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What is Underpinning?

(November 12, 2023)

You might have heard of the term ‘underpinning’ in some capacity when referring to domestic houses or commercial properties that might be subsiding. It’s important to recognise what underpinning is and when it’s needed. You should also understand that underpinning is an effective and long-lasting solution to subsidence issues. Therefore, once that work has been carried out by a competent professional, such as us here at Geobear. You can then rest assured that subsidence issues will be rectified for many decades to come with underpinning solutions from Geobear. With this in mind, let’s take a closer look at what underpinning is and what it involves.

 

What is underpinning?

Underpinning is the act of reinforcing existing building foundations that are deteriorating or sinking. It’s an effective way of strengthening foundations that have become too weak. In some cases, it could be the crumbling of the foundations themselves that leads to subsidence, However, it’s more common for there to be issues with the soil underneath.

Underpinning with the resin injection method not only strengthens the bearing capacity of foundations but also stabilises the ground underneath. The Geobear method is a non-invasive, non-disruptive underpinning method that allows our clients to continue with their day-to-day lives without any mess or inconvenience. 

 

15 signs that your house needs underpinning

It’s important to note that there are often quite obvious signs that indicate whether or not the house is subsiding. If you aren’t seeing any of these signs, then you will not need to have underpinning carried out on your property. However, if you are experiencing one or more of the following signs, then it would be best to call in the help of a professional right away. 

Geobear has a team of highly-trained professionals who can meticulously inspect your home. We will look for signs of subsidence, otherwise known as a subsidence survey. If we do spot any, we will offer you a series of solutions that will be right for you and your home. Some of the signs we look for when it comes to identifying subsidence include the following:

  1. Cracks in walls
  2. Cracks in floors
  3. Cracks in joints where walls meet
  4. Extensions moving away from the rest of the house
  5. Sloping floors
  6. Sloping ceilings
  7. Sloping walls
  8. Doors that become stuck in their frames
  9. Windows that are difficult to open or close
  10. Gaps along mortar lines 
  11. External cracks that run in a zig-zag fashion
  12. Patios, driveways or garden paths that are uneven
  13. Gaps in doorways
  14. Gaps in window frames
  15. The property is noticeably leaning to one side

 

Should I buy a house that has been underpinned?

You should think carefully before buying a house that has been underpinned. However, there actually isn’t anything to worry about if it’s been done properly. Also, you will need to check that the current homeowners have the relevant paperwork to prove that. But, it’s still important that you have a structural survey carried out on the property before you commit, for added peace of mind. 

This will help you to make a more informed decision, because it’s a big one. You may also wish to seek advice from house insurers, specifically from building insurers. This is because they’ll be able to prepare you for an increase in building and contents insurance. This is normally because the house clearly has a history of subsidence if it has been underpinned. 

Underpinning might have an effect on other things when purchasing a house, aside from its price, like the house insurance, for example. We can’t say, definitively, whether or not you should buy a house that has been underpinned, however. So make sure you do your research beforehand. That doesn’t mean to say that a house that has been underpinned is weak, structurally. It simply means that subsidence was once an issue and now it is not.

 

Look to Geobear for underpinning solutions

Geobear is pleased to offer sterling, unrivalled underpinning solutions to both domestic and commercial customers alike. No matter the extent of your subsidence issue, we will be able to rectify the problem effectively. This ensures that your foundations remain strong and sturdy for generations to come. 

One of our most common underpinning methods involves geopolymer technology. It’s used to restabilise soil and re-level floors. This is done through the injection of resin. It goes along the gaps and voids under the ground, expanding as it goes. It hardens almost instantly, restoring strength and stability to the soil and, subsequently, to your foundations. 

This is a popular choice with many because it’s non-disruptive and non-invasive. We will not have to dig up your garden, your patio or your driveway in order to perform underpinning solutions with this new and innovative resin injection technology. If you’re worried about subsidence or if you’re in need of underpinning solutions near you, then look to us here at Geobear.

 

Geobear can always be counted upon to perform meticulous subsidence surveys and carry out excellent, effective underpinning solutions throughout the country for both domestic and commercial clients. From re-levelling and stabilisation to void filling and water sealing, together with emergency repairs, you’ll always be able to rely on Geobear to restore your home back to its full strength. If you would like further information, get in touch with a member of our expert team today – we’re always pleased to hear from you.

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