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How to Verify Your Helical Piers (Piles) are Up to Code: Your Top Questions Answered

Bridge Média - 28 December 2023

Helical piers code compliance at GoliathTech

Helical piers, often also named screw piles or helical (screw) piles, are not just cork screw-like structures anchored into the earth. They are the silent guardians ensuring that the structures above ground remain stable and robust

But, much like any knight in shining armor, they need to be at their best. So how can you be certain your helical piers (piles) are up to the task? Allow us to guide you through this foundation-filled journey with a touch of flair and fun.

GoliathTech helical piles up to code

1. Why Are Building Codes Such a Big Deal for Helical Piers?

Picture this: A fantastic architectural masterpiece. Now imagine it sinking or tilting because its foundation wasn't up to mark. Unpleasant, right? This scenario underscores why it's vital to ensure helical piers are code-compliant:

  • Safety First: Compliant helical (screw) piles ensure that your structure remains stable against natural forces like earthquakes or soil shifts.
  • Economic Efficiency: Investing in code-compliant helical piles means you'll spend less on emergency fixes or potential rebuilds in the future.
  • The Legal Dance: If your helical piers aren’t up to code, you risk legal repercussions, hefty fines, or potential litigation.

2. The Telltale Signs: How Do I Know My Screw Piles Are Living Up to Expectations?

If you're keen on understanding how to verify helical piers (piles), consider these three essential checkpoints:

a. The Paper Trail: Genuine helical piers should come armed with detailed documentation and certifications. They should be aligned with standard bodies, such as the International Code Council (ICC) or local equivalents.

b. The Visual Scan: A discerning eye (like those of a GoliathTech certified installer) can spot anomalies. Look for:

  • Uniform Welds: Inconsistent welds can compromise the pier's strength.
  • Correct Installation Depth: Too shallow, and it won’t provide the needed stability.
  • Anti-Corrosion Measures: Corrosion is a pier's worst enemy. Ensure there are protective coatings or treatments.

c. Test, Test, and Retest: Once installed, employ torque-to-capacity tests. This will give insights into the pier's performance potential and its ability to bear loads.

3. Code Compliance: A One-Time Thing or a Regular Check?

Helical piles, also known as helical piers, are engineered to last for much longer than most people’s lifespan! 🙂 However, this longevity shouldn't be taken for granted. Inspections and due diligence are essential for maintaining a secure foundation over time (that goes for any foundation type). Every few years, it's advisable to schedule an assessment with a certified installer to evaluate the condition of your helical pile foundation. Here's how you can be proactive about it:

Immediate Post-Installation Inspection:

  • It's crucial to verify that the helical piers are properly positioned and secured right after installation. A certified installer like GoliathTech will always conduct a professional assessment post installation.

Post-Storm Evaluations:

  • Mother Nature can unleash formidable forces, including floods and earthquakes that may compromise the structural integrity of your foundation. After any major natural events, it's highly advisable to thoroughly inspect your helical piles. Don't hesitate to reach out to your local certified helical pier installer for an expert evaluation if you have any concerns.

Scheduled Routine Inspections:

  • As a best practice, plan to have your helical piers professionally inspected for signs of wear and tear or potential issues every 5 to 10 years. A certified helical pile expert, like those at GoliathTech, can provide an in-depth analysis, ensuring that your foundation remains robust and secure for the long term.
  • By adhering to these guidelines, you can take control of your foundation's safety and durability, whether you're a homeowner looking for peace of mind or a construction business aiming for project excellence.

4. The DIY Dilemma: Can I Do the Helical Pier Checks Myself?

Embracing the DIY spirit is commendable. But when it comes to the critical task of ensuring structural stability, it's best to call in the cavalry. 

Foundation experts and engineers have specific tools, techniques, and the experience needed to evaluate the helical piers/piles. Trust them.

5. Houston, We Have a Problem: What If My Helical Piers Aren’t Up to Code?

Deep breaths! Discovering that your helical piers are non-compliant isn’t the end of the world (P.S. This would not happen if you hired a GoliathTech installer!):

  • Adjust and Align: Sometimes, a few adjustments can set things right.
  • Strengthen and Support: There are cases where adding extra helical piers or auxiliary supports can bring things back to code.
  • The Replacement Route: If the issues are extensive, a complete replacement of the non-compliant helical piers might be necessary.

Call upon your local GoliathTech certified helical pier installer for help!

GoliathTech team working on helical pile exceeding industry standards

Taking a Closer Look: GoliathTech Helical Piles

When discussing helical piles that exemplify commitment to compliance and quality, GoliathTech helical piles stand tall

GoliathTech has dedicated substantial effort to ensure their helical piles not only meet but often exceed industry standards. A visit to their compliance page reveals a plethora of certifications and adherence to international standards. 

From meticulous manufacturing processes to extensive quality control tests, GoliathTech leaves no stone unturned. 

Their commitment is clear: to offer a product that ensures safety, durability, and peace of mind. For those considering helical piles for their projects, GoliathTech serves as a benchmark in the industry.

Digging Deeper

When the stability and lifetime longevity of your helical pier foundation are paramount, it's wise to partner with trusted experts in the field. 

By choosing a company like GoliathTech, you're not only ensuring that your screw piles are 100% compliant, but also benefiting from the expertise of certified installers who prioritize and guarantee the safety of each application. 

Choosing GoliathTech means securing a foundation that stands the test of time.

About GoliathTech

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.