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🐊Helical Piers for Foundation Repair? Pros, Cons & Homeowner Tips

🐊Helical Piers for Foundation Repair? Pros, Cons & Homeowner Tips


If you want to know how to repair a cracked foundation or are thinking of leveling your house, a helical pier system may be right for you. This video briefly covers how helical piers work and gives you some pros, cons, and tips for this foundation repair system. We already made a video that lists the steps for installing helical piers. If you haven’t watched it yet, look for the link to it in the video description. Helical piers work by transferring your home’s weight to load-bearing soil. Watch our video on the three ways your soil is causing foundation problems to know what load-bearing soil is and why it’s important for repairing your foundation. When the piers reach load-bearing soil, a steel foundation bracket is attached to your home’s footing and connected to the helical piers. This transfers the weight of the house down to the stable soil, halting settlement. From there we can attempt to lift your home back to its original position. The helical pier system is perfect for permanently stopping foundation settlement, thus avoiding structural failure. Helical piers are ideal for you if you want these four things: Number One: A quicker installation compared to other systems, Number Two: A permanent solution, Number Three: To bring the home to its original position, And Number Four: To stabilize a lighter structure that has started to sink such as a deck or a chimney. Now let’s discuss Eight Pros to helical piers: Pro number one: It can save you from having to replace your entire foundation. With a helical pier installation you can fix your settling foundation problems within a few days versus leaving your home exposed over a long period of time during a foundation replacement, worrying about rain mud strangers and critters. Pro number two: They are suitable for both heavy and light loads. As a matter of fact, did you know that engineers and architects specify these products to support major commercial structures bridges and cell phone towers? Pro number three: They reach greater depths than other options. A true helix blade can go much deeper than non helix shaped systems and disturbs less soil. Pro number four: Our round shaft design resists bending. We’ll talk more about that in a minute. Pro number five: Our helical Pier system has a patented bracket and external sleeve that also prevents kinking and bending. We’ll talk more about that later too. Pro number six: Our system is available in galvanized steel that resists rust. Pro number seven: It’s underground. Because it’s underground, It’s concealed from sight and finally Pro number eight: Our helical Pier system can often lift foundations back to their original position. Now here are cons to helical piers. Con number one: The installation can be disruptive to your yard as helical piers require the use of moderately heavy equipment to install. Con number two: They require an expensive soil boring sample or intimate knowledge of the local soil. As will be discussed in our video about soil in South Jersey, which by the way you should subscribe and hit the bell notification so that you don’t miss it when it comes out, soil can vary drastically from place to place, sometimes even from town to town. If you watched our video on how soil affects your foundation, you know the basics of how soil works. But there’s a lot more to it. Less experienced foundation repair contractors may not go deep enough if they hit a hard layer of soil near the surface and that layer may still be part of the active zone. Again go watch the soil video and stay tuned for the next one. Fortunately Dry Guys Basement Systems has been doing this for over 30 years in southern New Jersey and knows how to adapt to the varied soil conditions. Con number three: They can bend. Some foundation repair contractors claim to have strong brackets. The thing is it takes more than a strong bracket. That doesn’t stop the pier system from bending and kinking from the cantilever effect. That’s why our helical pier system from supportworks has a unique, patented bracket and external sleeve that strengthens the pier system directly below the bracket and ensures a vertical installation all the way to competent soils. Con number four: Not all helical pier systems are created equal. If you see something similar to our pier system that’s made from a square bar, don’t be fooled. While It’s true that square bar helicals are cheaper and easier to find, they were not initially made to hold the load of your house. They were originally designed to hold wires in the ground for light poles and cell towers. Does it matter? Yes. Square shaft helical piers use a socket and pin coupling. These were designed to withstand tension, which is a pulling force, like in tug-of-war. In order to hold up the weight of a home it needs to be designed for compression which is a pushing force. If you put compression on a square helical it will bend. Round helical piers will not and they have higher load bearing capacity since they can withstand more torque or force. With square shaft helical piers the standard is often to slip a pipe over the piers and fill it with concrete to stop the bending. But you don’t have to worry about this with round helical piers because they were actually made to hold up your house in the first place. The couplings used in square shaft helical piers are also often looser which means it can have variations in straightness when you’re putting it into the ground. If the piers don’t go in straight this increases the chance of buckling. Loose couplings can also mean that the shafts don’t sit on each other directly. This can decrease the load bearing capacity because the load is then being transferred through the couplings and not through the shafts. Extra care in machining and quality control is always worth doing if quality is your goal. Make sure your helical piers have a true helix shape that meets international code criteria standards. A non-conforming blade looks more like a duckbill. This makes it churn up the soil during installation. As mentioned before a true helix shape reduces the amount of soil disturbed and this allows it to go in deeper with less resistance. So these are the pros and cons of helical piers. As you can see when you hire companies that either don’t have access to quality products like ours or don’t have the desire to be innovative in their field, you put your home and family at risk. If you know what to look out for you won’t be fooled and your helical pier system will hold up for decades to come. So remember if you want to permanently halt foundation settling or lift a part of your house in faster time this system may be the answer you’re looking for. We have other foundation repair systems such as push piers that can help with many different types of situations and can be less invasive. In the future we will have a video comparing them all to each other. Like and subscribe so that you don’t miss it and hit the bell notification. Don’t forget to go to Dry Guys.com and like us on Facebook.

Comments (5)

  1. Did these Pros, Cons and Tips help you understand helical piers a little bit better? If you're a homeowner with foundation problems and are looking for the best solution to your problem, we hope we were able to help. Please subscribe and we'll keep making videos like these. Feedback is appreciated. Our other helical pier video is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IiL_CaUK1fE&t=1s, and our video on how soil affects foundations is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsgaFl–JMc

  2. New subscriber and I really liked the way you guys presented your info…VERY clear
    Just had 12 of these installed by a local company called Drypro. I was charged almost 23K and didn't see a bit of difference when they finished. I just had a follow up meeting with a crew manager guy and was able to get their pier logs and wanted to see if you guys would be interested in looking at some of the videos I have on my youtube channel and I can send you the logs to see if this shit makes any sense. I would truly be forever grateful if you can help or offer some kind of feedback. I really know what should've happened…but am I wrong?
    Heres a link to my channel and there are a bunch of videos of them doing this work https://www.youtube.com/user/7200generalrepair

  3. Well done video!

  4. Very good video explanation. Thank you for making these videos.

  5. This seems to only address the perimeter foundation. Main bearing walls in the interior of the building are bearing on footings that are also on the same soils. If the soil doesn’t have adequate capacity, or the footing is inadequate or the post is wood which may be subject to microbial degradation how are those potential issues remediated?

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