GJ MacRae Foundation Repair

The Original Wetbasements Experts – Since 1975

What is Underpinning?


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Are you the owner of an older home? There’s a lot of maintenance that can come with the charm of a historical building, including structural damage. Many historical homes were built before modern-day building codes were enacted, and because of this, they can be dangerous to live in. If your home has structural damage from years of wear and tear, a good fix can be underpinning.

Most commonly, underpinning is needed due to structural faults that already exist, or a change in soil type. The foundation of the home was built for the original soil composition, but as time changes so does the soil makeup. It can also be done if the homeowner is looking to add more stories or additions to the building and the structure cannot support it.

What Is Underpinning?

Underpinning is a controlled stage process that increases the depth of a basement and fills it with a more solid material to increase the structural stability of a building. This practice is most commonly performed on older homes or homes with evidence of cracking in the foundation.

There are many different types of fill that can be performed when doing an underpinning, but the most common is mass concrete pour. You can also do a beam and base underpinning, which is considerably more technical.

This process gives a new base to the foundation and allows for greater support throughout the home. It can also help with waterproofing, as once your structure has a solid foundation it is easier to protect from damage, rather than one that has existing damage done to it.

Can I Do Underpinning Myself?

Unless you are a licensed professional, please do not attempt to do an underpinning on your own home. This is a difficult and highly technical process that often involves substantial engineering detail.

GJ MacRae has a lot of experience in underpinning. If you’re looking for this structural improvement to your home, please reach out to us here.

Gavin MacRae is a professional foundation repair and basement waterproofing expert with over 20 years of experience in the field. He has extensive knowledge about foundation issues such as settlement, and cracks as well as expertise in repair techniques. Gavin is also highly skilled in basement waterproofing using interior and exterior methods. He has worked with hundreds of homeowners to provide permanent solutions to foundation and basement problems.