Foundation Underpinning – What Is It?

Posted November 7, 2018, under Blog

Foundation underpinning is a type of foundation repair that is used to deepen the foundation that a property currently sits on. This is done when the soil is sub-standard and the structure has been experiencing foundation degradation and needs to be strengthened in order to protect the property.

When a foundation begins to settle this can cause damage throughout the home in the form of cracks and/or drainage issues, in addition to major structural and foundation failure. Besides negatively affecting a home’s property value, a faulty foundation can also pose major safety issues to those who reside there.

When left unchecked and unrepaired, foundation damage can become very costly to fix. Luckily though, if you have your foundation inspected at the first signs of deterioration typically foundation underpinning can be used as an affordable foundation repair method, and one that will only add value to your home.

In Los Angeles, there are a variety of foundation styles and types of architectures – all of which determine how your home’s foundation is repaired.

Oftentimes, foundation underpinning will require the use of caissons (i.e. steel reinforced concrete piles) and grade beams (i.e. steel reinforced concrete beams).

Whenever you are working with a home’s foundation, it’s important to make sure you’re working with an experienced and trusted company.

A foundation expert will always start the underpinning process from the corners of the home, working inwards – always working under load-bearing walls.

Underpinning Uses:
• Improve weak soil conditions.
• Raise settled foundations or slabs.
• Stabilize sinkhole conditions.
• Treat expansive or collapsible soil.

Type of Underpinning Methods:

Slab Piers: These are used for homes or other structures with concrete foundations. Slab peirs work best for lifting home foundation slabs and garage slabs.

Push Piers: These are an adjustable solution that work for lifting slabs and foundations that have settled at an uneven rate. Piers are installed both interiorly and exteriorly and are applied across the foundations.

Resistance Piers: When you need a mechanism to drive deep into the soil to support the foundation, resistance piers are the strongest and deepest diving solution for underpinning.

Helical Piers: These provide extra stability in the foundation underpinning process. These piers work best for lighter loads and properties in unstable rock conditions.

Concrete Piers: These provide long-term strength and stability to a foundation and are an excellent option for repairing foundations and preventing future settlement.

If you’ve noticed any signs of foundation damage, contact Julian Construction to schedule your free inspection.

Julian Construction has inspected over 30,000 structures, working with engineering firms and local departments of building & safety. The company has done more foundation repair and earthquake retrofitting in Los Angeles than any other company in the area over the last five years.

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