When the soil beneath a portion of your foundation is pulled away by a sinkhole, it creates a load imbalance that can literally pull your home apart. Cracks in walls, along with doors and windows that no longer open or close properly can signal sinkhole damage even if no visible cavity is present. Underpinning can repair damage caused by a sinkhole and prevent further damage from occurring.
What is Underpinning?
In order to repair a foundation that has been affected by a sinkhole, an alternative means of support must be provided. Underpinning is a method of stabilizing the foundation using concrete or steel, restoring restore stability in areas where the soil has been loosened or removed by the sinkhole.
Types of Underpinning
There are several different underpinning methods. These include:
• Mass pour
• Screw piles and brackets
• Pile and beam
• Piled raft
The most common and cost-effective underpinning method is the mass pour, in which unstable soils beneath the foundation are gradually excavated and replaced with concrete to provide structural support. The various pile methods use strong steel supports driven into the soil until stable bedrock is reached.
If your foundation is damaged by a sinkhole, underpinning may be the best choice for both repair and prevention. Visit this website for more information about underpinning in San Diego.