Concrete floors, walls, and foundations are subject to developing cracks if not installed expertly enough. Yet even the most competently installed concrete slab may end up succumbing to
Repairing the crack itself is only the first step of this process. Unless your concrete is properly reinforced, it will likely suffer more such damage in the future. If you would like to learn about one of the most common methods of stabilizing a concrete foundation, read on. This article will discuss the technique known as underpinning.
The Basic Idea
The basic idea of underpinning is fairly simple: additional structural elements are introduced to help shore up the concrete's defenses. Such elements are generally installed beneath the concrete. As you can imagine, this makes underpinning a somewhat involved operation, one that often requires a good deal of excavation. The ultimate purpose of the introduced elements is to transfer the building's load to a deeper--and thus more stable--area of soil or bedrock.
Underpinning is a versatile technique, and is capable of fulfilling a number of diverse purposes. As suggested above, it is used to prevent concrete cracks by eliminating unwanted settlement--in other words, by keeping the concrete as level as possible. It is often also implemented as a way to generate a greater foundation capacity, for instance when building new rooms or additions.
Underpinning is also utilized as a preservation tactic where
The Underpinning Process
The oldest and most basic form of underpinning is often known as box underpinning. It is estimated that this technique