More and more helical piles are being utilized on industrial and heavy commercial project sites. The most popular reasons for this trend include: nimble equipment and modular materials that access tight spaces; cost efficient mobilization; low impact installation; superior tensile resistance; and, in when certain soil conditions are present, affordability. An additional reason for the use of helical piles which is growing in popularity is the use of helical piles in contaminated soils.
Contaminated soils are not uncommon in industrial zones and they pose many additional hurdles to jump over. The manipulation of contaminated soils could pose health and safety risks to workers and the treating of spoils can often exceed the cost of the building project with remediation budgets often into the hundreds of thousands if not millions.
A helical pile is simply screwed into the soil at low speed to avoid auguring or general disturbance of the soil beyond the tracing of a helix. This means that there are no spoils or auger tailings and that the project site remains clean and soil undisturbed.
A standard helical pile is constructed of carbon steel which is often hot-dip galvanized. I will be important to work with engineers and/or experts in corrosion to ensure that the chemicals contaminating the soils won’t act to accelerate corrosion of the helical piles but this consideration should be made for any piling type (sheet, driven, H, timber, cast in place, belled, etc.) chosen to support the project. Anode systems, sacrificial thickness and specialty coatings can often be engineered to achieve the desired life expectancy of the piles.
VersaPile Inc. are Manitoba and Northwest Ontario’s experts in helical pile solutions for residential, commercial and industrial applications. To discuss helical piles as a solution for your projects, please contact our friendly and professional team at 204.793.0653.