Helical piers are sometimes referred to as ground anchors or screw anchors. Here are some of the many applications where helical piering systems have been used:
Helical piers have been used for over 150 years for supporting structures built on weak or wet soil. When the hydraulic motor became available, sometime in the 1960's helical piers became even more widely used because the hydraulic motor allowed an even faster, safer installation process for the helical piers. Both commercial and municipal groups find helical piers very useful for pipeline and pumping equipment support, elevated walkways, retaining walls, bridges, and many uses in the electric utility industry as well.
The helical piering system from ECP consists of a shaft that is fabricated from solid steel or tubular steel. Helical plates will be welded to the shaft. These plates can range in diameter from 6 to 16 inches depending on the application. The plate diameters increase from the bottom of the shaft upward traditionally. They come in shaft lengths from 10 inches all the way up to 120 inches, but other lengths can sometimes be fabricated if the application dictates the need. Helical plates may also be installed on an extension where the length of the lead is not enough to allow for the right intervals between the plates. Helical piers may end with a pier cap embedded into a concrete foundation. Foundation brackets are available that attached the pier or anchor to the foundation beam or footing.
Earth Contact Products and My Foundation Repairs both recommend that only a registered engineer design and oversee the design and application of helical piers / anchors when used in foundation repair or new construction projects. As you can see the helical piers used are very specific to the job, and specialized equipment is needed for the installation. If you notice signs of foundation problems such as cracks in walls, ceilings, floors, or slabs, or you notice doors that stick, chimneys that lean, or sloping and uneven floors, you should not wait. Use My Foundation Repairs to find a foundation specialist in your area to see if helical piers are the right foundation repair solution for you.