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The Pros and Cons of Wooden Piling

There are a range of materials that piles can be made from in order to provide stability to a structure, and a construction team will select the most appropriate depending on the particular needs of a project. Although it may not seem like the strongest material, wooden piles are a popular route for many foundational projects as they are able to provide benefits that concrete and steel cannot. Read on as we go over some of the different pros and cons of using wooden piles…

Pro: Timber piles are cheap and affordable to manufacture

Many projects lean towards wooden piling because of the economical benefits. After all, timber is widely available and is therefore much cheaper than alternative materials like concrete and steel, which often come with a hefty price tag. As such, foundations made from timber piles tend to be a lot cheaper to construct.

Con: Wooden piling has a very low load bearing capacity

On the other hand, there is a limitation on the type of projects that wooden piles are deemed suitable for because the material has a significantly lower weight bearing capacity in comparison. As such, foundations that utilise timber piling are predominantly piers or small bridges made for pedestrians.

Pro: There is no need for heavy machinery or experienced labourers

Wooden piles are not only cheap to manufacture, but they are also a lot lighter and easier to transport. This means that there is no need for bulky machinery, like the pile drivers that are utilised in traditional steel piling, or experienced workmen because the piles should slot into the soil with ease. With this said, care is still required in order to prevent timber piles from breaking as they are driven into the ground.

Con: Wood is susceptible to damage from insects and salt water

Timber is a popular material used in the piling foundations of many water-based projects as these foundations do not typically rely on a high weight-bearing capacity. With this said, everybody knows that wood is vulnerable to damage from insect invasions and this can weaken a foundation over time. As such, wooden foundations often require a lot more maintenance.

Here at Rhino Piling, we conduct a full on-site evaluation prior to the commencement of every piling project as we recognise the importance of having a thorough understanding of the soil. Wooden piles are often made specifically from timber and can be a suitable option for foundations that do not need to withstand a huge weight capacity. To find out our stance on wooden piles, get in contact with the best piling Manchester has to offer today.

 

3 Reasons to Use Concrete Piles

Piling is a versatile foundational solution that can be adapted depending on the needs of a particular project, and one aspect that can make a significant difference is the material that is used in order to construct the pile supports. Whilst steel is a popular option for structures that have a large load, such as skyscrapers, concrete offers a more affordable and faster approach. Read on as we go over three reasons why concrete piles make such an effective material in the piling industry…

  1. Versatile

Although piling itself is quite a versatile method, concrete also offers its own versatility as a material that can be utilised in order to craft the piles. After all, there are two different ways that they can be applied to a project, known as precast or cast-in-situ concrete piles. The former involves manufacturing the piles ahead of time which can reduce the time spent on-site whereas the latter allows the piles to be made on-site by pouring grout into a steel casing for a more accurate installation. As always, both approaches come with set pros and cons.

  1. Affordable

A foundation is a hefty investment which means that homeowners often want to save money wherever they can. Concrete piles are a lot more economical than steel because the material is versatile which provides flexibility for construction workers and the piles are often easier to transport and install. As such, it is generally thought that concrete piles are an affordable piling material depending on the specific requirements of a project.

  1. High Load Bearing Capacity

There is a common misconception that concrete piles lack the strength to be able to support industrial builds, however when piling is carried out correctly the weight bearing capacity of concrete may surprise you. In fact, the most common structures that bear a concrete piled foundation are bridges, oil-rigs and floating airports which emphasises the sheer strength of concrete as both a commercial and residential piling material.

It is often said that concrete is the most adaptable material that can be used in piling foundations as the piles themselves can be constructed either on-site or off-site depending on the project in question, reducing labour time and construction costs. With this said, there are certain criteria that need to be met in order for concrete piles to be given the go ahead which are typically ascertained as part of an on-site evaluation. To find out whether concrete piles are the right approach for your piling project, get in contact with the best piling Manchester has to offer and speak to a member of the Rhino Piling team today!

 

 

Why is Subsidence So Dangerous?

Every homeowner’s worst nightmare is discovering that their property has developed signs of subsidence as this can often be a complicated problem to rectify depending on the severity of the displacement. With this said, it is not uncommon for some people to ignore the problem and allow subsidence to fester instead of putting a plan into motion with a reputable company specialising in foundational applications. Read on as we explain why subsidence can be dangerous and why the signs should never be ignored…

Subsidence occurs when the foundation of a property becomes compromised and the ground starts to settle downwards with little to no horizontal movement. This can either be a sudden or gradual development, however it will most certainly wreck havoc on the structure and stability of a property if it is not dealt with sooner rather than later.

