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THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO FOUNDATION REPAIR

Everything you, as a homeowner, need to know about foundation repairs!

Over the last 15 years we've become quite familiar with the foundation repair industry... With over 2000+ completed projects we've come to learn just about everything a homeowner needs to know about foundation repair.  We've taken all of this experience and knowledge to compile the ultimate guide to foundation repairs for homeowners onto one single page!
Brian Dalinghaus
Brian Dalinghaus Co-Founder

We get it – you’re sick and tired of cracks fracturing across your drywall and dizzy vertigo as you walk down the hall. Your windows don’t open. Your doors don’t close. It’s embarrassing when friends and family come over and frustrating when they leave.

You purchased your home:

  •   As a source of equity (a financial investment for you and yours)  
  •   As home base for you and your family (whether you live in a multigenerational home, with your significant other or just with your dog, your home is a sanctuary against the grind)   

Foundation failure puts everything above in jeopardy, from finances to family, to peace of mind. And, even worse, it interrupts your story. You’re a mom. You’re a dad. You’re a working woman. You’re hitting the books hard trying to finish school or juggling the 9-to-5 and church choir.   

We are here in support of the artist, the engineer, the retiree wanting to live out their golden years in peace. We are here to support you.

You have dreams. You have goals. You have ambitions. Foundation failure is the last thing anyone needs – ain’t nobody got time for that (or the money).

The truth is if we don’t face our enemies head-on, they loom over us – always simmering on the back burner, just negating perfect peace of mind. 

You are the hero of your story

Dalinghaus is here to help you never settle. We are here to educate, guide, and give direction.

 

Foundation Failure Signs and Symptoms 

People don’t generally assume that something is wrong with their foundation unless there are corresponding signs and symptoms pointing to foundation failure. Foundation failure instigates many cosmetic and structural issues that can make you feel like you’re living in a Stephen King haunted house - beep, beep, Richie

You might require foundation repair if: 

  • You feel a sickening wave of vertigo as you teeter across uneven floors
  • You hear insidious creaks and groans echoing through drywall cracked halls 
  • Your windows and doors are difficult to open and close (Here’s Johnny
  • Your door frames look crooked, giving off 90’s funhouse impressions  

Before we dive in, here is a link to our FREE foundation repair signs and symptoms checklist, so you can check off all of the spooky symptoms yourself before you call a priest or foundation repair company - Download Our Signs & Symptoms Checklist  

1. CRACKS  

Cracks don’t really break mothers’ backs; however, they are one of the most noticeable indicators that there might be a serious issue with your foundation. You can get cracks in your drywall, stucco, concrete slab, tile, chimneys, and skin if you forget to moisturize.   

Drywall Cracks 

Drywall Crack (Dalinghaus)

One of the primary signs of foundation damage is stair-step cracks in your drywall. These aren’t hairline cracks - they’re big (we’re talking pink-tux-to-a-funeral noticeable). 

These fissures are often recurring and continue to grow. These cracks typically emanate from door frames and window frames. While it might be easy to grab a putty knife and slap some plaster over them, this is simply a cosmetic fix and does nothing to address the root of the issue.

In short, like Pennywise the Clown, these cracks are coming back. 

Stucco Cracks  

stucco crack

Across the country, many homes are constructed with stucco siding due to the 1920’s stucco craze. 

The primary locations of stucco cracks are around window and door frames

While stucco cracks can be an indicator there is a problem with your foundation, it is important to note that stucco can also crack due to age, weather exposure, seismic events, and the quality of the stucco application

Concrete Slabs Cracks 

Slab Crack (Dalinghaus Construction)

We’ve all heard the expression, out of sight, out of mind. This is especially true for concrete slab cracks. Generally, concrete slab cracks hidden beneath carpet, linoleum or wood flooring. The garage is the best place to scrutinize exposed slab, unless you are working on a reflooring project.  

Concrete slab cracks hide underneath carpet, carpet padding, and the seams of tile grout

Tile Cracks 

Foundation issues can also crack tile in your bathroom, laundry, kitchen floors, countertops, and backsplashes, resulting in an embarrassing eyesore for visiting friends and family. 

Chimneys Cracks 

Leaning Chimney (Dalinghaus)

Chimney cracks are often blamed on Santa’s Milk-and-Cookie diet; it's more realistic to consider foundation problems. 

2. LEANING KITCHEN CABINETS 

Kitchen cabinets pull away from walls and ceilings when the structural integrity of a foundation is awry. 

The easiest way to pinpoint this particular symptom is to grab a ladder and check the top of the cabinets.

3. SLOPING FLOORS

Sloping Floor (Dalinghaus)  (1)

Sloped and bowed floors are a major indicator that you have foundational woes. In fact, our foundation repair specialists consider it the number one sign there is a major issue

While uneven floors might be fun for your kids to use Heelys in the house, they pose a falling hazard, especially for older adults

If you’re not sure if you have sloped floors and you believe in imperial evidence, place a marble or golf ball on the floor and watch where it rolls. 

The industry standard for floor gradient is half an inch per ten feet. Sloping floors can also cause baseboards to jam up against one another so that they look like Tennessee Teeth.

Also, if you feel like there’s an extra pep to your step, foundation problems can make you feel like you’re walking across a trampoline.

Check out our article What is Floor Slope (Definition, Signs, Causes, and Repair) 

4. JAMMED DOORS/WINDOWS 

Misaligned Door & Drywall Crack

Doors that stick or don’t close correctly are a sure sign of foundation problems. A sticky door is one that is difficult to open and close

Before shaving down your door, consider that underlying foundation issues might be at play. The framing around doors and windows becomes out of square and can result in these gaps at the top and bottom of the frame.    

