House Underpinning & Reblocking

How To Underpin An Old House: What You Need To Know

Underpinning an old house can help make it safer by reinforcing the foundation it lies on. However, it is worth noting that it is also possible for the process to end up making the situation much worse. To avoid making things worse it is vital that the right underpinning method is chosen.

Read on to find out more about underpinning an old house.

When Do You Need To Underpin An Old House?

Foundation underpinning may be required to strengthen the old foundation of an existing building in different circumstances. First, you might need to turn to underpinning in case you need to add an additional story on top of an existing building. The increase in weight may necessitate the reinforcement of the existing foundation. Foundation underpinning is also needed to strengthen sinking foundations affected by soil subsidence.

Other reasons for foundation underpinning include to strengthen a damaged foundation after natural events such as earthquakes or floods; as well as to correct structural imperfections in the original foundation among others.

Methods Of Underpinning An Old House

Once you discover that your building is in need of foundation underpinning, you will need to choose a suitable underpinning method from the available options.

Concrete underpinning is the oldest method used to underpin old houses. It is mostly suited correcting foundation issues not caused by soil subsidence. The method involves the use of concrete to strengthen the existing foundation of a structure. There are two main types of concrete underpinning, mass and concrete pilings.

Mass concrete underpinning requires the excavation of the area around and sometimes below the existing foundation. Concrete mix is then poured into the excavated area to increase the mass of the existing foundation and ultimately strengthen it.

Concrete pilings on the other hand are nail like piles sunk into the ground, and then attached to the foundation to support it.

Resin underpinning on the other hand is a newer method of foundation underpinning suited to cases where soil subsidence is the main issue. The method involves the injection of a special resin into holes bored around the faulty foundation. The resin usually dries up, binding the soil and foundation together for added strength.

Soil grouting is another effective foundation underpinning method suited for use in areas with granular soil, such as sand. The method involves the injection of a grout that binds the soil granules together making for a solid ground on which the foundation can rest.

Cost Considerations

Before you choose a foundation underpinning method for your old house checkout this great companies website it is important that you compare the cost implications of each method. Concrete underpinning is cost effective when used in small areas. However, the cost sky rockets where the underpinning is required to cover an extensive area as massive excavation is required.

Resin underpinning is more affordable and can be done faster as compared to the above method, especially where low quantities of the material are required. However, where huge crevices in the ground exist the cost may skyrocket as more resin is needed.

The above information will help you make an informed decision when it comes to underpinning an old house.

Choosing The Right Concrete Company

If you need to have concrete work done then you need to find a good contractor or concrete company. Choosing the right company ensures that you have contractors who know what they are doing and how to properly treat the concrete. Choosing the wrong company could result in poorly poured concrete and other problems that cost a lot to fix.

Making A Short List

The first step in choosing a concrete company will be to create a short list of companies in your area. When you initially look for companies you could find yourself faced with a large list. There are a number of questions that you should ask to shorten the list and find the company that is right for your project.

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The first question you need to ask is how long the company has been in business. A concrete company that has been trading for more than 5 years will generally have the experience and knowledge that you need. Companies will long histories will also have more reviews that you will be able to check later.

The second question you have to ask is what insurance coverage the company has. This will often not be listed on their website or online directory listings so you will need to contact the company. It is important that the company has workers compensation insurance as well as general liability cover. If the company does not have insurance then you should not use them because you will be liable for the costs of damages or injuries caused by the company while working on your project.

The last question to ask is what training or qualifications the contractors the company hires have. It is important that some form of qualification or training has been done. This training will give the contractors the knowledge that they need and will show that they know about the latest products and techniques.

Look At The Reviews

Once you have your short list you need to look at the reviews that the company has. You could ask contact the company to find out if they have any references, but remember that the company will not direct you to anyone unhappy with their work. When reading reviews you need to look for projects that are similar to your own as this will tell you if the company can properly handle your project.

The most recent reviews are the ones that you should be paying the most attention to. Older reviews could be from a time when different people were at the company and will not give you any insight to the current reputation of the company.

Get Quotes

Your short list should now consist of a few companies that you can contact and get quotes from. You need to have a written quote that lists the costs and the time frame they estimate for the job. You can then compare the quotes from the different companies to each other. If there is one company that has additional tasks on the quote you need to contact them to find out why.