Sand Dunes – A Foundation Nightmare

Sand Dunes – A Foundation Nightmare

Among the sand dunes, where the view is breathtaking and the atmosphere is relaxing, is a beautiful place to build or buy your home. Unfortunately, with no cohesion in the soil, sand does not make a good bearing for a stable foundation site. In fact, the soft, granulated ground can cause serious problems for a homeowner!

Should a problem arise, it can be difficult to obtain the appropriate permits and to build on the sand. It can also be difficult to find equipment that can access the area and work well with the sand, and that will also be able to accurately penetrate down to the depth of firm strata underground.

Luckily, there is a great solution: a helical pier. A helical pier is a steel pipe or shaft with auger-type plates, which, when turned, threads deeply through the soil until it sets in to the firm strata deep below the surface. Turning torque will be able to define the adequate depth.

The helicals come in many sizes, and the helical plates are designed to combine and precisely deliver the support capacity that is required for each situation. These piers can be installed by hand power tools or small mobile units, which is much more practical on the dunes.

For a typical new construction site, helicals can be used to hold the load vertically as a deep foundation support. After the pier is installed, it is cut to the correct elevation and is cast into the concrete foundation for the house.

If the site is a renovation of a poorly supported existing house, an appropriate bracket is used to support the load on the installed pier. These are long-term repairs with minimal risk of any corrosion.

If the structure is too close to the edge of the dune, it can also be a problem. The building potentially could literally slide down hill! This type of movement usually occurs incrementally and very slowly. In this circumstance, a helical pier can be screwed in a downward angle and can create a tie-back force to hold the structure in place, stopping the sliding. The tie-backs are a powerful tool in this application.

It’s great to be able to enjoy the view and the atmosphere of your lovely home on the dunes, knowing that, should any foundation settling or shifting occur, there is a simple and dependable solution in the installation of helical piers.