UNDERPINNING YOUR EXISTING FOUNDATIONS
Underpinning is the process of excavating and reinstating the structural integrity of your existing concrete footings, mostly in brick and/or blockbased buildings. This is an effective method to stop subsiding foundations which can cause significant structural damage.
Access Foundations has expertise in underpinning both residential homes and commercial buildings, so whether you have engineered designed underpins, or just need some advice on the best way forward for your property, Access Foundations can help.
Underpinning your property with re-enforced concrete is a much more durable and long term fix over any other procedure available, or gimmick based product on the market - after all, concrete and re-enforcing steel are what foundations have been, and will continue to be constructed with well into the future.
WHAT SHOULD I DO BEFORE GETTING MY PROPERTY UNDERPINNED?
Apart from choosing your contractor, nothing.
Do NOT build extensions or decks.
DO NOT put in new gardens or lawns close to the house.
Do NOT have major plumbing work done or install heat pumps etc.
DO I NEED DRAINAGE?
Drain installation is needed sometimes to rid sub soils of excess water during times of extreme rain fall and in areas of a section which lacks appropriate drainage. These areas are usually easy to determine after large volumes of rain, where water does not naturally flow away or absorb into the natural ground.
DO IT FIRST
If you're about to renovate your building or property, be sure to check the foundations first, many older buildigs have some sort of settlement or drop in their floor and foundations, and there are many reasons this can happen. Including heavy rainfall ( which is becoming more common ) and drier summers, which create movement within the sub soils over time.
Even if your floor is around 15mm out of alignment you will have problems installing your kitchen, bathroom or extension, so be sure to get your foundations completed first to stop future movement and damage.
THE SIGNS YOU NEED FOUNDATION WORK
Doors and windows are not closing properly or are out of alignment.
Floors are un-level. They often slope away from fireplaces.
Concrete piles are showing cracks and/or signs of wear.
Floors are ‘bouncy’ while walking through the house. and things will shake as you walk by.
The piles are not touching the house in areas.
Cracks are appearing in plaster. These may get worse over time and be seasonal
Piles may move or wobble when shaken without too much effort or strength.
If the piles are very old and constructed of untreated timber they have probably begun to decay in the subsoil. The condition of the piles can be checked by scratching way around 50mm of soil from the base of the pile to check its condition below the ground.
If you are planning renovations to your home, get one of the team to check your foundations prior to works starting.
DO I HAVE TO MOVE FROM THE PROPERTY
Repiling and Underpin Foundation Repair is sometimes called subfloor repairs. This is the process of installing new foundation piles and footings where the existing concrete blocks and/or wooden piles have failed over time and where access is via the subfloor hatch. In many instances you will not have to vacate the property, however depending on the extent of the work needed (such as if areas of the flooring need to be removed) you may have to temporarily move out. Please contact us for further details.
Most of the time we can repair the foundations with you still residing in the property.