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Concrete Underpinning Melbourne | Foundation Repair Experts

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Melbourne Underpinning Services

Having trouble with your foundations? Floors and walls cracking, windows jamming? Problems with your foundations is something you can’t ignore. Melbourne Underpinning Group is dedicated to restoring the integrity of your home or property.

If owning a home is everyone’s dream, imagine the feeling of seeing the walls begin to crack. There’s the inevitable costs plus the safety issues that pop into mind. Though we can stand and watch the cracks widen each day, there is another solution. Melbourne Underpinning Group can restore the beauty of your property and make it structurally sound once again.

In the face of a property experiencing destabilised foundations, underpinning can save you in the cost of repairs or reconstruction down the track. Poor soil characteristics affect the strength and durability of your house, creating stresses and cracks which may not resolve themselves. We all love our properties, and when cracks appear, we may start to feel unsafe in our homes. That’s the right moment to find the most reliable underpinning contractors Melbourne has to offer. You need a reputable underpinning contractor to restore your property’s beauty.

Even with significant cracking, Melbourne Underpinning Group can deliver beyond your expectation. We’ve been at it for years and are well-versed with the reactive clay soils on which parts of Melbourne properties sit. We are committed to fixing your foundation repairs. Whether you need residential or commercial underpinning, our team are here to help. 

Why Do You Need Underpinning?

cracking in walls requiring foundation repairs

Cracking in walls and corners of your home

windows not closing a sign of foundation problems in Melbourne

Windows no longer opening and closing

floors not level requiring underpinning in Melbourne

You’ve noticed your floors are not level

cracking in brickwork needing underpinning in Underpinning

Step cracking has occurred in brickwork

gaps around doors a sign you need foundation repairs in Melbourne

Gaps expanding around door frames

underpinning in Melbourne

Cracks in wall and floor tiles occuring

What is Underpinning?

Underpinning is a method used to repair properties that suffered subsidence – the process of soil shrinking. It is necessary for supporting foundations that have undergone settlement and require additional support to increase their bearing capacity.

The traditional process – mass concrete underpinning – involves excavating the soil to support the structure from firm strata. The excavation is replaced with concrete, which is left to cure before carrying the load of the foundation. This brings stability to the house or structure.

There are different techniques used in house underpinning reactive soils. There are many factors that help to determine the ideal method of underpinning a house. Such factors include the type of the soil and its characteristics, and the site to be underpinned. Some sites may not be accessible by certain types of machinery used in underpinning foundations so this can impact the methods chosen

Here are some of the methods used:

  • Mass concrete 
  • Mini-piled
  • Screw Pile
  • Jet Grouting
  • Geo-polymer Resin Injection

Does My House Need Underpinning?

There are several reasons why underpinning a house may be necessary. These include:

  • The original foundation is no longer strong or stable
  • If there is a change in the use of the structure 
  • A change in properties of the soils supporting the foundation (possibly due to subsidence or incorrectly judged during structural design)
  • If there are construction projects nearby involving excavation of soil  supporting the existing foundations
  • For increasing the depth or bearing capacity of existing foundations, especially when there is an addition of a storey 
  • In some cases, it’s wiser economically compared to rebuilding the structure.
  • For stabilising the foundations after they’re weakened by natural causes (e.g. adverse weather conditions and floods)

Your underpinning contractors should take a diagnostic approach to your foundation problem to get a tailored solution. A poor diagnosis of the problem will worsen the existing situation, considering how much it costs Melbourne residents every year. It’s best to engage local underpinning specialists in foundation repairs who are also remedial builders. We are knowledgeable of the characteristics of soils found in your area and have been underpinning Melbourne for years. Whether you’re located in Montrose or need underpinning in Vermont, 

Concrete Underpinning Vs Resin Underpinning

Concrete underpinning is a technique that involves excavating segments along the foundation of an existing building to strengthen its bearing capacity by supporting it from firm strata. The excavations, which can also but not always include underpins or screwpiles – long sections of steel drilled into the ground – are filled with concrete and left to cure. Afterwards, the concrete bears the load of the foundation, stabilising the structure. This is one of the traditional methods common in house foundation repair

Concrete Underpinning has two types which are:

  1. Mass underpinning – this involves excavating the foundation and pouring concrete around or underneath the footings, to increase the footings’ bearing capacity.
  2. Screw Piling – these are like steel screws drilled into the ground. The foundation is attached to the piles to support it from a firm subground through the piles.

On the other hand, resin injection is a simple method that requires little or no excavation. Holes are bored into the ground around the foundation. Resin is injected into the ground through the drilled holes. It gets absorbed by the surrounding soil while it’s still wet. It expands as it dries, binding the surrounding soil to make it less reactive. This method is less preferred because of its high risks. If there are faulty pipes, they may be filled and blocked with resin. Also, if the method fails to stabilise the foundation, the traditional method cannot be used. For this reason, it is better to use the traditional method of underpinning, where possible.

Underpin & Hold

The underpins are dug below the old footing, and poured with concrete. The concrete cures and holds the structure in position, stopping any further movement.

Underpin & Hold

The underpins are dug below the old footing, and poured with concrete. The concrete cures and holds the structure in position, stopping any further movement.

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Underpin & Lift

The same process, however, hydraulic house restumping jacks are used to lift the property to the desired height before concrete is poured to secure the new level.

Underpin & Lift

The same process as underpinning, however, hydraulic house restumping jacks are used to lift the property to the desired height before concrete is poured to secure the new level.

