Alternative Deep Foundation Solutions: What are Helical Piers (Piles) and Push Piers (Piles)?
Deep foundation solutions are essential to support the weight of a structure and transfer it to the ground. Helical piers and push piers are two alternatives that can provide excellent deep foundation support. It's crucial to understand the differences between them to choose the right solution for your needs.
The Basics of Helical Piers and Push Piers: Understanding the Differences
Helical piers and push piers are both deep foundation solutions that provide structural support for buildings and other structures. The two solutions have some similarities, but they differ in several important ways.
Helical piers, also known as helical piles, are made of steel and have helical-shaped plates welded to them. They are screwed into the ground using a hydraulic torque motor, creating a stable base for the structure. Helical piers can be installed at the required depth to reach deeper soil layers, which can be useful in situations where the soil near the surface is unstable or unsuitable for supporting the structure.
Push piers, on the other hand, are also made of steel, but they are a hollow tube that is pushed into the ground using hydraulic jacks. Push piers are typically installed in a straight line, and their load-bearing capacity is limited to the soil and rock layers immediately below the structure. This means that push piers often need to be installed deeper into the ground to reach bedrock, which may not make them suitable for certain soil conditions or load requirements.
The main difference between helical piers and push piers
The main difference between the two is in their installation method. Helical piers are installed by screwing them into the ground, while push piers are driven into the ground using hydraulic jacks. This difference in installation method affects the way each pier type interacts with the soil and the load-bearing capacity they can provide. Additionally, helical piers can be installed more quickly than push piers, reducing the overall installation time and costs.
Overall, while both helical piers and push piers provide deep foundation support, they differ in several factors, including their installation method, load-bearing capacity, suitability for different soil conditions. It's important to consider these differences when selecting the appropriate solution for your specific project.
Pros and Cons of Helical Piers vs. Push Piers for Deep Foundation Solutions
Here are some advantages and disadvantages of helical piers and push piers, as well as a comparison of the two options.
Advantages of Helical Piers:
- Can be installed in a variety of soil conditions, including soft, saturated, and hard soils
- Require little to no excavation compared to other deep foundation solutions, reducing the overall installation costs
- Can be installed more quickly than other deep foundation solutions, reducing the overall installation time
- Can be installed at an angle to offer lateral support to the structure
- Real time recordings of installation torque to determine pile capacity
- High tension values to hold the structure down to the ground
Disadvantages of Helical Piers:
- More expensive than push piers per foot, which can make them less cost-effective for some projects. However, as you may have to go much deeper with a push pier (often to bedrock) helical piers will most likely cost less for the overall pile, therefore, helical piles are more costly per foot but on the other hand there is no need to install them as deeply so they cost less overall.
Advantages of Push Piers:
- Cost-effective for foundation repair
- More effective in certain soil conditions such as shallow bedrock
Disadvantages of Push Piers:
- Installation can be more time-consuming than helical piers
- Can only be installed in a straight line
- May not be suitable for certain soil conditions
- Low tension values to hold the structure down to the ground
Comparison of Helical Piers vs. Push Piers
- Load capacity: Helical piles have a real time recording of the installation torque to determine pile capacity
- Installation: Helical piers require little to no excavation and can be installed more quickly than push piers
- Soil conditions: Helical piers can be installed in a wider range of soil conditions than push piers
- Longevity : Push piers may settle over time if not installed in suitable soil or reach bedrock
Choosing between helical piers and push piers is an important decision when it comes to deep foundation support. By considering the factors we've outlined, you can make an informed decision that meets your specific needs. To get started, contact a GoliathTech certified installer for expert advice on selecting the right solution for your project. With their help, you can rest assured that your structure will be safe and stable for years to come.
Since 2004, GoliathTech has been the most important manufacturer and installer in the helical (screw) pile industry worldwide. Our patented helical pile foundation system surpasses industry standards and has earned us multiple awards and prizes.
Carried out by certified installers, our quick installation process avoids excavation, which protects your landscape and allows you to begin building as soon as the piles are in the ground. Moreover, you can anchor GoliathTech’s helical pile foundations into any soil or space year-round. Installed deep into the ground, beneath the frost line, they solidly support the structure in even the most extreme conditions. Our technology guarantees that a helical (screw) pile foundation won't move or crack over time.
Integrating both strength and know-how, GoliathTech offers the best anchoring solution to support your residential, industrial, commercial, and municipal projects. Trust the experience and expertise of GoliathTech for your foundation projects. Find a certified GoliathTech installer in your region or become a franchisee.
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