Underpinning: Could It Save Your Home’s Foundation?

If your home's foundation looks as though it may fail at any given moment, you may make plans to fix it right away. But if you don't know how to fix your foundation, you may wait until it's too late to save your home. You can take action to repair your home's foundation with underpinning. Learn how underpinning can potentially save your home and foundation below.

When Is Underpinning Needed and Why?

Underpinning is a unique process foundation repair contractors use to repair, reinforce, strengthen, and support a home's existing foundation. The process allows contractors to lower or decrease the height of a home's footings to a level that stabilizes them on the ground.

Footings are weight-bearing concrete structures that form the bottom, or base, of a home's foundation. Contractors reinforce footings with steel structures called rebars. Rebars allow a home's walls to rest securely on the footings after construction. If the soil beneath a home's footings and rebars degrades, the footings can slowly succumb to structural failure.

Underpinning can help prevent the issues above from occurring in your home's foundation. 

How Does Underpinning Work?

Underpinning isn't a simple process you can do yourself. Underpinning requires contractors to slowly excavate small quantities of soil from beneath your home's footings and replace it with concrete. The process occurs in pins, or intricate stages. Contractors must practice a significant amount of control over each pin to avoid damaging or compromising your home's footings or foundation.

Before contractors begin underpinning your footings, they must complete a thorough assessment of your property's soil. The soil assessment allows contractors to determine how deep to excavate the soil beneath your footings. The assessment also determines whether or not the footings require additional reinforcement during the process.

For example, if your home's footings sit on extremely unstable soil, contractors may insert steel beams into the concrete before it hardens. The beams keep the footings from sinking or moving out of place in the future.  

Contractors can use a technique called mini-pile to repair your footings. The technique requires contractors to insert piles, or long, vertical beams, into the soil around the footings. The beams allow the footings to sit closer to the soil or ground after completion. You can learn more about mini-piling by contacting repair contractors directly.

Contractors may also need to replace some of the footings completely. Footings can erode with time. Erosion can place your entire home at risk of collapsing. Contractors will replace the footings before they underpin them. 

You can keep your foundation secure by scheduling repairs for your footings today. Contact a foundation repair contractor for more information.