WARNING! Avoid buying “Cowboy” Screw Piles?

Chrome Pile

A screw pile is a screw pile right?


When you glance at a screw pile you might think they all are the same but nothing could be further from the truth.  “Cowboy” screw piles are popping up all over the place at prices often too good to be true.

“Joe with a Garage” can put steel together in such a way that it resembles a screw pile but does “Joe with a Garage” understand much of anything regarding the science of screw piles?

First, not any old piece of pipe will do.  You need high quality, high density steel that isn’t going to rip and tear during installation.  A typical Schedule 40 pipe is not always sufficient.

A popular cowboy move is to buy used oil field pipe that can be purchased for less money than you make taking typical (non-oil drenched) steel in for scrap.  There is no Car-Fax Report equivalent for steel pipe and engineers won’t sign off on its use and neither should you.

If the supplier or manufacturer of the screw piles you are considering can’t tell you about or share information regarding on-site testing they’ve conducted, the technical norms for the industry or the years of experience they have and types of projects they’ve completed – it’s a red flag!

Can you visually see the screw pile’s shaft or is it covered?

Ask yourself, what is behind the decorative covering?  Decorative coverings are sometimes used to hide imperfections in the steel shaft; imperfections which could seriously compromise the integrity and capacity of the pile.  If the piles are covered, ask to see the pile shaft before the covers are installed.

Joe with a Garage has a welder but can he weld?  How can you be certain your screw piles are being manufactured by welders who know what they are doing?

Look for screw piles manufactured by CWB certified companies.  A CWB certified shop has an on-site supervisor who is qualified to ensure that the company’s welding procedures covering all joints, processes and positions used in the fabrication of products is approved by CWB.

Are the piles you’re purchasing hot-dip galvanized?

You should know a hot-dip galvanized screw pile will have a minimum life that is on average 2.5 times longer than a black steel pile.

Lastly, does the screw pile company have a CCMC report?

A CCMC report ensures that the building materials being offered meet or exceed National Building Code.  CMHC also requires products be CCMC approved before they make it to the list of approved new building materials.  CCMC reports require extensive product testing by third party ISO certified engineering firms.

From decks to new homes, no building project is done cheap these days.  We all know you have to start with a solid foundation if you want a structure to last the test of time.  Don’t get pulled in by someone offering “Cowboy” screw piles, you might save a few dollars in the short term but you’ll regret the decision in the long term.

For top quality screw piles from a national company which has been in business since 1995 and who’s dealership network has installed hundreds of thousands of screw piles in Canada, call Postech Winnipeg at 204.793.0653.  Estimates are done fast, free and without obligation.

About screwpiling

We install premium pile foundations which are guaranteed against movement due to frost heaving. Our piles are affordable and professionally installed according to torque, this means you get a perfect install every time! We proudly serve the Greater Winnipeg Area, Steinbach, South-East Manitoba and Interlake regions. Start off on a solid foundation with a Postech Thermal Piles, the most solid and stable piles ever designed.
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