Underpinning is the process of repairing and restoring the structural integrity of an existing building whose foundation is weak or no longer stable enough to support the weight of the structure. Any building that is in need of underpinning service is a major safety hazard and should not be occupied. The typical reason why a building may need underpinning is subsidence, which occurs due to movement of the soil on which the structure stands. Some signs of subsidence are obvious, but others require a closer look to detect, generally speaking.
Here is a breakdown of some sure-fire indications your house may need to be underpinned.
Cracks in the walls and floors
The presence of cracks in the interior and exterior walls and your floors is never a good sign. If ignored, the cracks can become larger over time and cause costly structural damage to the entire building. Cracks is usually an indication of foundation issues because all parts of the building are supposed to remain undamaged when the soil beneath is intact. If you are seeing cracks in the brickwork or the surface of the floors, you should call in a structural engineer to inspect the foundation of your building.
Floors not level anymore
Your floors may not have been perfectly level upon installation, but they at least provided enough clearance for you to easily open and close doors. If your doors start getting stuck when you are trying to lock or unlock them, or touch the floor when you are operating them, it out be that your floors are no longer level, and you should ask a building expert to look into the issue.
Gaps around window and door frames
Wondering where those air leaking gaps around your windows and exterior doors are coming from? One possible reason is that the foundation of your house could be weak and that's its way of getting your attention. Aside from pointing out possible building foundation issues, the gaps around windows and external doors may also be the reason why you are having a hard time making your home energy efficient because they leak out conditioned-air.
House seems slanted on one or more sides
If your house looks slanted on one or more sides when you view it from the outside, you should not overlook the issue. That is yet another clear sign of building foundation problems. Surely, your house couldn't have been leaning on one or more sides when it was built.
For more information, contact companies like Jeffrey Hills and Associates.