What is a Helical Foundation Pile?

Advances in construction technology have made it easier than ever to repair your foundation.

Commercial buildings are larger and more reinforced than residential homes, but that doesn’t mean they never experience foundation problems.

Structural engineers now recommend the use of a helical foundation pile to fix many foundations because they’re reliable and less of a disturbance to the ground soil.

Keep reading below to learn more about installing helical piles.

When It’s Time for Commercial Foundation Repair

You should regularly check your commercial building for these signs of foundation damage:

  • Cracks appearing in the foundation walls (vertical, diagonal, horizontal, or a stair-step pattern)
  • Water leaking into the building
  • Crumbling concrete along stairs or sidewalks
  • Sagging or bowing walls
  • Uneven surfaces throughout the building
  • An increased presence of pests

There are several repairs that can be done to fix a damaged commercial foundation, ranging from epoxy injections for cracks to the installation of helical foundation piles.

In this article, we’re going to discuss how helical piles are used to stabilize damaged foundation walls.

How Does a Helical Foundation Pile Work?

Helical piles can be used in both commercial and residential repairs. They were first used to stabilize foundations in the early 1800s. Originally, helical piles were designed as wooden shafts with an iron helix to secure lighthouse foundations.

Today, helical piles are one of the most common types of structural piering devices for foundation underpinning.

A helical foundation pile functions to support or resist loads transferred into the pile by any structure. This load can be tension, compression, lateral, or a combination of all three. You can think of it like a self-tapping screw or auger.

Helical piles are installed into the ground by a hydraulic-powered drive head typically attached to a mini excavator or skid steer on a residential scale, or a full-size excavator on larger commercial projects requiring larger helical piles.

The Different Applications of Helical Piles

Helical piles can be used to secure foundations in any soil type. Commercial helical piles installation is also cheaper and faster than full excavation.

They can be used on existing buildings to prevent continued foundation settlement or to reinforce existing foundations. Often, they are installed for additions that increase a building’s weight-to-load distribution.

New construction helical piles are installed to a predetermined depth or torque for a new building foundation to be built in an area or poor soil conditions that a standard footing and foundation cannot be poured on.

Helical Pile Foundation Installation

Are you having issues with a commercial building foundation? Our team at USS can examine your foundation to determine if there is a structural problem and whether a helical foundation pile is the solution.

Our professional services include installing helical piles, micropiles, steer pier underpinning, helical soil nails, and soil stabilization.

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