What To Consider Before Having Your House Underpinned
If you've noticed a few cracks along your walls and worry that the structure may have faulty foundations, you may very well need a house underpinning. However, as a significant investment, house underpinning will require certainty to begin the process. Generally, having your house underpinned will improve the market value of your home because it attests to durability and proper maintenance. However, if you're looking to have your house underpinned, you will need to consider a few things first.
Understanding Why You May Need Underpinning
Proximity to train tracks may amplify your need for an underpinning, as the constant vibration can often weaken your foundations. You will want to watch out for large, visible cracks, (around a cm wide), paying particular attention to their shapes. Slanted or diagonal cracks can be a sign of foundation failure, along walls or concrete floors. If you notice such marring across your wall, you will need to request a professional inspection.
Deciding What You Will Need
When deciding on your house underpinning, you will need to hire a structural engineer to assess the extent of the damage. In some cases, you may find that fixing your drains or removing a large tree root may provide most of the repair you require. Otherwise, your structural engineer will provide you with a report stating the type of underpinning you will require.
Your structural engineer will either suggest piling (where piles are pushed through weak soil to form bedrock) or foundation excavation, which will be performed section by section. Your engineer will likely point out that the excavation process can be more effective but lengthier and more invasive. Ultimately the choice of underpinning method will be yours to make.
What You Should Remember
You may have to make an insurance switch when completing your house underpinning. Though many insurers are now realising that underpinning makes homes safer, some premiums may increase with substantial constructions. Therefore, you will need to contact your insurance in advance to see if any necessary adjustments will need to be made.
Instead of opting for a general builder, you will need to find a company that specialises in the type of underpinning you have selected with your structural engineer. This may increase your expenses but will provide more reliable work in the long run.
A Final Word
House underpinning can help rectify the problems caused by poor foundations. This can increase the value of your home and the overall sentiment of safety you may have when being in the house with your family. You must allow your chosen professionals to guide you through the process, as their expertise is likely to make all the difference in the end. Reach out to a house underpinning professional for more information.