A major reason why properties require structural repairs such as underpinning is if they have started to succumb to the effects of subsidence. Subsidence refers to the process by which the subsoil steadily begins to pull away from the property's foundation, which inadvertently creates a cavity. As the subsidence increases, the higher the likelihood that the building will start to sink into the pit. There are various reasons why subsidence may start including extensive tree root systems that significantly deplete moisture from the ground to severe drought. Nevertheless, spotting the signs of subsidence occurring is not as simple as looking for glaring holes in the ground. Instead, the symptoms typically manifest on the structure itself. So how can you tell if you need house underpinning?
The house has started to develop unexplainable cracks in the walls
A mistake some individuals may make when it comes to maintaining the structural integrity of their residence is ignoring the onset of cracks on the walls. An assumption some of these people make is that the house is merely settling, so the cracks are innocuous. The truth of the matter is that the onset of cracks can be a telltale sign that the foundation is in trouble. The cracks will usually develop on your interior walls, but you may also notice them on the exterior surfaces too.
In the beginning, the cracks will appear small and harmless. But, you should monitor them because if they expand and grow, it implies that the foundation of the house is shifting and the walls are not receiving an even distribution of weight. These cracks in the wall could also be accompanied with sticking doors and windows as the frames will be affected too. It is essential to seek a professional opinion to determine if house underpinning is prudent.
The house has started to lean in one direction
The most glaring sign that your house is in dire need of underpinning is if it is no longer straight. Visible leaning of your structure is a clear indicator that its foundation has been gravely compromised. It is essential to call a construction contractor as soon as possible, or your structure would be at risk of collapse.
It should also be noted that leaning tends to be one of the last signs of structural damage to your home. Thus, property owners are encouraged to constantly be on the lookout for the early signs of subsidence so that the damage does not get to this point.