Thinking green

In clay soil, removing vegetation can offer the chance of rehydration and swelling of the soil correcting some of the downward movement, however it is often necessary to repair or replace geometrical critical components such as windows and doors and in severe cases, floors and ceilings will need to be packed with furring strips to correct unacceptable legacy distortions. These are perhaps rare and extreme examples but more frequently, the industry witnesses conservatory and porch claims. Structures of this nature do not routinely require building control supervision and consequently, the foundations rarelytake account of soil type or external influences within their design.

Optera specialise in the restoration of subsidence affected structures by jacking the foundations from specially created reaction points which are formed from either traditional mass concrete underpinning pads or ground beams connected to deep piles dependent upon the site investigation findings. Using hydraulic lifting equipment placed between the top of our constructed reaction point and the underside of the affected house footing, we are able to apply a net upward force, pushing the building back into its original position. The resultant void is packed with concrete to leave a permanent and long lasting repair. The key benefits of this are that there is no need to take down and re-erect a UPVC structure which may have become brittle due to UV exposure. Quite often conservatory components snap due to a loss of ductility and require replacement. By pushing the building back into level, the forces are widespread and less destructive. Openings become freely operational without the previous fouling and cracks in masonry close, allowing less destructive repairs such as masonry reinforcement or simple deep bed repointing.

Safety is a prime concern whenever conducting repairs of this nature and a full assessment of the risk is carried out and reported before commencing works. The repair process conforms to current health and safety legislation and where necessary we work with statutory bodies to gain building control approval for the works.