FFA crew with foundation repair

Foundation Repair

Whether you have a cracking slab or a basement you rarely go into – and yes, we’ve come across homes with basements in Florida – you need to protect your home from damage and danger.

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Causes

There could be a variety of factors affecting your home and its foundation. But the top culprit of foundation problems stems from the ground.

The soil your home was built on and the soil around your house has a significant impact on your living environment. 

There are countless soil types throughout the country, but the three basic ingredients of all soil types include sand, silt and clay. NASA Earth Observatory maps show how much of these ingredients can be found across the United States. Sandy soils that tend to drain water faster can be found in southern states like Florida. Clay soils that tend to hold onto water and silt soils that have intermediate drainage properties can be found across the country. 

There also are different kinds of soil throughout the state but most Florida soils are sandy. Florida has the largest total acreage of what are known as Aquods, which are wet and sandy soils with an organic-stained subsoil layer. These characteristics lend themselves to Florida’s state soil, Myakka, which occurs on more than 1½ million acres. (Source: USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Florida

As a homeowner or homebuyer, it is important to know what kind of soil you are dealing with. You can use the Web Soil Survey from the United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service to find exactly what kind of soil is in the area where you live. 

When your home was built, a considerable hole had to be dug in the earth to accommodate the foundation. But this depends on what kind of foundation you have. Homes with slab foundations do not require as much excavation as homes with basements and/or crawl spaces. Slab foundations normally only require digging down a couple feet. 

Once the foundation was completed, the dirt was replaced or backfilled around the home to fill the hole or trench around the structure. This “fluffed up” soil is looser and more aerated, and not as dense or tightly packed as undisturbed soil farther away from the house. This looser soil tends to absorb water easier than compacted soil. So, when water collects in the soil immediately surrounding the home, this leads to hydrostatic pressure. The saturated soil puts pressure on the foundation walls, causing cracks. 

When the soil around your foundation becomes soaked with water, it expands and puts pressure on the foundation. This hydrostatic pressure is the constant force of water pressure on the foundation walls. When this force becomes more than the walls can handle, the walls will begin to crack and bow inwards. This not only affects the structural integrity of the walls, but it also allows water to find its way inside your home and lead to additional issues. 

If your house has a fireplace and a chimney, the chimney could show some dramatic signs of foundation failure such as cracking and leaning away from the rest of the structure. These problems can happen if the chimney foundation was not built on the same foundation or soil as the rest of the structure or if the foundation lacks the proper footing. 

Along with rain, Mother Nature gives us hurricanes, floods, Nor’easters, earthquakes and other weather events that impact the ground and soil around your home, and your home’s structural integrity. 

Water and moisture also can have a significant impact inside your home, as well. 

Building code calls for dirt crawl spaces to be vented for air drying purposes, but this common building technique is outdated and harmful to your house. If you have a crawl space with open vents, this allows outside air, water and pests inside the crawl space directly underneath your house to cause a host of problems.  

Because of the stack effect – the movement of air in your home from bottom to top – whatever is in your crawl space such as mold, moisture, and humidity, also is in the rest of your house and affecting you. One example of a structural impact is with the support system under your house. If wooden support systems become soaked with water or exposed to high humidity and excessive moisture, they can rot and buckle. This then leads to sagging, uneven floors and problems with hardwood floors. 

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Florida Foundation Authority did an amazing job (again) installing our house exterior drainage system. We had previously hired them to seal off our…

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Juan Guevara

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Markus was on time and very professional, He explained everything and we are relieved and feel confident that our home will be fixed.

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J K Gruelle

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We had a consultation today with Reese and she was amazing, very informative and professional.

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Tina Powell

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As yet we havent gotten the work done, but we are hopeful to have a good experience later this month.Resse was kind and knowledgeable of her product and was not overbearing in her presentation which is often the case in in home sales.

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Gayle Hinman

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Austin Haley from Florida foundation authority came out to our home to bid a project to secure our foundation Austin was thorough and clear on how to stabilize the back of our homeSeveral companies came out and they either wanted to over charge us or didn’t have the right fixAustin used a laser to determine how our house was droppingHe is knowledgeable and stayed to answer all our questionsThe foreman of the crew Dave was incredibly knowledgeable, he has been doing foundation work 17years and his crew was very hard workingThis put us more at ease with the projectWe will definitely be recommending Austin Haley and Florida foundation authority to everyone

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Stephanie Grant

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Soren and his team were wonderful, they made sure our front entry steps were level, up to code and ready to be used!

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Sara Beth

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    FAQs

    Yes, absolutely, your foundation issues can be fixed! And it’s important to act as soon as you notice any problems or suspect any damage. There are so many benefits associated with foundation repair, but the two main ones have to do with safety and the value of your home. 

    • Safety and Structural Integrity 

    Your home is one of the most significant investments you’ll ever make in your lifetime, and it’s important to ensure its health and safety today and for years to come. The longer you put off repairs, the more costly they will be. You also could be putting your loved ones’ safety at risk if you don’t address these repair needs. 

