Foundation Repair – Methods, Costs & Techniques (Detailed Guide)

What Is Foundation Repair?

In general, foundation repair is carried out in buildings that exhibit signs of instability and potential failure. It usually happens due to active ground pressure or an increase in the weight of the structure.

Even when the moisture level of the soil underneath rises, the soil may shrink. As a result, heaving, foundation settling, horizontal cracks on basement walls, slab fractures, wall settling, and other indicators might be seen.


What Causes Foundation Damage?

Foundation damage is frequently caused by water. When the soil components swell or shrink due to moisture, movement in the foundation of a structure begins. Inadequate drainage in the region surrounding the foundation might also cause damage.

When a plumbing leak occurs beneath the structure, or if the structure is destroyed by calamities such as earthquakes, floods, or droughts, the foundation is also harmed. When the soil has a lot of clay, it’s more likely to cause foundation problems.

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Methods of Foundation Repair

1. Masonry Patches And Sealants

Foundation cracks can occasionally be corrected by repairing them and coating them with a waterproof masonry sealant.

Because your foundation supports your entire house, it’s critical to spot and repair cracks as soon as possible. Hydraulic cement, vinyl concrete, epoxy, silicone, and polyurethane are common sealants for tiny cracks.

The crack’s severity will determine the sort of mixture utilized. To avoid water penetration and further damage, it’s best to detect and fix the problem as soon as possible.

foundation repair
Masonry Patches and Sealants

2. Slab Jacking 

Slab jacking is a technique for lifting sinking or uneven concrete slabs. Mud jacking, concrete lifting, and slab leveling are all terms used to describe this procedure.

Raising porches, stairs, decks, pathways, garage floors, and driveways are all simple chores that may be done using this technology. When the earth beneath a slab foundation changes or collapses, leaving empty spaces below, the slab sinks or tilts.

To fix a settling house foundation, professionals have access to the necessary equipment and an understanding of local soil conditions. Companies use the slab jacking method to elevate concrete foundations by drilling 2″ holes through the concrete foundation and into the sunken regions below.

The emptiness is filled by injecting a solution of natural components (soil, cement, etc.) through the hole. The falling slab is lifted back into position as the solution expands.

Slab Jacking foundation repair
Slab Jacking

Polyurethane injection is a viable alternative to slab jacking. Polyurethane is injected via perforations in the concrete to fill gaps below, much as slab jacking. Instead of natural materials, thick and lightweight material is employed to fill the area.

These slab lifting procedures provide the same job and are suitable for smaller projects; however, they are both temporary solutions that may need to be redone every few years.

The hefty injected materials compress the earth beneath the slab. Polyurethane injection lasts longer since it is lighter, but it is not generally accessible.

3. Piering Or Piling

The name of the procedure, piering or Piling, gives it away. The foundation is resettled using a steel or concrete pier. However, there is a distinction between the piering and piling methods of home foundation rehabilitation.

Piering is accomplished by excavating earth layers, whereas Piling is accomplished by driving piles into the ground. Piling used for home foundation repairs includes concrete piers, steel-pressed piling, and bell-bottom piers.

These procedures are long-term foundation solutions that return your home’s foundation to its original level more effectively than slab jacking.

a. Concrete Pilings That Have Been Pressed

Foundation piers made of pressed concrete are long-lasting and may be utilized for interior and exterior repairs.

They’re suitable for both pier and beam and slab foundations. To provide stability, properly placed pressed concrete piers must be driven deep into the earth, usually 12 feet.

Pressed Concrete Piling foundation repair
Pressed Concrete Piling
b. Concrete Piers That Have Been Poured

In residential foundation rehabilitation, poured concrete piers are pushed around 10 feet deep and cured in 7 to 10 days. Because pressed concrete pilings employ precast concrete segments that are already cured at the installation time, the installation time for poured concrete piers is greater than for pressed concrete pilings.

Poured Concrete Piers foundation repair
Poured Concrete Piers
c. Concrete Piers That Have Been Belled

Similar to poured/drilled concrete piers, bell bottom concrete piers are built. A bell-shaped “foot” at the bottom of the pier is designed to provide a large area of support.

Bell bottom piers are constructed similarly to poured concrete piers by pouring concrete into an excavated pit and embedding steel in the wet concrete.

Belled Concrete Pier foundation repair
Belled Concrete Pier
d. Piers Made Of Steel

As a long-term foundation repair solution, steel piers are highly recommended. Steel piers are strong and may be pushed to depths of up to 100 feet, giving your home’s foundation excellent stability. Steel piers may be pushed down to bedrock, so they won’t shift in expanding clay soil.

 Steel Piers Insertion foundation repair
Steel Piers Insertion
e. Steel Helical Piers

Helical steel piers, also known as anchors, are frequently used to repair lightweight concrete slab foundations and pier and beam foundations.

New foundations are also built with helical piers. When circumstances restrict the use of alternative technologies, helical piers are employed.

The structure’s weight is transferred to the piers, and therefore to the load-bearing earth by threading them into the ground to a set load capacity.

Steel Helical Pier
Steel Helical Pier

4) Soil Modification Or Soil Stabilization

The process of making the soil stiffer and more stable is known as soil modification or soil stabilization. Some chemicals are used to fill holes within the soil layers here. Slab jacking is a method that is similar to this.

Many users were hesitant to advocate this strategy since it necessitates a higher level of expertise and a well-trained guide. Work and maintenance costs are also too expensive.

Soil Modification


As we can see, there are several foundation repair options. Some methods provide temporary relief, while others offer a longer or even permanent remedy.

Several factors determine the foundation repair solutions available. Consult with concrete foundation specialists to determine the best option for our property and budget.

Also Read

How To Repair Concrete Cracks

Types Of Foundation In Construction

Types Of Bridge Abutments

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