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Steel Helical Piles vs. Lumber Helical Piles – Which is better for a foundation?

This topic contains 6 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  kurt@welkerhomes.com 3 days, 22 hours ago.

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  • #653234

    TWTW
    Pro

    I have recently completed an article debating whether steel helical piles are more effective for a home’s foundation than lumber helical piles. What are your guys thoughts about the article???

    Here is the link to the article: https://www.heliconusa.com/lumber-vs-steel-helical-piles

    #653263

    DirtyWhiteBoy
    Pro
    Honolulu,, Hi.

    Wood in the ground????? Really???? Are you in Florida? Can you even put wood in the ground? We can’t do it here the termites will eat it up.

    Dirty

    A Working Pro since 1988!

    Member since January 26, 2013.

    #653801

    bethepro
    Keymaster
    Mt Prospect, IL

    Well written article.

    Jim

    Email us at bethepro@bethepro.com

    #653804

    Boschmanbrian
    Pro
    Montreal , QC, Canada

    Interesting article, I know that we use those metal helical for decks and other raised structures, but not for raising houses, usually it’s either slab on grade, or poured or block foundation,
    If we use wood, it’s usually for decks and if they get put in the ground, usually just in poured concrete,
    Interesting read though.

    #653820

    jkirk
    Moderator
    halifax, nova scotia

    very interesting. i havent seen steel helical piles used locally at all.. just recently aluminum piles have shown up for deck work..

    every one in this region either uses conventional concrete formed foundations or icf foundations.

    the biggest issue here is the amount of rock.. with a helical pile you have to have clear soil to drill into.. we have a ton of rock here, more often than not we hit this rock and are forced to pin the foundation to the that instead of a footing… you cant do that with a helical pile

    heres a tip, dont fart in a space suit

    #653849

    DirtyWhiteBoy
    Pro
    Honolulu,, Hi.

    We build in the air all the time on the coast but it’s a concrete, rebar and CMU block. It is against code to put wood in the ground.

    Dirty

    A Working Pro since 1988!

    Member since January 26, 2013.

    #654340

    kurt@welkerhomes.com
    Pro
    Owatonna, MN - Minnesota

    Wood in the ground????? Really???? Are you in Florida? Can you even put wood in the ground? We can’t do it here the termites will eat it up.

    It is fairly common in other parts of the country, where termites are not as prevalent. In our area wood foundations were popular several years ago. they hold up well if installed properly. They got a bad wrap as a lot of guys cut corners on them.

    In the article, one of the items it said with wood piles is that they keep the top of the pile below groundwater level. wood that stays dry or wet will not rot, it is the wetting and drying cycles that cause problems. There are lots of buildings and bridges all over the country sitting on wood piles.

    I liked the article and have always wanted to try metal helical piles on a project but never had the opportunity I know a couple of builders that use them all the time for decks and the like.

    I have a cousin that lives several hours away who will be having her foundation repaired using push piers that will go 100 feet deep to hit a suitable bearing . It is about a 100K fix for her house. the contractor says that is all he does.

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