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Construction Sites Most Suited for Mini Piling

Piling is the method of installing deep foundations for construction projects by inserting long, vertical supports – piles – into the earth below the structure or site.  These piles support the weight of the structure by resting on firmer earth deep below the surface, bypassing the loose dirt on top which is more susceptible to washing away, becoming waterlogged, or shifting out of place over time. Mini piling works in a similar way but is completed with shorter piles that can be more easily inserted and installed at odd angles, if necessary, mini piles are often reinforced with concrete.

Mini piling has a unique list of advantages and disadvantages compared to traditional piling. Some sites and projects are unsuitable for mini piling while others are absolutely perfect to take advantage of the benefits of mini piling without any of the downfalls. Here we’ll take a glance at the types of construction projects perfect for mini piling solutions.

Pre-existing structure

Mini piling is excellent for reinforcing, repairing, or replacing the foundations already installed under an existing property or structure! This is due to their slimmer and shorter size making them much easier to insert without affecting the existing load bearing.

Remote location

Is your site difficult to access or requires a long journey to reach? Mini piles are easier to load and transport and use less fuel in transit for a lower carbon footprint and some economic savings along the way! The more awkward your location is to reach, the more you’ll be aided by opting for mini piles over full-sized!

Lack of space

As above, mini piles are much easier to transport to and install in sites with little to no headroom or restricted manoeuvring space. Working in confined sites makes installing traditional piles very difficult and taxing on logistics. Mini piles are perfect for small spaces!

Awkward terrain

As you may have guessed, alongside confined spaces and remote sites, mini piles are well-suited for uneven or rough terrain that requires piling done at odd angles or in uneven layers of earth! Mini piles are perfect for reinforcing structures from multiple angles to ensure the weight bears equally.

Mini piling could be perfect for your project! Here at Rhino Piling we start every piling project with a full on-site evaluation, so you know you’re getting the perfect piling solutions for your specific needs! Get in touch today to see how we can help.

The Pros and Cons of Piling Materials

Piling is a method of installing deep foundations for construction which involves driving long, stake-like poles deep into the ground so they are supported by the firm, sturdy earth further into the ground and not the loose, muddy soil near the surface. Piles come in a variety of materials, each with its own unique advantages and disadvantages. We’re breaking these down here, so you can easily tell which is right for your project!

Wood

Using wood for piling results in the lowest rating for weight-bearing but is also the most economically friendly option! Wood is readily available and cheap, most especially if your construction project is taking place in a timber-rich region. Wooden piles are fairly light and easy to transport and install, so less machinery and expertise is needed, but wood is also very vulnerable to erosion and rot, meaning these piles can require higher levels of upkeep!

Pros:

  • Cheap
  • Readily available
  • Requires little machinery and expertise

Cons:

  • Lowest strength
  • Can be damaged easily during installation
  • Most vulnerable to erosion

 

Concrete

Concrete is the next-strongest method of piling and, although a common misconception is that concrete cannot bear a heavy load, can be used to support industrial sized projects. Concrete is versatile and can be installed a number of ways. Pre-cast concrete piles are made in advance and transported to the site, just like wooden or steel piles would be. Cast in-situ piles are installed by pouring concrete into the ground and allowing it to set and can be installed with or without the aid of a steel casing. Concrete is incredibly resistant to erosion or weathering even in soil with very high/low PH values.

Pros:

  • Can support significant weight
  • Versatile and adaptable
  • Resistant to erosion

Cons:

  • Not as economically friendly as wood
  • Cumbersome to transport (pre-cast)
  • Still at risk of breaking during transit or installation

Steel

Steel is without a doubt the strongest material available. The durability of steel is second to none and it is easily cut to size or spliced together to lengthen. Steel is the only material able to support structures like skyscrapers, tower blocks, and other huge, industrial projects. Steel piles can be vulnerable to corrosion in the soil, especially near the top where it is more exposed to oxygen and groundwater. Steel is also the most expensive material available so, if you project can be fully supported by wooden or concrete piles, they would be the more economically sensible options!

Pros:

  • Maximum strength and highest load bearing
  • Easy to customise for specific projects

Cons:

  • Most expensive material
  • Can rust, oxidise and corrode

 

So which material is right for your construction? Each of these materials is perfect for one piling project, but completely unsuitable for another. For expert advice and a full on-site evaluation, contact Rhino Piling today, and we will ensure you end up with the ideal piling material for your specific needs.