As a general rule, a property that is affected by severe subsidence may be uninhabitable as the movement will eventually have an impact on the brickwork and cause large gaps to develop. This means that anybody living inside the property will end up being exposed to the elements. In addition to this, severe subsidence also indicates that a properties foundation is in need of repair and the problem will only continue to get worse until the issue is rectified. Living in these conditions could put the health and safety of everybody at risk as the property will lack the appropriate stability to be considered safe, especially for children. In addition to this, subsidence that is continually ignored may eventually cause a building to collapse!

From another perspective, it is also important to consider the financial implications of a property afflicted with subsidence. After all, it is often more costly to rectify the damage caused by severe movement and soil displacement and this may leave homeowners out of pocket. Plus, it may also not be possible to get a mortgage on a property with subsidence so it is important to take this into consideration if you are thinking about purchasing a property that requires renovations.

There is a common misconception that rectifying subsidence is an easy-fix, however the entire process can take between 6 months to 4 years until the issue is completely rectified depending on the severity of the movement. As such, it is important not to ignore the signs of subsidence as the damage is almost always easier, cheaper and faster to fix when it is dealt with sooner rather than later. To find out how we can help, get in contact with the best piling company in the uk and speak to a member of the Rhino Piling team today!

Housing Extensions: 3 Things to Keeping in Mind

As the housing market continues to skyrocket, it’s becoming harder and harder for first-time homeowners to get on the property ladder and a starter house doesn’t usually accommodate a future family for those that do manage to secure such a feat. As such, more and more property owners are beginning to consider investing in their existing property with a housing extension. Here are three things to keep in mind when going forward with such life-changing financial plans…

Budget

Many homeowners underestimate the amount of work that needs to be carried out in order to extend their existing property as there needs to be a supportive foundation, insulated body and protective roof in place. As such, it is important that you budget your project accordingly so that you don’t fall short in one particular area and be forced to make economic sacrifices that may jeopardize the rest of the project.

Foundations

Undoubtedly, the foundation of an extension is the most crucial aspect. It is also the aspect that will be dealt with first and foremost as the rest of the project cannot be constructed until a foundation is in place. Remember, an extension needs to be supported to the same degree as the existing property it is adjoined with in order to ensure longevity so always work with a respectable company and invest in long-term, deep foundations like piling for the best results.

Space

Sometimes an extension means sacrificing a section of your garden, however the external structure will take up additional space so you’ll want to bear that in mind when considering how the completed project will look and the amount of space you have to work with. In addition to this, building a new foundation involves digging into the soil at a predetermined depth so there must be additional space below in order to account for this.

Here at Rhino Piling, our team is equipped with the expertise to deliver sustainable and long-lasting foundations that are installed specifically for a housing extension. After all, many homeowners make the mistake of failing to secure a new foundation properly or do so inadequately which can put stress on the existing foundation of their home and may cause subsidence to develop. To find out more information, get in contact with the best piling Manchester has to offer to speak to a member of the Rhino Piling team about your extension project today!

3 Things to Consider When Investing in Mini-Piling

As a foundational solution in its own right, mini-piling has the strength to support the structure of a property and can even be used to reinforce the stability of an existing foundation. With this said, there are several things that should be taken into consideration when it comes to selecting the most appropriate foundational method for a project. Here are 3 things to consider when it comes to mini-piling…

Time

Some projects are dictated by time restraints so it is important to choose a foundational solution that complements this. Mini-piles can be installed a lot faster than alternative methods like groundworks due to their smaller diameter as this makes them a lot lighter and therefore easier to transport. As a result, the average mini-piling project can take between 2-5 days to complete.

Budget

You can’t put a price on foundational security as soil displacement can slowly lead to the development of subsidence. It is important to stop subsidence in its tracks sooner rather than later, however nobody wants to spend a fortune doing so. Mini-piling is great for residential projects and is often a lot cheaper than traditional piling or groundworks due to the nature of the application and the materials that are utilised.

Project

A suitability for mini-piling is often determined by the project itself. The method is considered to be residential which means that it is often implemented in order to reinforce the existing foundation of a house, flat or bungalow. When considering an investment in mini-piling, it is important to ensure that your project is suitable as commercial properties are often eligible for traditional piling methods instead.

Here at Rhino Piling, we often recommend mini-piling in situations where headroom is severely restricted or in residential projects where the work is typically carried out on an existing property. After all, traditional piling is completely unsuitable for such applications and the smaller size of a piling rig makes it much easier to complete a project within budget and on-time. To find out whether mini-piling is a suitable foundational solution for your project, get in contact with the best piling Manchester has to offer for a full on-site evaluation today!

