Helical Piles: Your Solution to Groundwater Foundation Problems

May 29th, 2017

Numerous structural issues develop when the ground beneath a structure isn’t stable. There are tales of old quarries and trash heaps. Compacted by excavators, the buildings still crack years later when the ground shifts. Clay deposits do exactly the same thing. As for groundwater issues, how can a solid foundation take shape when it’s sitting on swampy ground? Concrete won’t dry, that’s for sure, so there must be another option. 

Helical Pilings: A Solution to Groundwater Problems 

Helical pilings have very little to do with concrete foundations. They’re a proprietary solution, an array of strengthened rods that screw into the ground without causing any disturbance whatsoever. That single feature opens an engineering avenue that’s not accessible to standard foundations methods. In short, as long as the excavators can move on that watery land, then the pilings or anchors can be installed.

Sidesteps Land Clearance Rectification 

Poured concrete needs time to dry. That’s not likely to happen when there’s groundwater hindering the project. Of course, there are ways to get rid of the water, at least for a little while. Expensive pumps are driven in. Diesel fuel is burned up while the water is pumped away. Electricity comes onsite so floodlights stay on through the night. More diesel fuel is burned, then time burns while contractors sit on their thumbs waiting for the soil to dry.

Solves Existing Groundwater Issues 

Back at the beginning, you heard about older properties that were built on quarries and clay deposits. Maybe the land survey was conducted by someone who didn’t know their business, or maybe the conditions have changed over the decades. A nasty flood can even change things overnight. Anyway, the foundations are cracking. Again, the helical anchoring system comes to the rescue. The screw-down rods cut into the ground where the foundations are failing. The ground is settling, so time is an issue. That’s not a problem, because these below-ground supports cut into the ground very quickly so that they can support the weakened foundations.

Basically, helical piles sidestep all of the weathering and topological problems that builders have dealt with for centuries. Those smart builders do often solve the problem, but expensive land remodelling and pumps are likely part of that full-blown excavation approach. Meanwhile, the helical piles plunge into wet or dry ground with equal ease to form an array of stable ground supports. From here, modular assets can be attached to the anchoring rods to create a formidable structural base, one that’s as firm as any concrete foundation.

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