If you have noticed foundation problems in your home, consider underpinning to resolve the structural problems. The process of underpinning is perfect for repairing faulty building bases and even strengthening a home for better load-bearing performance. Moreover, this restorative work will prevent the spread of damage from your foundation to the rest of your house. If you are interested in residential underpinning, use these simple tips to prepare for the process.
Plan for a Survey
The most critical step when planning for underpinning is a thorough examination of your house. Foundation problems are quite serious and could result in safety hazards. Therefore, do not commission underpinning without identifying the exact issue. A preliminary survey should help you determine if your foundation is compromised. Common signs of a faulty foundation include cracked walls, sticking windows, moisture seepage in your basement and uneven floors. If these problems exist, consult an underpinning contractor for an inspection. This specialist will inform you if underpinning will resolve the existing issues. Keep in mind that this type of restoration is not suitable for all foundation failures. For example, if your foundation is shifting due to slab heaving and reactive soil, underpinning might not stop the movement. In other cases, the problem might be simple such as removing the roots of a tree from the base of your home.
Choose a Method
If your home is suitable for underpinning, you should discuss the different techniques for structural repair with your contractor. This information can be technical and complex, but understanding the process will help you plan for the work. For example, the cost, effectiveness and timeline of different methods can vary. Moreover, not all underpinning processes are suitable for all damaged houses. Therefore, consult the contractor and have them outline the pros and cons of the range of methods. Then, choose the most effective process while taking into account the cost of the work.
Finally, think about the causes of your foundation problems while planning for the underpinning work. Underpinning will strengthen the base of your structure and eliminate existing structural faults. However, if you do not identify the reason your house has sustained damage, the risk of recurrence will increase. For example, some foundation problems are caused by poor drainage. If stormwater runoff accumulates around your building during the rainy season, the foundation could deteriorate and start failing. In this case, you will need to resolve the surface drainage issue while conducting the underpinning work to ensure structural durability.