Helical Piles: How Do They Work and Why Do I Need Them for My New Build?

If you’re currently in the process of building a new house, you’ve probably heard the words helical piles thrown around at least a few times. Sometimes, they’re called helical piers, helical anchors, or screw piles, but either way, they are an important part of most large scale construction projects. While you may be relying on skilled piling contractors in Essex to do all the hard work, it is still useful to stay on top of each stage of your build.

This means understanding what is happening and why, so that you can keep an eye out for mistakes and ensure that everything is going according to your original plan. A little knowledge about piling, for example, gives you the opportunity to discuss materials and foundation approaches with your contractor. It gives you the chance to be fully involved with your new house from the beginning of its life.

This quick fire guide to helical piles and their uses will take some of the mystery out of building new foundations.  

What is a Helical Pile?

Piling contractors in Essex use helical piles (or piers) to secure new foundations to the ground. In some cases, they are employed as stabilising anchors to reinforce existing foundations. The term ‘helix’ refers to their spiral form, which allows the pile to be essentially ‘screwed’ into the ground. The shape provides strength and ensures that foundations remain sturdy.

Why Are Helical Piles Important?

The job of a good foundation is to evenly distribute the weight of a building, so that it doesn’t sink into the ground. However, there are lots of cases where the foundation itself requires a kind of ‘mini foundation’ to help it perform more efficiently. For instance, if a new house is being built in an area with particularly poor soil conditions, a helical piles can be added to prevent the structure and its foundation from cracking, bowing, and sinking.

How Do Helical Piles Work?

With the support of reliable piling contractors in Essex, you can construct a foundation that is strong enough to weather any storm. For extra strength and durability, helical piles can be added to one end and then driven (or anchored) into the earth at the other. The depth to which they are ‘screwed’ into the earth will depend on the quality of the soil and the cumulative weight of the planned or existing structure.

What Are the Benefits of Using Helical Piles?

One of the biggest advantages of retrofitting helical piles is that the degree of site disruption can remain very small. In most cases, the existing foundation can be strengthened without having to move occupants out at all. Retrofitting is relatively quick and easy; positioning and anchoring a helical pile is a precise, but simple, process. Once anchored, the piles can bear a load immediately. Plus, helical piles can be used in a wide range of soil types and will even strengthen foundations built in clay and sand.

Can Helical Piles Fix My Sloping Floors?

If you’ve noticed that existing floors are sloping or uneven, you could have a problem with your foundations. You need to address the problem quickly, because repairs are fairly straightforward as long as you don’t allow the issue to worsen. Get in touch with a reputable piling contractor, from your local area, and arrange for a consultation. They will be able to visit the site and make an expert decision about the necessary solution.  

To find out more about how helical piling can be used to strengthen and reinforce your build, click here to visit Dixon Piling. Or, pick up the phone and call 01621 815169 to arrange an on-site consultation today.