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Underpinning Solutions

When a building becomes weakened to the point of being structurally unsafe, instead of having to demolish and rebuild large parts or even the entire structure, underpinning can be used to strengthen the foundations of the existing building or structure.

Underpinning works by extending the depth of the foundations or expanding the foundations to increase the weight bearing load over a larger surface area. Underpinning can be a major project to undertake so it is important that you know the different methods available and how they can benefit different situations.

Underpinning can be required for a number of reasons; maybe a change in soil conditions have altered the foundations; maybe the original foundation is old and worn and no longer strong enough to support the structures; maybe additional floors or extensions have been added to the structure which means the foundations are now under increased pressure, pressure that they are unable to withstand. Luckily, there is an underpinning method for every eventuality:

  1. Mass Concrete Underpinning

One of the most common methods of underpinning sees the soil underneath and immediately surrounding the structure replaced with concrete which is poured in box shaped compartments, pre-dug by the underpinning team in a predetermined sequence that will be able to bear the weight of the structure. This method is commonly used for relatively shallow foundations.

  1. Piled Underpinning

If a structure is situated above layers of firm and superficial soil then piling underpinning is used. Piling underpinning is also considered if there is limited access to the construction site, any environmental concerns or minimal structural movements during the underpinning process. Steel cased piles are driven at strategic points before being filled with the concrete.

  1. Jet Grouting

Suitable across a wide range of soil types, jet grouting involves creating geometric patterns of grouted soil using a high-velocity jet. The jets are used to create columns of grouted soil which can withstand greater loads than the previous soil. Because the grouting is applied using high-pressure jets the current soil is disturbed, which means the process can never be used if the foundations are very sensitive.

For more information on underpinning and piling in Chester, contact the team at Rhinopiling today.

 

 

3 Things That Cause Subsidence

As the number one cause of early deterioration of a properties structure, it is much more effective to try and prevent subsidence before it manages to take control. After all, it is relatively easy to spot the signs of its development when it is severe, however, the costs associated with a fixture can be unaffordable for many. Luckily, understanding how subsidence is caused can help property owners stop it in its tracks sooner rather than later. Read on to find out more…

Moisture loss can cause soil shrinkage and movement

In most cases, subsidence occurs as a result of soil movement and displacement which affects the way that the foundations of a property lay in the ground. In fact, soil movement can actually drag the walls of a building apart and this often leads to the signature diagonal split that appears in the brickwork of properties affected by subsidence. This is often the result of moisture loss in the soil causing it to shrink in size and move and if foundations are built upon this weak soil then they are at continuous risk of subsidence.

Trees and other plants can cause foundation damage

Many people are unaware how strong tree roots and plants can actually be when it comes to the foundations of a property. In fact, the number of subsidence related incidents that involve plants are actually increasing each year. The affliction is often caused when a structure is built on top of or within a close proximity to nature itself and plants like Japanese Knotweed can actually break through foundations and crumble them whilst tree roots suck up excess moisture and cause soil shrinkage to occur. As a result, it is vital that foundations are installed in a suitable area as far away from plants and trees as possible.

A building with poor foundations will eventually subside

Perhaps the most unusual cause of subsidence is the quality of a structures existing foundations. After all, the weight of an entire building has to be able to sit on top of them and if they are installed incorrectly or do not offer the necessary support then they will begin to buckle under the sheer weight of the structure. In most cases, this presents itself as subsidence.

Here at Rhino Piling, we believe that subsidence is an avoidable affliction that many property owners shouldn’t have to deal with. After all, poor-quality foundations are a common cause of its development. Luckily, the installation of piles can help rectify subsidence before it manages to wreak serious damage to the structure of a property and can even be used as a subsidence prevention measure. To find out more information, get in contact with the best piling Manchester has to offer and speak to a member of the Rhino Piling team today!

 

Can the Weather Affect Piling Construction?

Before a piling project can commence, there are many guidelines that have to be abided by. For example, a site evaluation must be carried out in order to determine which piles are best suited for the property in question and the time of year has to be factored into the approach of the project. After all, the weather can have an adverse effect on piling construction and extreme conditions may even temporarily halt a job all together. Read on as the team here at Rhino Piling go over the different ways that the weather can affect piling…

Cold weather can freeze the ground

During the winter months, it is not uncommon for the soil to freeze and this can make a traditional piling project difficult. After all, the methods used in order to install piles tend to rely on the shifting of soil and this cannot be done when the temperatures fall below zero and cause it to freeze. In addition to this, concrete mixtures may have to be kept at a constant warm temperature until it is used which means that heaters often need to be set up, adding to the expenses of a project. Luckily, helical piles are often suitable for winter piling construction.

