Underpinning is an effective method which is meant for increasing the vertical depth of a foundation. The basement’s height in most of the traditionally built homes is insufficient. Such buildings can be rescued by underpinning.
When should you use underpinning?
Underpinning methods are used for different reasons which include
- Correcting a faulty foundation which has resulted from a crack or settlement
- When the foundation is not stable or strong enough
- When increasing the load bearing capability or capacity of your existing foundation
- When adding extra floors to your existing foundation instead of constructing a new house
Choosing the right method for underpinning
The process of choosing the right method for underpinning is dependent on the foundation of a building. You can get a suitable method which is suitable for all situations. The following points should be kept in mind when choosing the right or the best method
- Local regulations and permits
- Depth of excavation
- The structure of your foundation
- Factors which have affected or damaged the existing foundation
- Time duration
- Sire restraints
- The overall cost of the process
Base or beam method
This is one of the common methods used in increasing the depth of a foundation. It is a method which uses the traditional mass concrete. In this method, beams are incorporated to support your existing foundation. This is done to transfer the load to the concrete beams which are constructed above or below the existing foundation.
In this method, piles are driven by the contractor at equal distances from both sides of your wall. These piles are constructed using steel needles or concrete which can penetrate through the wall. This method is suitable for those properties or houses which are built in water logged areas or clay soil. Pile method is effective in relieving the load of your existing foundation.
This is another traditional method of underpinning. It is mainly used for shallow foundations which do not require one to dig a lot. It involves excavating the soil underneath the surface. This is done to create more room for the additional concrete which is put in place for strengthening the base. The weight of structure will be carried by this concrete since concrete is more stable than soil. Below are the man advantages associated with mass pouring method
- It is a simple process
- Low labour cost
- The building will still be in use during the construction process