soil screws on the ground

Understanding Soil Screw Anchor Systems

Understanding Soil Screw Anchor Systems


Soil screws are a versatile and cost-reducing solution to even the most difficult foundation construction jobs. Learn more about the earth retention anchor system using soil screws.


soil screws on the ground

What are Soil Screws?


Soil screws, commonly referred to as ground screws or earth screws, are a concrete-free innovation made for foundation construction and repair. Ground screws consist of a helical end-bearing plate welded to a central steel shaft acting as a large-scale earth screw that is drilled into lateral walls for support. Soil screws create long-lasting, strong, and safe foundations for just about any construction project in any type of soil and landscape.

Solid screw anchors are an eco-friendly alternative to deep foundations and are easier to install at a lower price. Deep foundations often take weeks until they’re ready, but ground screws are ready to build on in just hours. Their ease of use and ingenious design also make construction possible in typically hard-to-build areas and sites that require little to no ground disturbance.


Common Ground Screw Applications


Soil screws offer a tremendous amount of variety. Ground screw retention systems construction takes place on an excavated slope, and they are designed in vertical steps. Beginning at the top of the slope, soil screw reinforcement is installed in vertical lines going down. The soil screw anchor system enables permanent earth retention, which is required for deep foundation builds. This technique is used in many construction projects such as:

  • Earth retention anchor systems: If applied in a grid pattern, soil screws have the ability to hold retention in one solid mass. This is dependent upon soil densities.
  • Roadway widening under bridges: If using ground screws with a shored permanent wall, there is no need for further shoring. This eliminates costly, time-consuming construction when doing road work under a bridge
  • Temporary excavation alternative to tieback walls: A tieback wall design differs from ground screws in that ground screws are not tensioned.
  • Compared to helical anchors used for tieback walls, there is no need to build pile and lag.
  • Previous retaining walls: Rather than replacing a failing retaining wall, using soil screw walls requires less construction material.
  • Slope stabilizing and landslide remediation: Earth screw applications are used to reinforce failed slopes and walls.

Benefits of Using Soil Screw Anchors


Ground screws benefit any foundation construction site. They are an eco-friendly, cost saving, time reducing, and customizable ground improvement solution. The lack of ground disturbance created by soil screws means your job is more sustainable and earth friendly. There is also little to no mess to clean up after installation.

The use of ground screws is cost-effective because it cuts out many steps associated with other soil stabilization solutions. There is no need for large, specialized equipment. The grid system used to install soil screws means there is no need for H wall construction. Foundation screws have a much shorter install time—minutes rather than weeks—compared to concrete foundations and grouting. By using foundation screws, your jobs are completed in a shorter timeframe.

Soil screw anchor systems can also be installed in areas that are impossible or incredibly difficult for traditional concrete foundation construction. Foundation screws can also be used in a variety of soils, making them more versatile than other solutions.


Elements of a Ground Screw System


Ground screw systems have three major parts that all work together to create an earth retention anchor system. The goal of a soil screw system is to create a single stabilized solid mass. The three components are:

  • Standard lead section: The first helix goes in the deepest section.
  • Bearing plates/helices: Depending on soil density, helices are added with the purpose of withstanding the load weight.
  • Central steel shaft: These are available in square or round shaft series.

The helical bearing plates are aligned closely together to make a tight juncture. Ground screws are used because they create a solid mass, meaning there is no disturbance due to sliding or foundational instability.


Installing Earth Screws


Experts do an analysis of the construction site to find out the soil resistance in the area. During this process they determine soil moisture, how corrosive the soil may be, and how deep anchors must be driven. After determining the soil composition, a method is chosen. Drive rods and pile drivers are used to put the screws in place. They are then installed with an impact hammer, resulting in the anchor being load-locked.


Your Ground Improvement Partner


When you partner with Intech Anchoring, you are assuring yourself unmatched levels of customer service and construction quality. Our engineers enable you to overcome any obstacles to complete your project. Don’t break ground without working with Intech Anchoring.