Underpinning a house means transferring the structure’s load to soil that can support it. The piers used in underpinning go deep down past unstable ground to firm substrata. Transferring the building’s load to strong soil not only stops settlement and adds additional support to the foundation. Underpinning a house can also preserve the value of the structure.
REASONS TO CONSIDER UNDERPINNING YOUR HOME
Underpinning a house is necessary when the home’s foundation is no longer able to support it. This usually isn’t a problem with the foundation itself but the ground underneath. Less than ideal conditions under a foundation include:
- Expansive soil – This is soil that contains a significant amount of clay, which swells when wet and shrinks when it dries out. This swelling-shrinking cycle – which usually happens on a seasonal basis – creates movement, putting stress on the foundation, eventually causing pockets to form under the foundation.
- Soil insufficiently compacted before construction – Soil removed from a construction site and then used as backfill material needs to be well compacted. Failure to do so may result in the structure settling into the soil unevenly, eventually leading to structural damage.
- Soil erosion – Caused due to poor drainage around the home.
- Soil creep – Soil moving away from the foundation and causing lateral movement in homes built on hillsides.
Other problems that might make underpinning a house necessary include:
- Poor construction – The contractor built the house without taking into consideration the underlying soil type.
- Renovations – Adding a story to a house will add significant weight to the foundation, placing unaccounted for stress on the original substructure.
SIGNS YOUR HOME MAY REQUIRE UNDERPINNING
Underpinning a house can be an expensive and time-consuming project. Here are signs of foundation trouble you should look for:
- Windows and/or doors that no longer open and close properly.
- Sloped floors.
- Ceilings and/or floors that have separated from the wall.
- Cracked floors – Be on the lookout for cracks going across the floor.
- Suspiciously torn wallpaper, which may indicate wall cracks.
- Detached moldings from the ceiling and/or floor.
- Cracks in brickwork.
- Chimneys and/or porches separating from the house.
SHIELD FOUNDATION REPAIR USES THREE DIFFERENT TYPES OF PILES TO UNDERPIN AND SUPPORT YOUR FOUNDATION FROM FURTHER SETTLING
Push Pile System: Piles are pushed into the ground until enough load bearing capacity is reached. This capacity is calculated by an engineer and verified at the time of install.
Screw Pile System: Screw piles are drilled into the ground beside your foundation and a bracket is installed on top of the pile with which your foundation is lifted.
Concrete Friction Pile System: Holes are drilled 20-30 feet below your foundation and a steel cage is inserted. Concrete is poured to create a pile and hydraulic jacks are used to lift your foundation back up to where it should be.
COST OF UNDERPINNING
The only way to know for sure if your home requires underpinning and how much it will cost is to call Shield Foundation Repair. We have years of experience with this type of job and can inspect your home’s foundation before preparing an estimate for you.
Protect what matters most.
35+ YEARS EXPERIENCE.
FULLY INSURED. BACK BY A 25-YEAR SERVICE WARRANTY.
Get A Free Estimate Today
Get The Job Done Right. Call Shield.
Trust industry-leaders in foundation repair with your home project. Get in touch today for a free in-person quote.