Like push piers, helical piers are designed to transfer the weight of your home and all its contents to load-bearing soil or bedrock. This permanently stabilizes your home’s foundation, and in many cases can lift a sunken foundation back to its original position. This is achieved by driving the helical pier deep into the ground until it finds this competent soil or rock. Homes are typically stabilized with multiple piers — as few as 3 or 4 piers to as many as 40 or more, depending on the size of the home and the scope of the work required.
Foundation Recovery Systems uses Supportworks helical piers that are made from heavy steel and are engineered to be extremely strong, durable and to bear enormous weight. Supportworks helical piers also feature specially designed proprietary elements that enhance durability and effectiveness. This includes the use of a round shaft that is much less prone to bending than square-shaft piers. This is important, because cheaper square-shaft piers are common. These square-shaft helical piers were originally designed as anchors for guy wires in the utility industry. That means they were engineered to work in tension (being pulled) not compression (being pushed). When compressed, they can kink and bend.
Unlike some other manufacturers, Supportworks helical piers also feature a true helix plate that allows for a more accurate torque-to-capacity reading. This means we know when we’ve driven a pier deep enough to find competent soil. With another contractor’s helical pier, the installer may stop too soon due to an inaccurate torque reading, and your foundation may sink further in the future.
Installing a Helical Pier System
As mentioned earlier, helical piers work by transferring the weight of your home to competent soils or bedrock. This is done by supporting the foundation’s footing. So the first step in a piering installation is to expose this footing by excavating dirt around it. Steel pier sections are then hydraulically screwed into the ground until they reach stable soil or bedrock. Then a proprietary heavy-gauge steel bracket is connected to the pier and placed under the footing. Once all the piers are installed, a lift can be attempted. When the installation is completed, the excavated soil is put back, covering the footing and the brackets.
Helical piers are capable of supporting both heavy and light loads but are the ideal option for stabilizing lighter structures such as decks or stoops because installation does not rely on the weight of the home.
The primary advantage of a helical pier system is that it stabilizes your home’s foundation permanently and may even be able to lift it back to its original position. In addition, the installation of a helical pier system can be completed in a matter of days. Total foundation replacement, typically takes much longer, costs more and does nothing to address the issue that caused the problem in the first place: poor soil beneath the foundation.