Piles, in general, are used to support foundations. The word itself derives from the Latin "pila", which is also the root of the words "pillar" and "pier". In modern usage, it is probably easier to refer to them as "pillars", as pile has become synonymous moreso with a "mound" of dirt or other items. Traditional piles are posts or columns of stone, brick, or block, placed in the ground, and then covered with earth. This requires a lot of excavation which both takes time, and results in a lot of excess soil which needs to be disposed of somehow.
"Helical Piles", which are also referred to as "Screw Piles" or sometimes referred to has helical or screw "Anchors" or "Piers", are a more modern piling system, which adds helical fins to the piles, and are driven into the ground as a screw would be driven into some material. The advantage of this is that they provide for more efficient installation, and due to the increased surface area provided by the fins, they grip the soil better, which allows for better foundation support in sandy or loose foundations than traditional piles.
They also provide environmental benefits, in that there is less excess soil which would need to be dumped somewhere, and they are more easily removable, allowing for possible re-use if in good condition, or at the very least, easier cleanup if a foundation needs to be rebuilt.
Not all foundation companies are capable of using this technology, but we at Tribar Services are.