Helical Piers and Your Home’s Foundation Problem

Monday, December 5th, 2016 By Jaimie Hooker

There are an array of options when it comes to fixing your settling foundation. The Helical Pier System offers permanent stabilization for your home’s foundation, but is it the best option for your home?
What is it? 

A helical pier is a steel piering system. The first section that is advanced into the ground has one or more helix shaped blades welded to the shaft. Additional extensions are then used to extend the pier to the necessary depth. Helical piers can be installed from the exterior or interior of your home and provide the opportunity to lift your home back toward its original position. Helical piers can also be effective at closing cracks caused by settlement and improving the operation of doors and windows.

How does it work?

First, soil is excavated (removed) from the area where the helical pier will be installed, and then sections are advanced into the soil. Once the designed load bearing pressures are achieved, heavy-duty foundation brackets are positioned below the home’s footing. The weight of the home is then transferred through the helical piers to deep, competent soils. Lifting the home back towards its original position is attempted, and the soil around the installation is then replaced.

When to use it. 

Helical piers can be an ideal solution because Tar Heel Basement Systems can install the piers to reach a stable soil layer that can support your home, regardless of the weight of the structure. If your goals are the following, helical piers are a good choice:

-Prevent home from settling further.

-Attempt to lift the home back to its original position.

-Stabilize lighter structures that have settled, such as decks or stoops.

-Minimal disturbance from installation.

-Quick installation compared to other solutions.

-Opportunity to lift home back to original position.

-Restore property value.

When NOT to use it.

Less experienced helical pier installers may not advance the pier deep enough if a stiff soil layer is encountered near the surface, which may be above the problematic soil level.

About the author
Jaimie Hooker is the Assistant Marketing Director at Tar Heel Basement Systems; authoring case studies, technical papers, creating and captioning photo albums and managing website content. She also oversees the organization of video testimonials, shows and events, Jaimie lives in the small town of Madison, NC with her husband, Paul, and 3 year old son, Franklin.