Piering is a form of reinforcing a building that may be suffering subsidence or settlement due to instability in the soil substrate. It involves the installation of a number of vertical support columns or posts, in conjunction with a series of horizontal cross beams, otherwise known as capped beams. The piers or columns and beams are made of reinforced concrete or high strength steel and are attached to the existing building or its foundations. These supports penetrate through the problematical strata of soil to a solid foundation of bedrock or more stable strata, and are designed to halt further instability.
Foundations are the load bearing structures upon which a building rests. They are typically a layer of concrete strips or a concrete slab set into the soil, upon which a building rests. They are the interface between a building and the soil, and must be stable to ensure the ongoing structural integrity and stability of a structure.
Subsidence or settlement could be caused by a number of factors, but is often the result of an unstable layer of soil or poorly constructed building foundations. Some soils do not have a structure suited to load bearing, and require deep foundations or supports. The most common cause of instability in soils is a change in moisture content, often as the result of poor drainage.
Look out for these clues which may indicate subsidence or settlement in your home:
Bricklaying is a highly skilled trade, and is a crucial element of any successful building operation. Ensuring brickwork is uniform, vertical and held together with the correct consistency of mortar will all ensure the safety and longevity of your home. Bricklayers either work on a contract basis, or as permanent employees of a builder.
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