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Mass Concrete Underpinning Explained For the Rookies

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What part of your building requires the most attention? Is it the large walls scaling high into the sky and making the structure worth your sight? Think again. The part that needs your attention is the foundation. Without it, your building cannot stand up and showcase its beauty. Building foundations requires proper care and maintenance, especially when weather and other elements threaten their wellbeing. One way you can keep your foundation in good shape is through underpinning, which strengthens and restores the foundation's structural integrity. Usually, the decision to underpin the foundation results from observation and thorough assessment of the foundation to establish potential structural hazards. Read the following piece to learn more about a popular underpinning technique called mass concrete underpinning. 

Mass Concrete Underpinning Defined

Mass concrete underpinning is a form of underpinning where segmental excavation is carried out below the old, degrading foundation. The excavation takes place in a controlled set-up while observing the soil strata to optimise on areas that will give the maximum support to the foundation. When the remodelling experts are happy with the excavation, they place shutters in position and backfill the area with the appropriate concrete mixes. 

The Concreting Stage

Casting new concrete into the excavated sections is fundamental for the quality of reinforcement you will achieve when you finish the process. The safest bet is to ram cement packing and dry sand between the old foundation and the new one. Essentially, the layer of concrete acts as a shock absorber, transferring the load safely from the old foundation to the new one. The new foundation cast in place sits as a restraining element to help retrofit the establishment of a basement. As the foundation's width increases, the load from the building spreads over a large area. This keeps the foundation from collapsing. 

The Benefits of Mass Concrete Underpinning

Mass concrete underpinning has several benefits when used to reinforce and restore a foundation. First, the construction of the reinforcing bases happens on one side of the wall sections. Therefore, it is possible to carry out underpinning from the outer sections of the structure without interfering with the interior. The occupants will not have to vacate the building unless it's a matter of formality. Secondly, the remodelling experts can examine the soil conditions to determine their suitability for the foundation. They can use vane testers and hand penetrometers to pinpoint weak spots and unwanted elements such as tree roots.

For more information about underpinning, reach out to a professional.