We cover this in depth in our article Why is My Door Hard to Open and Close (Top 3 Reasons) 

5. MOISTURE ISSUES 

Wet Spots, Busted Posts and Pads (Dalinghaus)

Mold in your crawlspace can point to a whole host of problems and is often accompanied by rotten posts, busted pads, and spalling.

Read our articles on What is Concrete Spalling (Causes, Prevention, & Treatment) and Here Are the Costs of Encapsulating Your Crawlspace. 

All of these symptoms - cracks, leaning cabinets, sloping floors, jammed doors & windows, and moisture issues - are caused by expansive soil. 

Expansive Soil 

Expansive soil is any soil that expands and shrinks in direct relation to water volume. This expansion or shrinkage puts undue stress on the foundation of the home, resulting in the signs and symptoms listed above.  

What is Expansive Soil?

Expansive soil is a dirtl/clay (such as montmorillonite or bentonite) that is prone to expansion or shrinkage due directly to variation in water volume. Expansive soils swell when exposed to large amounts of water and shrink when the water evaporates. This continuous cycle of wet to dry soil keeps the soil in perpetual motion causing structures built on this soil to sink or rise unevenly, often requiring foundation repair. Expansive soils are comprised primarily of minerals (incredibly fine particles) with little to no organic material and are thus incredibly viscous, proving difficult to drain.  

Expansive soils include: 

  • Smectite
  • Bentonite
  • Montmorillonite
  • Beidellite
  • Vermiculite
  • Attapulgite
  • Nontronite
  • Chlorite

Each year in the United States alone, expansive soils cause $2.3 billion dollars in damages to houses, roads, pipelines, and other structures. This is more than twice the damage from floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes combined.  

Expansive soil results in foundation settlement (where the foundation sinks) or foundation heave (where the foundation is thrust upward). The variation in water volume can exert as much as 5000 pounds of pressure per square foot - more than enough to tear up a foundation, no matter what kind.

 

Types of Foundations 

Foundation heave and foundation settlement (both of which are caused by expansive soil) can tear up any foundation. Generally speaking, there are three primary types of foundations: slab on grade, basement, and raised.  

However, in our article 5 Types of Residential Foundations Popular in America: A Brief Foundational Overview we have foundations broken into the following categories: 

  1. Concrete Slab Foundations - a single pour slab, 4-6 inches thick 
  2. Post-tension Foundations - an 8 inches thick slab set with post-tensioned cables  
  3. Basement Foundations -  generally 8 feet deep, with structural foundation walls fitted to concrete footings that run around the perimeter of the basement.
  4. Raised Foundations - any foundation with a crawlspace, generally built on 6-10 inches thick concrete footings referred to as stem-walls. Also see What is a Cripple Wall (Components, Problems, Solutions)  
  5. Pier & Beam Foundations - technically a raised foundation, a basic post and pad foundation. 

All of the foundations above can undergo underpinning procedures. 

What is Underpinning - Foundation Repair? 

Underpinning is the old-school, original term for foundation repair. In short, underpinning is the strengthening and reinforcement of an existing foundation of a structure (typically by extending the depth, breadth, and rigidity of the foundation). 

Here is a list of reasons why your foundation might require underpinning, taken from our article What is underpinning (Definition, History, and Types)

A structure might require underpinning if –  

  •   The original foundation isn’t strong/stable enough to support the existing structure
  •   The initial use of the structure has changed, requiring foundational reinforcement
  •   The soil is not competent to withstand the weight of the structure
  •   Another story is being added to the structure, requiring deeper foundational footings to help support greater load-bearing capacity
  •   It is cheaper to repair/reinforce than buy new
  •   Seismic activity, drought, flood, or other acts of God have compromised the structure’s structural security

A simple way to think about underpinning is this: any outside force that compromises the strength, integrity, and functionality of your foundation/footing is a reason to underpin, providing reinforcement/structural support.

People underpin their foundations for a number of different reasons - 

  •   To stop any further cosmetic/structural damage
  •   To  remodel once and for all
  •   To  sell the home for full value
  •   To get peace of mind back 

We cover these ideas in depth in our articles 5 Reasons to Fix Your Foundation Now (Remodeling to Equity) and Sell Your Home with Foundation Issues (2 Options).  

Modern underpinning methods include Push Pier Repair, Helical Pier Repair, Polyurethane Repair, and Crawl Space Jack Repair.  

Foundation Repair Inspections 

 

Foundation repair inspections are the first step in any underpinning project, no matter what kind of repair will be utilized. This is the diagnostic stage, the part of the show where Dr. House scribbles madly on the white board.

These inspections are usually carried out by sales representatives or foundation repair specialists.  

An exhaustive foundation analysis entails heavy scrutiny of the home’s sheetrock, floorboards, chimney, stucco/exterior siding, and the footing/foundation itself

This comprehensive investigation identifies the areas affected by foundation settlement or foundation heave by pinpointing the signs and symptoms of foundation failure:


The careful examination of these signs helps the foundation repair specialist to locate the affected area and determine the scope of the damage.

Foundation issues are often manifested by significant differences in floor elevation measurements, which are taken throughout the house/structure.Floor elevation measurements are taken in conjunction with diagnosing the empirical cues of foundation failure.   

To learn more read How Long Does a Foundation Inspection Take and What Can Add Time

 

Foundation Repair Plan & Proposal

Once the affected area has been located and the extension of damage established, the foundation repair plan can be drawn up.

