Methods We Use for Foundation Repair in Atlanta

By July 18, 2018Blog

Did you know Consumer Reports found 15% of new homes had “serious problems and defects, requiring homeowners to spend millions of dollars on repairs”?

These poor foundations resulted primarily from the following two problems:

  1. Poor construction by the contractor
  2. Fill soils poorly compacted by the contractor

You might be tempted to think that foundation problems only happen with older homes, but that’s unfortunately not the case.

If you do foundation repair right, the cost usually remains relatively affordable for the typical homeowner. But, if you use an inexperienced or dishonest contractor, the cost quickly runs up over $10,000.

One of the major differences between our approach to foundation repair in Atlanta and the approach of other contractors is that we can stabilize both your foundation and cosmetically repair your masonry.

With every other contractor, you’re only going to get the stabilization.

Since we can do both, we can usually save you around $1,000 or so off the typical repair. When you have to contact separate contractors to handle both repairs, your costs increase.

What Causes Foundations in Atlanta to Need Repair?

If you’re a homeowner, it’s tough to know what to look for without having years of experience repairing foundations in Atlanta. In addition to the previous reasons for foundation repair, here’s what we see as some of the other most common causes:

  1. Extreme weather conditions – A long drought or large amounts of rainfall can soften the soil beneath your foundation, causing it to settle in different spots.
  2. Negative slope – If the land surrounding your lot angles toward your home, any rainfall that accumulates will run into the areas around your foundation. Eventually, this can loosen up the soil so much that your foundation settles and cracks begin to appear.
  3. Contractor mishaps – Sometimes, contractors who work on your home don’t do their jobs. A mason may not put masonry ties in. The brick ledge might not be attached to the foundation wall. Steel lentils may not be attached to the wall. The foundation wall might not even be thick enough to begin with. All these mistakes can cause your foundation to settle and crack.

As an aside, we did help one homeowner repair her brick and we when it was damaged by a power company doing some work, and we got featured on TRUSTDale for the work done:

What Happens If You don’t Repair Your Atlanta Foundation?

If you don’t repair your foundation, it’s just like when you don’t repair your car’s brakes. If you fix them when they first show signs of wear, the fix is affordable. But, if you ignore the problem, eventually they fail and you can get in an accident, which costs much more to fix.

The same thing happens with your foundation. You can ignore the problem for a while, but when you first notice the signs that your foundation is settling and causing damage to your home, you should make the repair. It’s tempting to ignore the problem, because as you know, sometimes it can get fairly expensive to repair.

But, in the long-term, it costs much more to repair your foundation if you choose to wait.

Here are some of the things that can happen if you let your foundation problems go for too long:

  1. Your home becomes unlivable – Some homeowners have waited to the point where their basement walls have collapsed. Most won’t wait that long, but the constant cracks in interior and foundation walls make it difficult for you to enjoy your living space.
  2. You have to constantly make cosmetic repairs – Hairline cracks will appear in your foundation. More cracks appear in your drywall. You can patch these over, but it’s difficult to make them look graceful. They’ll continue to return and you will have to continue to fix them.
  3. Your roof could collapse – When the foundation becomes particularly unlevel, the rafters can disengage from the ridge. This makes the structure of the roof weak, and eventually the roof can collapse in the weak areas. High winds from a storm could suddenly and unexpectedly bring this disaster on.
  4. You won’t be able to command top dollar for reselling – If you’re thinking of reselling and passing the problem on to the next homeowner, you may have to cut your home’s sale price by 10-20% to make up for the cost of the foundation repair. The Real Estate Disclosure Act also requires you to inform buyers of foundation problems.

Ultimately, if you don’t act soon once you do notice signs that your Atlanta foundation needs repair, you’ll end up paying much more for the repair.

Signs Your Foundation Needs Repair

So, if you’re not a foundation repair professional, what do you need to look for to determine if your foundation in fact needs repair? Check for the following:

  1. Cracks in walls on the interior of your home
  2. Cracks in fireplace bricks
  3. Windows and doors that stick when opening/closing, which previously worked without any problems
  4. Cracks in the concrete exposed above the ground
  5. Leaking roof

It’s important to keep in mind these conditions do not guarantee the presence of a foundation problem. Remember, they are only an indicator.

Cracks in your walls, for example, could also be caused by poor framing of your home.

At JSA, we have 27 years of experience building and repairing foundations, and we can accurately identify the real source of the structural problems your home is experiencing. Having an experienced contractor check out the situation works best.

Our Foundation Repair Recommendation: Steel Piers

Just about every time, if we determine your foundation needs repair, we’re going to recommend steel piers.

Why?

Simple: They permanently keep your foundation stable and simply do not fail. They last the life of your home. There’s an upfront cost, but that’s it. Once the repair is made, it’s done and you never have to call us again.

That serves you well because with other repair methods, they don’t address the true source of the problem: the core structure of your foundation. Other contractors might recommend pressure grouting or liquid grouting. These techniques, however, only repair the cosmetic issue that cracks present – they don’t stabilize the foundation.

In a year or two, you have to call that contractor again, and eventually you’ll have to repair the foundation walls anyway.

Helical piers (also called compression piers) are another solution offered, and they work fairly well, but they can be driven into a boulder or tree root. When they rest on either a boulder or tree root, that’s an unstable base. Ultimately, it leads to your foundation also becoming unstable once again. You’ll have to call the contractor back to do more work. In addition, installing helical piers requires heavy equipment which can tear up your landscape.

Steel Piers Install Fast, Easy, Clean, and They’re Permanent

With steel push piers, we use a hydraulic press to push the piers into holes we dig under your foundation. A hydraulic press is a smaller piece of equipment that doesn’t tear your landscape up, and once the piers are inserted, your home’s foundation is good for the life of your home.

If you’re curious, here’s how they work:

At JSA Specialists, we provide a lifetime warranty on all Atlanta foundation repairs we make. If you need your foundation repaired permanently at a cost-competitive rate, and you only want to see your contractor just once, e-mail us online at info@jsapecialists.com, or call 404-680-1525