You may have heard that helical piles are some of the strongest, most durable foundational solutions on the market. But how long do they actually last? Find out below.
How Long Do Helical Piles Last? The Breakdown
Generally speaking, helical piles can last 100 years or more. Most contractors estimate a lifespan of around 150 years, but some helical piles have even lasted 300+ years.
Needless to say, these are some of the longest-lasting tools in the industry. Their great longevity makes a case for them being the most cost-effective and environmentally friendly solutions on the market as well. With fewer repairs and replacements necessary over the years, you won’t have to worry about putting too much time and money in besides the upfront installation investment.
Factors That Influence Helical Pile Lifespan
Not all helical piles last the same amount of time. Some fail faster than others, and some live to see their 350th “birthday.” How? There are a number of factors that affect helical pile longevity — most of which are environmental and have nothing to do with the helical pile itself.
Helical Pile Material
Most helical piles are composed of rust-resistant galvanized steel. This is a strong, durable material that will help them perform for centuries. However, if you were to use a different type of material, that performance may suffer or improve even more.
Load-Bearing Capacity Calculation
Some great benefits of helical piles is that they offer instant load-bearing capacities and that they can support structures of all shapes, sizes, and weights. If you design and space accordingly, they can accommodate hundreds of tons or more.
However, if you were to get your load-bearing capacity calculations wrong and mistakenly apply too high of a load to the pile system, its endurance could falter.
Helical piles may not last as long in areas with poor, volatile soil conditions. Anything highly acidic, rocky, or eroding could expose the piles to more wear and tear.
On the flipside, helical piles placed in environments with very stable soil conditions could last much longer than the typical 150-year lifespan.
Similarly, various regions lend themselves to significant ground movement — which could definitely affect the lifespan of your helical piles. Think of locations like coastal areas, mountainous areas, and places with fault lines. The soil movement in these environments could break your helical piles down much faster than stable soil would.
Helical Pile Life Expectancy vs. Other Foundational Solutions
Let’s take a look at how helical pile life expectancy stacks up against other foundational solutions. You might be shocked!
Here’s a chart with estimates for how long each choice can last. Please keep in mind that these are estimates and do not take the influencing factors listed above into account.
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For safer, sounder solutions you can only trust the best. Elite Helical is your top choice for turnkey helical pile solutions that will last a lifetime — or longer! Get in touch with our experts to learn more about how we can support your next project.