What Materials are Foundational Piles Made From?

As the most popular foundational application around, piles are utilised in both large and small scale projects in order to provide a structure with stability and longevity. After all, there are many things that can cause a building to move such as moisture changes in the soil, the general behaviour of certain soils and even the role of nearby trees. Piling is a type of deep foundation that reinforces the weight of a structure to the strong, more robust soil located deep within the earth. Read on as we go over the different materials that piles can be manufactured from and their individual benefits…

Wood

Although wooden piles offer the least amount of strength, they are still able to provide enough stability to hold up a small pier or a pedestrian bridge. In fact, they are a common feature in many historic buildings when technology wasn’t advanced enough to allow for the installation of both concrete and steel piles. Wooden piles, typically made from timber, are notoriously difficult to maintain however, as the material is susceptible to decay and may need to be repaired often.

Concrete

Weight bearing is an important characteristic of pile foundations as the completed structure must be able to support the load safely. As a result, projects like bridges, residential properties and some high-rise buildings are often built using concrete piles instead of wooden piles because they are stronger and more durable. There are actually two options when it comes to concrete piling that are both effective in their own right: precast concrete piles, which are made in advance and can reduce installation time, or cast-in-situ concrete piles, which are made on-site using a steel framework and tend to be a lot more costly overall.

Steel

The strongest and most expensive material that piles can be manufactured from is steel, however it is a necessary investment for many projects like skyscrapers or large commercial builds. After all, concrete piles just aren’t strong enough to bear the weight of such structures. There are many benefits to steel piling as the material is highly resistant to corrosion, incredibly durable and provides the longevity that is required for the completion of commercial projects.

The choice of material that piles are made from is often influenced by the project itself. After all, a pier may only need to be reinforced using wooden or concrete piles whereas a skyscraper will undoubtedly require the strength and rigidity of stainless steel piles instead. Here at Rhino Piling, we work on a case-by-case basis which means that we always take the individual needs of a client and their project into consideration. To find out which material may be suitable for your piling project, get in contact with the best piling Manchester has to offer today!

How Piling is used in Bridge Construction

There are many different types of bridges across the world that are designed to suit a specific purpose, such as bridges built for pedestrians, bridges that allow cars to travel over water or other existing traffic, and even bridges that connect countries together. It is vital that the design and planning phase of construction takes the purpose of a bridge into consideration as this will often influence the way that it is constructed, particularly when it comes to the weight bearing properties of the bridge. Read on as we explain the role that piling plays in the construction of bridges…

Piling is a deep foundational method that involves driving large supports into the ground where they are supported by strong, robust soil rather than the flimsy, soft soil the surface. This results in a stronger, more stable and longer lasting final structure which is why piles are commonly used in the construction of bridges. After all, some bridges are extremely large which means that they need to be supported properly and this all starts with a high-quality foundation.

When it comes to building bridges however, it is vital that the location is taken into consideration as a bridge that is located over water will require underwater supports as well as piling. There are a handful of different options that can be utilised in these situations depending on the specific needs of a project. For example, battered piles are driven at an angle and made according to the depth of the water whereas cofferdam piles look more like a sheet and are fitted together to create a chamber called a cofferdam that is watertight once the water is pumped out.

For bridges that are constructed on land, the piling process is quite similar to that of traditional commercial piling with a few exceptions. After all, the points at which piling foundations are utilised have to be carefully planned out in order to account for the size, shape and purpose of the bridge itself so that it can be deemed structurally sound upon completion.

It is safe to say that a bridge is an amazing feat of structural engineering and design as it takes a lot of planning to build something that isn’t flat on the ground. To find out how piling foundations can be applied to your project, get in contact with the best piling in Manchester and speak to a member of the Rhino Piling team today!

Understanding the Stability of Skyscrapers

As engineering and construction has advanced, we have built cities from the ground up and buildings that are taller than ever. The Burj Khalifa holds the title of the tallest building in the world which stands at an impressive 828m, almost double the height of the Empire State Building. With such impressive feats, it is only normal that we question the physics behind it all. Read on as the Rhino Piling team explains why skyscrapers manage to stay standing despite their immense height…

The challenge of explaining why skyscrapers and other tall buildings haven’t crumbled to the ground yet is like trying to explain how long a piece of string is. After all, there are a multitude of different components that work together to maintain stability and ensure that the man made structures have the strength to withstand the test of time.

