HELICAL PIERS

FCI performs Helical Pier installation and Foundation Restoration and Repair work for commercial, industrial and residential support. Extensive training and field work allows our team to utilize helical piers due to reasons including securing new foundations and stabilizing existing foundations in the Tri-State area of Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. Our market also expands into solving residential needs for homeowners. We are a dealer of Foundation Supportworks.

Helical piers, also known as anchors, piles or screwpiles, are deep foundation solutions used to secure new or repair existing foundations. Due to their design and ease to install, they are most commonly used whenever soil conditions prevent standard foundation solutions. Instead of requiring large excavation work, they thread into the ground. This minimizes installation time, requires little soil disturbance, and most importantly transfers the weight of the structure to load bearing soil.

One of the most common causes of foundation movement is the shrinking and swelling of expansive soils. The degree of soil movement is determined by the amount of expansive material, and the variation of its moisture content. During the spring, when the moisture content of expansive soil increases, the soil swells. During the drier months when the moisture decreases, the soil shrinks, allowing foundations to settle. During wet periods, foundations return to their desired elevation. Sometimes, the soil will swell enough to raise foundations higher than their desired elevation, which is referred to as upheaval.

Other causes include drying of soils from the sun and weather conditions, evaporation, moisture loss from roots, shallow footings, broken or cracked pipes, extremely wet soil, compressible soil, organic layer, soils affected by water tables and earthquakes and tremors.

Interior signs include cracks in drywall on walls and ceilings, doors that stick, gaps between walls and ceilings, nails that are coming out of the drywalls, windows that are cracked or not level and gaps between walls and floors. Exterior signs include cracks in the masonry, gaps between bricks and windows, bricks leaning away from garage doors, gaps between fireplace and house, sagging roof line and doors that stick.

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There are two types of helical piers, round shaft which is best used in compression situations and square shaft which is best used in tension situations.

ROUND SHAFT

In applications where compression is the primary consideration we recommend using round shaft piers. In Compression our round shaft  has several advantages over the typical square shaft.

Features at a Glance

  • Best for compression forces

  • Easy to install

  • Installs in any season

  • Minimal soil disturbance

  • Not effected by high water table

  • Installed with lightweight portable equipment

Round Shaft Advantages

  • Superior Lateral Stability

  • Greater Section Modulus Strength to resist Twisting and Deflection

  • Patented Cross- Bolt Connection

  • Greater Load Capacities

Composition:

  • A round hollow shaft 2 7/8” thru 12 ¾” O.D. typical.

  • Circular tapered plates (helices) are welded to the center of the shaft.

  • Helix diameters can range between 6” – 48” with a thickness of 3/8” – 1”.

  • Helix pitch will range from 3” – 6”.

  • Galvanized or bare steel options available

SQUARE SHAFT

In applications where tension is the primary consideration we recommend the Square Shaft Piers. They have several advantages over the typical square shaft anchors.

Features at a Glance

  • Best for tension forces

  • Easy to install

  • Installs in any season

  • Minimal soil disturbance

  • Not effected by high water table

  • Installed with lightweight portable equipment

Square Shaft Advantages:

  • Greater Yield and Tensile Strength

  • Patented Cross- Bolt Connection

  • Increased Safety Factor

  • Higher Torque Capacity

Composition:

  • A square solid shaft 1 ¼” thru 2” O.D typical.

  • Circular tapered plates (helices) are welded to the center of the shaft.

  • Helix diameters can range between 6” – 48” with a thickness of 3/8” – 1”.

  • Helix pitch will range from 3” – 6”

  • Galvanized or bare steel options available

TYPES OF HELICAL PIERS

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HOW IT WORKS

ADVANTAGES

WHEN TO USE THEM

Helical piers can be installed with hand-held equipment, mini-excavators, skid steers, backhoes, or trackhoes, so the installation equipment can be sized for the project. Helical piers can also permanently stabilize sinking or settling foundations.

The piers are mechanically advanced ("screwed") into the ground to appropriate depths and capacities and heavy-duty, L-shaped steel foundation brackets are connected to the tops of the helical piers and installed against the footing.

The weight of the existing structure is then carefully transferred from the unstable soils, through the piers, to competent soil or bedrock.

  • Helix blade configuration selected to achieve design depth and capacity

  • Can be installed in areas of limited or tight access

  • Installs quickly with no curing time

  • Installation does not generate spoils

  • Vibration-free installation (unlike driven piles)

  • Concrete can be poured immediately following pile installation

  • Available with optional hot-dip galvanizing for added corrosion protection

  • Cost-competitive compared to other deep foundation alternatives.

  • Environmentally friendly

  • Removable and Re-usable

  • Proven engineering

They have numerous residential and commercial applications. They can be used whenever the job specifies caissons, driven piles or mini piles. When foundations are exposed to moisture over a long period of time or construction is cited on unstable soil, structural and foundation damage rears its head. To repair the foundations of your property and ensure the building doesn’t lose value, they are used to stabilize the foundation. They can also be used to repair foundations when foundation failure becomes apparent:

  • Windows and doors are sticking, hard to open

  • There are large gaps in window and door frames

  • Interior plaster walls are cracking

  • Multiple nail pops are appearing in ceilings and walls

  • Walls are beginning to lean noticeably

  • Floors are starting to settle and become uneven

  • Chimneys are tilting or leaning

  • Cracks can be seen in foundations or basement walls

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COMMERCIAL & INDUSTRIAL

Contractors use our piering systems whenever the soil sample indicates a deep foundation solution is required or whenever they want to avoid excavation expenses, such as tilt-up construction.

Helical Piers have numerous advantages over other foundation solutions. They can be installed quickly, require little excavation, can be installed in any weather, are vibration free, and require no curing times. Together with our wide selection of equipment and accessories designed specifically for the helical pier industry we offer a complete solution for your project.

When used as underpinning, can immediately stop your commercial building from settling and bring it back to a safe and level position. When used in conjunction with our patented cross-bolt technology, piering accessories, equipment, movement free brackets and anchors, the foundations of existing structures can be reinforced and repaired.

They provide maximum support for retaining walls, abatements, slurry walls, excavation, bowing walls and seawalls. Helical piers are screwed into supporting ground and provide strong tension to support the walls. By using helical anchors, instead of traditional solutions, you get an immediate measurement of the capacity of the wall.

RESIDENTIAL

Homeowners choose them to prevent sagging foundations. If you are experiencing cracked foundations or drywall it may be signs that your foundation needs a permanent stability solution.

Helical piers are used in constructing new foundations due to their ease of installation, quick installation times, and bearing capacities. Structural Engineers may specify helical piers based upon the type of soil or proximity to other buildings.

 

They are used to underpin homes that are sinking. When used in conjunction with our tru-lift system homes can be secured to prevent further settling or raised up to the proper height, saving the home.

After the home is secure, every effort is made to return site and landscaping to the original condition. While 100% recovery is not always possible, we have the knowledge and equipment to accomplish the best possible results making your home look as good as new.

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