5 Signs That Your Property Needs Underpinning

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

If you're wondering whether your property needs underpinning, there are a few signs to look out for. This article will help you decide whether to call in underpinning experts.

The first sign is to look out for cracks in the walls. These are only sometimes serious but could indicate that your foundation is in danger of failing.

Cracks in the Walls

Cracks in the walls are among the most common signs that your property needs underpinning. This is because a cracked wall can indicate the presence of subsidence, which can cause structural damage to your home.

Fortunately, most cracks in the walls are harmless. The soils under your home's foundation cause seasonal expansions and contractions.

However, larger cracks can point to a more severe issue, such as subsidence or the shifting of your foundations.

The best way to determine whether your cracks are serious is to monitor them over weeks or months. You should contact a qualified engineer to investigate if they become more prominent, broader, or longer.

Stuck Doors and Windows

Sticking doors and windows is a common problem for homeowners, and they can be a sign of a serious foundation issue. They may also be a symptom of climate and humidity problems, making them difficult to open and close properly.

Homeowners often try to fix these problems by lubricating door tracks or adjusting the frame. However, this superficial patch needs to address the underlying foundation issue.

If your house's doors and windows are getting stuck or scraping against the frames, this is a sign that your foundation needs to be leveled. It would help if you got the foundation fixed before the problems worsened or caused other issues in your home.

Leaning to One Side

If your home starts to lean to one side, it could be a sign of foundation problems. This may be a minor issue, but it can lead to significant structural damage in more challenging situations.

The most common signs your property needs underpinning include cracks in the walls and floors, stuck doors and windows, and gaps between bricks. Depending on the condition of your foundation, you may need to use tools such as helical piers and caissons to stabilize it.

The best way to find out if your property requires underpinning is to contact our expert team. We can thoroughly inspect your property and provide you with an accurate risk assessment before recommending the most suitable solution for your foundation.

Cracks in the Floor

Cracks in the floor that go across, wall to wall, can signify structural foundation problems. They're also a standard indicator of subsidence, as the ground beneath the foot can begin to move.

Sometimes, they can be a minor cosmetic issue, but you might have serious foundation issues if they're swollen or getting wider.

Similarly, doors and windows that don't open and close properly, or that stick, are another symptom of subsidence.

Even if these are cosmetic repairs, they can cost up to 20% of your property's value. That's why acting fast if you notice any of these signs is essential.

Leaking Pipes

Leaking pipes are one of the most common signs that your property needs underpinning. These problems result from the foundation shifting, which causes pipe connections to separate or rupture, leading to leaks.

Often, the source of the problem is hard to find and may require a professional plumber. But if you know the basics and some essential details, you can avoid costly repairs by spotting the telltale signs of a leaking pipe before it becomes an issue.

If you see a yellowish-brown stain on your ceiling, that's one of the most common indicators that you have a plumbing leak. Water dripping into the attic isn't just a cosmetic letdown; it also poses a fire hazard and attracts rodents, which love to chew on electrical wires. Ultimately, it would help if you acted fast to stop a leak before it worsens.


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