What Is Underpinning and Why Does My Property Need It?

If you’ve recently had to ask yourself the above question, you’re probably in need of some straightforward information and advice. Underpinning in Essex may be carried out for a number of different reasons, but fundamentally, it is designed to correct instability beneath structural properties. It involves relocating the weight of a building, so that it can be positioned on an area of ground that is completely even and secure.

So, if your home or business is in need of high quality underpinning services, it is likely because its foundations have started to crack or settle. Over a long enough period, both of these things can threaten the safety of a property, which is why such an intervention is necessary. While the process is not an easy one – it requires a great deal of skill and expertise – the good news is that there are plenty of reliable contractors that can help you carry it out.

This valuable guide to structural underpinning in Essex will explain how it works, why it is important, what you should do if your property needs it.

The Right Way to Solve Settling and Cracking

Usually, properties start to settle and crack because the soil is moving beneath their foundations. This can be a big problem, because a great deal of pressure is put on walls and ceilings when buildings are not completely stable. As a way to tackle the problem, contractors can use underpinning to shift the weight of the structure off the uneven ground and onto a much stronger bedrock layer.

This is possible only by creating an underpinned galvanised steel framework that is pushed deep into the ground until it finds the bedrock. The home or business is then, effectively, pushed onto the frame and secured. If further adjustments are required, each individual bracket and pier combination can be tweaked until the building is level. It is no easy feat, but each year, contractors use underpinning to restore the integrity of thousands of homes.

How to Spot the Signs of Trouble Early

Insecure movement within foundations is almost always picked up by surveyors and structural engineers. You might be looking to insure your property and need a structural assessment. Or, you might be trying to sell your home and have to bring an engineer in to verify its integrity before you can pass it on. Either way, if the process ends with an expert advising you to invest in underpinning, you’ll know it is because the building isn’t stable.

It is much more difficult to pick up on this kind of problem by just living in the building, though it certainly isn’t impossible. Keep an eye out for things like sticking door and window frames; when the foundations move, they warp the walls and ceilings and the frames don’t fit like they used to. Also, cracks in walls and ceilings are an obvious indication of extensive damage. If you spot developing faults, arrange for reliable underpinning in Essex right away.

Getting Started On a Fast Solution

Look for a construction team that is willing to start the underpinning process right away or as quickly as possible. If there any extensive structural damage to the property, waiting too long will only put it at greater risk. You may ask for an estimated timeframe for the project, but adjustments to this forecast should be accommodated, especially if the weather is poor.

There are all kinds of variables that might influence how long it takes to complete the underpinning process, so just stay in the loop and ask plenty of questions. Your contractor should come and chat with you, throughout the course of the build, if they think that anything is likely to push the given deadline back.

To find out more about what happens when a home or business is structurally underpinned, pick up the phone and call 01621 815169 to request a cost estimate for your project.