What Is Underpinning?

Underpinning stone and concrete foundations is one of our most requested services. However, unless you are in the industry, underpinning is not a term most people are familiar with. As Brick and Stone professionals, we thought we’d write our first blog post about this very important service. We’ll talk about what underpinning is, when it might be needed and how to arrange underpinning.

WHAT IS UNDERPINNING?


Underpinning refers to the process of strengthening and stabilizing the foundations of a property. The most common scenario for underpinning is when a house is suffering from subsidence and needs to be supported with deeper footings. There are then a number of underpinning methods, but it will almost always involve digging beneath the existing footings to make them deeper and/or wider. Read more about underpinning methods here.

WHY IS UNDERPINNING NEEDED?


There are several reasons why underpinning might be required. As we mentioned earlier, the most common reason is that soil subsidence has caused foundations to sink. However, we also come across the following fairly frequently:

  • The original foundation was faulty (i.e. not strong enough or the wooden piles have decayed).
  • Nearby excavation has caused the foundation to weaken.
  • Additions to the building such as a second storey necessitate the strengthening of foundations.
  • Floods, earthquakes or other natural disasters have weakened or moved the foundations.

UNDERPINNING IN MODBURY


If you have noticed cracks in the walls and floors of your home, don’t wait to have it investigated. Before underpinning commences, a report from a structural engineer is required so movement can be correctly diagnosed.  If you need an experienced underpinning contractor in Modbury, contact J&W Pring Brick & Stone. We have over 30 years of experience underpinning stone and concrete foundations and stand by our high-quality work.