The Key Signs Your House Needs Underpinning
Since stamp duty has been abolished for first-time home buyers across New South Wales and Victoria, there’s been a rush of inexperienced buyers looking at older homes that are likely to need underpinning. A property that sits on shaky or weak foundations won’t last long and can be very dangerous if the foundations were to completely collapse. In these cases, it is essential that you have your property underpinned as soon as possible. If you’ve just bought an older property or you’re concerned that your home is starting to show signs of deterioration, read on to find out more about underpinning and the signs that your property needs it or watch video.
What is underpinning?
Underpinning is the process of restoring and strengthening weak or deteriorated building foundations. The process involves excavating/inspecting around the property’s foundations to identify where the footings are weakened/cracked and inserting concrete/metal supports to the affected area. This stabilises the house and makes the property again able to be levelled and stops further deterioration.
What causes a property’s foundations to deteriorate?
There are many reasons why your property’s foundations can fail or start to deteriorate. Age is a big factor, and the older your property is, the more likely that it is in need of underpinning. Whether it’s from ground moisture weakening the concrete or the ground shifting over time and cracking the foundations, older foundations will have experienced more degredation from the elements that makes them susceptible to subsidence which can cause the house to start sinking.
Signs that your property needs underpinning
There are some tell-tale signs that your home needs underpinning that you should look out for, especially if you have just purchased an older property. If you do notice any of the following damages to your property, call in an expert team to asses your property right away.
Cracked walls or floors
Cracks to your wall and floors don’t always mean that you have problems with your property’s foundations.You can get superficial shrinkage cracks over time in your plaster, cornices and skirtings. However, cracks to your floors or the brickwork of your house is a tell tale indication that your property needs underpinning. Deep cracks like these are often caused by uneven weight distribution as the house collapses when the foundations fail.
Property leans to one side
Your property tilting to one side is a notable indication that you need your property underpinned. In all honesty, if you can physically see or feel that your home is crooked then your foundations have already failed and your home will need underpinning as soon as possible.
Again, a floor that is slanted or uneven indicates that your property has already sunk and will need to be dealt with urgently.
Gaps around windows and door frames
If your frames are starting to gape, then it is likely that your property is no longer aligned and it is causing real structural damage.
Doors and windows not closing or locking properly
When a property begins to be affected by subsidence or sinking foundations, it is common for the doors or windows to either become stuck in their fittings or to no longer fit into their frames properly. This shows that the alignment level of your house is shifting and if not dealt with quickly, it can damage other more expensive elements of your house.
Water pools around your house
Water pools around your property shows that the ground is no longer properly graded and there is a problem with drainage. If the ground around your property’s foundations are wet, they will subside/heave cracking structural elements of your house.
Tree roots growing into your house
A tree root can grow through your property’s foundations and cause things to break or shift alignment. Watch out for any trees that are close to your property and check that they aren’t growing towards the foundations of your building. They cause significant moisture level changes in the soil which then swells or contracts.
If you fear your property might be affected by subsidence or need underpinning, get in touch with Best Underpinning today. We’re qualified to carry out necessary ground works and underpinning to make your home safe, secure and long-lasting. Get in touch today to find out more about us or to book your site inspection. We’ll be happy to help you make your home structurally sound.