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Why Underpin?

With the advent of another prolonged spell of dry weather and a dramatic increase in insurance claims for damage to houses due to subsidence of the site on which they stand, together with increasing litigation against those involved in remedial underpinning, a polarisation of attitudes is occurring between the various groups concerned. On the one hand, insurers, faced with growing losses, are looking at ways whereby these may be reduced while, on the other, some professionals, nervous of their own position, are indulging in a conservative approach to remedial works. On the technical front this is leading to a division into two main camps - the ‘monitor and see’ v. the ‘total underpin now’. The writer, who has many years’ experience in this field, seeks to try to put the situation into perspective and to offer some suggestions which might help to resolve what is rapidly becoming an increasingly confused subject. D. Goodger