Underpinning to Repair Faulty Foundations – A Detailed Review

Builders design foundations to withstand the building load over many years. They equip them with beams, thick layers of concrete and pieces of hardy wood to ensure that foundations are strong enough. Sadly, this does not mean that your foundation will be resistant to damage and lack of structural integrity. Some changes caused by things like soil erosion and lots of runoff water can wear down your foundation. When this happens, the use of foundation underpinning comes in handy for those who need to restore the wellbeing of their building's foundation.

The following piece discusses underpinning in detail to give all rookies the insight they need:

Pile and Beam Underpinning Technique

Pile and beam underpinning is one of the most popular techniques of repairing bad building foundations. It alleviates the footing of the building and gets your foundation retrieves the structural integrity that you once had. Using the pile and beam technique require the installation of a mini-pile on both sides of the defective wall. Once the piles are in place, removal of the brickwork follows to create room for reinforced concrete. A needle beam is then installed to link the mini-piles so that they can offer optimal support to the walls. Short distances between the needle beams enable the foundation to accommodate heavy building loads. The bearing capabilities of the underlying strata determines the depth, spacing and size of the piles that you use in this process. Fundamentally, the pile and beam technique is ideal for foundations with restricted access and high load-bearing capacity.

Brackets and Screw Piles

Brackets and screw piles often come in handy in cases where you cannot use traditional underpinning. Buildings that require extensive excavation make it ideal for using brackets and screw piles. Additionally, those that do not allow you to use piling rigs also present an excellent opportunity to use brackets and screw piles. In this case, the damage contractor uses a small excavating machine to install the brackets and screw piles, adding strength to the damaged foundation. They can also install the brackets manually in cases where the foundation structure is easily accessible. Brackets and screw piles are capable of working in compression and tension. Therefore, they are excellent at standing up to vibrations, shearing and lateral forces of wind.

Useful Pointers

For a good quality job, your damage contractor should start the underpinning process from the corners and work their way inward. Additionally, the underpinning should only be done to load-bearing walls.