If you have a foundation that is beginning to develop cracks, you may want to use underpinning as a way of resolving the problem. This is a method that is done to increase the foundation depth. It can also be used to repair faulty foundations. This is also done if you have decided to add an additional level to your home which will increase the amount of weight on the foundation which may not be able to support this extra level. This is also done on buildings where cracks have reached 1/4 inch in width, and can sometimes stop diagonal cracks from getting larger. Here are a few ways that you can use underpinning to help improve the foundation on a home.
Screw Piles And Brackets
One way that you can do this is to use screw piles and brackets. This is used in lieu of underpinning where bars are actually drilled into the concrete itself. They are installed to help improve lateral and vertical strength of the structure, and can also help with reducing the amount of vibration that a building will experience. This can be caused by shifting soil beneath the structure, wind, and even the buildup of water as a result of improper drainage.
This is another method which is often preferred if you are trying to strengthen your foundation. There will be a pile that is installed on either side of a wall that is beginning to crack. A reinforced concrete needle beam will be used in this process. It effectively reduces the distance between the beams, allowing it to withstand higher loads. The bearing capacity will be greatly improved in areas where there is restricted Access. It is also much faster to install than traditional underpinning. Instead of having to start from the corners, and working inward as is typically done with the regular underpinning process, this might be more effective with your particular foundation.
Underpinning is something that must be done if you have noticed cracks developing in your concrete. You should alleviate any problems that you are currently having with your foundation. Whether you decide to use traditional underpinning, or one of the other two methods that are mentioned, this is going to help reinforce your concrete foundation. This should be done by a professional that can help you eliminate the problem caused by a foundation that was improperly set, or if the ground material below the foundation has started to shift. Once you have done this, the cracks that you have in your foundation will stop getting larger, allowing you to repair that problem without worrying about additional spreading.