What Is Underpinning?
18 September 2017
Underpinning is a technique used to rectify properties that suffer from or have suffered from subsidence. Underpinning is necessary when a property’s structure moves due to subsidence and as a result needs more support. Underpinning strengthens a property’s foundations if they have been weakened by subsidence and need to be repaired.
The underpinning process involves excavating the soil beneath the property that is moving away from the structure and removing its support, hence weakening the existing foundations and causing the property to move. The soil is replaced with new, stronger materials and deeper footings beneath the foundation placed into firmer ground to stabilise the property’s foundations and enhance its structure.
A number of warning signs of subsidence to look out for include; cracks in walls, floors, ceilings and joints; sloping floors, walls and ceilings; stuck doors and windows that do not close properly; gaps in between bricks, doors and window frames; and the property leaning to one side. Any of these signs indicate that your property has been underpinned or needs to be underpinned.
If you suspect that your property has been underpinned or is in need of underpinning, you should have your property inspected by a structural engineer or chartered surveyor. All the chartered surveyors at Allcott Associates are also structural engineers and their report can test for subsidence, identify structural issues with the building, determine the extent of the damage, decipher whether your property needs underpinning, and establish the best underpinning solution.
If your survey determines that your property does need underpinning, this needs to be carried out by an underpinning specialist. If not executed properly, this could pose a serious risk to your home, resulting in further damage and even collapse. Underpinning can be expensive, but it is worth it in the long term. The longer your foundations are left unattended, the more they will worsen and lead to further damages and costs to rectify your property will rise. Secure your property now or compromise the structural integrity of your entire property in the future.
Get in touch with our expert surveyors today to determine whether your property needs underpinning. We have a number of services dedicated to subsidence and underpinning, including building surveys, soil sampling for subsidence, and subsidence investigation surveys.