Are you being bothered by your foundation? Cracks in walls? Windows being jammed? This might be a signal of your foundations asking for a repair.
Underpinning is a subtle construction method that allows the reinforcement of your pre-existing foundation that strengthens the old and weak foundation. Underpinning is generally linked with empowering damaged and deficient foundations, but this is not the only case.
In thick urban localities, for example; underpinning services in Brisbane are also being practiced while constructing adjacent buildings that need the withdrawal of soil that is holding the nearby property.
Underpinning is also considered when there is a need to add more floors to the building and when additional space is required in basements etc.
Why Do You Need Underpinning?
Underpinning becomes a necessity when the house footings begin to displace from their respective position due to several reasons.
Some of the most encountered reasons include:
- Changes in soil texture over time.
- Incompatibility of soil with the structural design of the building.
- External and internal cracks in bricks and plasters respectively.
- Gapped windows and walls.
- Bumpy floor.
If you notice any of the above mentioned dilemmas, it’s exactly the right time to go for underpinning.
What Is The Underpinning Process?
A sensitive but highly practical construction process, underpinning is completed in a sequential roe of events.
First, you require your property to be assessed by a certified professional for any of the trouble with the foundation. After careful inspection, the next step is to for soil tests that will let you know how deep the underpins will go. For this, hiring an experienced structural engineer is mandatory, because a single slip from the point can lead to far-reaching effects.
This is not it, the real process begins now, i.e. the installation of underpins. This involves the excavation of soil to the depths where accurately designed underpins will be installed, followed by concrete pouring.
What Are The Precautions To Be Taken Before Underpinning?
The things that are needed to be considered by an underpinning contractor before taking an underpinning project are of course the safety precautions.
Among the most important safety measure to which the underpinning contractor will cling is surveying the neighboring property. It wouldn’t be enough only to send an informing letter to the adjoining property holder, a full-fledged survey of that property is required as its foundation will have a strong impact on your foundation being underpinned.
However, surveying only the neighboring areas is not enough for sure, it requires additional precautionary initiatives that include reduction of imposed load on the foundation, protection of gas lines, water pipes, and all other utility lines lying underneath, and inauguration of additional support.
The Bottom Line
By the conventional underpinning process, the ground on which your house or any other property is sitting is reinforced and strengthened by pouring concrete and filling the gaps.
The process may be expensive, and going for it is not an easy task, but it is far greater than putting your family at risk by not considering the inconvenient foundation troubles.