How Does Pier Drilling Work?

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Pier drilling is a process which uses an augur to drill deep down into the ground, for the purpose of establishing piers or columns upon which a foundation can be placed to support a structure above ground. It is very often used in locations where the ground is not particularly stable, and where it would be unsafe over the long haul for building construction. Piers are often drilled down deep enough so they can rest in either stable ground, or on solid bedrock, which can provide a very solid base for supporting anything above.

How Pier Drilling is Accomplished

There are several reasons why pier drilling would be used to support a structure, as opposed to the normal, relatively shallow foundations which usually provide structural support for buildings. Pier drilling is often used where extremely heavy loads must be borne, e.g. skyscrapers or office buildings, where the soil is known to be of poor composition for support, or in locations where there are constraints on larger excavations.

In traditional pier drilling, the first of three primary processes calls for drilling a hole to the desired depth. As the augur penetrates into the ground, its rotary blades fill with ground material, which is then brought to the surface and removed. The second step involves creating the supports for the pier, for example installing a steel mesh cage into the hole. The third main process occurs when concrete is poured in all around the mesh cage, which will then harden into a very strong column, or pier, which can be used as support for the foundation above.

The advantage of using this approach is that its far less intrusive than excavating an entire foundation area, and much smaller equipment can be used to do the job, so it generally costs less as well. It is suitable for areas where traditional supports may be inadequate, even in locations where seismic activity occurs. Because pier drilling transfers the load-bearing stresses laterally and axially, it can support extremely heavy loads, which makes it ideal for a wide range of applications, including deck piers, docks, bridges, hospitals, lighthouses, and even oil platforms.

Contact Pier Drilling Experts in the Bay Area

When you have need of pier drilling services in the Bay Area, especially for deep foundation drilling or for footing piers, the company which should be at the top of your list is Lassiter Excavating, Inc. Contact us today for more information about drilling and excavation projects, or for a free estimate on any excavation project you may have in mind.