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Revolutionize Your Foundation: The Complete Guide To Helical Piles

Are you facing challenges with traditional foundation methods? Are you searching for a reliable and efficient solution to maximize your construction projects' success? Helical piles are an industry-leading, innovative foundation solution that's transforming the construction industry. In this comprehensive blog, we'll dive deep into everything you need to know about helical piles, from their inception to their unparalleled benefits. Get ready to revolutionize your approach to building foundations and unlock the potential of helical piles.

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What Are Helical Piles?

Helical piles attached to foundation.

Helical piles, also known as screw piles or helical piers, are innovative deep foundation and anchoring systems used to support structures and transfer loads to deeper, more stable soil layers. They consist of helical-shaped steel plates or helices welded to a central steel shaft. These helices resemble large screws and are designed to advance into the ground by rotating them into the soil.

The Purpose Of Helical Piles

Helical piles are designed to provide immediate load-bearing capacity. Unlike conventional methods such as concrete or grout, helical piles can bear loads right after installation. Helical piles serve as a fundamental element in modern construction, offering unparalleled stability and efficiency.

How Helical Piles Work

As helical piles provide immediate load-bearing capacity, they eliminate the need for curing time associated with traditional methods like concrete. This unique feature stems from their design, where the load is efficiently transferred from the shaft to helix plates driven into stronger soil conditions below grade. Utilizing high torque and low-speed hydraulic drive motors, helical piles are effortlessly "screwed" into the ground, making them versatile and effective in various soil conditions, including high water tables and caving soil. This process also ensures optimal anchoring, making helical piles a reliable foundation solution for residential, commercial, and industrial projects alike.

History of Helical Piles

Discover how helical piles have left an indelible mark on the history of the construction landscape, shaping the way we build for the future.

Why & When Helical Piles Were Invented 

Helical piles, also known as screw piles, emerged in response to the shortcomings of traditional foundation methods. The need for a solution that could overcome challenges such as poor soil conditions, costly & time-consuming installations, and environmental constraints led to the invention of helical piles. Their inception marked a paradigm shift in the construction industry, offering immediate load-bearing capacity and unparalleled stability.

The History of Helical Piles 

The origin of helical piles traces back to the development of innovative solutions to tackle challenging soil conditions. Initially conceived as a response to the limitations of traditional foundation methods, helical piles emerged as a promising alternative. With their unique design featuring helix plates, these piles offered enhanced stability and load-bearing capacity, even in the most adverse soil conditions.

Over time, helical piles evolved from niche solutions to mainstream construction essentials. Their versatility and reliability made them indispensable in a wide range of projects, from residential homes to large-scale industrial developments. As builders and engineers recognized the benefits of helical piles, their adoption surged, reshaping the construction landscape.

Today, helical piles stand as a testament to human ingenuity and perseverance, representing a significant milestone in the history of construction. Their journey from humble beginnings to widespread adoption is a testament to their effectiveness and reliability in providing stable foundations.

How Helical Piles Are Changing Construction

Helical piles are driving innovation in modern construction practices. Their ability to provide stable foundations in diverse environments has made them a preferred choice for homeowners, builders, and developers seeking efficient and reliable solutions.

Helical piles now offer homeowners and builders a cost-effective and sustainable foundation option. By minimizing excavation and disturbance to the surrounding environment, helical piles reduce construction waste and environmental impact. Additionally, their immediate load-bearing capacity allows for faster project timelines, saving both time and money.

The development of helical piles has enabled construction in previously inaccessible or challenging locations across North America and the world. Their versatility and adaptability make them ideal for projects in remote areas, steep slopes, or sites with poor soil conditions. As a result, helical piles are expanding the possibilities of construction, opening up new opportunities for innovation and growth.

Pile Foundation Options

We want to help you find the best foundation solution for your project. With a variety of piling options available, we have outlined the advantages and best application for screw piles.

What is Piling?

Piling or pile foundation, refers to the technique of driving deep foundation elements into the ground to support structures and transfer loads to deeper, more stable soil or rock layers. It's a common method used to provide stability in areas with weak or shifting soil.