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What Causes Foundation Problems?

Foundation destabilisation affects a lot of homes and properties and is common in many areas across Melbourne. There are several different factors that cause such destabilisation. Oftentimes, houses experience differential settlement, in which some parts of the foundation experience more settlement than others. That difference causes cracks in brickwork and floors, and jamming of windows and doors. Our foundation repairs fix such faulty foundations and can help further prevent foundation issues. At times, hydraulic house jacks are used to lift the slab back up to its original level.

The extent of the foundation settlement depends on different factors which include the type of soil and foundations. In general, all structures experience settlement at some point in their lifetime. If not repaired, this could pose a threat to the stability of the structure. 

We provide reliable underpinning services home owner’s can depend on. Our team is committed to work in house levelling Melbourne’s suburbs such as Mount Everlyn, Toorak, as well as underpinning Box Hill homes, restoring the homes to their former beauty and durability. We stop settlement, repair leaning walls and can bring your home back to its former level at competitive prices

Here are some of the reasons why we are underpinning Melbourne:

water causing foundation issues in melbourne

Water Leaks in the Foundation

which may lead to a drop, shift or crack in the foundation or slab as the supporting soil gets soaked and washed away.
heavy rain causing subsidence in Melbourne

Changes in Moisture Content

Extreme changes in moisture content of the subground surrounding the foundation that can lead to damaging settlement, especially in places with reactive soil. It swells (heaving) and shrinks (subsidence) due to such changes.

trees causing foundation problems

Mature Trees Near the House

Whose roots come into contact with the foundation footings affecting the moisture content of the surrounding soil. The extent of the damage is determined by the type of the soils and species of the tree.
subsidence results in underpinning repairs

Poorly Compacted Soils

When a house is built in a site with poorly compacted fill soil can compress under pressure, leading to settlement of the foundation.
weak soils result in foundation problems in Melbourne

Weak Bearing Soils

Which cannot withstand the weight of the foundation. This problem is common in residential construction, where designs of the footings are not site-specific but follow the general guidelines.
Soil issues causing foundation problems in Melbourne

Soil Consolidation

Occurs when weak and clayey lower soils get compressed due to the weight of the structure or fill soils. The load forces water out of the lower soils, affecting the soil structure.
Have You Noticed any of the Following Problems?

Since your house is one of the expensive investments you’ll make, it pays to protect it by using the best underpinning services Melbourne has on offer. We’ll give you the common signs for identifying foundation problems before it’s too late. There are different factors that cause deterioration, such as leaks, soil type, climate and poor soil compaction. It pays to be on the lookout for the warning signs of a faulty foundation. Here’s what to look for in your structure:

  • Cracks And Fractures In Brick Walls, Floors And Footings – usually, a structure may experience settling due to different factors like inclement weather and reactive soils, both cause the foundation to shift creating gaps. The walls and floors may develop cracks and at times, a broken chimney can be a warning sign too. Horizontal fractures may hint a serious water pressure acting on the foundation of your house.
  • Jamming Windows and Doors – your windows and interior doors may jam when your home is experiencing foundation issues. It is advisable to consult professionals before it’s too late. Our team, experienced in providing professional underpinning services, is able to identify the issue and determine the ideal method of foundation repair.
  • Gaps in Window Frames or Exterior Doors – you may notice gaps starting to appear in arrears surrounding the door frames and window frames. Usually, double doors will not latch or align properly if there is a problem with the structure. At times, the door frame may become crooked, affecting doors from closing properly.
  • Uneven or Sagging floors – you may have noticed your floors beginning to sag or become uneven. Our team can provide concrete levelling services to get your floor back to level.
  • Counters and Cabinets Separating from Walls – these may tilt and pull away from the wall. If the gap keeps widening, that’s a definite sign of faulty footings which needs a foundation repair before the damage gets worse.

We have a dedicated team of underpinning contractors Melbourne residents have trusted over the years for restoring the beauty in properties. Regardless of where you are, if you need foundation repairs in Oakleigh to Croydon, or underpinning in lilydale, call us today

Factors to consider when choosing underpinning

The foundation and footings of a house largely determines the type of underpinning methods that may be used when performing foundation repairs. Below is a criteria to help you make informed decisions regarding your property:

  • The structure of the footings – are the footings concrete strip footings or a concrete slab? If they are timber or concrete stumps then underpinning cannot be performed
  • The causes of damage to the existing foundation– it is very important to understand the underlying causes of the foundation issues to avoid worsening the current problem. It is contained in the report issued by a structural engineer after a site survey.
  • Site restraints– this includes the accessibility of the location by equipment. If there’s limited space, that restricts the underpinning methods. Also, you will need to inspect the impact of your underpinning methods on your properties surrounds.
  • Local permits and regulations– most underpinning projects will require permits and approval from the council. Be sure to work with an underpinning contractor licensed to work in your area. We have operation licences for underpinning. Always check whether your contractor is licensed and fully insured before undergoing any work. You can contact our team to get answers to questions about permits and regulations.
  • Cost of underpinning a house– It’s important to ensure that the underpinning cost is within your budget. Strike a balance between cost and quality work. Don’t hire cheaply, because a poor foundation repair today is costly tomorrow. At worst, irreversible (in the case of a resin injection). Underpinning Group are your go-to affordable underpinning specialists in.
  • Duration of the project– In some cases, the house may need to be vacated for parts of the project. It’s important to know the expected duration of the projects so you can plan if this is required.