Foundation repair plans should always include:

  •   Measurements (Floor Elevations, Walker Wheel & Laser Tape measurements)
  •   A to-scale CAD drawing  

The measurements provide the scope of work and the CAD drawing outlines this scope in visual terms. A repair plan is then drawn-up based on the scope of work. 

Proposals encompass:

  1. Repair Overview (the scope of work, suggested materials, and general repair plan) 
  2. A list of required permits ( permits can take anywhere between 4-6 weeks to acquire) 
  3. The estimated cost of repair  (based off labor and current market value for materials)  

Foundation Repair Timeline -

Inspection scheduling                                             2 weeks

Inspection                                                                         1.5 hours (one day)

Proposal Interim                                                           1 day to 6 Months

Engineering                                                                      4-6 weeks

Permitting                                                                         4-8 weeks

Active Job Site Timeframe                                              1 week

Total                                                                       11-17 weeks

*Note - this process can take up to 6 months, so plan on timeframe flexibility. 

 

Push Pier Foundation Repair 

 

Push Piers are an underpinning industry favorite, especially for second-story homes. Push Piers are also referred to as piles, push piles, and push pins.  

What is a Push Pier? 

A Push Pier is a steel pipe utilized in foundation repair that is hydraulically driven into competent, load-bearing soil and anchored to a foundation’s prepped footing via a remedial bracket to secure, stabilize and/or lift the structure.

Push Piers are:

  •    Comprised of galvanized steel to impede rust/oxidization
  •    Constructed with a maximum load capacity of 68 thousand pounds
  •   In sizes ranging from 2-7/8”, 3.5” and 4.5” (and are measured by the diameter of the pipe)
  •   Generally pushed down to a depth of 25 to 30 feet 
  •   Comprised of three main components: Remedial Bracket, Starter, & Extensions.

 

To learn more about Push Piers, read our articles What are Push Piers (Nicknames, Depth, & Size) and How Do Push Piers Work (Definition, Components, and Utilization).

Here are the 4 steps to Push Pier Foundation Repair, taken from our article The 5 Steps to Push Pier Foundation Repair (with inspections omitted as we covered that above). 

  1. Prep work
  2. Installation
  3. Lift/Stabilization
  4. Final Walkthrough 

Also see our articles How Do Push Piers Work (Definition, Components, & Utilization), What are Push Piers? (Nicknames, Depth, & Size), and Concrete Piles vs Push Piers (Depth, Active Zones, and Loads)

Push-Pier-and-Bracket-Straight-On (Dalinghaus) -1

 

Push Pier Foundation Repair Prep Work

After the proposal has been signed and the germane permitting has been acquired, the foundation repair process can begin.

Note - Gas, electric, and water lines are always located before shovels hit the dirt to ensure the amenities remain safe and secure.       

Push Pier locations are demarcated via painter’s tape positioned every 6 feet. 

 

It is critical that the push piers balance out the load of a home, which can range anywhere between 80,000 pounds to 160,000 pounds.

Placing piers 6 feet apart ultimately results in each location holding an average of 10,200 pounds.

Single-story houses are often too light to utilize push piers because push pier installation inherently relies on the home’s weight. Sometimes, the home will lift well before the push piers reach competent load-bearing soil. So, with single-story homes, helical piers are utilized.    

  1.  3x3 foot excavations are dug to access the foundation’s footing (Concrete R&R is conducted if necessary)

  2. The excavations (generally 18 to 24 inches deep) are dug to reach a few inches below the footing,

  3. The exposed footing is demo-hammered down, manicured to a smooth/flat surface capable of housing the remedial bracket

Push Pier Installation

After the excavations are dug and the footing is properly chipped down for a tight fit, the remedial bracket is attached to the foundation’s footing.  

Once the remedial bracket is securely fastened to the manicured footing, the starter push pier (fit with a collar to reduce skin friction) can be hydraulically driven into the earth via a hydraulic ram.

Driving steel pipe to competent, load-bearing soil requires an incredible amount of PSI, which is amplified by the size of the ram head.

To learn more about the mathematical process of pier installation, read our article on Why PSI Does Not Equal Loading Value.  

A guide sleeve is utilized to ensure the piers go straight down and don’t veer off.  

Once all of the pier locations have been driven down to competent, load-bearing soil/bedrock, the home can be lifted to maximum practical recovery.

 Lift/Stabilization

Hydraulics are hooked up to the pier locations to push off the piers in unison, lifting the home back to MPR.  

Lifting a home to maximum practical recovery can take 2-3 hours.

Here at Dalinghaus, we have a crew member inside of the home with a Ziplevel taking floor elevations throughout the entirety of the lift to ensure maximum practical recovery is attained. 

Phenomenon one can expect during a lift are:

  •  Cracked drywall close back together
  •   Sloped floors even out   
  •   Slanted window and door frames returning to square
  •   Doors are easier to open/close

All of the above are possible reactions if these cosmetic issues were not addressed prior to the lift. If there was a recent remodel/patch & paint before the lift, one can expect a little cosmetic corruption.  

The good news is, after the structure is stabilized and/or lifted, none of the repeating cosmetic offenders (such as cracked drywall) will require continuous repair. It’s now a one-and-done repair or remodel.  

Final Walkthrough

Subsequent to the structure’s lift and/or stabilization, a final walkthrough takes place. This walkthrough involves a cursory visual of the previously affected areas, with careful attention paid to:

  •   Previous stucco cracks
  •   Previous drywall cracks
  •   Previously sloped floors
  •   Chimneys (chimneys often have their own, mini foundation)

In addition to visual cues, floor elevation measurements are taken again to compare to the floor elevations during the initial foundation inspection.