The Top 3 Causes of Foundational Problems

A foundation could be considered the most important aspect of an entire structure as it is the part that gives a building its stability and longevity. If a foundation is compromised for any reason then the structure on top of it will be compromised too and this can display itself in a variety of different ways, the most serious result being subsidence. A deep foundation is often thought to be invincible because the problems associated with surface soil displacement cannot affect their stability, however there are other factors that can lead to foundational problems too. Read on as we go over the top three…

  1. Poor Drainage

A foundation is often damaged by soil that puts unnecessary pressure on the supports. Overtime, this will lead to movement and displacement. The biggest issue that we come across is poor drainage as this can lead to oversaturation of the soil which will cause it to swell and create an unstable foundation. In the majority of cases, foundational problems that are caused by poor drainage can manifest as short downspouts, clogged gutters and even a simple lack of waterproofing.

  1. Weather

Another way in which the soil can have an effect on the foundation of a property is via the influence of the weather. Both hot and dry conditions can lead to soil shrinkage around a foundation which can create instability, however this type of displacement will rarely affect piling approaches because they are a type of deep foundation. With this said, poorly designed and installed foundations and shallow foundations in particular are incredibly vulnerable to damage caused by the weather because soil shrinkage can create gaps that the foundation may settle into.

  1. Lack of Ground Preparation

Regardless of whether or not a foundation is deep or shallow, it is vital that the soil is prepared prior to the commencement of any work. In fact, an on-site evaluation serves to identify any concerns with the soil in order to ensure that the ground can be adequately prepared and provide a foundation with ultimate stability from the get-go. If this preparation step is skipped then it is possible that the foundation may begin to settle as the weight of the building starts to compact the soil, and this can cause numerous secondary problems.

When it comes to a compromised foundation, there is no time to waste contemplating your options as the stability of your property is at serious risk and delaying the process could lead to the development of subsidence. Here at Rhino Piling, we are equipped with the expertise to construct a brand-new foundation from scratch and also reinforce an existing foundation that has been compromised by any of the above. To speak to a member of the team about your property, get in contact with the best piling company on the market today.

The Different Ways That Mini Piling Has Been Adapted

In certain situations, it may not be possible to utilise traditional pling methods and technology without putting the stability of the overall structure at risk. As a foundational solution in its own right, mini-piling is an approach typically untaken in order to reinforce the foundations of residential properties and has been adapted with challenging projects in mind. Read on as we go over a few different examples…

The size of a mini piling rig

A mini-piling rig is the piece of machinery that is used in piling in order to drive the mini-piles into the soil. This set-up is usually bulky and can come in at 20ft tall with regards to traditional piling methods, however the rigs that are used for mini-piling have been adapted in order to take specialist circumstances into consideration. As a residential foundational solution, mini-piling is often carried out in situations where headroom is restricted or there are existing foundations located nearby. The smaller size of the rig makes it easier to access these sites and reinforce a foundation to our expected standard in a way that just wouldn’t be possible with traditional piling rigs.

The smaller diameter of the piles

Mini-piles are identical in design to traditional piles as they are made from the same materials (timber, concrete or steel), however their design has been adapted slightly in order to accommodate the needs of residential foundations. As the name suggests, mini-piles have a smaller diameter which means that they aren’t as thick as you may initially expect, however they’re just as strong and sturdy because they’re installed in order to create multiple points of strength within a foundation. The decision to manufacture mini-piles in this way makes them lighter and easier to transport which can reduce the associated costs for homeowners.

Mini piling is often recommended following the completion of a full on-site evaluation as this allows the Rhino Piling team to fully grasp the specific requirements of a project and take the condition of the soil into consideration. Whilst traditional piling is preferred for industrial or new projects, mini-piling offers an adapted approach when it comes to the reinforcement of existing foundations that need a little bit of TLC. To discuss the process in further detail, get in contact with the best piling Birmingham has to offer and speak to a member of the Rhino Piling team today!

The Process of Installing Groundworks

There are many different components involved in the process of laying a new foundation, and it is the responsibility of a groundworker to ensure that the site is suitable for the proposed construction. Groundworks is a commercial application that is carried out in order to prepare the subsurface soil, such as clearing the site and installing drainage. Here at Rhino Piling, we also offer a pre-fabricated steel cage installation service, preparation for slabs and the installation of concrete slabs as well as power floating. Read on as we go over the steps that are typically undertaken during groundworks…

Stage One: Conducting an Evaluation

As a legal requirement, it’s important that a full on-site evaluation is conducted prior to the commence of any construction work. During groundworks, this helps to identify any issues that may affect the finished foundation and ensure that the soil is in a suitable enough condition to undergo the proposed plan. During this time, new methods may be proposed or the original method may need to be adapted depending on the findings.

Stage Two: Installing the Foundations

After this, the site can be cleared by removing the topsoil and leveling the ground. The groundworks team will then turn their attention to the design and construction of the substructure and this could include excavations and the reinforcement of existing foundations. Retaining walls are often put into place during groundworks and are made from concrete, stone or blocks; these help to strengthen the load bearing capacity of the foundation. The purpose of this part of the process is to ensure that the finished foundation that goes on top is able to support the overall structure, whether it be a residential house or a commercial building. After all of these steps have been undertaken, the piling team can start to install shallow or deep foundations as per the projects’ needs and soil capabilities. In most circumstances, deep foundational solutions like piling are determined to be the most effective.

