What is underpinning?
Underpinning is a structural procedure designed to increase the strength of an existing home’s foundation by improving its stability. This is primarily accomplished by extending the foundation so it distributes its load over a larger area of soil.
Our company also digs under the existing foundation to add to the concrete structure itself where the supportive soil may be insufficient to the task.
Underpinning is also an excellent procedure for garages and wall foundations. When cracks are discovered in walls or garage floors, an inspection should be carried out as quickly as possible. If caught soon enough, repair can be accomplished inexpensively and with only a minimum of work.
- The low cost for shallow soil depths
- The noise and disruption are minimal compared to other methods
- Occupants can remain in the building while the underpinning is accomplished
- It is suitable even for heavy load requirements and very large facilities.
Why is it needed?
Regardless of the location of the possible repair site, underpinning for a home or business may be required for a variety of reasons:
- Business use of the facility has changed. What was an apartment building is now a commercial facility, for example.
- The soil composition underneath the foundation has changed.
- The original foundation has deteriorated due to age or other reasons.
- The ground was improperly prepared before the original foundation was laid. This is usually caused by improper soil compaction when the earth underneath already has a low density.
- If the soil was poor initially and no steps were taken to improve or add to the content, this can result in excessive expansion or contraction even if it was properly prepared.
- Roots growing under the foundation break down the soil, creating gaps and leading to an unsettled foundation.
- Soil can move under the foundation due to evaporation caused by intense heat leading to settlement.
- Plumbing leaks are a very common cause of foundation problems if not found quickly and fixed.
- Finally, poor drainage is perhaps the most common reason for a foundation to unsettle. Excessive moisture can either consolidate soil or cause erosion.