Types of Underpinning in The Country
When repairing the foundations of your home, underpinning is one of the most common methods of ensuring the structural components of your house remain undamaged. If you notice cracks on your floors and walls, or if you want to add an extension to your house, underpinning is a must. Here are some of the basic types of house underpinning services.
Pit/Mass Concrete Method
The mass concrete method is a traditional technique of underpinning. Although it's expensive and takes a lot of time, it's one of the most reliable techniques for repairing house foundations. It involves building a temporary foundation around the existing one.
The contractor will build a pit around the existing foundation. This helps to relieve this foundation of the building's load. The contractor will then build a new foundation below the existing one by sealing the pit with concrete. Finally, the temporary foundation will be destroyed to allow the building's load to settle on the new foundation system.
Piled Raft Underpinning
This form of underpinning is suited for severe foundational problems. It focuses on the entire foundation. Piled raft underpinning services are suitable for homes with deep foundations and where other methods of underpinning have failed.
With the piled raft method, the underpinning contractor will identify the load-bearing locations in your home's foundation. After these areas have been identified, the footings below them will be strengthened using needle beams. These beams will support loads, reinforce existing footings, and prevent any movement above.
Cantilever Needle Beam
This is an upgrade of the mass concrete method. With this method, the foundation is extended to one side. This gives the building a stronger interior column. This technique is mainly applied when the traditional pit method fails because the house foundation is deep. The cantilever needle beam method is also faster than the pit method.
During this underpinning process, two mini-pipes for tension and compression are installed. The contractor will construct a reinforcing concrete beam to link these two pipes. This method is cheaper and less time-consuming than using the pit technique for very deep foundations.
If you want to renovate your home by adding an extension, it's important that you get your foundation underpinned. If you continue with the project and your foundation is degrading, the construction of an additional storey or floor will increase the likelihood of your property collapsing. Underpinning services should also be carried out if your house is built on unstable soils or you start to notice cracks on the walls and floors. If you're not sure about whether or not you should have your house underpinned, consult an underpinning contractor.