Helical Piles vs. Concrete – Which is a Better Foundation Solution?

Comparing helical piles to concrete foundation can be a challenging prospect for homeowners and contractors alike. Before choosing the correct type of foundation for an individual structure, it’s important to have a clear understanding of how each type works and their advantages.

A helical pile uses the helix plate attached to the outside of its pipe to auger into soil and provide resistance against the forces acting on the pipe, while concrete uses its formed shape to spread forces across its hard crystalline structure. In essence, helical piles act like a boat’s anchor, directly securing a structure to stable soil, and concrete foundations act more like the boat itself, distributing forces to prevent a building from sinking into loose soil at pressure points. When looking at these foundations from this perspective, it’s much easier to see the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Concrete is excellent at distributing the weight of large structures, and can also be used in a wide range of different configurations for various structures. However, concrete can only be used at shallow depths without requiring special equipment or time consuming excavation, which leaves it vulnerable to the effects of soil compaction and erosion that can weaken it with time. Concrete foundations can also develop flaws from uneven mixing or environmental conditions. This makes it difficult to determine the exact amount of support these foundations provide.

On the other hand, helical piles can be augered into place in minutes, and their level of support can be easily measured throughout the installation process. Since helical pile anchoring systems transfer weight below surface levels, they’re usable in nearly any type of earth and far more resistant to changes in surface soil conditions. Helical piles also have the advantage of being easily removed, reset or reused, unlike concrete which cannot be modified once set. Plus, since helical piles tend to cost less than concrete foundations, they can help keep projects more affordable while providing reliable support.

At Cantsink, we’re proud to manufacture some of the strongest helical piles on the market and our knowledgeable staff will gladly help you understand the advantages our foundations offer for your projects. To find our more or request a quote, contact us today.

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