Hot weather can lead to soil shrinkage

Although the summer season is said to be the easiest times of year for piling construction and installation, there are several hurdles that builders and contractors may have to take into consideration. For example, extremely high temperatures can cause the moisture from soil to be depleted and this can lead to soil shrinkage and movement, affecting the piles before they are secured.

Wet weather can make the soil weak

When torrential rain strikes, it is not uncommon for a construction project to be called off, particularly when it deals with groundworks like piling. After all, rainwater can quickly merge with the soil in order to create a slurry and this can make a work environment incredibly unsafe. In addition to this, very moist soil can also make it difficult to accurately install deep piles into the ground.

Here at Rhino Piling, we believe that one-to-one customer care is essential in order to ensure that a project runs as smoothly as possible and that is why we make it our mission to stay in contact with our clients at all times. After all, heavy rain or strong winds can make a piling project virtually impossible to complete. To find out more information about the guidelines that make up our services, get in contact with the best piling Manchester has to offer and speak to a member of the Rhino Piling team today!

 

Plants That Can Damage the Foundations of a Building

When people think about foundation damage, they tend to presume it was caused by soil movement or shrinkage that eventually led to late-stage subsidence taking hold. Surprisingly, nature itself can be the culprit as there are many plants that have the power and strength to completely destroy the foundations of a structure unless dealt with by a professional. Here at Rhino Piling, we want to equip our readers with everything they need to know about our services and that is why we have decided to go over three potentially dangerous plants that should be prevented at all costs. Read on to find out more…

Japanese Knotweed

Identified by its bamboo-like stems, Japanese knotweed is every property owner’s worst nightmare. After all, it may only grow up to 3 meters in height but it is incredibly difficult to get rid of as it has the ability to survive from a root the size of a small fingernail. Once a property is affected by Japanese knotweed, it is important to act fast because this plant grows as fast as 10cm per day and has the strength to force its way through concrete, drains and even walls which can cause devastating damage to a buildings foundation and may even lead to subsidence. In order to remove it, the roots must be completely dug out and burned by a professional.

Oak Trees

Although a tree may appear harmless, their roots tend to spread in order to take up a space that is four to seven times wider than their crown. This means that a tree located within close proximity to the foundations of building can actually cause a lot of damage to the structure. After all, the roots are also incredibly strong and, just like Japanese knotweed, have the ability to force their way through concrete and drainage pipes. In addition to this, roots also soak up moisture from the soil in order to survive and this can lead to shrinkage and eventually subsidence. In order to remove an oak tree from the roots, it is important to call a licenced tree surgeon.

English Ivy

Whilst it may look aesthetically pleasing when it grows on the exterior of a property, English ivy has a wrath that can sometimes affect the foundations of a property in a variety of ways. This is because they support themselves by using a root system that penetrates through the brickwork. Whilst this type of plant isn’t as dangerous as tree roots or Japanese Knotweed, it is important to have the foundations inspected regularly as English ivy can lead to damp interior walls and structural damage over time.
Although a simple plant may seem like a minor bump in the road, there is nothing more unfriendly than the discovery of these plants, particularly Japanese knotweed. After all, a building can be completely ravaged by its growth unless it is dealt with promptly by an expert who knows how to kill it from the roots. Luckily, high-quality piling foundations can provide a structure with all the strength it needs in order to withstand the brutality of these plants until the property owner notices the problem. To find out more information, get in contact with the best piling Manchester has to offer and speak to a member of the Rhino Piling team today!

The Signs of Weak Soil

Building foundations rely on soil stability and this means that weak soil can halt a project permanently. After all, it is very important to take external characteristics into consideration prior to the commencement of construction in order to provide the best service for the client.Read more

Common Signs of a Weak Foundation

The main reason why a property owner invests in a piling service is down to poor or failing foundations. After all, it is essential that a building is designed with high-quality foundations that are able to support the weight of a structure throughout its entire lifespan.Read more