All You Need To Know About Underpinning

Construction & Contractors Blog

Foundation problems affect the structural integrity of your home and make it unsafe for occupation. Luckily, you do not need to demolish the building to repair the foundation. Underpinning is a construction technique that reinforces the current foundation without pulling down the building. Continue reading this extract for some insights on the underpinning process. 

When Does Your House Need Underpinning? 

Typically, you need to underpin your house when the foundation becomes weak. For instance, the foundation could have deep cracks or warps. So, what causes foundation weakness? Changes in the soil composition such as subsidence, contraction or expansion could affect the foundation's strength. In other cases, the contractor who designed or built the house may not have considered the soil conditions when building the property. For example, homes built on clay or silt soils require special foundations that can withstand the expansion and contraction of the soil. Home renovations could also overburden the foundation. Besides, excavation works could cause the foundation to crack. 

Considerations When Underpinning Your House

If your foundation suffers from cracks, warps or sinking, contact an experienced underpinning contractor to examine the extent of the damages and the need to underpin your home. In most cases, the underpinning contractor assesses the floor levels and makes slight excavations around the load-bearing walls and footings to determine if the property requires underpinning works. In some cases, a soil test could be required. It helps determine the composition of the soil. For instance, in some cases, your building could have slight cracks that might not warrant underpinning. However, if the soil beneath is likely to shift or expand in the future, the contractor could recommend underpinning works as a preventive measure. 

If the property needs underpinning, the contractor contacts an engineer to design the underpins. There are several ways to underpin the building. For instance, the engineer could opt for concrete underpinning methods such as pit, pile, needle and pile, jack pile or root pile. The engineer could also recommend a resin injection to strengthen the foundation. You will need building approval to conduct the underpinning works. As such, the engineer's designs must be reviewed and approved by the building survey department of your local council. Once approved, the contractor can commence underpinning works. 

If the engineer recommended concrete underpinning, the contractor will dig around the foundation, pour concrete or install piles to strengthen the existing foundation. Resin injection does require the contractor to dig deep holes around the foundation. How can you tell if the underpinning works restored the foundation's strength? Ask the building surveyor to inspect the building to ensure the underpinning works meet the required standards. 

For more information on underpinning, contact a professional near you.


24 February 2022

Compelling and Creative Commentary on Construction and Contractors: A Blog

Welcome! My name is Frances, and this is my first blog. Whether you found me through a Google search or were passed my link by a friend, I am so glad you found my blog. I plan to fill it with a range of commentary on the world of contracting and construction work, and I hope that you find my ideas compelling and creative. I am a dog trainer, but I have always loved the world of construction. I tend to work a lot on the weekends and evenings, when my clients are off work. As a result, I have a lot of time to write during the day, and I decided to create this blog. Thank you for reading.