Structural Repair: Practical Tips for Choosing Your Underpinning Method

Posted on: 23 August 2018


If the foundation of your home has sustained damage, you should think about underpinning. Underpinning is a repair process which is used to reinforce a weakened foundation. This repair method is ideal for structures with unstable bases, cracked supports or a failing foundation. When you choose underpinning, you will avoid the costs and inconveniences associated with demolishing the building and constructing a new structure. There are different approaches which can be used during underpinning. You will need to choose the ideal option from different methods, such as mass pour, pile-and-beam and rafted pile. Here are the critical selection tips that you should consider when discussing the options with your underpinning contractor.

Check the Degree of Damage

You should determine the level of damage in your foundation. Buildings with different levels of damage will require varying approaches to underpinning. If your home has cracks in the foundation or is slightly unstable, the base can be restored through a simple technique such as mass pour. This approach involves digging holes around and below the foundation and filling these with reinforcing concrete. This method might not be feasible if the footings of the home are completely worn out. In this type of case, the entire footing might need to be replaced using piles and beams for optimal restoration.

Consider Site Access

You should evaluate your site and determine the level of access possible during the underpinning work. In simple terms, you should check whether there is enough space for the contractors to work with their large equipment. If the space is insufficient for access by a standard excavator, you will need to avoid repair approaches that require extensive digging around the building. Instead, you should inquire about the techniques that can work with smaller equipment, such as a mini excavator. For instance, screw piles and brackets can be installed during underpinning using a compact excavator or by hand by experienced damage contactors. Therefore, it is an ideal choice if your home has limited workspace.

Think About Site Disruption

You should consider the level of site disruption that you can handle during the underpinning project. Foundation repair can cause some damage to your home site, and restoration might take time. Therefore, you should discuss the inconvenience caused by each method. For instance, if a lot of excavation is required, you will need to plan for soil disposal. Some methods can disrupt the drainage system, causing inconvenience. It is important to identify possible drawbacks before choosing an underpinning technique.

For more information, contact a company like Pro-Pin Professional Underpinning.