Helical Piers in Retrofitting: Strengthening Existing Structures

In the world of construction and engineering, the need to reinforce and enhance the stability of existing structures is a common challenge. Whether it’s an aging building, a foundation affected by soil settlement, or an infrastructure project requiring additional support, retrofitting becomes a crucial solution. One highly effective and innovative method gaining popularity in retrofitting projects is the use of helical piers.

Understanding Helical Piers

Helical piers, also known as helical piles or screw piles, are steel shafts equipped with helical-shaped plates. These plates, resembling large screws, are strategically welded to the shaft at precise intervals. The design of helical piers allows them to be twisted into the ground, providing stability and load-bearing capacity.

Retrofitting with Helical Piers

Foundation Strengthening:

Helical piers are commonly employed in retrofitting projects to strengthen building foundations. Over time, soil settlement, changes in moisture content, or poor initial construction can compromise a foundation’s integrity. Helical piers, driven deep into the ground until they reach load-bearing soil, provide a stable support system. This helps redistribute the structural load, mitigating potential damage and preserving the longevity of the building.

Seismic Upgrades:

Earthquakes pose a significant threat to structures, especially in regions prone to seismic activity. Retrofitting existing buildings with helical piers enhances their ability to withstand seismic forces. The helical design ensures a secure connection to the ground, preventing excessive movement during an earthquake and minimizing the risk of structural damage.

Underpinning and Lifting:

Helical piers can be utilized for underpinning existing structures, especially when foundation settlement has occurred. By strategically placing helical piers beneath load-bearing walls or columns, the foundation can be lifted and leveled, correcting any uneven settling. This process not only restores the structure’s stability but also addresses potential safety concerns.

Bridge and Infrastructure Support:

Retrofitting is not limited to buildings; helical piers are also employed in enhancing the stability of bridges and other infrastructure projects. By providing additional support to existing foundations or stabilizing slopes, helical piers contribute to the overall safety and longevity of these structures.

Advantages of Helical Piers


Compared to traditional foundation repair or reconstruction, retrofitting with helical piers is often more cost-effective. The installation process is quicker, requiring less labor and equipment. Additionally, there is minimal disruption to the surrounding environment, making it an efficient solution for both residential and commercial projects.


Helical piers are versatile and can be used in various soil conditions, including clay, sand, and rocky terrains. This adaptability makes them suitable for a wide range of retrofitting applications, providing engineers and contractors with reliable solutions for diverse projects.

Minimal Environmental Impact:

The installation of helical piers generates minimal soil disturbance and requires smaller equipment, reducing the environmental impact compared to traditional construction methods. This eco-friendly aspect is increasingly valued in today’s construction practices.

Professional Services For Helical Pier Installation

Atlas Piling specializes in professional piling installation, offering expertise in foundation solutions for various construction projects. With a commitment to precision and efficiency, Atlas Piling ensures the seamless installation of piles, utilizing advanced techniques and high-quality materials. Trust in their experience to provide robust foundation support, contributing to the structural integrity and longevity of your building or infrastructure.


In the area of retrofitting existing structures, helical piers stand out as a reliable and efficient solution. Their versatility, cost-effectiveness, and minimal environmental impact make them an attractive option for engineers, contractors, and property owners alike. As technology continues to advance, helical piers are likely to play an increasingly vital role in preserving and enhancing the stability of existing structures, ensuring a safer and more resilient built environment for years to come.

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