Does your house have foundation problems? If it does, you probably need to underpin the foundation. Underpinning is a foundation strengthening technique that repairs damaged foundations without demolishing the entire house. This guide will shed some insights into how underpinning works.
Reasons To Underpin Your Home
Foundation damage is the main reason to underpin your home. However, understanding the causes of foundation damage can go a long in helping you determine if your home needs underpinning work. Over time, the foundation of your home suffers damage due to salt damping, settlement, subsidence, nearby excavation, a rising water table, flooding or earthquakes. You could also need to underpin the house if you intend to convert it. For instance, you might want an extra storey or basement. In some cases, underpinning works rectify oversights in the building's initial design.
Types Of Underpinning
There are several ways to underpin your home. They include:
- Mass concrete underpinning: The builder excavates the soil beneath the foundation and installs new pins to support the structure.
- Cantilever needle beam method: It is an improvement of the mass concrete underpinning method. It is faster and bears more loads.
- Pier and beam underpinning: The builder uses concrete beams to transfer structural loads to piers beneath.
- Pile underpinning: Two piles connected by a needle support a weak foundation. It is ideal for clay soils.
Considerations When Underpinning Your Home
Consider the following when underpinning your home:
Work With An Accredited Builder
You will require an accredited builder to underpin your home. Ideally, the professional should examine the property's blueprints and the construction program to establish the type of foundation used. Besides, they should inspect the property to determine the extent of the damage. Finally, they should recommend a suitable method of underpinning.
Check The Building Code
The building code and planning regulations will significantly affect the underpinning process. For example, you could be compelled to use a specific method of underpinning. Depending on the level of damage, you might need to evacuate the building's residents. More often than not, you will need a permit to conduct underpinning.
Engage A Building Surveyor
Ask for a building surveyor's input when underpinning your home. The professional will inspect your home and assess the new plans. Besides, they will ensure that the new foundation is compliant with the building code. If the builder flouts the recommended plans, the surveyor will stop the construction works.
Underpinning is a sure way to strengthen your home's foundation. When conducting residential underpinning, hire an accredited builder, check the building code and engage a building surveyor.