How Do Helical Pier Systems Work?

December 6, 2013 Melanie Chaney

Helical Pier Foundation Repair

There are several ways to address foundations needing repair, but helical pier systems are one of the most effective for commercial properties in terms of cost, invasiveness, and permanence. To understand why helical pier systems are considered the ultimate solution for commercial foundation stabilization, it is important to understand how helical pier systems work.

In general terms, helical piers are used to transfer the weight of load-bearing walls from unstable to stable soil. Each steel shaft features a helical plate that allows the pier to be turned into the soil, much like a screw. Extensions to the pier are added as needed until the desired soil depth is reached. The piers are then secured with foundation brackets, the load of the structure is transferred, and often the structure can be lifted to its original position.

Unlike push piers, which require a heavy load to drive the piers into the soil, helical piers offer versatility since they can be used for lighter structures such as decks, patios, or stoops.

How Long Does Helical Pier Foundation Last?

Repairing your property’s foundation is not something to take lightly. It’s important to do your research on the options available to you to make the best choice for the future of your property. A helical pier foundation is an excellent choice for commercial property owners who want a solution that will last for a lifetime.

Unlike concrete underpinnings, which can shrink, or concrete piers, which can crack or break, helical piers offer the ultimate in foundation stabilization. Why? Because helical piers effectively transfer the weight of load-bearing walls from unstable soil to competent soil.

Although they are made of steel, helical piers are not the same as push piers. One major difference is push piers do not have helical plates welded to the shaft. The plates give the helical piers the appearance of screws and cause them to function in a similar way.

Rather than being hydraulically driven into the soil like a push pier, helical piers are mechanically “screwed” into the soil. The plates are designed to pull the pier into the soil once it is installed and extensions are added as needed in order to reach the proper depth. Once that depth has been reached, the piers are secured with steel foundation brackets and the weight of the structure is transferred. As a result, cracks can be repaired, doors and windows can be returned to normal functionality, and the structure can often be lifted back to its original position.

When installed properly, helical pier foundations will last permanently. Our Foundation Supportworks™ helical pier system is warrantied for 75 years on top of Baird Foundation Repair’s lifetime warranty.

Choose Baird Foundation Repair

While helical piers can permanently solve your commercial foundation problems, not all helical pier systems or installers are equal. It is wise to do your research and ask what type of system your chosen professional recommends. At Baird Foundation Repair, we use and recommend Foundation Supportworks™ helical pier systems, which are warrantied against further foundation issues.

helical pier , soil , Supportworks