Revolutionizing Foundation Repair with Helical Piers

June 17, 2024 / in Blog / by Admin

Foundation repair is the backbone of construction and civil engineering. Traditional methods have worked for years, but with advancements in technology and materials, new and better solutions have emerged. Among those helical piers have become the new standard. This article will go into the engineering behind helical piers and how they beat traditional methods.

What are Helical Piers

Helical piers, also known as screw piles, are deep foundation solutions used to support new or repair existing foundations. They are ideal when soil conditions are tough and traditional foundation methods won’t work or are too expensive. These piers are screwed into the ground to provide a solid and reliable foundation support system. Their popularity in the construction industry is due to their versatility, ease of installation, and performance in all soil conditions.

Engineering Behind Helical Piers

Helical piers are engineered with helices or screw-like plates attached to a central shaft. These helices allow the piers to be driven into the ground with minimal soil displacement, making them suitable for new construction and foundation repair.

Design and Load Capacity

The design of helical piers involves calculating the number of helices and their diameter and spacing along the shaft to match the load requirements of the structure. The load capacity of a helical pier is determined by the size and shape of the helices, shaft diameter, soil conditions, and depth of installation. Engineers must do soil analysis and load testing to ensure the piers can carry the intended loads.


Installation of helical piers involves using hydraulic machinery to screw the piers into the ground. The process starts by positioning the pier at the desired location, then attaching the hydraulic drive head to the shaft and screwing the piers into the soil. The installation torque is monitored continuously to ensure the piers are at the desired depth and soil resistance, which correlates to the desired load capacity.

Compared to Traditional Methods

Helical piers have several advantages over traditional foundation repair methods like concrete piers or driven piles. These advantages make them the new standard in modern construction.


Helical piers can be used in all soil conditions, soft, sandy and expansive clay soils. Unlike traditional concrete piers that require excavation and curing time, helical piers can be installed quickly with minimal site disturbance. This versatility makes them suitable for residential homes to commercial buildings and infrastructure projects.

Speed and Ease of Installation

One of the biggest advantage of helical piers is the speed of installation. Traditional foundation repair methods involve long process of excavation, formwork and concrete curing which can take days or even weeks. Helical piers can be installed in hours, reducing project timeline and labor cost. This is very beneficial in time sensitive projects or emergency repairs.

Minimal Site Disturbance

Installation of helical piers causes minimal site disturbance. Since they are screwed into the ground, not driven or excavated, there is less noise, vibration, and disturbance to existing structures and landscaping. This is very useful in urban areas or where the surrounding environment must be preserved.

Load Bearing Capacity

Concrete piers need time to cure and reach full strength; helical piers provide load-bearing capacity immediately after installation. This allows for faster progress in construction projects as there is no waiting period before the foundation can bear loads. This is very important in situations where structural stability needs to be restored quickly.

Cost Savings

Helical piers can be more cost effective than traditional foundation repair methods especially when you consider the total project cost and timeline. Less excavation, faster installation and lower labor cost contribute to overall savings. Plus the precision of helical pier installation reduces the likelihood of costly mistakes and rework.

Green Benefits

Installation of helical piers is more environmentally friendly than traditional methods. Less excavation means less soil displacement and waste. Plus the machinery used for installation consumes less fuel and produces less emissions than heavy excavation equipment. This results to smaller carbon footprint for construction projects using helical piers.

Examples and Applications

Helical piers have been used in many construction and foundation repair projects around the world. Their versatility and effectiveness make them the go-to solution in many situations.


In residential construction helical piers are used to repair and stabilize foundations that are settling or shifting due to soil movement. For example in areas with expansive clay soils that shrink and swell with moisture changes helical piers is a reliable solution to maintain foundation stability.

Commercial and Industrial

Commercial and industrial projects benefit from the high load-bearing capacity and fast installation of helical piers. In building warehouses, office buildings, and industrial facilities, helical piers are a reliable foundation solution that can carry heavy loads and challenging soil conditions.

Infrastructure and Public Works

Helical piers are also used in infrastructure and public works projects such as bridge foundations, retaining walls, and utility poles. Their ability to provide immediate support and minimal site disturbance makes them perfect for projects that need to maintain traffic flow or service continuity during construction.


Helical Piers have changed the face of foundation repair and construction by providing a versatile, fast, and cost-effective solution. Their engineering allows for precise load-bearing capacity and adaptability to different soil conditions, minimal site disturbance, and project timelines. As the construction industry moves forward, helical piers will play a bigger role in ensuring the stability and longevity of structures in many applications.

Now that you know the benefits and uses of helical piers, you can make better foundation repair and design decisions. As technology improves their performance and installation, helical piers will always be the foundation solution.


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