If you've noticed some issues with your property and have been talking with a structural engineer, you may have been told that you need "underpinning" to put matters right. Issues have arisen with your foundation, and this process will help to correct them. While it is certainly a job for experts, it is nevertheless a good idea for you to understand the process and what you're going to have to deal with.
What Are the Causes?
From time to time, mother nature may bring some problems to your door. There may have been some major flooding events in recent times, causing the underlying soil around the home to be weakened. It could be that there has been some natural shifting, which means that your foundation is no longer supported as well as it was before. However, you may also want to extend your home by adding another storey on top, and in this case, you may have to augment your foundations with underpinning as well.
What Are the Solutions?
The structural engineer will be able to tell you whether the soil around your home is sufficient any more, or not. As you might expect, the degree of shifting or subsidence will determine how much work needs to be done. If it's relatively minor, it could be that you only need an injection of resin to fix it. However, if it's major – or if you are going to have that additional level built on top of your home – then concrete reinforcement is called for.
How Does It Work?
Essentially, underpinning involves adding "mass" to the foundation to provide additional rigidity. A certain amount of excavation is necessary before anything can happen, but then concrete can be pumped into the area and allowed to solidify. In significant cases, it may be necessary to add concrete pilings into the ground as well, to which the foundation will then be attached.
If you only need resin injection, then significant excavation will probably not be necessary. Instead, a number of boreholes will be drilled into the area and the solution inserted. The resin then interacts with the soil and causes a chemical reaction, "binding" the soil so that it doesn't shift as much as it may have before.
Why Experts Are Needed
Remember, however, that while the resin injection option is less intrusive, it can sometimes be difficult to predict just how much of it you will need. This is because there could be additional voids beneath the property that only come to light when the process begins, but that nevertheless need to be addressed. Call in the experts first, to see how much of an issue you may have and what options you have available ahead of you.
For more information, contact a business such as Jeffrey Hills and Associates.