As a property owner, the subsurface structures of your house or building are arguably the most crucial element of the whole build. Afterall, there’s a reason they’re called foundations. It is this structure which distributes the weight of the building and ensures a firm footing on the ground below.
The foundations of any building, be it a house, extension or larger structure, should be sturdy and incredibly resilient to external factors and the elements. However, if these foundations have been improperly laid, or were set with poor-quality concrete in the first place, they are susceptible to weakening and even collapse over time.
In some cases, it may be necessary to repair, reinforce and strengthen foundations to ensure they are structurally sound for years to come. This is often carried out using a method called foundation underpinning.
In essence, underpinning is a means of salvaging a property that has suffered from structural decay or subsidence. In other words, it is used when the foundation footprint begins to sink or slip away into the area of land surrounding it.
When a property’s foundations begin to decay, it is crucial that they receive attention in order to rectify the property and prevent further deterioration.
There are a few main methods of underpinning used today, all of which aim to reinforce the existing foundations of a building.
These techniques vary, from utilising concrete slabs as a means of increasing the size of the foundations, injecting resin into the voids in the ground around your foundations and even inserting steel piers and concrete footing to lift the subsided building back into its original position.
Whilst the specifics of underpinning can be complex, and are best left to foundation contractors like Below Ground, the premise is simple. Repair and reinforce your foundations before they collapse!
If you think your property may require foundation repairs such as underpinning, there are a few tell-tale signs to be aware of. Keep an eye out for large cracks in the walls of your house (not little ones in the plastering). Additionally floors windows and doors are a good indicator of foundational problems; if a door frame or floor isn’t level or has shifted, it could be a sign of uneven weight or subsidence under your home.
If you have concerns regarding the structural integrity of your home, such as subsidence or foundation decay, don’t hesitate to get in touch!