What is underpinning and what is it for?

Jacob Johnstone 

Underpinning is a process used to strengthen a foundation. It may be necessary for a number of reasons. Read on to learn more about the different types of underpinning. These include Cantilever piles, Slab piers, Helical piles, and Geopolymers. Check out more information in underpinning page.

Cantilever piles

When a building has a weak foundation, cantilever piles underpinning can be an effective option. This type of underpinning is flexible and vibration-free, and it can be installed inside or outside the building. In addition, it can be used when the existing foundation has poor soil bearing capacity. The piling method involves constructing a steel or concrete stool that runs continuously through the masonry.

Piles are used to support a wall, foundation, or corner. They can be installed either externally or internally, and can support an entire building or existing walls. This type of underpinning is also suitable for buildings that have limited space. The piling equipment used in this method is low-vibration, and it is incorporated into a series of needles that project from the raft slab and into the external and internal load bearing walls.

Slab piers

Slab piers are a type of foundation that is installed below a concrete slab. These piers can be used to level a home and prevent the slab from settling. Unlike push piers or helical piers, slab piers are invisible when installed. They are designed to go several feet deep and support a concrete slab.

This type of support is commonly used for concrete slabs. It requires minimal set-up time and only requires an eight-inch core hole. It evenly distributes the weight of a structure, allowing for a faster, more efficient process. Another benefit of slab piers is that they don’t rely on skin friction for support.

Another type of pier is a steel push pier, which is also known as a steel pile. It is a great option for homes that have foundation problems. Unlike concrete piers, a steel push pier is made of steel and does not rely on skin friction for support. These piers are individually load-tested for safety, and are driven into a stable layer beneath a sinking foundation. The weight of the structure is then transferred onto the pier, allowing it to support it and avoid any further movement.

Helical piles

Helical piles underpinning is a highly effective way to support a building’s foundation below ground level. It works by reaching the correct load bearing soils. This process can prevent settling, stabilize the foundation, and prevent future damage. The system uses helical piers, which are fastened to the foundation using a special underpinning bracket. Installing a helical pile system is quick and easy.

Helical piles underpinning is a modern, efficient way to reinforce a foundation. These steel tubes are screwed deeply into the ground to provide stability and support. These piles are installed section by section until the entire area is stable enough to support the structure. It can be used for new foundations, as well as to strengthen an existing foundation.


Geopolymers underpinning is a more environmentally friendly option for underpinning foundations. This type of foundation re-levelling technique uses geopolymers to compact granular soil, ensuring that it has greater bearing capacity. The method is less disruptive to the surrounding environment, and does not release harmful gases during the process. It is also very effective and can provide a long-lasting foundation.

This technique can also be used for re-leveling sunken slabs and moving slabs. It is also used for loading docks and garages. The installation is usually very quick, with resin injection underpinning requiring only a few hours of disruption for a driveway or loading dock.

Jet grouting

When performing jet grouting underpinning, it is important to have a pre-construction survey of the site to evaluate the existing conditions and determine the suitability of the methods used. This survey can be a part of the general pre-construction survey specification or can be provided by the Owner. For larger public works projects, the Owner may also require a geotechnical report, which will describe anticipated ground conditions and provide comments on jet grouting.

Jet grouting underpinning is used to reinforce a building’s foundation by forming a pseudo-cylindrical element within it. It is a common geotechnics technique and can be used for any type of excavation, from open-air excavations to underground excavations. This technique is suitable for underpinning existing structures, soil improvement, and tunnel consolidation.

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