Then, all that’s left to do is enjoy your home and the warranty. Many foundation repair contractors have a baseline warranty of 20 years.

Here at Dalinghaus, we think that’s pretty good, but we offer a lifetime warranty on all steel pier systems. And, no – that’s not the lifetime of the homeowner, that’s the lifetime of the structure.

Helical Pier Foundation Repair 

 

Helical piers are so effective at impeding foundation settlement and foundation heave (both of which can be directly attributed to expansive soil) they are now the industry standard for quality foundation repair.

  The helicals ensure your home won’t go up and won’t go down, it’s locked into place. 

What is a Helical Pier?

A Helical Pier is a steel circular/square pipe (utilized in foundation repair) that is hydraulically driven to competent, load-bearing soil and anchored to a structure’s prepped footing via a remedial bracket to secure, stabilize and/or lift a structure.

Helical Piers are:

  • Comprised of galvanized steel to impede rust or oxidation
  • Have a maximum load capacity of 74,000 pounds
  • Come in sizes ranging from 3', 5', 7', 10' or 20'
  • Comprised of a lead, extensions, & remedial bracket
  • Generally pushed down to depths of 25 to 30 feet

Helicals differ from push piers and other steel systems in that they have helices (circular sections similar to a staircase or corkscrew) welded to the bottom of the galvanized pipe

These helicals anchor the structure they are attached to. Imagine your home sitting on underground stilts that are embedded in load-bearing soil or bedrock.  

Here are the 4 steps to Helical Pier Foundation Repair, taken from our article The 5 Steps to Helical Pier Installation (with inspections omitted as we covered that above). 

  1. Prep Work
  2. Installation
  3. Lift / Stabilization
  4. Final Walkthrough

Also, see our articles How Do Helical Piers Work?, How Much Do Helical Piers Cost?, What are Helical Piers?, and  What are the Best Helical Piers to Use?

Helical Pier in hole-1-1

Helical Pier Prep Work  

Before the Helical Piers can be hydraulically driven into the earth to reach competent, load-bearing-soil, the foundation must be prepped.

Helical piers can be utilized on many different forms of foundation: slab on grade, post-tension slab, and raised

Regardless of the kind of foundation, the Helical Pier locations must be excavated. After the proposal has been signed and the germane permitting has been acquired, the foundation repair process can begin.

Note - Gas, electric, and water lines are always located before shovels hit the dirt to ensure the amenities remain safe and secure.       

  1. Helical Pier locations are demarcated via painter’s tape positioned every 6 feet
  2. 3x3 foot excavations are dug to access the foundation’s footing (Concrete R&R is conducted if necessary)

  3. The exposed footing is demo-hammered down, manicured to a smooth/flat surface capable of housing the remedial bracket

Helical Pier Installation 

Helical Piers, unlike Push Piers, are not pushed into the earth – they are screwed. The easiest way to remember the differences is Push Piers are like nails and Helical Piers are like screws.  

The Helical Piers are screwed down to competent, load-bearing soil. Helical piers are implemented through extreme torque via a hydraulic ram.  

Torque equals the amount of force that is required to rotate the helical into the ground. Intuitively, denser soils require more torque than less dense soil.

Once the load of the home is factored in and we know the amount of helical material that will be implemented, we can calculate for torque to reach the desired loading value.   

Torque Equation Example 

(Load Required/K-factor) x Drive Head Torque Conversion = Torque Required

Let's put it in numerical values that are similar to your home.

Load required - 5,600 pounds

Material Kfactor - 8

Drive Head Torque Conversion - 2.5

(5,600/8)x 2.5 = 1,750 ft/lbs of torque needed to achieve the required load.


A torque bar is implemented to inhibit the drive head from spinning on the helical pile. The torque bar is attached to the drive head and positioned safely about 5-6 feet away.

If the torque bar is not secured to a stationary object, the torque bar will try to wipe out anything in its path. 

The helical piers are then driven into the earth, connected via extensions until competent, load-bearing soil is reached.  

Lift /Stabilization

After all of the helical piers have been safely installed at each location, the lifting process can begin. The goal of all foundation repair specialists is to achieve maximum practical recovery. 

Maximum Practical Recovery is the amount of lift that can safely be achieved without compromising the structural (and, occasionally cosmetic) integrity of the home.

Lifting a home can take 2-3 hours.

Not all homes are lifted due to structural and cosmetic concerns; however, homes fitted with helical piers are then considered stabilized as they won’t sink any further.

 Final Walkthrough

Subsequent to the structure’s lift and/or stabilization, a final walkthrough takes place. This walkthrough involves a cursory visual of the previously affected areas, with careful attention paid to:

  •   Previous stucco cracks
  •   Previous drywall cracks
  •   Previously sloped floors
  •   Chimneys (chimneys often have their own, mini foundation)

In addition to visual cues, floor elevation measurements are taken again to compare to the floor elevations during the initial foundation inspection.

Then, all that’s left to do is enjoy your home and the warranty. Many foundation repair contractors have a baseline warranty of 20 years.

Here at Dalinghaus, we think that’s pretty good, but we offer a lifetime warranty on all steel pier systems. And, no - that’s not the lifetime of the homeowner, that’s the lifetime of the structure.

Polyurethane Foundation Repair 

 

Polyurethane is often used in conjunction with helical piers and push piers; however, there are instances where it works to repair a foundation solo. In addition, Polyurethane is utilized frequently in void fill. 

See our articles: 

What is Polyurethane Foam?

