Adelaide Underpinning Group
Walls Cracking? Windows and doors no longer closing and opening? You may need repairs to the foundations of your property
Welcome to Adelaide Underpinning Group, the leading underpinning contractors servicing suburbs right across Adelaide. Priding ourselves on our attention to detail and leaning on our experience, our team works closely with you to ensure you’re kept in the loop throughout every step of the underpinning process.
Being home to notoriously reactive soil, over time, homes in Adelaide may experience some movement in the foundations. This often results in walls cracking, uneven floors, and door frames no longer in alignment. Though some small cracking may resolve itself, further movement in the foundations will require expert attention.
Adelaide Underpinning Group’s process strengthens the existing footings of your home through structural underpinning, producing a permanent correction to your home and providing a safe solution that not only provides peace of mind but will safeguard your biggest investment well into the future.
Call us today and see how our team can bring back your home’s former beauty
Why Do You Need Underpinning?
Cracking in walls and corners of your home
Windows no longer opening and closing
You’ve noticed your floors are not level
Step cracking has occurred in brickwork
Gaps expanding around door frames
Cracks in wall and floor tiles occuring
What is Underpinning?
Underpinning a house or property is the process of increasing the bearing capacity of a foundation to make it firm against subbase destabilisation by constructing new, deeper footings below the existing footings to prevent further movement of your property. This is done by digging beside and under your house and utilising steel or concrete to create a much stronger footing.
Depending on what the structural engineer deems required to hold the subsidence of the foundation affecting the property, screwpiles may be drilled metres into the ground to find more stable soils.
Each area has different soil characteristics, and Adelaide being home to clay-limestone soils is quite unstable for foundations. In the end, you need a stronger foundation to bear the load. House subsidence, essentially the downward shifting of the ground, may have weakened the foundation. It takes Underpinning specialists to repair those cracked walls.
This process of underpinning a house may involve increasing the length and breadth of a foundation in order to strengthen its weak footing. It helps to stop house subsidence and create a firm ground for resting your foundation. Oftentimes, after a foundation repair is complete, the cracks on the walls may not close completely, making wall repairs necessary.
When underpinning specialists suggest foundation repair through underpinning, in most cases, the soil profile has a downward reflection, which may not adequately support the foundation. In the end, deeper footings are constructed to bear the load of the structure, stopping subsidence and cracks appearing.
Does My House Need Underpinning?
Even with monuments, there comes a time when underpinning becomes necessary. There comes a time when you can’t do away with foundation repairs. SA underpinning has helped to restore the durability and attractiveness of many homes in places like Tusmore and Mendindie. We have been Underpinning Adelaide for years, turning each referral into a happy client.
There are several reasons why you may need our underpinning services for your home. These include:
- A faulty original foundation
- Large trees near to property sucking moisture from the ground
- A foundation sinking due to subsidence
- Excavation that took place near your structure, which can potentially weaken the foundation
- Perhaps you seek to add weight to the building (be it an additional storey) which weakens the bearing capacity of the original foundation
It’s even better if your underpinning specialists take a diagnostic approach to the problem, rather than choosing between the different methods of underpinning. This way, you can identify the root of the problem, whether it was subsidence or heaving cause any number of issues. The benefit of using local underpinning contractors is they are familiar with the soil and its characteristics. Adelaide Underpinning Group have years of experience tackling Adelaide soils and are sure to be able to rectify your foundation issues. From Toorak Park to Rose Park, Dry creek to Tranmere, our clients can attest to our reliability as specialists in foundation repair work. The cost of underpinning a house with Adelaide Underpinning Group is affordable as we pride ourselves on our competitive pricing. So if you’re looking for quality underpinning contractors at the best prices then give our team at Adelaide Underpinning Group a call today.
Concrete Underpinning Vs Resin Underpinning
Concrete underpinning or traditional underpinning is the method of underpinning foundations. It involves excavating the soils below the original foundation to reach stronger and firm strata for bearing the weight of the building. The excavation is filled with concrete and left to cure, and will help to support the foundation. Usually, several pits are dug along the foundation and filled with concrete, in the same manner, which further strengthens the foundation. This traditional method works best when there is a need for shallow depth underpinning. The process of traditional underpinning is certified by an engineer.
