A common defect in buildings is cracking. There are several causes of cracking and one is settlement. Settlement occurs when the ground underneath a buildings foundations consolidates. This can often be the result of founding on poor ground. One solution is to increase the depth of the foundations to sufficient depth to reach a strata able to withstand the foundations with minimal settlement. This is known as underpinning.

Underpinning usually takes the form of mass concrete poured underneath existing footings in staged pours. Temporary props may be required to prevent the collapse of the local masonry above. In rarer cases, it may be necessary to provide piles and ground beams perpendicular to the wall.

SGM have extensive experience of underpinning and use this knowledge to select the most appropriate underpinning solution.

The photos below show a typical example of underpinning to an internal wall in a house. The photos show the area beneath the wall, one stage of concrete already cast and the excavations for a second stage.