Modern homes with basement foundations have finished basements that act as additional living or storage spaces. However, this isn't the same case with older homes. In many older homes, basements are damp, mouldy spaces that house plumbing pipes, boiler systems and clutter. If your old home has a basement foundation, you should underpin it. Underpinning is a restoration project that fixes the foundation and strengthens it. Below are four key benefits of underpinning a basement foundation in an older home.
Reveal structural problems
Is your home unstable due to shifting ground conditions and changing soil structure? Although basement foundations are deep and sturdy, they can still suffer weaknesses due to ground movement, soil changes and increased moisture content in the ground. Underpinning can reveal existing foundation problems that might cause structural issues. Before commencing the project, your contractor will inspect the basement foundation to reveal existing structural issues that could compromise the building's integrity.
Increase the foundation's strength
Older homes with weakening foundations can benefit from underpinning. Below are the telltale signs of a failing basement foundation.
- Cracks on the floor and walls
- Sticking doors and windows
- Cracked moulding
- Uneven floors
Underpinning involves digging holes below the foundation footing and filling the holes to provide additional support for the structure. The project can also be undertaken using poured concrete piers, steel piles and concrete piles. During the process, the footing is lowered while maintaining the structural integrity of the basement walls. Foundation underpinning supports the load-bearing walls and protects the structure from sinking or collapsing.
Upgrade old systems
The basements of older homes usually house systems such as plumbing pipes and boilers. Because of the dingy state of the basements, most of the systems installed in the space go years without maintenance. Consequently, plumbing leaks occur due to pipe corrosion, worsening the state of the basement. During underpinning, the basement foundation is lowered, increasing the space. You can use this opportunity to upgrade the old plumbing, replace your inefficient boiler and relocate HVAC equipment.
Redesign the basement
Underpinning isn't just about strengthening a basement foundation. You can use this opportunity to redesign the space too. You can ask your contractor to knock down some walls that aren't load-bearing and increase the floor space in the basement. With more vertical space and floor space, you can even finish the basement and extend the living areas. You only need to invest in waterproofing systems to achieve a dry, mould-free and livable basement.
Basement underpinning can instantly transform an older home, extend its lifespan and boost its value. Contact a construction contractor for professional underpinning services.
For more information on house underpinning, contact a company near you.