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8 Reasons Why You Should Use Helical Piers Before Building

House supported by helical piers before construction

Are you planning on building in Florida? Florida is a beautiful state, but soil stability could wreak havoc on your future building! No worries! APD Advanced Stabilization know how to create a solid base anchored to firm ground. Consider installing helical piers! Using pilings on new structures will boost load-bearing capacity and ensure long-term stability. Do you know about this method?

What are helical piers?

Basically, "helical" just means screw-shaped. These piers are also known as screw pier foundations or screw piles. Helical piers ensure your foundation is stable and ready to support your building. Helical piers can be used before construction or for lifting and supporting structures that are sinking.

Florida's loose and sandy soils make traditional foundation installation more difficult. Sandy and loose soils are not great for foundations because it tends to move and shift with the weight of the house on it. Helical piers will be placed in the looser soil until they reach a more stable layer. Installing helical piers before building can save you money and headaches from dealing with a sinking foundation.

Still wondering about taking the leap? Here are some of the reasons why APD Advanced Stabilization recommends them.

Benefits of using helical piers in new buildings

While helical piers can also be used after foundation problems appear, it’s almost always better to install them in the pre-construction phase. The benefits of using helical piers include:

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Perfect for sandy soil

Florida is a beautiful state, but the loose, granular soil and high water tables can seriously limit the size and location of your building! This is especially concerning if you plan on doing a 2-story home or a larger building. However, helical pilings basically eliminate the possibility of severe foundation troubles down the road. By drilling the piers during the pre-construction phase, APD is able to anchor your building to stable soil no matter how deep or shallow it is.

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Protect your home from settling and sinkholes

This is the most obvious benefit! Helical pilings for new constructions provide a stable base for your home’s foundation. As a preventative measure, APD will be able to place the piers strategically throughout the entire area of the future foundation when installation is done. This ensures an efficient and safe distribution of the final weight and anchors your building to the stable soil deep underneath.

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Fast installation

With piling, there’s no need to wait weeks for concrete and deal with third-party delays. You also won’t have to wait for concrete to cure, and raining won’t alter the schedule either. Because steel components and hydraulic installation are used, APD can install helical piers fairly quickly and in any weather! Plus, once everything is drilled and done, you won’t need to wait. Piers can be used to their full load instantly, getting you building and above ground quicker than traditional construction methods.

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Great for heavy buildings

Are you planning on building a large commercial structure? Or maybe just a home with several stories? Whatever the case, heavy buildings in Florida need an especially sturdy foundation. Overall, helical piers improve the load bearing capacities of heavy structures and foundations, even in sandy Florida soils!

Helical pilings transfer the load from the soil surface deep into the ground, where the piers are anchored to stable soils. This technique has been used to support bridges, retain coastal walls and it will make sure your new building is as stable as possible.

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Precise application

Unlike traditional foundations, helical piling doesn’t use a one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, after evaluating the soil and the project, APD will create a customized plan that ensures pilings are drilled in active layers of soil at every load-bearing point. Plus, depending on the slope of the landscape and the configuration you need, They will organize the pilings to ensure efficient load distribution throughout. This lowers overall costs throughout, since your contractor won’t have to reinforce the foundation mid-way through the project.

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Effective in almost any terrain

Florida soils are notoriously difficult to build in. This gets even worse in new coastal buildings where the soil is extremely sandy and active. Luckily, helical piling can be installed in almost any terrain and even in landscapes that have different soil types under the same foundation. This means the application can be tailored to your needs, depending on the size of the project, the final weight of the structure and the quality of the soil at every spot.

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Ideal for limited access sites

Unlike traditional methods, helical pilings don’t need huge equipment to be installed. APD Advanced Stabilization uses hydraulic machinery of moderate size that can easily fit in smaller spaces or terrains with limited access. The entire installation process is also cleaner overall, since the only action is drilling into the soil. In our experience, helical piers are the best option for projects where accessibility and speed are key!

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Prevents soil disturbance during installation

Sandy, unstable soils can be easily disturbed during construction projects. This can make the soil even harder to work with, and provide an inadequate foundation to any building. By limiting the amount of soil that is being moved, APD will also save the existing soil as much as possible. This allows for installation even in so-called active soils (soils that are move with moisture).

Can helical piling be used for foundation repair?

Yes! This method quickly raises settled concrete and provides deep foundation support to unstable foundations. And given the considerably smaller equipment, and immediate effectiveness after installation, helical piers are one of APD's preferred ways of providing extra support to pre-existing buildings.

Final thoughts...

Helical pilings are an efficient and affordable option for residential and commercial projects alike! Especially in Florida’s problematic soil, this is the best way to properly anchor your building, stabilize and support your investment over the long term. Whether you are working on a new building or want to repair a pre-existing foundation, consider helical piers as an option!

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