of your foundation. But, smaller holes will be needed to install the piers.

Our team will mark the anticipated location of each helical pier and dig a pilot hole measuring 3-feet by 3-feet. We keep the excavation to a minimum, but sometimes we may need to go deeper depending on the foundation depth.

Step #2: Removing Foundation Footing

After reaching the correct depth, we’ll notch and remove the damaged foundation footing. If you have a foundation wall that is chipped, we’ll grind it clean in order to secure a 90-degree underpin bracket to it.

Either way, we need to prepare the existing surface for the underpinning bracket. It needs to go under the foundation and flush with the face of the foundation.

Step #3: Installing Helical Piers 

With the holes dug and the foundation surface prepared, our next step is to install the helical piers. We use a hydraulically powered drive head attached to a mini excavator, backhoe, or skid steer to get as close to the existing foundation footing or trench pour as possible.

The lead section or first section of the helical pier typically ranges from 5-7 feet in length and looks similar to a giant screw. Extensions are added in similar length and the pier is driven to proper soil torque.

Step #4: Securing Helical Piers to the Foundation

After driving the pier into the ground, we will attach it to a 90-degree underpinning bracket that goes under your foundation. Once fastened, we’ll transfer the weight of the structure to the bracket and helical pier, and adjust it to a predetermined depth and torque.

While installing the helical pier, we monitor the progress on a hydraulic gauge to measure how much soil torque is reached. That way, we know it’s been installed to a proper load-bearing stratum that will permanently support the load of your building.

Helical Pile Foundation Installation

We hope that after reading this article you have a better understanding of the process behind installing helical piers. These devices are incredibly versatile. They can be used for residential or commercial buildings and in nearly all soil types.

Helical piers are also commonly used for building additions such as balconies, garages, sheds, or decks.

Call us today at 847-382-2882 if you have any questions about helical pier installation or if you’d like to schedule a free consultation.