Completed Job by Dry Guys | What are Helical Piers? How are they installed? When should they be used? Follow our foundation specialists from Dry Guys Basement Systems as they do a small helical pier installation in a home where the chimney is cracked and needs to be lifted. You'll get tips about helical piers in this quick, step-by-step guide.
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Foundation SoilsPush PiersHelical Piers
----Ian Rock:“We gotta drill the holes in this footing here so we can bust out a pretty huge chunk of it, and that way our bracket can sit real close up to the footing because if you lift far away it’s going to tilt. So we’ve gotta get close so we can get the bracket underneath the footing properly, and then before we do that, obviously the footing gets cleaned, and then we take these helical piers- you see this long tube with spirals on it? We take that, and that’s the start one. And then we have another attachment for our excavator here, and that slips over the top of that, and this pretty much drills itself into the ground.”
Jaynelle Summerville:That was Dry Guys crew member Ian Rock giving a brief explanation of this helical pier installation, one of our many foundation repair systems, in Medford, New Jersey. In this video we will get a quick look at our helical pier system, how we install it, and under what circumstances we use it.
This homeowner’s chimney was tilting and they wanted to straighten it out. You can see that the gap here is actually pretty big. Structural issues with your chimney can be indicative of structural damage to the house in general.
What are helical piers?Helical Piers are made of steel and have a set of helical blades in the lower section. Using construction equipment, they are screwed into the soil. How deep they go depends on your problem and the kind of soil you have, but the idea is to keep going until you hit stable soil that won’t move.
How are helical piers installed?If you’re familiar with our PushPier system, you’ll notice that Helical Piers are very similar. Helical Piers are installed in sections. The first section that we put into the ground has the helical blades that screw into the dirt. The additional segments that don’t have blades are then added to make the pier as long as it needs to be.
Step 1:Helical Piers can be installed indoors or outdoors. For an outdoor installation, the soil has to be excavated to expose the footing. This was an outdoor installation.
Step 2:A section of the footing will be cut away so that the steel bracket connected to the pier can support the wall directly.
Ian Rock:“So obviously the footing is massive and it’s way out here. So if I were to put my bracket up here, number one the footing’s not flush or flat by any means whatsoever, so the bracket wouldn’t sit just right on the footing. But more importantly, when we would try to lift way out here, because the building’s over here most of the weight’s on this side. So lifting up here is going to tilt this sucker just like this which essentially is kind of what we want, but it would be a little bit too much. So a lot of bad things can happen if it’s really not up close to it so this way nothing else can really break or shear off. It will be pretty much fool proof the closer we are.”
“Now the piers get drilled in at a slight angle, away from the house, like underneath, and that gives it another counterbalance too. Obviously if it was way out here then the footing could shear over here and this starts to fall again and we just lifted a footing.”
Step 3:The Helical Piers are put into the ground until load bearing soil is reached, and then brackets are installed.
Step 4:After these steps, all settlement of your foundation will be permanently halted. From this point, our Foundation Specialists can determine if it makes sense to now attempt to lift the foundation to its original position. In a lot of cases, we can raise the foundation to look as good as new, closing cracks and allowing doors, windows and locks to function properly again. After everything is finished, the dirt will be put back, and the work area will be cleaned up.
When should you install Helical Piers?Helical Piers are ideal for lighter structures like decks, stairs and chimneys because they don’t need the weight of the structure to drive them into the soil.