Different Piling Methods

When considering various piling methods, each method has its advantages. We review several methods based on factors such as soil conditions, load requirements, and project constraints.

Screw Pile vs. Concrete Foundation

Traditional concrete foundations involve pouring concrete into forms and allowing it to cure, which adds costly time to a project and also may be affected by weather conditions. In contrast, screw piles offer convenient and immediate load-bearing capacity and can be installed in any weather, making them a faster and more reliable option with less time wasted, keeping projects moving more quickly.

Screw Pile vs. Grout Foundation

Grout foundations involve injecting grout into the ground to create a stable base for structures. While grout foundations can be effective, they typically require longer curing times and are not as versatile as screw piles, which can be installed in various soil conditions with minimal disturbance and are ready to use immediately after installation.

Why We Advise Using Screw Piles Instead

Helical piles offer several advantages over other foundation options. They provide immediate load-bearing capacity, are versatile enough to be installed in a wide variety of soil conditions, can be used for a wide range of applications, and offer much faster installation times, saving both time and money. Helical piles can be installed without geotechnical information as the torque is monitored during installation. Additionally, helical piles produce minimal environmental impact and can be easily removed and reused if needed. 

They also provide long-term stability and durability, ensuring the structural integrity of buildings and infrastructure over time. Offering unmatched versatility, efficiency, and sustainability makes them the ideal choice for a wide range of construction projects. Their robust design and corrosion-resistant materials make them a reliable foundation solution for even the most demanding projects. Screw piles offer unmatched versatility, efficiency, and sustainability, making them the ideal choice for a wide range of construction projects.

Benefits Of Using Helical Pile Foundation

In this section, we'll delve into the myriad advantages of helical pile foundations, showcasing their versatility, efficiency, and transformative impact on residential, commercial, and industrial projects.

7 Advantages of Using Helical Piles

Helical pile foundations offer a multitude of benefits that set them apart as a superior foundation solution: 

1. Immediate Load Bearing Capacity

Their immediate load-bearing capacity allows construction projects to proceed without delays, unlike having to wait for concrete to cure. This aspect alone accelerates project timelines significantly, saving time and money.

2. Speed of Installation

Helical piles can be installed quickly and efficiently, with up to 20 piles installed in a single day. A single pile can support up to 50 tons. Their fast installation process minimizes project timelines, allowing for quicker project completion and reduced downtime.

3. Efficiency & Cost Savings

One of the most significant advantages of helical piles lies in their cost-effectiveness. By reducing labour hours, waste disposal, and site visits, helical piles offer substantial savings throughout the construction process. Their high loading capacities ensure structural integrity and longevity, minimizing the risk of future repairs or replacements.

4. Versatility & Adaptability

Helical piles excel in adaptability, capable of being installed in virtually any climate or soil condition. This versatility streamlines project planning and execution, eliminating the need for extensive soil testing and preparation. Whether facing unstable soil, high water tables, or environmentally sensitive areas, helical piles provide a reliable foundation solution.

5. Ease of Installation

Helical piles require small installation equipment, making it easy to insert in tight spaces or challenging site conditions. Helical pile foundation installations leave behind no mess and don’t produce unsightly and environmentally friendly spills. 

6. Durability & Longevity

Helical piles are resistant to frost heave and corrosive soil conditions, ensuring the longevity of the foundation. Their galvanized coating further extends their service life, providing a durable and reliable foundation solution for years to come.

7. Environmentally Friendliness

Additionally, helical pile foundation installations boast a quiet, vibration-free process, minimizing disruption to surrounding environments and communities. This eco-friendly approach makes helical piles an ideal choice for projects in urban areas or sensitive ecosystems. Helical pile foundations are also well understood by local governments and are compliant with local building code regulations so you avoid any unnecessary headaches.

When You Should Not Use Helical Piles

It’s important to note that there are certain situations when helical pile foundations should not be used. It's crucial to acknowledge the limitations of helical piles in several site environments.

Helical piles excel in various soil conditions and project scenarios, but there are instances where alternative foundation methods may be more appropriate. Projects involving extremely rocky terrain or shallow bedrock may pose challenges for helical pile installation, as they rely on penetrating the soil for stability. Additionally, projects with exceptionally heavy loads or specific design requirements may exceed the capabilities of helical piles, requiring alternative solutions.

