Our house is one of our most valuable assets that we own and is something we make sure will remain in great condition for years to come. You want to make sure that a solid foundation is set when you are building your home in order to prevent problems from developing in the future.
The process of underpinning the foundation is aimed at strengthening the area underneath the loads of the foundation to ensure that it is adequately reinforced or repaired. There are many different types and methods when it comes to underpinning your home. To best equip yourself to make the right choices, you need to know what the structure of the foundation is like, what type of supports are currently being used and what factors have caused the foundation to become damaged.
Here is some advice to help you determine if you need to underpin your home as well as which method you should use.
When do you need to underpin your foundations?
Not every type of foundation problems can be repaired through underpinning. The main reason underpinning is used as a repair method is when the foundation is no longer able to hold the pressure of the current structure that is built on it.
One of the main reasons that this problem occurs is due to soil that is unstable and weak. This may have resulted from other excavations or simply weathering. If any of these types of problems are present, your home needs to be underpinned.
You need to identify which underpinning process is the right choice for your specific situation. The mass concrete underpinning method is suited for foundations that need shallow underpinning and the weak soil needs to be excavated and replaced with poured concrete. This will add considerably more strength to the foundations as the concrete is much stronger and better at load bearing than the soil that was previously there.
The beam and base method of underpinning incorporates concrete bases as well as using beams to support the foundation. The load of the structure is transferred to the concrete beam that is built underneath it. The beams will spread the weight out evenly throughout the concrete structure that is poured underneath the beams.
Using the mini-piled underpinning method involves the transferring of the load of the foundation and the structure to those stable soils that are found very deep under the ground. The piles that are constructed are made from steel and they are driven into holes in order to provide additional support to the load.