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Helical Piles vs. Concrete Piers

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Helical Piles vs. Concrete Piers

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In the realm of construction, there is increasing demand for better, stronger, and longer-lasting ways to build and support foundations. New technologies are making the building process faster and more efficient, too, and products like foundation piers offer unmatched stability and versatility. However, not all foundation piers are created equal.

For many years, contractors have used concrete foundation piers to provide additional support to new foundations. And while these have some advantages, they are quickly being replaced by helical piers, also known as helical piles. Let’s explore the differences between these two systems:

Concrete Piers
Concrete piers are a solid, reinforced foundation support system, and are often used for larger buildings or especially heavy loads. Typically, concrete piers must be cast on-site, requiring extensive soil excavation and time for the concrete to cure. The creation and setting of bored concrete piers require specialized equipment and plenty of room to move around. The end result is usually quite sturdy, depending on the quality of the soil and the proximity to a water table. However, concrete piers are very difficult to remove or repair.

Helical Piles
Helical piles are manufactured with high strength steel and are shipped to the build site preassembled. Like concrete piers, helical piers can be customized for the unique needs of the structure and location, although this customization is done during the offsite design and manufacturing process. Helical piles have many benefits over concrete foundation piers. They are lighter, stronger, and easy to install. The piles are screwed into the ground to the ideal depth (very dense soils), creating no additional soil waste. They are effective even in areas of poor soil quality, as they are secured into a deeper, more stable level underground. Helical piles don’t require complex machinery or a lot of labor to install. Installation is a faster process than that of concrete foundation piers, and since no soil removal is required, the impact to the surrounding area is minimal.

Both concrete foundation piers and helical piles offer stability and support for foundations, but there are many reasons why more contractors are choosing helical piles over concrete piers. Curious to learn more about the advantages of helical piles? Contact Cantsink today!