Is Your Property in Need of Piling?

Posted on: 2 February 2021

Is your building showing signs of subsidence? If so, you must think carefully about how you will rectify the situation. Ignoring subsidence and other structural issues isn't a valid solution since foundation problems don't correct themselves. You can't ignore foundation faults as they will only get worse until your home eventually pulls itself apart and you are forced to move out. Often, the most effective way to resolve problems with the foundation of your property is through piling. Here is what you need to know before signing a contract with a piling contractor.

Know what piling solution is needed

While you may have been told that piling is needed, you must understand that there are multiple piling options available. Your piling contractor may want to discuss the merits of different piling materials, including steel, timber or concrete. There are also different methods of piling such as friction piles that transfer the weight of the building to the surrounding soil and end bearing piles that rest on solid rock. While you may not understand all the technical explanations, it is useful to know what the piling contractor is proposing and to understand their reasoning. Asking the piling contractor about their proposed solution can reassure you that they have a solid grasp of the problem and the experience to tackle it effectively.

Know how will the piling be carried out

Not every piling contractor will want to work in the same way, and before signing a contract, you should ask the piling contractor how they will operate. Some piling contractors will want to use prefabricated piles which are driven into the soil. Maybe the contractor doesn't think that the location of the property or the particular problem makes it suitable for driven piles. If so, they may suggest using cast-in-place piles which are created on the site. A variation of the cast-in-place technique is sometimes used, which involves a hollow casing being driven into the ground before being filled with concrete.

What equipment will be used?

Every site is different, and the decisions about which equipment the piling contractor will use could be driven by the available access to the site and the proximity of other buildings just as much as by the type of piling that is needed. Talk to your piling contractor and make sure that they have thoroughly investigated the site before they make any decisions about the equipment they will need.

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