Pile driving is the easiest and most effective way to get support posts for a structure into the ground. The process is a little challenging because when you are driving the piles, you will be dealing with an element of the unknown. Not being able to see the condition of the soil layers that you are driving the piles into can lead to complications. It is, therefore, advisable to let a professional piling contractor handle the driving. Additionally, it is wise to know the problems to anticipate and how you can resolve them. Here are three common pile driving problems and how to fix them.
When the Number of Blows Exceeds Penetration Requirements
When an expert in pile driving does their preliminary analysis, they should correctly predict the number of blows it will take to drive the pile to a certain depth. If, during the actual pile driving, you apply the stated number of strikes, but the pile does not reach the prescribed depth, it could mean there is a problem with the soil, your pile driving system or both. To avoid this problem, always ensure that the piles match the ability of the driving system. Common problems with the driving system include a hammer with low efficiency, preadmission and pre-ignition. Minor changes to the system will give you more success.
When Older Piles Start Moving Sideways
Ideally, when you are driving several piles in succession, they should follow a straight vertical course downwards. If you drive a second and third pile, and the one installed before it starts moving sideways, you have a problem. You can resolve by driving the piles again, changing the order of drilling or pre-drilling the holes where you will install the piles.
When the Piles Become Misaligned
Ideally, when you drive one pile after another, they are supposed to stay in the order that you aligned them. If your piles are ending up misaligned, you may have issues with the hammer and pile alignment or the condition of the soil. Soils that have a steep bedrock or obstructions near the surface are prone to creating misaligned piles. However, professionals will have the means to break through these obstructions.
These are some of the common issues which may arise during the pile driving process. It is advisable to have a professional piling contractor assess the soil, the piles, and the driving machines before the process begins. The inspection will allow you to rectify any possible problems before they ruin the quality of the project.
For more information, speak with piling contractors.