On the other hand, the resin underpinning method is used in places where ground problems cover a vast area. The process uses small incisions (16 mm diameter) which are drilled into the ground near the foundation. A resin is injected into the ground through the incisions, to compress soil particles and fill any gaps and cracks in the foundation. Theoretically, the resin hardens and stabilises your footings.
The resin underpinning method has a disadvantage since it can only be used once. If the foundation continues to shift even after the resin injection, you will not be able to repeat the process or switch to other alternatives. Unfortunately, if resin underpinning is performed and doesn’t and your property continues to move, the traditional underpinning cannot be used. Remember to always consult a reputable engineer before undergoing any underpinning in Adelaide.
Underpin & Hold
This involves digging below the old footing. Concrete is poured to fill-in the gap to hold the foundation in position, bringing stability to the house. Your house of property is then secured in place to prevent further movement.
Underpin & Lift
The foundation is dug and poured concrete below the old footings. The building is raised and secured in position to prevent any further movement.
What causes foundation problems?
There are various reasons why foundation problems occur. These include:
- water leaks in the foundation– when there is a leak under the foundation, it may soak and wash away the supporting soil. This will create a drop, shift or crack of the slab and foundation. The larger the leak, the worse it gets.
- subsidence due to reactive soils– these change with moisture content. Soils that are reactive in this way are often referred to as ‘plastic’. They swell when wet, known as ‘heaving’, and shrink when dry, known as ‘subsidence’. Such changes in physical characteristics affect foundations.
- Mature trees near the house– problems may arise when roots come into contact with the foundation, or when there is a disturbance of the moisture content of soil surrounding the foundation. The severity of the damage may differ, depending on the species and size of trees, which makes it a bad idea to have trees close to the house.
- poorly compacted soils– soils that can be compacted have poor drainage properties, which affects foundations of structures. For example, with changing moisture levels clay heaves and contracts, putting stress on the footings of your building. Over time, you will need foundation repair.
Have You Noticed Any of the Following Problems?
There are key indicators that help determine whether your house needs foundation repair. The sooner you spot and fix it, the more you can save in costs for underpinning foundations. Identifying structural faults requires attention, and not relying on a single indicator. For instance, an old building may have small cracks on its plastered walls, which may be wrongly interpreted as needing underpinning.
As a rule of thumb, when cracks begin to grow larger and no longer close, consider engaging structural engineers and underpinning specialists to diagnose the problem. Here are some of the signs to look for in your house walls and slabs:
- cracks on plastered walls
- the brickwork or render outside your house begins to show signs of cracking
- gaps appearing around window or door frames
- jamming windows and doors (suggesting the house is leaning in a particular direction)
- uneven floors and cracking in the slab and tiles.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Underpinning
The foundation and footings of a house largely determines the type of underpinning methods that may be used when performing foundation repairs. Below is a criteria to help you make informed decisions regarding your property:
- The structure of the footings – are the footings concrete strip footings or a concrete slab? If they are timber or concrete stumps then underpinning cannot be performed
- The causes of damage to the existing foundation– it is very important to understand the underlying causes of the foundation issues to avoid worsening the current problem. It is contained in the report issued by a structural engineer after a site survey.
- Site restraints– this includes the accessibility of the location by equipment. If there’s limited space, that restricts the underpinning methods. Also, you will need to inspect the impact of your underpinning methods on your properties surrounds.
- Local permits and regulations– most underpinning projects will require permits and approval from the council. Be sure to work with an underpinning contractor licensed to work in your area. We have operation licences for underpinning Adelaide. Always check whether your contractor is licensed and fully insured before undergoing any work. You can contact our team to get answers to questions about permits and regulations.
- Cost of underpinning a house– It’s important to ensure that the underpinning cost is within your budget. Strike a balance between cost and quality work. Don’t hire cheaply, because a poor foundation repair today is costly tomorrow. At worst, irreversible (in the case of a resin injection). Adelaide Underpinning Group are your go-to affordable underpinning specialists in Adelaide.
- Duration of the project– In some cases, the house may need to be vacated for parts of the project. It’s important to know the expected duration of the projects so you can plan if this is required.