Polyurethane foam is an injectable polyol and isocyanate resin sealant, insulation, grout which expands upon application providing void fill, structural support, and re-leveling properties. Polyurethane foam is waterproof, flame-retardant, noninvasive, and non polluting, weighing 3.5 to 5 pounds per cubic foot and reaching 90% compression strength after 15 minutes. Polyurethane can hold 7,200 pounds per square foot.


Polyurethane is a chemical compound that is implemented in liquid form before it expands into a solid, remarkably strong foam.

Due to its initial liquid form, polyurethane permeates perfectly into cramped, difficult-to-reach spaces – such as void under sidewalks, patios, or foundations.

Polyurethane is environmentally inert and poses no danger to the environment.

Polyurethane is a considerably lighter alternative to Mudjacking (utilizing cement to reinforce, raise a previous structure). 

See our article: Polyurethane vs Mudjacking (Foam to Cement) 

Mudjacking can act as an anchor and further sink whatever it was initially supported, weighing an astonishing 140 pounds per cubic foot.

That’s 97% heavier than Polyurethane.  


1 cubic foot of concrete is 150 lbs. 

1 cubic foot of polyurethane is 3-4 lbs.


Also, unlike Mudjacking, Polyurethane does not rely on the pressure of installation to lift up the slab, it relies on the expanding power (rather than the application force) to get the job done.   

This helps make it a cleaner, less invasive process in addition to the smaller installation sites. Mudjacking holes can be 2 to 2.5 inches in diameter as opposed to 3/8ths inch for poly.   

Polyurethane is not just environmentally safe, it’s safe enough to be surgically inserted into your body (once cured). Polyurethane is so safe it is utilized in pacemakers.

In addition, its cure time is considerably faster than Mudjacking, which can take up to 28 days to cure.

This quick curing time allows for immediate use, with little to no concern for load-bearing capacity at a 90% cure rate in 15 minutes.

Polyurethane Injection (Dalinghaus)

Polyurethane Construction Applications  

Polyurethane is used for a variety of applications.

Polyurethane Foam is utilized to:

  • Repair Cracked Concrete Slabs
  • Repair Settling/Sinking Concrete Slabs
  • Repair Settling/Sinking Foundations
  • Repair Void Fill
  • Permeate and Densify Soil

Quick Characteristics of Polyurethane:

o   Polyurethane is waterproof, water retardant, and non-water-soluble making it the perfect candidate for underground application in any climate   

o   Polyurethane does not chemically react with moisture or soil

o   Polyurethane does not leak adverse chemicals into the substrate and is inert, environmentally neutral and does not contribute to water contamination       

o   Polyurethane cures quickly, solidifying up to 90% full strength in 15 minutes

o   Polyurethane is adaptable across a wide variety of applications. It can easily withstand various temperatures, weather conditions, and soils.

o   Polyurethane is relatively noninvasive (particularly when compared to Mudjacking)

 

While polyurethane has various applications, the installation process is pretty much the same across the board. Our 5-step process is applicable across the different implementations of polyurethane deep injection.  

Steps to Polyurethane Lifting  

  1. Drill holes
  2. Application gun
  3. Void Fill
  4. Patch Drill Holes
  5. Clean up and Cure

Drill Holes

Holes are punctured into the slab via a 3/8th drill bit in a grid pattern. These holes are implemented 18 to 24 inches apart depending on the size of the void/affected area and soil conditions.    

The resulting hole is about the size of a nickel.

The void is then probed for depth with a long bit or rebar pole.  

Application Gun

It is important to note that polyurethanes are formed when a polyol (a type of alcohol containing multiple hydroxyl groups) reacts with a diisocyanate or polymeric isocyanate.

This is just a fancy way of saying: it takes two to tango.  

The two separate chemicals mix at the nozzle of the gun, instigating a chemical reaction as the slurry is ejected via pneumatic fluid control.

The chemicals e x p a n d very quickly, filling every nook and cranny with ease, providing support.   

We can regulate the reaction/rise time by controlling the liquid temperature and altering the chemical makeup. 

For example, deeper applications we can finess to delay expansion by over sixty seconds. Shallow injection sites can be filled in 5 seconds

It all depends on the situation and is a case by case basis.     

Void Fill

Polyurethane is for soil what chocolate cake is to the soul – an attempt to fill a void. As the polyurethane expands it compresses and densifies the soils, filling any voids or fissures.

We go until there’s a little bit of lift on the slab, which indicates there’s enough pressure. The foam compacts and stabilizes the surrounding soil, providing support.   

Patch

 The holes are then patched with mud to match the original concrete.  

Clean up and Cure 

Then, all that’s left is to clean up and wait for the new concrete to cure. And it looks like we were never there.

The average price of polyurethane in Southern California and Arizona is $10 per square foot/per pound.

Due to labor costs (and current limited availability – thank you, COVID), many construction contractors have a polyurethane minimum fee.

Here at Dalinghaus Construction Inc., our polyurethane minimum is $2,500 with our standard job averaging out to $2,500-$5,000.  

Now, the cost of polyurethane does fluctuate and is contingent on the type of repair project.

Polyurethane is utilized for a variety of applications:

  •   Void Fill
  •   Void Fill After Foundation Lift / Stabilization
  •   General Soil Stabilization (Permeates, Densifies, Stabilizes, & Adds Rigidity)
  •   Lifting, Re-leveling Flatwork (Driveways, Sidewalks, Pool Decks, & other Trip Hazards)
  •   Deep Injection (a layered approach to densification from 3 to 7 to 12 feet)  

Here at Dalinghaus, we use AP LIFT 430, which is certified by Truesdail Labs to NSF/ANSI 61-5 (approved for contact with drinking water).

