Puerto Rico is known for its beautiful landscapes and stunning architecture. However, it is also known for its multiple geological formations and many of them can have geotechnical issues, particularly in building construction due to soil instability. Fortunately, helical piles, also known as screw piles, have become a popular solution for building in Puerto Rico as they offer numerous advantages. This blog post will discuss in detail what helical piles are, how they work, their advantages, and why they are essential in building in soils with geotechnical issues.
What Are Helical Piles?
Helical piles are foundation elements that are used in construction to provide support to structures on unstable soils. They are installed vertically or with certain angles into the ground, and they consist of a shaft and one or more helix-shaped plates attached to the shaft. They are made of high-grade steel that can withstand heavy loads, and they are designed to anchor into the soil and provide the necessary structural integrity to support buildings. Once installed, helical piles function as sturdy foundation elements to hold structures that can stand up even in high wind or earthquakes.
How Do Helical Piles Work?
When helical piles are installed, helix-shaped plates are mechanically screwed into the ground and act like screws. They are installed on the shafts of the piles to create a force that resists both tension and compression. Helical piles do not require excavation or curing, making them an efficient and time-saving solution. Instead, they provide immediate support to the structure built on top of them, regardless of the soil conditions. By using helical piles, it is possible to bypass geotechnical problems and provide a more resilient and reliable foundation for construction.
What Are the Advantages of Helical Piles?
One of the primary advantages of helical piles is their ease of installation. They can be installed in tight or low-access areas where traditional foundations would be impossible, making them a convenient solution for challenging environments. They also tend to be cost-effective. Helical piles require significantly less labor than traditional foundation alternatives, resulting in considerable time and cost savings. They also do not require heavy machinery, which means there is a reduced environmental impact. Additionally, helical piles offer excellent load-bearing capacity, making them an ideal solution for structures requiring heavy loads, such as bridges or transmission towers.
Why Are Helical Piles Essential for Building in Soils with Geotechnical Issues?
Puerto Rico is vulnerable to natural disasters, and building in soil with geotechnical issues is a significant problem. Helical piles provide an essential solution for construction in these environments by reducing the risk of collapse during natural disasters. Foundation failure is the most common issue that arises during heavy rainfalls, hurricanes or earthquakes, and helical piles provide a necessary technical solution to bypass these issues. By using helical piles, construction managers can ensure the safety of residential or commercial buildings from unstable soils and extreme loading caused by natural disasters.
Helical piles or screw piles are an essential solution for building in soils with geotechnical issues in Puerto Rico. By addressing the primary challenges of excavation and unstable soil, helical pile installation provides an easy, efficient, and cost-effective alternative. Helical piles are an essential tool for any engineer, building administrator, or building owner to provide dependable structures and give the necessary structural integrity to support residential or commercial building construction in adverse environments. The installation of helical piles ensures that any structure built on top of unstable soil has adequate foundational support to resist natural disasters. With helical piles, Puerto Rico builders have a reliable foundation solution that reduces risks and provides safety during all kinds of environmental hazards.
Nexo Tecnico, Corp is a specialized company focusing on structural and foundation issues. As the exclusive representative for Ram Jack Foundation Systems in Puerto Rico, we bring extensive expertise to the table. Our team is led by a professional engineer with 30 years of industry experience. Contact us for a complimentary consultation to discuss how helical piles can provide the ideal solution for your project.