Describing a pile foundation, its functions, use and construction
For many centuries people have built their houses on piles driven into the ground. Although this process requires a lot of time and effort, pile foundations are still very popular when it is necessary to construct a building on soft ground. Pile foundations are characterized by a multitude of benefits. Among the builders they are known as one of the most reliable designs. If you compare a pile foundation and a pier foundation, a pile one technology is much easier because there is no need in digging holes, filling the sinuses and making a formwork. Very often there is no need in excavation too – you can drive piles into the soil with some special equipment, piles can be drilled with a hand drill as well.
Pile foundations have found a very wide application in civil and industrial construction. Using pile foundation helps to reduce work on the construction of basements of different kinds of private houses and flat blocks. With great success foundations of this kind are used in the construction of cottages and country houses.
Reason for choosing a pile foundation
Let’s talk about the reasons of choosing this kind of a foundation. Number 1 reason is weak topsoil. It’s sometimes the only choice for loess soils that lose their stability in the presence of water, sand, clay, quicksand soils that heavily saturated with water, loam and clay soils in their current and plastic state. When you deal with grounds like those there is a serious need to transfer the load from the building to the denser soil which is located at the depth. This type of a foundation also helps to cope with heaving soils.
Number 2 reason in construction in dense soils. Such foundations can be used to reduce the amount of work and costs which could trigger such kinds of work as removal of soil after digging excavation, backfilling and further concreting.
There are many kinds of pile foundations depending on the species, manufacture and location of piles, level of piling into the soil, etc. Piles are long rods which are immersed into the soil in their ready state or are produced directly in the ground. They have pointed ends. You should put a ring of steel on the upper end of each pile in order it not to split from the hammer blows.
- precast ones which immersed into the ground using vibrators and similar pinch mechanisms;
- drilling reinforced concrete ones which are installed in the drilled wells;
- ones of reinforced concrete which are created by drilling and pouring concrete;
- screw ones which are installed by screwing the drill-looking pile into the soil.
By the method of exposure piles are divided into:
- hanging ones which transmit the load on soil friction;
- racks which transmit the load on the solid ground which is under a layer of weak soil.
- single ones which act as a free-standing support;
- ones combined in “tapes” which are located around the perimeter of the walls and distribute the load evenly;
- ones combined in “bushes” which are placed under the columns supporting the foundations of buildings
Materials used for their manufacture are:
- reinforced concrete.
The best option for private houses is reinforced concrete. The useful life of reinforced concrete is more than one hundred years. The most preferred solution for burying piles is a bored manner.
If we compare it with the method of construction of a pier foundation which requires digging holes with slopes, creation of formwork and filling sinuses, a pile foundation construction technology is more technological. This type generally involves drilling wells of a certain diameter, installing the valves into them and filling the holes with concrete. A serious advantage of choosing this type of a foundation is the fact that you can drill with your own hands using a hand drill.
You should remember that choosing a foundation type for your house must be carefully thought up. The choice of a certain type can be an ideal decision in one case and a fatal mistake in the other case.