 In short, polyurethane is the perfect tool for foundation repair and underpinning.  

Crawl Space Jacks and Foundation Repair 

Crawlspace Jacks are a key tool when it comes to foundation repair for raised foundations. Crawlspace jacks, also known as smart jacks or foundation jacks, are the perfect solution for bowing and bouncy floors.  

Crawlspace Jacks are comprised of 4 basic parts:

  • Top Plate (attaches to girder beam via screws or nails)
  • Spindle with a threaded metal rod (is housed in the 3.5" Pipe)
  • Pipe (which houses the threaded rod)
  • Bottom plate (planted securely on the post)

The top plate and load are lowered or raised via a nut that is welded to the spindle/threaded rod. The nut is manually turned with a wrench until the desired height is attained.

These are easily adjustable and could even be adjusted by the homeowner a year or two after installation if there is any extra settling/compaction that needs to be addressed.     

These bad boys can hold 40 thousand pounds each. The load capacity is based on the 3.5"-pipe rating. In other words, crawlspace jacks are not going to bend, snap or concave.  

Crawlspace jacks are generally installed with 3-man crews and the entire process can take 1-2 days.  

Here is the crawlspace jack installation process –

  1. We remove any loose debris that could impede our work. We need clearance, Clarence. In order for us to even take on a crawlspace jack installation project, we need 2 feet of clearance to ensure we have enough room to maneuver.
  2. We prepare the pad base by digging a hole 18 inches by 18 inches wide and 12 inches deep.
  3. We fill and compact the excavation with gravel and level it so that we can fit the pad right beneath the girder beam.

The gravel distributes the weight evenly into the soil. The pads themselves are one square foot – ergo, without the gravel, the load would be concentrated on one square foot of soil.   

  1. We measure the space between the precast pad and the girder beam and cut the 3.5" pipe to size.  
  2. We fit together all of the pieces of the crawlspace jack and place the whole jack securely on the pad.  
  3. We install all of the crawlspace jacks prior to the lift. The jacks are typically spaced 6 feet apart and at girder beam joints. It’s imperative to support major joints so that both sides of the girder beam have support and are level – not a step up or down.  
  4. During the lift, we lift each jack a little bit at a time to ensure no single jack takes the bulk of the load of the lift. There are usually two workers in the crawlspace manually wrenching the crawlspace jacks while a third worker is in the home monitoring floor levels with a Ziplevel.

 It’s important to note that the digging and setup alone easily account for 80% of the project time. Crawlspaces are small and difficult to maneuver in. The cramped space adds time to the digging, transfer of equipment, and leveling process.  

Occasionally push piers and/or helical piers may need to be utilized to address foundation settlement before the jacks can be installed. In addition, sometimes sections of rotten girder beam need to be replaced. 

The average price for Crawlspace Jack installation is $10,000 to $15,000. Here at Dalinghaus Construction Inc., all of our jobs have a 5k minimum in order to ensure we don’t lose money on product, labor, and mobilization.

Concrete Foundation Repair 

Foundation repair often includes concrete removal and replacement.   


Concretely, concrete R&R has two steps:   

  1. Removal - cracked crusty concrete is demolished and extracted via jackhammers, impact hammer drills, shovels, concrete saws, and sheer brute strength – some of our crew use only their fists.
  2. Replacement - fresh baby-faced concrete is poured, smoothed over, and left to cure.

Dalinghaus Construction specializes in 3 types of concrete R&R:  

  1. Concrete Pier R&R 
  2. Concrete Footing R&R
  3. Concrete Flatwork R&R  

Brief note - technically, anything made of concrete can undergo R&R, but our list focuses on our specific services. 

Concrete Pier R&R 

Push piers and/or helical piers are metal pipes/stilts that are pushed or screwed into the earth until they lodge in competent-load-bearing soil secure enough to stabilize or lift your foundation back to maximum practical recovery.

These piers are attached to a bracket that is fastened to the footing of your home’s foundation.

Consequently, we need to be able to excavate down to just below your footing, chip away at the footing so the bracket fits nice and snug like concrete braces and have enough room to load/install the piers.

Occasionally, a sidewalk or patio or B-ball half-court impedes direct access to your home’s footings.

In which case, concrete R&R is required to properly access the affected area.

The key is really about creating access to your foundation’s footings. Once the piers are in place, push piers only require a small hydraulic pump.

Whereas helical piers (often used on lighter homes suffering from settling or sinkage) require a gear motor for ultimate torque POWER to install. 

The endgame is to lift and/or stabilize your home on these “stilts” that are resting securely in strata with competent load-capacity or bedrock.

R&R can prove an integral step in this process.      

These R&R sections are typically 3x3 feet at each pier location and it usually takes a good hour to cut-and-break into these concrete sections.

The average cost of R&R per pier location is $350. On an average project, piers are utilized every six feet (so you can do the math).

The good news is, we rarely see homes surrounded on all sides by concrete. And even if we do – we never surrender...settle, I mean settle. 

So, in summary, we utilize concrete saws to cut 3x3 foot sections into concrete directly adjacent to the home in order to access the foundation’s footings.

This takes an hour per section and all OSHA guidelines are followed. 

Fast-forward to after the structure has been lifted and/or stabilized: we don our bartender tuxedos and mix (shaken concrete, not stirred), pour, and allow to cure. Viola!  

Concrete Footing R&R

Foundation footings are typically concrete reinforced by rebar.

Footings provide support to your foundation and help offset foundation settlement.Footings are susceptible to water, seismic, and age-related damage.

