Helical Piers

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Helical Piers System

We at Rhino Foundation Systems utilize our robust Helical Piers System to help permanently secure and stabilize foundations, especially when soft, muddy, or water-saturated soil conditions mandate this specific type of shoring. Our system is used to create new foundations, underpin weakening foundations, and better stabilize existing foundations. 

When a home or commercial building sits on too soft of soil, and needs to be secured tight to the ground; and also the foundation conditions are conducive and in line with the type of controlled penetration that comes from a helices dynamic, then our Helical Piers will be installed.

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What Are They?

Helical Piers are heavy, round, steel-shaft ‘screws’ that are designed with cork-screw-like plates that are attached to the shaft, called helicals. Like a screw that is driven into a piece of wood, these large piers spin with tremendous force and embed way down deep, directly into the soil. Utilizing such compressive force, helical piers are expertly designed to permanently stabilize or shore up homes and commercial buildings.

Driven by hydraulic power, these piers slowly spin downward into the ground. This immense rotating force of the pier tightens the structure to the sub terrain below, so that eventually the home or building can become permanently affixed, strong and secure.

(see Fig 1).

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Figure 1

How Do They Work?

They are driven into the soil like a corkscrew, to depths below the frost line, penetrating deep through the layers, until they hit hard soil which is solid and tightly bound. The pier is screwed into the soil hydraulically, until the desired torque or depth (capacity) for the structure is achieved. It is then spaced at the most optimum intervals, in order to evenly spread the load of the structure. Brackets attached to the piers are then affixed to the foundation wall base, and the weight of the structure is transferred to the piers. Being embedded deep into the ground, the building can now stabilize, being permanently ‘screwed in’ to the firm soil, far beneath the structure.

These piers allow homeowners and commercial building owners the opportunity to transfer the weight of their structure all the way down to the bedrock layer, if necessary.  By shifting the weight of the structure all the way down deep until the twisting and drilling stops, we are able to instill peace of mind for the owner: They now know that the weight of the structure has been permanently placed on the solid soil below.   

In relation to a foundation, Helical Piers are used for compressive loads:

Compressive Load (definition): 

As a state of stress, it is the opposite of tension, where particles are pulled apart. When a column supports a load (or weight) from above, it is said to be under compressive stress. Materials can only load up to a critical level, after which bending and deformation takes place, called buckling. Buckling can lead to loss of a home or property, so to avoid buckling, our piers are specifically designed to handle the weight capacity and distribution of the building. Our designers are aware of the importance of load on the pier, the type of soil that is involved, and the size of the proper pier – for the most stable capacities.

In the past few decades, helical pier technology has vastly improved. Piers now come in multiple sizes, have capacities of up to 500 tons, and are both used in residential, commercial, and industrial applications. 

Other names for Helical Piers:

  • Helical Piles
  • Helical Anchors
  • Screw Piles
  • Screw Piers
  • Ground Anchors
  • Screw Anchors
  • Screw Foundations

Applications

Residential: Homes that are built on heavy clays or sand – or have deep underground water – like an underground stream or river.

Commercial: Contractors find that Engineers are consistently requiring this helical piering system in their projects, so we at Rhino Foundation Systems will quickly accommodate their needs.We also install this system in any commercial or municipal building – where engineering specifically requires application.

Industrial: Large plants or buildings that are sagging or settling – with close-to-the-structure water tables on which they lie, is also an ideal situation for piering. our

We’ve found that Helical Piers are the solution to stabilize and realign a home’s foundation without having to go through the rigmarole of costly excavation, re-building, or demolition. Foundation repair can be nerve wracking, so we incorporate the best technology available – to handle any piering job. Our main goal is to quickly assess the foundation problem, configure all necessary materials, tools, and parts – and then to professionally install piers way down deep, so that a building’s weight can now rest on those same piers, permanently. Depending on the soils and the situation, Helical Piers can be much more cost-effective and time-saving than having an entire foundation replaced.

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Indications of needing Helical Piers due to Foundation Settling Problems:

  • Foundations walls that are Bowed or Buckled
  • Doors that stick or don’t open or close properly
  • Windows that stick, or don’t properly open or close
  • Cracks in interior walls and ceilings
  • Cracks in exterior walls
  • Sunken or buckled Interior Concrete Floors
  • Cracks in foundation walls

Advantages of Helical piers

  • If installed properly can lift a home structure back to its original position
  • No foundation replacement necessary
  • Suitable for both heavy and light loads
  • Can go as deep as needed
  • Round pile design with helices (like a screw) resists bending
  • Superior lateral stability
  • Helicals are made of galvanized steel: they resist rust
  • Installation is underground: concealed from sight
  • Environmentally-friendly
  • Removable for temporary structures
  • Designed to be installed in low access areas
  • Designed to be installed in all weather conditions
  • Vibration-free
  • Corrosion-resistant due to galvanized steel
  • Designed to affix and attach immediately to a structure
  • Greater section modulus strength to resist twisting and deflection
  • Patented cross-bolt connection
  • Greater load capacities
  • Easy to install
  • Installs in any season
  • Minimal soil disturbance
  • Not affected by a high water table
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History

The first use of a rudimentary helical pile was sometime in the 1830’s. Alexander Mitchell was a blind Irish Engineer. He was asked to help stabilize and shore up lighthouses that were built on muddy and sandy soils. Helical piles were suitable for coastal structures due to their tensile capacity, which resisted uplift forces from waves.

He started there, discovered their stable capacities and then he was able to help solidify bridges, and other structures that needed to be strong and firm – throughout Ireland (Fig 3).. His ingenious invention helped to secure these once-wonky structures, well into the 19th century.

Figure 3

After the 2nd World War, their popularity began to increase until today – they are utilized all over the world. Feel free to get a Free Estimate below, so that we can quickly assess a project where we can utilize our expert-level technologies.

Let us relieve your stress.