Careful consideration and consultation with experienced professionals is essential to ensure optimal performance and mitigate potential challenges. By understanding these factors, homeowners, business owners, and contractors can make informed decisions when selecting the most appropriate foundation solutions for their project.

Who Needs Helix Screws? 

Helix screws, also known as helical piles, are the unsung heroes of modern construction. Helix screws cater to the diverse needs of residential, commercial, and municipal projects, providing cost-effective and efficient foundation solutions that redefine industry standards.


Helix screws offer homeowners a reliable foundation solution for various projects, from decks and patios to home extensions and renovations. Their ease of installation and immediate load-bearing capacity make them ideal for quick and efficient construction, ensuring homeowners can enjoy their new spaces without delay and for a long time to come.


In the commercial sector, helix screws play a crucial role in supporting structures such as office buildings, retail spaces, and warehouses. Their ability to provide stable foundations in diverse soil conditions makes them a preferred choice for developers and contractors seeking cost-effective and reliable solutions for their projects.


From infrastructure projects to public facilities, helix screws provide municipalities with a versatile foundation solution that meets the demands of modern urban development. Whether supporting streetlights, signage, or recreational structures, helix screws offer municipalities a cost-effective and sustainable alternative to traditional foundation methods.

When Do You Need Helical Piles? 

You may be wondering if helical piles suit your project or application, and what factors are considered when choosing your foundation type. Whether you're repairing existing structures or embarking on new builds, helical piles offer a robust foundation option that ensures stability and longevity. There are various scenarios where helical piles shine, providing insights to empower your construction and foundation decisions.

Helical Pile Repair Solutions

Helical piles are invaluable for repairing structural issues such as cracks in walls, uneven floors, and gaps in window and door frames. By penetrating through the affected areas and verifying capacity with torque measurements, helical piles provide a secure foundation that addresses underlying issues, restoring vital stability to the structure.

Helical Piles For New Builds

When embarking on new construction projects, helical piles offer a compelling foundation solution. Their immediate load-bearing capacity and versatility make them ideal for a wide range of applications, from residential homes to commercial developments. By incorporating helical piles into your new build plans, you can ensure a strong foundation from the beginning that withstands the test of time.

When Should You Use Helical Piles? 

At Mascore, we recommend using helical piles whenever stability, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness are paramount. Whether you're facing challenging soil conditions, tight project timelines, or the need for environmentally friendly construction practices, helical piles offer a solution that ticks all the boxes. From residential decks to large-scale industrial projects, helical piles provide a versatile foundation option that delivers exceptional results.

Uses for Ground Screw Anchors & Applications

Ground screw anchors represent a revolution in foundation solutions, offering unmatched versatility, efficiency, and reliability. They are the ultimate solution for stable and durable foundations commonly used in a range of applications. A ground screw has a continuous flight auger and resembles the look of a wood screw.

Helical Piles for Decks

Screw piles, commonly known as helical piles and less commonly as ground screw anchors, offer a game-changing solution for deck construction, providing unmatched stability and longevity. Whether you're stabilizing an existing deck or laying the groundwork for a new one, helical piles ensure a solid deck foundation that stands the test of time.

Helical Piles for Deck Stabilization

For homeowners and businesses facing issues of deck instability, helical piles provide a reliable solution. By securely anchoring the deck to the ground, helical piles prevent shifting, settling, and other common problems, ensuring a safe and sturdy outdoor space for years to come.

Helical Piles for Deck Footings

Say goodbye to traditional deck footings and embrace the efficiency of ground screw anchors. With their quick and easy installation process, ground screw anchors eliminate the need for cumbersome excavation and concrete pouring, saving both time and money. Plus, their versatility allows for installation in various soil conditions, making them the ideal choice for deck footings for both residential and commercial projects.

Helical Piles for Homes

Ground screws are the ideal foundation solution for residential properties including homes and sheds, offering stability and longevity without the need for extensive excavation or concrete pouring. Whether you're building a new home or stabilizing an existing structure, helical piles provide a solid foundation that withstands the test of time.