Particularly when cracked footings allow water to soak up into the rebar, the rusted rebar expands, and – oh no – there goes a big chunk of your foundation falling off like a glacier into the globally-warmed Atlantic. 

These sections need to be patched ASAP before the rest of the concrete glacier melts away.

Not all footings are created equal.

River rock and brick footings are notorious culprits for footing deterioration. 

And, unfortunately, if one section of your footing is rotten, chances are high there are more compromised sections (kind of like cavities, but for concrete).

For homes with raised foundations and compromised footings, first, the home needs to be shored up, then a girder beam is placed around the parameter of the home (and the old footings can take a minute to break out), new rebar is put in followed by concrete forms, and then the concrete is poured.  

The average cost for footing R&R is $300 to $500 per linear foot and these kinds of projects typically take 5-10 days.    

*Footnote – historical homes provide a unique challenge when addressing problematic footings. 

These symbols of antiquity cannot legally undergo any major overhaul – cosmetic or structural.

Therefore, we have to be especially creative in dealing with crumbling river rock and brick-and-mortar footings as we cannot remove them. 

So, we create sister footings (a second concrete/rebar footing) to accompany the footings of yesteryear.   

In summation, much like cavities, rot can riddle your foundation’s footings and spread decay throughout your foundation.

These rotten sections need to be removed and replaced with fresh concrete that will provide you structural integrity and peace of mind.

Concrete Flatwork R&R 

Flatwork is any concrete work that is on a horizontal plane (including, but not limited to): patios, pool decks, driveways, parking lots, sidewalks, and really anything that is 4-6inches thick of concrete

There are few things that are more of an eyesore than a cracked section of driveway or your backyard slab pushing up daisies.

Flatwork cracks can be caused by roots, seismic activity, and weather.  In addition, expansive soils can crack flatwork and cause slabs to settle/sink.   

Fractured flatwork is easily replaced with beautiful, unblemished concrete. 

We’re talking perfectly pancake flat. Smooth. Something you can dribble a basketball against with Pistol Pete confidence the ball won’t bounce sideways into the bushes.  

The average cost of flatwork is $7000 to $8000 dollars per project. Flatwork projects typically take us 2-3 days to complete.

So, now that we’ve covered the primary underpinning methods - push piers, helical piers, polyurethane, crawlspace jacks, and Concrete R&R - let’s dive into how long it lasts. 

How Long Does Foundation Repair Last?  

The question of how long does foundation repair last is directly derived from the root query is foundation repair worth it?

In other words, is foundation repair worth the time & money, and will it stand the test of time?

That’s what we do here at Dalinghaus – we go deeper, to the root of the problem, discover the question behind the question.  

In short, foundation repair is worth it because:

  •   Your foundation repair will stand the test of time (and, our Dalinghaus lifetime warranty on all steel pier systems is transferable upon inheritance or home resale)

In this section, we are going to go over our primary forms of underpinning and how long they last as individual/independent systems and together as a whole – push piers, helical piers, and polyurethane.

This article is going to help demonstrate to you that foundation repair, in fact, is completely worth the price tag due to longevity alone.   

How Long Do Push Piers Last?

Push piers are sturdy and a relatively indestructible means of underpinning. The push piers we utilize are galvanized to protect against corrosion and rust.

It’s estimated that push piers can last over 150 years and/or the lifetime of the structure.

What is a Push Pier? 

A Push Pier is a steel pipe utilized in foundation repair that is hydraulically driven into competent, load-bearing soil and anchored to a foundation’s prepped footing via a remedial bracket to secure, stabilize and/or lift the structure.

Push Piers are:

  •    Comprised of galvanized steel to impede rust/oxidization
  •    Constructed with a maximum load capacity of 68 thousand pounds
  •   In sizes ranging from 2-7/8”, 3.5” and 4.5” (and are measured by the diameter of the pipe)
  •   Generally pushed down to a depth of 25 to 30 feet 
  •   Comprised of three main components: Remedial Bracket, Starter, & Extensions.

 

With push piers costing anywhere between $2,100 to $2,500 per pier, for over 150 years of support, it’s well worth it.  

 

How Long Do Helical Piers Last

Helical Piers are durable and just might be dug up with dinosaur bones in the future. The helical piers we utilize are galvanized to protect against corrosion and rust.

 It’s estimated that push piers can last over 150 years and/or the lifetime of the structure.

What is a Helical Pier?

A Helical Pier is a steel circular/square pipe (utilized in foundation repair) that is hydraulically driven to competent, load-bearing soil and anchored to a structure’s prepped footing via a remedial bracket to secure, stabilize and/or lift a structure.

Helical Piers are:

  • Comprised of galvanized steel to impede rust or oxidization
  • Have a maximum load capacity of 74,000 pounds
  • Come in sizes ranging from 3', 5', 7', 10' or 20'
  • Comprised of a lead, extensions, & remedial bracket
  • Generally pushed down to depths of 25 to 30 feet

Helical piers cost anywhere between $2,200 to $3,000 per pier. That’s not too bad for superhero piers that can withstand 74,000 pounds of pressure. 

How Long Does Polyurethane Last?

Polyurethane can lift slabs on its own but is often used to void fill after a foundation lift to maximum practical recovery.

 Polyurethane, by some estimates, can last indefinitely. However, on projects other than void fill following a lift, the ground beneath polyurethane may shift and sink, resulting in a need for a refill years down the line.

*Note – Polyurethane void fill after a lift is only utilized on parts of the home that require a void fill, saving you money in the long run.

What is Polyurethane Foam?

