Three Ways to Reinforce a Buildings Foundation

April 10 2017   07 PM  

Reinforcing a foundation

Today we’ll look at various methods of reinforcing a property’s foundation with a guest post from ConX member, 5 Star Reblocking & Underpinning, one of Australia’s leading contractors. 
5 Star specialises in the different methods of reinforcing a foundation, which method makes the most sense for a property, and how to know when it’s time to start exploring these different methods. 
First up, a little bit of a refresher for the warning signs. These are no joke, that’s why we want to make sure that property owners and builders are equipped with the proper knowledge to identify them early. Warning signs include cracks in the floor, in the walls and in the ceiling. They include gaps between doors and their frames. Conversely, if a door begins to stick within its frame, it’s time to talk to a professional. Additional signs include anything to do with access water retention. Pools of it in frequently used areas? Wet crawl spaces after periods of rainfall? Sagging floors? All negative items of note, which mean that it’s definitely time to explore foundation reinforcements.
Acknowledging a problem is step one. Next up? Time to differentiate between the big three in foundation reinforcement:

 Restumping, Reblocking and Underpinning.
Restumping and reblocking are often interchangeable terms, and follow similar processes. Both refer to the replacement of the stumps that hold the foundation up. Picture a muscular man or woman holding up a house—we’re talking award winning muscles here. It’s the same kind of premise for these stumps. Both Restumping and reblocking use jacks to support the subfloor, as contractors first dig out the existing foundation and its stumps, and then replace it. Only once each and every one of the previous stumps are removed, it’s time to place new concrete stumps where they once were. 
Underpinning is really the odd man out here. It’s a process that is used exclusively for the Melbourne area. This is because the houses have walls of brick veneer, but a foundation built with concrete slabs, not stumps. These slabs will sustain cracking due to all sorts of weather—from mild to severe. When the slabs crack, the brick walls shift or tilt—not a good combination for homeowners. This is why the underpinning process leverages jacks to prop up the slabs, while brand new concrete is poured in to fill all of the concrete. 
Bottom line, each of the processes will ensure that the durability of a property’s foundation is extended as much as possible. There’s really only one difference of note- reblocking and restumping will completely remove and replace all elements of the foundation (these are the stumps that we just discussed), while underpinning is adding on to the existing foundation. Interested in learning more? You can checkout 5 Star’s site, here.
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