You may notice clues that indicate your home's foundation may be in trouble. Some examples are cracks along the internal or external walls or else fractures on a tiled floor. The windows might get stuck when you try to open or close them, or you could see gaps between the door and its frame.
A shifting foundation can cause parts of the building to sink, which causes such issues. Fortunately, you can restore the foundation by a process called underpinning. You may wonder, though, what causes such instability in the first place. Following are two possibilities.
Of course, a home's foundations sit within the earth, and if the soil itself shifts and moves, then the building will be affected. The ground might sink due to natural processes such as freeze and thaw cycles. Alternatively, human works like underground mining can destabilise the soil.
Fortunately, a structural engineer can examine your home and work out possible issues with a geotechnical engineer's help to examine the earth. If unstable soil is causing foundation problems, one solution is to inject resins into the ground, which will bind with the dirt and render it more stable. The structural engineer doesn't do the actual underpinning work, but they can provide a report about the situation and discuss where to go next. These experts don't undertake the actual underpinning work, so they don't have a vested interest in which approach you take to fix the problem.
A benefit of this approach is that it doesn't necessitate a lot of excavation. Holes are bored into the ground, and the resin is pumped to the deeper earth levels. This way, you won't have to go through the disruption of massive excavation in the yard.
Adding a Second Storey
Another reason that the foundation may be struggling or need reinforcement is a second-storey building extension. The extra rooms can make the building too heavy for the original foundations meant for a lighter home. In such a case, the foundation will need bolstering.
As the problem is not about the soil, a better solution may be concrete reinforcement. This process involves additional concrete being poured underneath and around the foundation to increase its mass. The foundation will then be deeper or broader, allowing the building weight to spread over a larger area. Alternatively, concrete pilings can be dug into the ground to hold up the foundation — these pilings function as massive concrete nails. Concrete reinforcement will result in more excavation of your property, so in that sense, it may be more invasive.
For more information, contact an underpinning service.