Stage Three: Landscaping

The final part of the process involves ensuring that there are no unsightly messes left behind on the site. Landscaping is usually carried out for residential projects or as a part of driveway foundations as these often specify a need for aesthetics, however it is generally in the groundworks teams’ best interest to ensure that all foundations are completely submerged under the soil in order to guarantee full foundational support and maintain the clients’ aesthetical expectations.

Groundworks are often seen as a commercial approach to foundations, however more and more homeowners are starting to consider the benefits of deep foundations as opposed to shallow foundations. As such, there is nothing preventing groundworks being applied to a residential project too. Get in contact with the best piling Mancester has to offer to discuss your options with a member of the Rhino Piling team today.

 

3 Benefits of Hydraulic Pile Driving Hammers

The equipment that is used in piling is highly specialised and requires a great deal of training in order to operate effectively. In fact, there are a number of different pile driving hammers to choose from depending on the specifications of each project such as drop hammers, single-acting hammers, double-acting hammers, diesel hammers, hydraulic hammers and vibratory hammers. In this blog, we’ve decided to go over some of the benefits of utilising a hydraulic hammer in piling…

Controllable and Variable Stroke

The design of a hydraulic hammer means that the system relies on hydraulic fluid and motors in order to raise the weight above the ground. This method can be closely monitored and is therefore a lot easier to control in order to create a variable stroke as determined by the piles themselves. After all, it is not always necessary for the weight to be raised to its highest point. By using a hydraulic hammer, piling experts are able to take specifics into consideration in order to generate an all-round effective outcome.

High Efficiency Blow

Piling is quite a labour-intensive process as the machinery can be bulky to operate. As such, efficiency is key and hydraulic hammers offer a highly efficient blow when raised to their full height. This means that the piling process can be carried out a lot more accurately as the piles can be driven into the ground further with each blow of the hydraulic hammer.

Low Impact Velocity

There is a common misconception that the efficiency of hydraulic piling means that the piles themselves may be compromised during the process of driving them into the group. As well as generating less noise, hydraulic hammers also offer low-impact velocity which means that the blow of the hammer is unlikely to cause the pile to rupture or damage because only one aspect is moving at any given time. As such, the only force acting upon the pile comes from the hammer from above.

The different variables of each pile driving hammer means that the approach to piling needs to be altered each time. After all, a hydraulic hammer makes use of hydraulic fluid and is powered by hydraulic motors in order to lift the hammer to the designated height in order to inflict a powerful enough blow. This approach is often used in traditional and commercial piling. To find out more about the different tools used in piling Manchester, get in contact with a member of the Rhino Piling team today!

Will a Poor Foundation Decrease the Value of Your Home?

The process of selling a property can be time-consuming and stressful, even with the help and assistance of a letting agency. After all, there are a number of different factors to take into consideration, such as the condition of the property, which can influence the asking price that you’ll be able to list it for on the market. Here at Rhino Piling, we know how daunting it can be to have potential buyers discuss the value of your home which is why we recommend that you carry out your own inspections beforehand to obtain a realistic price. Read on as we explain why poor foundations could affect the value of your property…

Did you know that a residential home with existing foundational problems can influence the way that your property is perceived on the market? After all, there are certain issues that potential buyers like to avoid when searching for their ‘forever home’ and it is not uncommon to have an inspection carried out by an external professional before putting in an offer. This allows buyers to get an understanding of the current state of the foundation, however the results also end up taking homeowners by surprise who are unaware of the true condition of their property.

In these situations, a potential buyer needs to weigh up the cost of rectifying the foundational issues with the overall cost of the property itself. Since a poor foundation is a big project and a lot of responsibility for buyers to undertake, it will ultimately affect the value that the property maintains on the market as the demand for the home may decrease.

This may happen in a number of different ways. For example, the buyers themselves may put in a reduced offer in order to take the cost of foundational work into consideration or the letting agency themselves may reduce the asking price. In order to avoid unexpected situations like these, it may be wise to ascertain the current condition of your property prior to putting it on the market and consider rectifying any foundational problems in advance. After all, a brand-new foundation may even increase the value of your property!

It pays to be prepared when putting your home on the market as every homeowner wants to stand out amongst the crowd and make the best impression. With this said, foundations that have seen better days or even the existence of subsidence may end up costing you as potential buyers may put in a lower offer in order to negate the cost of fixing the problem. As the best piling company around, we recommend that you look into the benefits of dealing with it beforehand. Get in contact with the Rhino Piling team to find out how today!

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!