5 Precaution Always Taken During Underpinning
When it comes to safety while constructing your house, underpinning plays a vital role. It strengthens the foundation of your house and can even be used to stabilize old buildings whose foundations have been weakened for some reason or the other. There are various types of underpinning, and the customer may choose according to the necessities of the house and soil. Not only for the house but-but safety issues also matters for those working for underpinning.
Since this involves digging holes in confined spaces, there is a huge chance that the existing structure would archive and even collapse. Since the building is already weakened, including the foundation, the risk factor runs high and calls for expert knowledge.
In most cases, earthquakes and age of the building are what calls for underpinning activities. However, in the past, there have been many loopholes in the procedure of underpinning. Therefore, authorities have become stricter in keeping tabs on the process. Heavy fining is done when the safety steps are not followed well. Therefore, not only the responsible company but also the concerned owners of the buildings should be aware of the measures. This smoothens the job.
Here are 5 precautions to be considered:
- All services are to be looked into before work begins. Make sure there are no leaks in the underpinning pits via which they can get flooded or gassed. There should be sufficient backing of the structure so that it does not give way. Verify the strength of the walls above the pits.
- Make escape routes from pits clear and quick. There should be proper ventilation in the pits. Accessibility should be easy. It is best to have a Banksman who will take care of these safety measures.
- The adjoining owners of the building are to be informed of the work, along with every detail of the work. This should be followed by a careful survey of the building’s structure, and the status of the adjoining or surrounding buildings.
- If any fault is found, the owners should be informed, and the necessary steps must be taken. These should be marked by indicators so that monitoring them during further work is easier.
- A thorough study of the causes of underpinning the structure, and what may be the outcomes, should be made, especially if it is a settlement. Loads on the building should be reduced before beginning the work, specifically the imposed loads. Services around the buildings are to be traced and taken care of as would be required.
Underpinning is a messy process and requires the high expenditure in order to make it smooth. These precautions are important to prevent unwanted damage and thus save on expenditure. Reduce the burden by keeping in mind the various warnings and you are good to go! Problems like rubble foundation, high water tables, slots and clays, or sandy soils may get in the way. These factors complicate the job and increase the risk factors.
Make sure you use sophisticated hacking systems. Wherever a ground movement is eliminated, only repairing the damage would do. But if the structure is threatened by further ground shifts, the stability and integrity of the building have to be increased.
It might also require repairing on a regular basis. Such details should be provided by the engineers involved. Make sure to check on these facts even before work begins. The outcome of the work would differ according to the usage of the structure and the soil on which it is built, but basic methods remain the same.