As time goes by, the foundation holding your house in place gets weak. This can be caused by several factors such as proximity to a busy road, which makes the earth vibrate as the vehicles pass by. The vibrations distort the compaction of the soil layers, affecting their capacity to hold the load of the building. Therefore, it is important for you to carry out repairs to the foundation to keep it strong at all times. Underpinning is a good way to do this. It is basically a process of reinforcing the foundation of a building to ensure that it can support its own weight. For you to do this, it is important to detect the foundational problems early enough. Here are some signs you should look out for:
Do you see signs of subsidence?
Subsidence is a situation in which a land area sinks or caves in gradually over a long period. There are many causes of subsidence. For instance, flooding and heavy rain wash away lots of soil whenever they occur. Other occurrences such as earth tremors also loosen the soil and make it easily blown away by wind or runoff water.
You can notice signs of subsidence when the top layers of the soil seem to be pulling away from the foundation of the house. They form small, irregular trenches along the lower edges of the building. Subsidence shows the loss of a substantial amount of soil around the foundation, which means that it has to be strengthened.
Cracks in the walls
As much as poor construction may lead to cracking of the walls, it could also be an indication of a problem with the foundation. Weak foundations mean that the building is distributing its weight unevenly on the walls. This forces the walls to develop cracks in cases where they cannot sustain the pressure imposed on them. Therefore, it is important for you to have the walls checked to ascertain whether the problem is foundational or superficial. Thereafter, underpinning can be done to correct the problem.
Tree roots extending towards the house
Naturally, trees are good for beautification in your home. However, they can wreak a lot of havoc on your foundation especially when they are planted close to the house. The roots will grow towards the foundation of the house and impose a lot of pressure on the foundation, forcing it to crack. This makes the foundation weak and in need of underpinning. If there is a tree close to the house, check for cracks at the bottom of the wall near the tree. In addition, cracks in the floor are also a sign of the bad effects caused by roots.