How Do Helical Pier Systems Work?

December 6, 2013 Melanie Chaney

Knowing that it’s time to repair your commercial foundation is one thing. Knowing which repair method to use is another. 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.

Commercial property owners typically like helical pier systems because they can be installed year-round (either internally or externally) with minimal disruption to the structure. 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.

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.