Helical piles are being employed for an increasing number of home improvement projects. From garden rooms to decking. They’re cost-effective, easy to install, and can remove the work associated with laying traditional foundations. But for many, they’re still an unknown quantity. And that can raise a lot of questions. One of the most commonly asked is….

How long do screw piles last?

What is the lifespan of screw piles?

There are various factors that influence how long screw piles last. These include the type of pile used. The type of soil the piles have been installed in. And the type of use the piles have been subjected to. However, taking the average of everything, the industry guidelines indicate that most screw piles will last around 75 years before they need attention.

Do screw piles rust?

Most screw piles are made out of steel, and all steel rusts over time. However, the design of helical screw piles is such that it can accommodate the degree of rust likely to occur during its period of use (75+ years). This is referred to as being created with ‘sacrificial thickness’. Meaning that the piles are formed with a greater girth than necessary to allow for some corrosion without impacting their performance. Some piles are also coated to prevent rust, but this is widely considered to be unnecessary.

When does the capacity of screw piles start to diminish?

The really clever thing about screw piles is that thanks to thixotropy – the property of becoming less viscous when subjected to applied stress – screw piles can often become stronger and able to bear more weight over time. This means that once your screw piles have bedded in and aged a little, they may actually be stronger than when you first put them in. This means that for most structures, you won’t need to worry about the integrity of your piles until at least 65 years after installation. And in most cases, at least 75 years.

Screw piles or concrete piles: which is better?

There is a place for both screw piles and concrete piles. But for smaller structures, with less room for groundwork, screw piles will usually make more sense. For starters, they’re less easily damaged and need no special care before installation. Concrete piles are often prone to cracking, and you won’t find that with screw piles. Screw piles are more weather resistant. They are also cheaper, easier to manage, cleaner, and better for the environment.

How much do screw piles cost (UK)?

The type of screw pile you need for your project will reflect the cost of your purchase. For an accurate quote, the best thing to do is contact your local supplier. At UK Helix, we can talk you through your project, help you to work out the best screw piles for your needs, as well as how many you’ll need. And then provide you with a bespoke quote.

Screw piles are a strong, simple, and effective means of supporting any new structure. They’re as commonly deployed for permanent structures, such as home extensions, as they are for temporary – such as festival stage erection and glamping villages. If you have a building project that needs efficient, non-invasive foundations, then screw piles could provide the solution.

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