Helical Piles for Mobile Homes

Mobile homes require stable foundations that can adapt to changing soil conditions and provide support for the structure. Helical piles offer the perfect solution, allowing for quick and efficient installation while ensuring the structural integrity of the mobile home.

Helical Piles for Garages & Carports

Garages and carports often require sturdy foundations to support the weight of vehicles and withstand environmental factors. Ground screws provide a reliable and cost-effective solution for these structures, offering immediate load-bearing capacity and minimal disturbance to the surrounding area.

Helical Piles for Solar Panels 

Solar panel installations require stable foundations to support the weight of the panels and ensure optimal performance. Helical piles offer an ideal foundation solution for solar panel installations, allowing for easy adjustment and alignment while minimizing environmental impact.

Helical Pile Installation

Installing helical piles involves a systematic process to ensure optimal performance and stability.

Helical Pile Installation Process 

The installation of helical piles can be broken down into a five step process:

1. Preparation: The installation process begins with a comprehensive assessment of the site and soil conditions. Our experienced team evaluates factors such as soil type, load requirements, and environmental considerations to determine the optimal placement and configuration of helical piles.

2. Equipment Setup: Once the site assessment is complete, our skilled technicians mobilize state-of-the-art equipment, including multi-powered torque heads and excavators, to facilitate the installation process. Our diverse range of equipment ensures precision and efficiency at every stage of the project.

3. Pile Placement: With the equipment in place, the installation of helical piles commences. Using high torque/low-speed hydraulic drive motors, our technicians carefully drive the piles into the ground, ensuring proper alignment and depth according to project specifications.

4. Verification: As each helical pile is installed, our team conducts thorough quality checks to verify its load-bearing capacity and alignment. Through precise measurements and torque testing, we ensure that each pile meets the highest standards of quality and performance.

5. Documentation: Throughout the installation process, detailed documentation is maintained to track progress and ensure compliance with industry standards and regulations. This documentation serves as a valuable reference for future inspections and maintenance.

Mascore’s Step-By-Step Installation Process

  1. First we apply for utility locates. We never install helical piles without knowing where existing utilities are located.
  2. Then we determine the location of the helical piles and mark the centre of the pile location.
  3. Next we deliver the installation equipment to the work area.
  4. The helical pile is hooked up to the pile adapter on the installation machine.
  5. The pile tip is then inserted into the ground ensuring the pile is at the centre of the mark.
  6. Next we apply the machine crown to push the tip of the pile into the ground.
  7. Using a level, we ensure the pile is level and plumb.
  8. We begin installing the helical pile.
  9. We first check the levelness of every 1' of pile installed.
  10. The pile is installed to a minimum of frost depth (48" in Ontario).
  11. We continue installing the pile until the minimum torque/depth requirement is met. Pile extensions are added as needed.
  12. Once complete, we unhook the helical pile from the installation machine.
  13. The installed helical pile is sledgehammer tested to ensure it's not moving.
  14. Lastly a helical pile cap is installed.

At Mascore, we have tested our tried and true helical pile installation process on thousands of projects and know how to get the job done right.

Helical Pile Removal

As the backbone of many construction projects, helical piles provide robust foundations. But what happens when their job is done?

Helical piles are typically removed using specialized equipment designed to extract them from the ground efficiently. This process involves a skilled operator reversing the installation procedure, with the helical piles carefully unscrewed from the soil using hydraulic machinery to avoid causing any damage. 

There are several reasons why helical piles may need to be removed. In some cases, a construction project may require modifications or additions that necessitate the removal of existing piles. Changes in soil conditions or project requirements may also render the current pile configuration obsolete. Additionally, helical piles may need to be removed during site redevelopment or decommissioning processes.

Helical Pile Equipment 

The key to successful helical pile installation lies in having the right equipment for the job. From torque heads to excavators, each piece of equipment plays a vital role in the installation process. 

What Are All the Different Parts of a Helical Pile?

The key components of helical pile equipment include the drive motor, extension shafts, helix plates, and drive tools.