    • Real Estate Value 

    So many factors can impact the value and resale value of homes. Any issues such as foundation problems and water intrusion are things you need to be aware of and make known. Florida homeowners intending to sell their house are required to make certain disclosures to buyers about the property’s condition, which sets clear expectations. Florida law provides that sellers must fill out a form disclosing any known conditions such as being structurally sound and free of leaks, the presence of termites or other wood-destroying organisms, water intrusion and flooding, and the existence of mold. (Source: Nolo

    No matter how handy you are or how much you’re itching to get to your local home improvement store and get your hands dirty, these are not “do it yourself” project. It’s best to leave significant repair projects like those involving your foundation to professional experts. 

    Concerning real estate transactions, even quick fixes can raise red flags. You’ll then have to spend more time and money to repair the problems. That’s why it’s important to fix your foundation correctly the first time with a trustworthy repair company. We address these points in our blog, “Why Can’t You Fix Foundation Cracks on Your Own?” 

    The average foundation repair cost is around $4,000, according to Home Advisor. Home Advisor’s State of Home Spending Report also states that consumer spending on home improvement increased significantly – rising 17% – from April 2018 to April 2019, with average home improvement spending totaling $7,560 in 2018. Home improvement rather than home maintenance has been the focus for homeowners who want to replace or repair damage, defects and decay. 

    Typically, foundation issues are not covered by homeowner’s insurance. Some policies may cover losses from fires, but many exclude coverage for things like foundation cracks or settling. Coverage may kick in if the foundation was damaged because of other problems like broken plumbing, for example. (Source: SF GateIf you are concerned with repair needs and insurance coverage, be sure to check with your insurance carrier, as all policies are different. 

    All this being said, it is difficult to give an actual cost of foundation repair. We know how frustrating it is to not get a straight answer, but there are so many factors to consider with repair projects such as the extent of any damage, square footage and material usage. This differs from company to company. So be sure to have a thorough discussion with your contractor about pricing and payment. 

    In thinking about the health and safety of your home, how do you know it will be in good hands? There’s a lot to think about as you research and reach out to contractors. You want to make sure you can trust who will be in and around your home.  

    Specific to foundation repair, Home Advisor has some great things to keep in mind regarding the condition of your home and what kind of damage you need repaired. 

    • Is the concrete damp? 
    • Is the foundation cracked or broken? 
    • Is a wall tipping? 
    • Is there water in the area needing repaired? 

    There are many other factors to consider when choosing a foundation repair contractor. Here are 10 excellent tips for selecting a reputable contractor, courtesy of Popular Mechanics

    • Go with Your Gut. The contractor will be in and around your home, so trust your instinct about his or her character.  
    • Make Sure the Contractor is Licensed to Work in Your Area, Bonded, and Insured. Carrying the proper licensing and insurance indicates credibility, knowledge, and trustworthiness. 
    • Pick a Contractor Who Specializes in Your Project Type. Experience through research, training, and hands-on work in the field matters. 
    • Have a Detailed Contract in Place Before Any Work Begins. Having detailed plans and everything in writing spells out expectations so there are no surprises. 
    • Find Out Who Will Be Performing the Work. Knowing exactly who will be coming to your home will give you peace of mind. 
    • Give the Contractor Guidelines for Working In/Around Your Home. Let the company know of your preferences including arrival times and any off-limit areas of your property. 
    • Know What Your Responsibilities Are. If you need to move anything out of the way or need to plan for pet accommodations, it’s best to get that out of the way before the project starts. 
    • Ask About a Mechanic’s Lien. Check on the contractor’s legal status before signing anything. 
    • Look at Work Samples. This will allow you to see the quality of the work and maybe even spark some ideas for your own project. 
    • Think Locally. Support the local companies that have been in business and in the community for a long time. 

    We at Florida Foundation Authority are proud to meet and go above and beyond these expectations! We encourage you to look at our reviews from actual customers we’ve assisted.  

    Our trusted professional team at Florida Foundation Authority is eager to help with your repair needs and give you a memorable experience like you’ve never had with a contractor. Our solutions and our people are just a couple things that set us apart from other companies. You can read more in our “What Makes Florida Foundation Authority Different from Other Contractors?” blog. 

    Once you contact us, you’ll be able to speak with one of our customer care representatives about your foundation issues and repair needs. We will then schedule an appointment for you to meet with one of our certified field inspectors for a free inspection and no-obligation estimate. During this consultation, the inspector will: 

    • Complete a thorough evaluation of the home’s interior and exterior
    • Discuss your goals with a repair project 
    • Provide a same-day proposal of recommended repair solutions 
    • Suggest customized solutions uniquely designed to meet your repair needs 
    • Discuss payment and financing options. 

    If you decide to move forward with a repair project, we will coordinate with you to schedule that work with one of our highly trained installation crews. Our team will use the best products proven to repair and protect your home. The job is not done until you are 100% satisfied. We also provide service and annual maintenance opportunities to ensure the solutions we installed are continuing to maintain your home’s safety and structural integrity. 

    Our “What Can I Expect from Florida Foundation Authority?” blog has additional insight about what it’s like to work with us.  

    We use only the best foundation repair solutions. The products we use are manufactured right here in the United States, and they are tested and proven to permanently repair and protect your home. 

    Every home and foundation is different, and each requires its own unique set of repairs. Our solutions are not “one size fits all,” and can be customized to meet your specific repair needs. 

    Engineered to withstand the toughest forces, our dependable wall reinforcement and piering systems are made with galvanized steel to prevent rust, corrosion and damage, offering you a strong and permanent solution. 

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