Frequently Asked Questions About House Re-Blocking or Underpinning
Re-blocking a house or underpinning a foundation means to add structural support around the foundation itself. Usually this is done when the foundation has cracks or has become soft due to water and moisture collecting around it.
Underpinning is a big job for most homeowners but it can be necessary in order to protect your home’s foundation from major damage, and from keeping this damage from spreading to other areas of the home. When a foundation starts to crack and shift, this can mean connectors around a home’s building materials can also come loose as they’re then holding more weight than they should. Note some frequently asked questions about house re-blocking or underpinning so you can determine if you need to have this done, and what to expect from the job as well.
1. What Are Some Signs That a Home Needs Re-blocking or Underpinning?
One sign that your home needs re-blocking or underpinning is when cracks are starting to form in the plaster of walls. As the home’s foundation shifts, the walls will shift with it and in turn, they may crack as they move. These cracks may also show up along the ceiling. Sloping floors are also common as these too will shift and change position as the home’s foundation shifts. Doors may also start to creak and not close snugly, and may also close on their own when you leave them open. All of these are signs that the home’s foundation is no longer keeping the home level and even.
Decay around the foundation of the home is also a sign that underpinning is needed, and you may also notice cracks in the foundation that grow over time. If you fill in cracks along the foundation and they continue to pull away from the filler, then underpinning or re-blocking is necessary.
2. Is There a Difference Between Re-blocking and Underpinning?
While the terms are often used interchangeably, there is a difference in the procedure used, depending on your home’s foundation. Re-blocking means that a home’s block foundation is actually replaced with new block, whereas underpinning refers to increasing the stability of a concrete foundation. This may be done with another layer or concrete or it may be done by inserting pins into the foundation, which in turn provides support.
The different types of materials and processes used is one reason that a homeowner would do well to leave this job to a professional (such as Australian Reblocking Co Pty Ltd), as they will need to assess the home’s structure and extent of damage to determine the right choice for adding support to the foundation.