Perhaps one of the most important aspects of structural integrity is the foundation as even skyscrapers need to be stabilized with a high-quality one. In fact, it could even be argued that this is the reason why we are able to build such tall buildings without having them fall over. In these situations, deep foundational solutions are required and piling is an effective yet affordable method because it allows the full weight of the building – which is very heavy for a skyscraper – to be spread over equal points. As a result, the entire structure is equally supported and there should be no areas subjected to higher loads than others, which can cause instability.

With this said, a foundation needs to be regularly inspected for any signs of compromise as they may deteriorate over time and a poorly implemented foundation can exacerbate this. Take the Leaning Tower of Pisa for example; at just 57 metres high, the tourist landmark began to lean in the 1770’s after just three stories were constructed and the problem has been traced back to unevening settling of the foundation on soft ground. In the early 2000’s, work was completed to reconstruct the base as it was considered a safety issue and the tower actually began to straighten itself up until 2008.

The stability of any building can often be traced back to its foundation. It is essential that a building is constructed upon a high-quality foundation in order to provide longevity, and deep foundational solutions like piling are the go-to methods for skyscrapers because their height means that they are very heavy. As such, piling allows this weight to be equality distributed and supported across multiple points.

How Does a Piling Rig Work?

Piling is a technical foundational application that requires a wealth of experience and training to carry out safely and accurately. As a type of deep foundational solution, the piles that are used are typically made from concrete or steel and come in at around 10 metres in length. This means that specialist machinery, known as a piling rig, is necessary for their application and installation. Read on as we explain how a piling rig works…

A piling rig is a piece of specialist machinery used in the application of foundational piles and is used in order to drive the piles, often made from materials like wood, concrete or steel, into the ground. There are many different components that make up a piling rig such as the lifting bale, the suspension cables, the pile hammer, the leaders, the pipe cap and pipe cap gates and, finally, the stabbing bell. Each one works in harmony with the other in order for a pile to be lifted above the ground and then driven into place.

A lot of power is required in order to complete this action and it is essential that the pile is straight at all times. With this said, the application is relatively simple on paper. The process begins with a heavy weight being placed between the guides in order to move them up and down evenly. This is then placed on top of a pile which is raised above the ground using either diesel or hydraulics. Once it reaches the optimum height for the rig, the weight is released which then ‘hammers’ on top of the pile with great force, driving it firmly into the ground.

There are many different types of pile driving hammers, and each one works in a different way depending on the needs of the application. For example, a diesel hammer uses a large diesel engine and a piston weight, hydraulic hammers are often thought of as a modern alternative to the diesel hammer and makes use of a hydraulic motor, and an accelerated hydraulic hammer is a multipurpose option that allows for faster piling installation.

Many people are often surprised to discover the immense size of a traditional piling rig as it is not uncommon for the machinery to reach heights of around 25 metres! Here at Rhino Piling, we have a range of different rigs that allow us to provide piling solutions for a variety of different projects, as well as mini-piling rigs that make it possible to work in existing-builds. To find out more information, get in contact with the best piling company Rhino Piling today!

 

The Uses of Precast Concrete Piles

As the name suggests, precast concrete piles are square, hexagonal or cylindrical segments of concrete that are made prior to the start of a foundational project and transported to the construction site as and when they are required. They are a popular material choice in piling because they reduce the amount of time it takes to install a foundation and provide an economical and environmentally friendly solution. Read on as we go over some of the different uses…

As mentioned above, precast concrete piles are moulded ahead of time which means that they can be utilised immediately upon arriving at a piling construction site. This often reduces the length of the installation process because there is no need to wait for the concrete to cure – a necessary step in the implementation of cast-in-situ concrete piles – and this key characteristic makes them particularly useful in budget-focused projects. After all, a lot of money is often swallowed up by a lengthy installation process when it comes to foundational construction.

Furthermore, higher working stresses can often be applied to precast concrete piles as they are driven into the ground which makes them an ideal solution for locations where hard stratum (technical jargon used to describe a layer of sedimentary rock) is present as the piles can be safely driven with enough force to bypass this rock effectively in a way that cast-in-situ piles cannot.

Where durability is required, precast concrete piles are a valuable contender as the material is resistant to corrosion and extremely adaptable to the extensive range of soil conditions that are found across the UK. As a result, it is not uncommon for precast concrete piles to be utilised in projects that are located within close proximity to water.

As the experts in all things piling related, the team here at Rhino Piling take all of the necessary precautions in order to ensure that the most suitable piling approach is undertaken as per the requirements of each and every project. Precast concrete piles are an extremely versatile piling solution and are often considered to be the 2nd most popular option, after steel. To find out more information, get in contact with the piling Manchester has to offer today.