Foundation Repair Methods

Contributor: Chris Cates

foundation repair methods

What is a Foundation?

The foundation is the part of a home or building that is in direct contact with the ground. Its purpose is to transmit the load of the home or building to the ground and stabilize the structure.

Are There Different Types of Foundations?

The most common types of foundations are:

What Causes Most Foundation Problems?

Soil conditions cause most foundation problems. Shifting soil and expansive clay soils create problems for homes or buildings with slab foundations, crawl spaces, as well as those with full basements. When expansive soils become saturated with water, they expand and push upward into the foundation. As the soil dries, it shrinks and the foundation settles. This heaving can cause cracked foundations and damage throughout the home’s interior.

What are the Most Common Types of Foundation Problems?

Generally, there are 2 major sources of foundation problems.

  1. Settlement – The unnatural sinking of the foundation or portions of the foundation below the original grade.
  2. Upheaval – When the foundation or portions of the foundation raise above the original grade.

These 2 sources of problems often lead to other headaches over time, such as damaged basement walls, doors that stick or a wet basement.

Getting to the Root of the Problem

To repair foundation problems, specialists need to get to the root of the problem. They do this by examining the home and investigating the visible symptoms. Common symptom areas might include things like:

  • Why is the soil near or under the foundation saturated with moisture?
  • Where, why and when is water entering the basement?
  • What kind of foundation movement is happening—full movement or differential?
  • Are these cracks signs of structural damage or simply cosmetic eyesores?

A certified repair specialist can perform a foundation inspection and determine which foundation repair methods may be needed to fix your home.

Best Methods of Foundation Repair

Foundation repair methods vary depending on the soil type, climate, foundation build and unique problems at hand.

  • Underpinning
  • Shimming using supplemental piers
  • Foundation wall repair
  • Water Management
  • Shimming using existing piers
  • Grouting
  • Mudjacking or polyurethane jacking
  • Stabilizing foundation soil

To find the method of repair that works best for you and your home, schedule a free assessment with Olshan Foundation Repair.

Chris Cates, Olshan Subject Matter Expert

Chris Cates

Chris has been in the foundation repair industry since the late 80’s. He has 40+ years of experience designing foundation repairs plans of all types and sizes. Chris' work and expertise has been featured in the local Houston media several times, including appearances on the CW39 News, Click 2 Houston News, ABC 13 News, The Sealy News and The Houston Business Journal. Chris' important work in research and development, played an integral role in the development of a patented repair method (US Patent #10,428,516 B2) designed to stabilize damaged tilt walls. Chris Cates is recognized as an innovator in the industry both locally and nationally.