Screw Piles FAQs

Welcome to our comprehensive list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) about screw piles, whether you’re a construction professional, a homeowner considering foundation options, or simply curious about this innovative technology.

Below you will find the fundamental aspects of screw piles, from their construction and installation processes to their benefits, applications, and potential challenges.

What are screw piles?

Screw piles, also known as helical piles or screw anchors, are deep foundation elements used to support various structures, such as house extensions, new buildings, bridges, and decks. They consist of a steel shaft with helical plates or blades that are screwed into the ground to transfer the load of the structure to stable load baring strata.

How do screw piles work?

Screw piles work on the principle of helical rotation. The helical plates act as rotating screws, advancing into the ground with minimal soil disturbance. This helical action allows the pile to generate significant bearing capacity, providing a stable foundation for the structure. See AB Chance Helical Screw Pile Installation Process.

What are the advantages of using screw piles?

Some advantages of using screw piles include rapid installation, minimal site disturbance, suitability for almost all soil types, high load-carrying capacity, cost-effectiveness,  ability to load immediately after installation, small installation equipment for ease of access, avoids damage to tree roots.

Are screw piles suitable for both residential and commercial projects?

Yes, screw piles are suitable for both residential and commercial projects of various sizes. They can be used for anything from small residential decks and house extensions to large commercial buildings. See our screw pile case studies.

Can screw piles be used in various soil types?

Yes, screw piles are versatile and can be used in a wide range of soil types, including sandy, clay, silty, and cohesive soils. The pile size and design are adjusted based on the specific soil conditions and using a grout column greatly enhances capacity. See Capacity Charts.

What is the load-carrying capacity of screw piles?

The load-carrying capacity of screw piles depends on factors such as the soil strength, pile dimensions, and installation depth. Screw piles can typically support loads ranging from a few kN to several hundred kN. Torque correlation us used to confirm the design/ confirm once pile capacity is achieved. See Capacity Charts.

Are screw piles environmentally friendly?

Yes, screw piles are considered environmentally friendly because they produce minimal soil disturbance, they are super-friendly around roots and trees, and for temporary structures, they can be removed and re-used, leaving a smaller carbon footprint compared to traditional concrete foundations.

Can screw piles be installed in areas with limited access?

Yes, screw piles are suitable for areas with limited/restricted access since they can be installed using portable equipment and require minimal space for access and installation. If you can walk through the door, we can install screw piles! View our Case Studies.

How long does it take to install screw piles?

Installation times vary depending on the project size and soil conditions. In many cases, screw piles can be installed in a matter of hours, significantly reducing construction time compared to other foundation methods, on average 20 minutes per pile to install. (View Case Study for Canterbury School).

Can screw piles be removed and reused?

Yes, screw piles can be removed and reused if needed, making them a sustainable foundation option.

Are screw piles resistant to corrosion?

Our AB Chance screw piles are made hot dipped, galvanized solid steel, making them durable and resistant to corrosion.

Do screw piles meet building codes and regulations?

Our AB Chance screw piles are SCI certified that they meet the standards.  

How do screw piles compare to traditional foundation methods?

Screw piles often offer advantages over traditional foundation methods, such as quicker installation, reduced excavation, and minimized environmental impact. They are also safer as they are not susceptible to seasonal ground movement that causes subsidence and ground heave that can occur in the top 3 metres, particularly if there are trees nearby.

Are there any limitations to using screw piles?

While screw piles are versatile, they may not be suitable for certain soil conditions or very heavy structures. Site-specific engineering is crucial to determine the appropriate foundation solution.

Do screw piles create any noise during installation?

Screw pile installation typically produces minimal noise and vibration compared to other foundation methods, making them favourable for urban or noise-sensitive areas.

Can screw piles be installed during winter or in cold climates?

Yes, screw piles can be installed during winter or in cold climates, as the installation process is not significantly affected by freezing temperatures.

Please note that the answers provided are general in nature. Always consult with a qualified engineer or professional for site-specific advice and to ensure compliance with local regulations. We are happy to answer any questions you have so do get in touch.