What is underpinning and how does it work for Adelaide homes?
Underpinning is generally used when foundations of a building have been damaged or may need to be strengthened to withstand the addition of extra storeys to an existing structure.
It is a method which helps to either increase the depth of foundations or to repair those that are faulty. The most likely visible signs of foundation damage will be cracks in the walls or concrete floors.
If you’re looking for underpinning help, then you should first determine which type of underpinning solution you need for your SA home.
This is typically first discovered during a building inspections Adelaide where the building inspector will first see what improvements your house needs to make.
What are the different types of underpinning?
There are a number of different types of underpinning and it’s always worth getting the advice of a construction specialist to advise regarding which will be most suitable to your property. Factors that influence their decision could include the age of the property, the type of materials used and the depths required of the foundations.
Types of underpinning commonly used for Australian properties include:
1. Mass Pour
This is the most commonly used method. It involves excavating sections to a pre established depth below the footing, then pouring concrete on each of the created pits. The method is repeated until the whole area has been underpinned.
2. Screw Piles and Brackets
This method is used when it is not possible to opt for traditional underpinning processes. It is often used when building require larger depth of excavation or when the traditional methods are not possible because a piling rig cannot be used.
The screw piles and brackets require installation either by hand or by a mini excavator. There are many advantages to this method rather than traditional pilings; including quicker installation and minimal noise or vibration – therefore limiting potential damage to the surrounding structural area.
3. Pile and Beam
An excellent method to alleviate footing, this system of underpinning requires a min pile to be installed on either side of the affected wall. Once the installation of the piles is complete, the brickwork is removed below the wall and a reinforced concrete needle beam is used to connect the piles and support the wall.
4. Piled Raft
When an entire structure needs underpinning, piled raft methods must be used. In addition, piled raft may be the best underpinning type when foundations are very deep or when the property is in an area with very hard soil which resists excavation.
Piled raft uses piles, reinforced needle beams and results in the building of a ring beam to link all the needles together. Advantages of this method include the minimal disruption to drainage system, provision of lateral and traverse ties throughout the structure and no need for external access.
So if you’re looking for an expert Adelaide underpinning company, then you should ask a professional and licensed building inspector for their advice first – try Tier 1 Inspections in Adelaide – they are great guys.