Re-stumping or commonly know as re-blocking, this involves resetting (or replacing) the stumps (piers) on a house that uses a pier constructed subfloor. This is normally necessary when the house stumps have settled as a result of soil movement, its been incorrectly constructed or when wooden stumps have rotted as a result of moisture in the soil or the concrete stumps have cracked or deteriorated and need replacing. It is also a wise move to re-stump an older home that will be undergoing major renovations, due to the added strain on the structure of the house.
Re-stumping any house is a big undertaking and if it's not executed correctly, it could be very dangerous for you and your house.
Signs that your home may need re-stumping include:
Continually cracking interior walls
Uneven or undulating floors.
Bounce to the floors
Exterior cracking on brickwork
Doors and windows not functioning correctly.
All houses are varied and are built on different soil conditions. For that reason, every house will display deterioration in different ways. If failed stumping is left untreated though, the end result is the same, partial or total collapse of the structure may occur.
A house can be partially re-stumped if only certain areas need it, but there is always the risk that a few rotten stumps that were thought to be in good condition may collapse later on, requiring you to re-stump again. While wooden stumps may look fine, they may well be rotting under the ground. It’s a big job to have to return just to replace one or two stumps.
When a home is re-stumped these days, it is usually done with galvanised steel or concrete stumps. These are not susceptible to many of the weaknesses that timber has, they don’t rot, are immune to termites and won’t warp or twist over time. Steel stumps are also adjustable on-site, which is a great advantage when it comes to installation and can save you a great deal of time and effort. There is also news now that some harden recycled plastic stumps my be coming onto the market which would be environmentally friendly and which would never break down.
While it can be quite expensive, it's well worth paying to have it done professionally and to the highest standard. Re-stumping is a difficult and dirty job, and having it done properly is crucial to the structural integrity of your home.