If the foundation of your house has started to sink, then it is time to begin deliberating on underpinning services. While there are multiple foundation repair services that you can choose, underpinning is one of the most sought-after for Aussie homes as it entails the lifting of your structure to mitigate the settlement. As a result, your foundation is not only safeguarded from further sinking, but the entire structure is stabilised too. Nevertheless, once you decide you need underpinning services, you should familiarise yourself with the different methods that can be employed to stabilise your house. This piece illuminates four underpinning services that you can choose from your foundation contractor.
Mass pouring underpinning method
This form of underpinning is typically carried out on structures that have not suffered from an extensive settlement. The foundation contractors will start by digging a shallow pit underneath the foundation to excavate the loose soil that is settling. After the weak soil is excavated, concrete is then poured en masse into the space left behind. Once the concrete dries, it acts as a fortification for your pre-existing foundation.
Pit underpinning method
This method of underpinning utilises columns that are much shorter than those used in other underpinning methods. Your foundation contractors will start by dividing the foundation into multiple sections. This step is followed by the boring of holes on walls of the foundation where the supporting needles will be inserted. Bearing plates are then attached to the supporting needles to lift and secure the foundation. Once there is space underneath, the old foundation is excavated and replaced with a new one. Pit underpinning is labour-intensive since the foundation is worked on one section at a time.
Pile underpinning method
Another conventional way of underpinning a house, the pile technique employs the use of piles (or piers) to add structural support to your failing foundation. The foundation contractors lift your old foundation and then install these piles along the foundation so that the weight of the structure is transferred onto the piers rather than the unstable soil beneath. Pile underpinning is especially beneficial if waterlogged soils are causing your foundation settlement.
Beam and base underpinning method
As the name suggests, this form of underpinning entails the use of supportive beams in concrete to stabilise your sinking foundation. It is one of the most traditional types of house underpinning that you can choose. When you opt for this technique, you will then have to decide where you want the support beams installed: above the foundation or below it. Once the beams and the concrete are in place, they ensure there is even distribution of your structure's weight, which will decrease the threat of additional settlement down the road.