What Equipment Is Needed to Install a Helical Pile Foundation?

Installing a helical pile foundation requires specialized equipment tailored to the unique demands of the process.

Hydraulic Drive Motor: Serves as the powerhouse behind driving the helical pile into the ground. This motor is typically attached to various types of machinery such as excavators or skid steers, enabling efficient and precise installation.

Extension Shafts: Play a crucial role in extending the length of the helical pile to reach the desired depth and come in various sizes to accommodate different project requirements and soil conditions. 

Helix Plates: Distinctive spiral-shaped components of helical piles, are essential for anchoring the structure securely into the ground. These plates are available in different sizes and configurations to suit specific load-bearing needs and soil types.

Drive Tools: Facilitate the connection between the drive motor and the helical pile. These tools ensure a seamless installation process and optimize the transfer of torque, allowing for efficient penetration into the soil. 

Additional Equipment Worth Noting: Torque indicators, level gauges, and safety gear are indispensable for monitoring installation progress and ensuring worker safety throughout the process.

Choosing the Right Helical Pile Equipment

With a wide range of equipment options available, choosing the right helical pile equipment can be overwhelming. Factors to consider include the type and size of the project, soil conditions, and budget constraints. Additionally, selecting equipment from a reputable supplier like Mascore Helical Piles ensures quality, reliability, and compatibility with your specific needs. 

Can I Install Helical Piles Myself? 

Yes, you can! Installing helical piles yourself is feasible with the right tools, guidance, and preparation. While no specific qualifications are required to install helical piles, basic knowledge of construction principles and equipment operation is beneficial. Whether you're tackling a residential deck or a commercial structure, helical piles offer a versatile and reliable foundation solution that can be installed by DIY enthusiasts and professionals alike. 

Helical Pile Equipment Rentals

Renting helical pile installation equipment from Mascore Helical Piles is a simple and straightforward process. Contact our team to discuss your project requirements and equipment needs. Our experts will guide you through the rental options, ensuring you have everything necessary for successful installation. Once you've selected the equipment, we'll provide detailed instructions and training to ensure safe and efficient operation. With our step-by-step guidance, you'll be equipped to tackle your project with confidence and precision.

Helical Pile Training 

Our team at Mascore provides comprehensive training and support to ensure successful installations, regardless of your experience level. With our guidance, you can feel confident in your ability to install helical piles effectively and efficiently.

Helical Pile Frequently Asked Questions

What Size Helical Pile Do I Need?

Factors such as soil conditions, load requirements, and environmental considerations all play a role in selecting the right size for a screw pile. Our structural engineers will also review the project documents to determine the quantity and size of helical piles.

What Are Helical Piles Made Of?

Helical piles are typically made of high-quality steel, ensuring durability and strength. The steel composition provides resistance to corrosion, making helical piles a long-lasting foundation solution. With Mascore Helical Piles, you can trust in the quality and reliability of our products, backed by years of industry experience.

How Much Weight Can a Helical Pile Hold? 

Load capacity is a critical consideration when designing helical pile foundations. The weight-bearing capacity of a helical pile depends on various factors, including its size, design, and soil conditions. Our engineers employ advanced calculations and methodologies to determine the optimal load capacity for your specific project requirements.

Our CCMC/ICC product provides support up to 80,000 pounds without safety factors. Once safety factors are applied, our products support up to 20,500 pounds (SF of 4). Load capacity is determined by performing many load tests (applying load to the helical piles in a test setting with a hydraulic jack).

How Deep Will a Helical Pile Go?

Helical piles have unlimited depth limitations. We use a bolted extension system. We can add extensions as required to go as deep as needed to find strong/competent soils.

How Many Years Will a Helical Pile Last for?

Helical piles are designed to provide long-lasting support for structures, with a lifespan of decades or even centuries. The durable steel construction, rust and corrosion-resistant properties of helical piles ensure minimal maintenance and maximum longevity, providing peace of mind. All products are hot dip galvanized to increase service life.

