Did you just buy a home that you are renovating, or are you thinking about giving a facelift to your home because there are a few cracks in the foundation? Then you should consider underpinning. Now I know what you are asking yourself while reading this: what is underpinning and how is it beneficial for my home? Well, you don’t have to worry because we are here to lay the groundwork of underpinning for you.
What is Underpinning?
It is the process of supporting or strengthening the foundation of your home, building, or any structures for that matter. This is done by adding steel or concrete to the foundation of any residential or commercial building and this strengthens its core. Underpinning is needed when the foundation of your home is unstable and is shifting because of current or previous subsidence. The process entails excavating the foundation and adding extra layers of support to create a more stable soil.
What Property Requires Underpinning?
Underpinning is ideal for dealing with the movement of your home’s foundation; however, not all shifts and movements require underpinning. The best way to make use that your property needs underpinning is to contact a professional surveyor who will advise you after assessing the condition of your property. If it is the weakening or subsidence of the structure and the soil is loose (an expert will be able to tell you this), then the property definitely needs underpinning. You won’t always notice a massive hole in your basement before discovering that your house needs underpinning and this is why the eye of an expert will be beneficial here. However, there are a few signs that may suggest that the foundation of the building is unstable. Sign that the structure of your building might be weak and need reinforcement are:
- If the property is visible leaning, unless you live in the leaning Tower of Pisa, there is an issue in the foundation.
- Visible cracks in the wall
- Gaps and cracks around the door frame and windows
- Sloping floors
- Blown tiling
If you notice any of these signs, then I advise you to call a surveyor as soon as possible as this may corrupt the structural integrity of your building and you can discuss your option with them.
Is it Costly?
Well, this depends on the extent of the damage and you’ll now know the cost after a construction company or a surveyor gives you a quote. However, the cost also depends on other things like the location of your property and its accessibility. Though it is an unwanted expense, it can cost you even more if you let your building on an unstable foundation in the long run as this puts the entire property and the people living in it at risk. This makes the cost of underpinning worth it in the long run.
Selling an Underpinned Property.
If you are selling an underpinned building, you should always declare this to the buyer and give them relevant information about this, such as when it was done and what has been done to the property. This avoids any future issues. You can’t hide this information even though it might make buyers more reluctant to buy your property. This usually lessens the property value of the building but doesn’t make it impossible to sell as long as you are realistic about the price. Always keep a record of the work done on your property as it might be important for future buyers. As long as a trustworthy and competent company did the underpinning, you have nothing to fear, even if they hire their own surveyor to look at the structure of the building
Are you in search of an underpinning professional? mtaCONSULT is here for all your construction-related issues. With over 20 years of experience in the field, their team of professionals will advise you on the proper steps to follow to take care of your home.