Underpinning is a process by which a property's existing foundation is strengthened through the installation of structural components which provide additional support.
If your home has a subsidence problem (that is, the soil beneath its foundation has begun to cave and in doing so, has led to the foundation itself sinking further into the ground) then you may need to have a construction contractor perform a house underpinning. This is a complex and time-consuming process; however, it is absolutely worth the time and effort. Read on to find out why.
It will help to prevent further structural damage
When subsidence causes a house's foundation to sink into the ground, structural problems can begin to occur throughout the entire property. You may notice cracks on both the exterior and interior walls as well as changes to the shapes of the door and window frames. In some instances, the warping of the aforementioned frames may be so severe that the doors and windows become stuck and cannot be opened or closed.
In addition to having a negative impact on the appearance of your home, subsidence can also compromise its structural integrity and potentially (in extreme cases) make the building unsafe to live in.
As such, if you want to continue to live in your home for the foreseeable future, it is essential to have the foundation underpinned so that further structural damage can be prevented.
To maintain the property's value
It's worth noting that when a property which has subsidence issues is put up for sale, its owner is usually expected to make this information known to prospective buyers.
Unfortunately, unresolved subsidence problems are likely to put a lot of people off buying a house, as most people do not want to incur the expense of having these problems repaired. Even individuals who are willing to buy a house that has a subsidence issue would probably only want to do so if they could buy it for far less than its market value.
In short, if you fail to address your home's subsidence issue and you eventually decide to put the property up for sale, you could find yourself struggling to secure a buyer or having to accept an offer which is much lower than you had anticipated.
As such, it is best to view the costs associated with house underpinning as an investment, which will enable you to maintain your home's value and sell it for a reasonable price, should you ever decide to put it on the market.