Why Would I Need My Concrete Footing Replaced?

You’re thinking something is off with your concrete footing. You see cracking or some type of spalling, which is understandably concerning. And there is the fear of needing to replace your concrete footing. 

While concrete footing replacements aren’t usually necessary, there are instances they can be. Any decent foundation repair company will give you options for your repair.

You’ll still want to identify if a replacement is necessary and how you replace a concrete footing. 

Dalinghaus Construction has inspected over 10,000 homes in Southern California, Arizona, and Nevada, looking at thousands of concrete footings to identify issues. We’ve offered many options, whether through replacing or repairing a concrete footing. When we only offer a replacement, that means we deem it necessary for the betterment of your home. We want you to know why a concrete footing would need replacing. 

 

Is replacing a concrete footing necessary?

Yes. If there isn’t an option to repair, concrete footing replacement is necessary.

Concrete footings are necessary when someone did a bad pour, the wrong PSI of concrete was put in place, the mix was incorrect, or the concrete is old. 

The lifespan of concrete – in ideal conditions – is between 75 to 100 years. It becomes more brittle as the year’s pass. 

It’s more common for us to replace old brick, stone, or mortar foundations. Brick-and-mortar foundations are very prone to needing foundations repaired. 

These types of foundations weren’t made with reinforced concrete with rebar back in the day. These are all pieces of stone sitting together.

The material of the foundation is what matters most. Brick and mortar will typically be raised foundations. 

Signs you need your concrete footing addressed

If your concrete footing looks brittle and is falling apart, you might need your footing replaced. 

 

Signs you might see

  • Flaking
  • Exposed rebar
  • Cracks
  • Sections chipped out

If the footing needs replaced, does it mean the whole foundation needs to be replaced?

A footing and foundation are one and the same. This doesn’t necessarily mean the entire foundation needs replacing; only the parts that show signs of damage. 

Don’t let anyone try to sell you on replacing your entire footing. That isn’t cheap. 

How concrete footings are replaced

Raised Foundations

  1. The home is shored up with girder beams, posts and pads, and jacks.
    1. Shoring – shores or props used to support or hold up something weak or unstable
  2. Break out damaged the concrete footing.
    1. Taking out the damaged portions can happen all at once or one section at a time. It depends on how the shoring is done. 
  3. Brand new rebar is placed along with new concrete. 
    1. The concrete used is 2500 psi (minimum), or 3,000-4,000 psi (average)

Slab-on-grade

  1. Dig around the perimeter of the building.
  2. Break out damaged sections.
    1. Sacrificial jacks are put in as a section is broken out to hold up the slab, which holds up your home. 
  3. Brand new rebar is placed along with new concrete.
    1. The concrete used is 2500 psi (minimum), or 3,000-4,000 psi (average)

Replacing concrete footings for slabs is less common compared to raised foundations. 

Replacing a concrete footing for a historical home

The process for replacing the footings will still be the same as a raised foundation home. However, the historical home will need to look the same as when it was originally built. Authenticity and all. 

You would either:

  • Leave the existing footing and do the new concrete footing on the inside portion of the foundation. This acts more like a sister footing or slot-cut footing.

    –Or–
  • Pouring an entirely new concrete footing with the exterior would maintain the original appearance. So the footing would be all concrete, but the house looks like it has its original stone/mortar/brick footing. 

Utilities, like gas, might be shut off during the replacement process. 

Your gas doesn’t always need to be shut off, but it’s likely to happen during the process. It depends on if the lines are in the way.


Lines will never be dramatically in the way, but they can be obstructive during the demolition or form process.

What if I don’t replace my damaged concrete footing?

Your footing will continue to fail. There will be more and more damage to your home. 

You’ll likely see signs of movement with your floors sloping, cracks in stucco, cracks in drywall, etc. It depends on how your home is shifting from the damage. 

Your home will likely be more exposed to moisture issues. The cracks in your concrete can allow moisture to seep through. Moisture can make contact with the rebar, causing it to oxidize and expand. 

The more and more damage that happens, the more and more likely the price for replacement or repair will increase. 

If a house gets to the point it needs to be replaced and foundation experts say the only option is to replace your concrete footing, it likely needs to be replaced. Repairing won’t handle the larger issue.

If repairing is on the table, it may be your better choice. Weigh your options and go from there. 

The replacement isn’t urgent in the sense it may not need to be done tomorrow, but it should be done sooner than later. 

You know more about concrete footing replacement. Check to see if your has any issues. 

You’ve learned about if concrete footing replacement is necessary, signs you need your footing addressed, how to replace concrete footings, and what can happen if you don’t do anything about your concrete footing. If you’re unsure about your concrete footing, don’t hesitate to have someone come out and do a free inspection.

You want multiple foundation repair companies to come out and offer their opinions. See if they give you the option of repair or let you know replacement is the only option. And you can weigh your options. 

You can start with Dalinghaus Construction to have one of our Project Design Specialists give you an honest assessment during our 60-90 minute inspection.

Don’t flake on this article What is Concrete Spalling?

Read our article Why Are There Cracks in My Concrete Footing? (Causes).

For a more cost-based article, check out Concrete Removal and Replacement: Cost of Pier, Footing, and Flatwork R&R.

For any questions, call Dalinghaus Construction at (877)360-9277, or click the button below to schedule your free foundation evaluation today!

WRITTEN BY

Brian Dalinghaus

Brian is one of the Co-Founders of Dalinghaus Construction. He has been in the foundation repair industry since 2005. During his career, he has been associated with helping over 4,000 homes and structures throughout California and Arizona.

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