Loading & Logistical Requirements for Helical Piles

Understanding the loading and logistical requirements ensures that helical piles are installed correctly and can withstand the intended loads over time. From the weight-bearing capacity of the soil to the structural demands of the project, meticulous calculations and assessments are essential. 

Geotechnical Engineering for Screw Pile Foundation

At Mascore, we employ geotechnical engineering to thoroughly evaluate soil conditions before designing and installing helical piles. This involves a meticulous process of soil analysis, where we assess factors such as soil type, density, moisture content, and bearing capacity. By understanding the unique characteristics of your site's soil, we can tailor our helical pile solutions to optimize performance and longevity.

Assessing Your Soil

To install a helical pile, we perform a geotechnical investigation, where a geotechnical engineer measures the soil strength. Torque measurements are used to inform us of the soil strength. Ideally, helical piles perform best in cohesive soils, such as clay, as well as granular soils like sand and gravel. However, with proper design and installation techniques, helical piles can also be used in most soil conditions including soft or loose soils.

Soft soil presents unique challenges for foundation construction, but with helical piles, even the softest ground can provide a stable base. One of the great benefits of helical piles is the ability to drive through soft soil in search of stronger soils to support the structure above. Installing helical piles through soft soils is extremely easy. 

To perform a geotechnical investigation, samples of your site’s soil will be collected from drill holes to a predetermined depth. The samples are sent to a geotechnical lab and assess the type of soil, strength of soil, and moisture. A geotechnical report reveals valuable information about the property and soil condition to best determine a foundation plan for your project. Investing in a geotechnical report is critical for large projects, as it helps to determine the proper size of helical pile, necessary equipment for installation, and budget. 

Finding the Right Helical Pile Supplier

Considerations for Sourcing Your Helical Pile Supplier

When evaluating potential helical pile suppliers, there are several crucial factors to consider. Firstly, assess the supplier's experience and track record in the industry. Look for a provider with a proven history of delivering high-quality products and services, backed by years of experience and satisfied customers.

Next, consider the range of products and services offered by the supplier. Ideally, you'll want a one-stop-shop that can handle all aspects of helical pile procurement, from design and supply to installation and consulting services. Being thorough not only saves you time and money but also ensures seamless coordination throughout the project lifecycle.

Another vital aspect to consider is the supplier's commitment to quality and innovation. Look for a provider that prioritizes product excellence and invests in the latest technologies and techniques to deliver superior results. A commitment to continuous improvement and innovation demonstrates a supplier's dedication to meeting the evolving needs of their clients.

What Makes Mascore the Right Supplier?

Mascore Helical Piles distinguishes itself through a combination of unparalleled expertise, comprehensive services, and unwavering commitment to quality. Unlike other suppliers, Mascore has over 15 years of proven experience in the industry, with a track record of successfully serving a diverse range of clients, from residential homeowners to Fortune 500 companies. We started out as helical pile installers before we began manufacturing quality piles. As most helical pile manufacturers do not have installation experience, we pride ourselves on being able to help our customers deal with difficult installations from years of experience.

Mascore Helical Piles the industry’s go-to trusted partner for comprehensive helical pile solutions. By investing in cutting-edge technologies and staying ahead of the latest industry developments, we consistently deliver superior products and solutions that exceed expectations. Mascore offers a comprehensive suite of products and services that covers every aspect of helical pile procurement, from initial design and consultation to supply and installation. This all-encompassing approach eliminates the need to engage multiple suppliers or contractors, streamlining the process and ensuring seamless coordination throughout the project lifecycle. 

Mascore's customer-centric approach ensures that your needs and preferences are at the forefront of every decision and action. From the initial quote to the final installation, Mascore works closely with you to understand your project requirements and provide tailored solutions that align with your vision and objectives.With Mascore, you can rest assured that your helical pile procurement process will be smooth, streamlined, and hassle-free, allowing you to focus on other aspects of your project with confidence and peace of mind.

Ready to experience the benefits of our helical piles for yourself? Contact Mascore Helical Piles today to learn more about our comprehensive solutions and how we can help transform your construction projects. With our expertise and commitment to quality, we're here to support you every step of the way. Revolutionize your foundation with Mascore Helical Piles – your trusted partner in construction innovation.