Has your building started shifting due to underlying soil movements? Read on and discover why it may be better to underpin that building using steel screw piles instead of drilled helical concrete piles.
Less Depth Required
Drilled helical concrete piles need to be installed very deep into the ground in order to be effective. This extreme depth in needed in order to anchor those piles into stable soil so that the piles cannot be pushed upwards when the expansive soil around the upper section of the pile absorbs moisture and starts pushing up that pile. Steel screw piles don't need to be installed very deep into the ground because they experience a smaller upward push from the expansive soil. This reduced pressure is due to the smaller footprint of the steel screw piles. That smaller surface area reduces the amount of force that the soil can exert upon the structure. Consequently, the steel piles can be installed at a shallower depth without sacrificing their load-bearing capacity.
Less Material Needed
The cost of making steel screw piles is usually less than the cost of making concrete driven piles of the same load-bearing capacity. This is because concrete piles consume a lot of materials in order to make them large enough to withstand the design loads expected. The concrete may have to be reinforced with steel bars within its core in order to give it added stiffness. Steel screw piles consume fewer materials during their construction and are therefore more affordable to procure.
Concrete piles tend to be very heavy due to their large size and the different materials that are used to make them. The concrete piers are also one large mass. This calls for expensive equipment, such as excavators, to drive the large shaft into the ground. A lot of time and billable employee hours are taken to install these driven concrete piles. Steel screw piles can be installed into the ground quickly and easily. This is because they are designed in short sections that are placed on top of each other as they sink into the ground. Less costly equipment can, therefore, suffice to execute the installation. Their smaller footprint is also less disruptive to the environment.
Different kinds of piles are now available on the market. You should, therefore, invite a competent person to assess the conditions at your property so that the most appropriate type of piles for the task can be selected.