Introduction to Underpinning

Underpinning is a construction technique used to reinforce and stabilize the foundations of an existing structure. This process is essential when the original foundation is no longer capable of supporting the building due to changes in soil properties or other external factors.

The Purpose of Underpinning

Underpinning is undertaken to:

  • Address subsidence or settlement of the foundation.
  • Increase the load capacity of existing foundations to support additional stories.
  • Stabilize the structure due to nearby construction activities.

Methods of Underpinning

There are several methods of underpinning, each suited to different conditions and requirements. These methods include:

  • Mass concrete underpinning, also known as traditional pit underpinning.
  • Beam and base underpinning.
  • Mini-piled underpinning for deeper stabilization.

Assessing the Need for Underpinning

The need for underpinning is typically identified through signs such as:

  • Cracks in walls or foundations.
  • Doors or windows that no longer close in their frames.
  • Visible sinking of the building.

The Process of Underpinning

The underpinning process involves the careful excavation of soil from beneath the existing foundation and the subsequent placement of a new foundation beneath the old one. This process is often complex and requires careful engineering.

Considerations for Successful Underpinning

Key considerations for successful underpinning include:

  • A thorough understanding of soil mechanics.
  • A detailed structural analysis of the existing building.
  • Meticulous planning to avoid damage to the structure during the process.

The Role of Underpinning in Environmental Services

In environmental services, underpinning may be used to adapt structures to changes in environmental conditions, such as erosion or soil liquefaction following seismic activity.

Regulatory and Safety Aspects

Underpinning is heavily regulated to ensure the safety of the construction process. Building codes dictate the standards and permits required for underpinning projects.

Challenges and Innovations

Challenges in underpinning include managing the risks of further settlement during the process and ensuring the long-term stability of the structure. Innovations in monitoring equipment and construction materials help to mitigate these challenges.


Underpinning is a critical procedure for extending the life of structures and ensuring their safety and stability. It requires a combination of sophisticated engineering techniques, an understanding of environmental factors, and a commitment to safety and regulatory compliance. Through underpinning, buildings can be preserved and adapted to meet changing needs and conditions.

Service Locations

We proudly serve West Texas, South-East New Mexico, and surrounding areas for all of our services.

Midland, TX
Monahans, TX
Hobbs, NM
Odessa, TX
Pecos, TX
Lovington, NM
Fort Stockton, TX
Big Spring, TX
Carlsbad, NM
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Environmental Services

Environmental services play a crucial role in maintaining a healthy living environment. Ideally, activities like oil drilling, chemical storage, and waste disposal would never impact our surroundings. However, accidents are unpredictable and can cause significant environmental harm if unaddressed. Reach out to learn how our environmental service solutions can support your project and safeguard our ecosystem.

Safety & Procedures

Our mission is to deliver top-tier environmental and construction services to the Permian Basin and its vicinity, prioritizing efficiency, affordability, and safety. At Stingray, our workforce is fully trained in SafeLand and H2S protocols. We start each day with a Job Safety Analysis and a Tailgate Safety Meeting, followed by a comprehensive job site walkthrough. This ensures our team is well-informed and prepared for the day's tasks.