Answering Some Questions About Underpinning

You may have heard that a building or structure requires underpinning, but may not know why, when or how this is done. Get a better understanding:

What Is Underpinning?

A simple explanation is that underpinning is repairing or strengthening the foundation of a structure by adding support beams to achieve additional bearing capacity and depth.

Why Is Underpinning Done?

Before the construction of a structure, tests are conducted to verify whether the soil is weak or strong. If weak soil is detected, the structure's foundation is reinforced to prevent the structure from sinking.

Strong soil can also be detected, but factors like climatic conditions can change the soil's properties over time, making it weak. If this happens, the structure may start sinking. Underpinning is required to strengthen the structure's foundation. You don't want the whole structure coming down. It can lead to injuries, loss of life, and of course, financial loss.  

What Are Some of the Reasons to Get Underpinning Services?

The main goal you want to achieve from underpinning services is strengthening the foundation to prevent sinking. What you may not know are the actions that may lead to sinking.

If you want to add another storey to a structure, which was not accounted for during the planning stage of construction, you might require underpinning services. This is because you have to increase the load capacity and depth of the current foundation.

Closely related to adding another storey is if you want to change the use of a structure and use it for an activity that might increase the load capacity of the current foundation.

If you live in a region that experiences adverse climate conditions such as floods, earthquakes, heavy rain, drought, etc., always have structures inspected for signs of sinking. You can also keep an eye out for the signs, but you might have a lot of false alarms. Some of these signs include sloping floors, cracked walls around doors and windows, damp foundations, doors and windows not closing properly, etc.

Sometimes, you might be torn between building a new structure or renovating the current one. Consider the economic impact and go with the cheaper option. If renovating is cheaper, you might need underpinning services.

How Is Underpinning Done?

You might not get to understand the technicality behind underpinning services, but you should know that there are different types. For example, concrete, beam and base, screw piles and brackets, pile and beam, etc. The underpinning company will inform you which type suits your situation best. At times, you may only require soil treatment to make it stronger. Contact a company like Pro-Pin Professional Underpinning to learn more.