Concrete slab foundations have become the norm in house building – most people have probably heard of no other type of foundations, even. They boast of good insulation, and therefore have become increasingly popular since the late twentieth century. However, until the 1970s at least, house foundations consisted of stumps – timber stumps or concrete pillars which supported the house. This type of foundation has however lost popularity for the exact same reason as to why concrete slab foundations have become popular – they cannot properly insulate the subfloor unless proper and careful care is taken during the designing and planning process.
Furthermore, houses built on stump foundations face certain problems that their counterpart concrete foundation houses do not face. The stumps can either settle due to soil movements – or in the case of timber stumps, the wood can rot due to the soil moisture – and in either case, they need to be attended to in a process known as house restumping. Visit http://www.hydraulift.com.au/house-restumping.php for more info.
House restumping is basically the resetting (in case of settling) or entire replacement of the stumps of a house.
Restumping is also known as ‘reblocking’ and involves a few stages. Firstly, the house is assessed – the stumps are checked and the amount of damage and repair required are assessed. Next, the house is propped up with a hydraulic jack in the places where the stumps need replacement. In case of partial restumping, only part of the house is propped and only part of the stumps are replaced – the rest are adjusted to compensate for the amount of settling that has occurred. In case of complete restumping, the entire house has to be propped up, and all the stumps are duly replaced. Nowadays, stumps are replaced with either concrete or galvanised steel stumps – timber stumps have become obsolete.
The process of restumping, while it serves to fix the house – can also give rise to a range of other problems. Given on the amount of movement that has occurred due to the settling of stumps, the process of restumping can damage tiles, warp doorframes, cause cracks in the plasterwork, etc. Therefore, when deciding to undertake restumping, it is also important to assess the possible damage that will be caused by restumping – and to also prepare for those consequences. Conversely, restumping becomes a good idea if major renovations are going to be done on a house – since the house is going to be rebuilt to a certain extent, the consequences of restumping become insignificant. As such, professionals strongly advise restumping in cases where houses with stumps foundations are about to undergo major renovations.