What Is Underpinning

What Is Underpinning | Underpinning Foundations Methods | 6 Methods of Underpinning Foundation8 min read

What Is Underpinning?

Underpinning is the process of strengthening or supporting and stabilizing the existing structure of the foundation.

This Underpinning process is done by extending reinforcement in a breadth of the existing foundation or in-depth of an existing foundation.

What Is Underpinning | Underpinning Foundations Methods | 6 Methods of Underpinning Foundation
Underpinning foundation

So that it is resting on highly supportive soil strata and distributing the load on the surrounding greater area of soil.

Commonly micro pilling process and jet grouting process is used for underpinning but these processes are expansive and elaborate.

Read More: 10 Signs of Foundation Issues | 10 | House Foundation Problems | Foundation Damages Signs


Necessity Of Underpinning Foundation

  • When original or existing foundation is not stable at that time underpinning is required.
  • When purpose of structure is changed.
  • The supporting or strengthening soil property of the foundation is changed.
  • When mischaracterized during design the foundation.
  • The disturbing existing foundation soil structure when construction of nearby structure at that time underpinning foundation is required.

Methods of Underpinning

The following underpinning foundations methods are generally used,

  • Pit Method         
  • Pile Method       
  • Underpinning to walls
  • Jack pile underpinning
  • Needle and pile underpinning
  • ‘Pynford’ Stool Method for underpinning
  • Root pile or Angle piling underpinning columns

1. Pit Method for Underpinning Foundation

In-Pit underpinning foundation method the entire length of the foundation is to be divided into sections 1.2 to 9.5 m in length.

The first stage is making a hole in the wall for all divided sections above the plinth level of the structure and the needle is penetrated in the hole. This needle is made up of steel, timber, and stout material. For supporting masonry, the bearing plates are placed immediately above the needle.

What Is Underpinning | Underpinning Foundations Methods | 6 Methods of Underpinning Foundation
Pit Method for Underpinning

This needle supporting arrangement is made by wooden blocks or crib supports on both sides of the masonry wall and screw jacks.

Then after the foundation pit is excavated up to the desired depth of the new foundation and the new foundation is built inside the pit.

Once this whole process is done again the whole process is repeated for the next alternative pit. Some important precautions should be followed during the construction work going on, such as raking shores or supports are provided for supporting weak walls and floors.

In case a strong interior column is there and if increasing existing foundation on only one side, at that time cantilever needle beams are used.

The following points are considered for constructing a pit method.

In the firstround alternate section is taken up and reaming sections are then taken up and the most important point is only one section is taken at a time.

In case a long wall is there and this wall is extended in both directions at that time you can start work from the middle or intimidate section.

In case construction of the new foundation is deeper then proper timbering and trenching should be used for support purposes as well as safety purposes.

Before masonry, you should check needle holes, and their holes filled with the using cement mortar.

When a foundation has gained strength fully then all the supporting arrangements such as needle beams, shuttering should be removed slowly.


2. Pile Method for Underpinning

What Is Underpinning | Underpinning Foundations Methods | 6 Methods of Underpinning Foundation
Pile Method for Underpinning

Pile method for under pinning foudnation as the name suggests piles are driven or installed by the driving technique. These driving piles are placed along both sides of the wall for strengthening purposes.

Commonly under reamed piles are used for underpinning the borehole.

Then after steel needles or concrete needles are penetrated throughout the wall and connected with the piles.

These steel needles or concrete needles work as a beam and act as a pile cap.

The Underpinning pile method is suitable for the waterlogged area, clayey soils and weak bearing strata.


3. Jack Pile for Underpinning

What Is Underpinning | Underpinning Foundations Methods | 6 Methods of Underpinning Foundation
Jack Method of Underpinning

Jack pile underpinning is used where the traditional underpinning is uneconomical.

The biggest advantage of this method is, it is a flexible and vibration-free method. Because the depth of the pile can be easily adjustable according to the subsoil condition.

The existing foundation is in a good condition since it will have to span over the head of the pile cap. This pile cap is cast on to head of the jack pile then after hydraulic jacks have been removed.


4. Pynford Stool Method For Underpinning              

What Is Underpinning | Underpinning Foundations Methods | 6 Methods of Underpinning Foundation
Pynford Stool Method

Pynford stool underpinning foundation method is used, where the existing foundation soil bearing capacity is weak. This underpinning foundation technique makes the needle run continuously to the masonry.

The following steps are considered for underpinning

Stage-1: Holes are formed inside the wall for receiving the precast concrete stools or steel stools.

Stage-2: The masonry work between the pined tools removed to leave supported on pinned stools.

Stage-3: Used fabricated reinforcement and placed it around the pinned stools.

Stage-4: Then after formwork is erected and cast beam.

Stage-5: Remove the formwork


5. Root Pile Or Angle Piling For Underpinning

In Root piling or Angle piling method used modern concrete drilling application for achieving fabricate concrete which is economical in nature and also save the time of construction.

What Is Underpinning | Underpinning Foundations Methods | 6 Methods of Underpinning Foundation
Root Pile Or Angle Piling For Underpinning

Line Reinforced concrete piles are installed or driven in pairs at the opposite angle. Which make the masonry wall stronger and existing floors, walls are predrilled with the use of air flushed percussion auger.

Sometimes is very difficult to apply angle piling on both sides of the wall. For greater stability piles are placed relatively close to each other.

Read More: What Is Foundation Repair | 8 Types of House Foundation Repair Methods | How to Fix Foundation


6. Underpinning Columns

In this column underpinning foundation methods, all the loads are relieved and then it can be underpinned in the same manner using jack piling or traditional methods.

Dead shores are used for transferring the beam load from the column and the column is transferred by the pair of columns.


Advantages of Under pinning Foundation

  • Unde pinning foudnation improved the structural stability.
  • Underpinning is increasing ceiling height.
  • Underpinning foudnation gives more natural light.
  • Underpinning Increase the value of a property.
  • Underpinning foundation provides easy access for plumbing lines, water lines, gas lines, etc.

Disadvantages of Underpinning

  • Underpinning foundation method is expansive in nature.
  • Underpinning construction is very difficult when unstable and the water-logged ground is there.
  • During excavation large amount of excavated material is disposed of on the working site.

Read More: Concrete Bonding Agent | Cement Bonding Agent | Types of Bonding Agents to Join Old Concrete to New Concrete


FAQs:

What do you mean by Underpinning?

Underpinning is the process of strengthening or supporting and stabilizing the existing structure of the foundation.
This Underpinning process is done by extending reinforcement in a breadth of the existing foundation or in-depth of an existing foundation.
So that it is resting on highly supportive soil strata and distributing the load on the surrounding greater area of soil.

What is the Method of Underpinning?

The following methods are used for underpinning,
Pit Method of underpinning foundation       
Pile Method       
Underpinning to walls
Jack pile underpinning
Needle and pile underpinning
‘Pynford’ Stool Method for underpinning
Root pile or Angle piling underpinning columns

What are the Advantages of Underpinning Foundation?

  • Underpinning improved the structural stability. Underpinning is increasing ceiling height.
  • Underpinning gives more natural light.
  • Underpinning increases the value of a property.
  • Underpinning foundation provides easy access for plumbing lines, water lines, gas lines, etc.
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