Polyurethane foam is an injectable polyol and isocyanate resin sealant, insulation, grout which expands upon application providing void fill, structural support, and re-leveling properties. Polyurethane foam is waterproof, flame-retardant, noninvasive, and nonpolluting, weighing 3.5 to 5 pounds per cubic foot and reaching 90% compression strength after 15 minutes. Polyurethane can hold 7,200 pounds per square foot.

The average price of polyurethane in Southern California and Arizona is $10 per square foot/per pound.

Here at Dalinghaus Construction Inc., our polyurethane minimum is $2,500 with our standard job averaging out to $2,500-$5,000.  

 

How Long Does Dalinghaus Construction Repair Last?

As mentioned in other articles, we often use these three primary forms of underpinning in tandem. Push piers, helical piers, and polyurethane work magic together.  

In conclusion – the foundation repair will last as long as the structure, over 150 years – well beyond your lifetime.  

Now, the more important question is: is this covered by a warranty? Because, if for some reason push comes to shove, you’d like to know you’re covered. The answer is Dalinghaus foundation repair is absolutely covered by our lifetime warranty.   

So, now we’ve come full circle. The question of how long does foundation repair last is directly derived from the root query is foundation repair worth it which is directly concerned with foundation repair cost.

Is the bang worth the buck? 

We have several articles on foundation repair cost  –

In short – we believe foundation repair is always worth it.

How Much Does Foundation Repair Cost 

 

 When you google how much does foundation repair cost – it is easy to get sucked down the wild, winding rabbit hole and spit out into the deep, dark recesses of the internet. 

The truth is: it’s damned difficult to find a clear, definitive answer. 

Average Foundation Repair Cost 

Foundation Repair cost varies greatly and is dependent upon underpinning repair type (push pier, helical pier, mudjacking, polyurethane deep injection, stabilization, and/or lift) with an average national cost of $24,000 to $60,000.

While a few well-established sites, such as Home Advisor and Angie’s List, have taken a commendable crack at nailing down a rough cost estimate, these numbers are not exact. 

They are not a zeroed-in representation of foundation repair costs on the Left Coast, especially here in Southern California.

Here at Dalinghaus, we cut the bull. We offer well-researched, clear, and concise step-by-step explanations for cost, efficacy, and warranty.

The cost of your foundation repair is contingent on three primary factors:    

  1. The Area of the Project
  2. The Type of Repair
  3. The Permits & Engineering

The average foundation repair cost in Southern California is around $24,000.

Not sure you can afford foundation repair? 

Determine Your Monthly Payments with Hearth 

The Area of the Project  

The single biggest factor in determining your foundation repair cost is area. We’re not talking in strictly mathematical terms (in such that Length x Breadth = A or whatever), but in terms of size/scope.

It is important to note that the size of your home is not the key determining factor of price; but, rather, the size of the affected area. For example, you may only require a lift for a small section of your home, resulting in a significant cost reduction compared to an entire house project.

The affected area is determined by a floor elevation survey. 

If your home does have foundation issues, the floor elevation survey is sure to find them. In addition, there are pretty substantial signs and symptoms to look for when assessing a foundation’s health.

If you do not receive floor elevation readings from the company providing your foundation repair quote – ask for them.

A floor elevation survey provides you with useful information and helps you better understand the severity of your home’s foundational problem. 

Also, this survey helps validate the recommended repairs and helps ensure you aren’t being bamboozled. 

Ultimately, floor elevation surveys are a diagnostic tool that helps us determine:

  1. The best type of repair that fits your unique needs
  2. And, consequently, the correct equipment, tools, and labor necessary to complete said repair

The Type of Repair 

So, floor elevation surveys help determine the most appropriate foundation repair type that fits your home’s unique requirements. 

 

Type is the second biggest factor when it comes to foundation repair cost. Each type has its own unique pricing bracket. 

Push Piers  

Push Piers cost an average of $2,100 to $2,500 per pier in SoCal and Arizona. 

An average home project utilizes x piers, you can do the math. Push piers are an average of 4 feet and fit together (a collar creating room for less skin-friction as the piers are forced into the earth).

 The push piers are hydraulically pushed (yes, quite literally) into the ground until they reach competent, load-bearing soil. 

You know those island documentaries where islanders chew betelnut and homes are built on stilts? Imagine that is your home, but the stilts are underground.

Helical Piers 

Helical piers cost an average of $2,100 to $3,000 per pier in SoCal and Arizona. 

Helical pier installation cost is determined by size, depth, and access

The two different types of helical piers are 1). Round and (2. Square. Round helical piers are excellent for vertical or compression loading. 

Square Shaft helicals work best for lateral or horizontal loading. Round or square, we know What Are the Best Helical Piers to Use.

These are similar to push piers; except they are screwed deep into the earth rather than pushed.

Helical piers prove quite versatile and can be utilized on almost any type of foundation.      

Helical piers are an industry favorite for securing new construction sites to prevent future settlement. 

Helical piers are a little more expensive than push piers primarily due to the heavy equipment required for installation.   

Polyurethane Deep Injections

Polyurethane Deep Injection costs an average of $150 to $180 per square foot in SoCal and Arizona. 

Polyurethane Deep Injection is utilized when a home has minimal settlement, and the owner is looking to stabilize the home in its current condition. 

We drill nickel-sized holes into concrete, snake in our injector, and infuse the polyurethane foam to lift the slab by pressure. 

These injections are most effective when a home has fallen less than 1” of settlement and the native soils are 10 or fewer inches from ground level. 

This is typically the cheapest option, costing around ½ of push pier/helical pier repair price.  

The Permits & Engineering

 

Foundation repair projects inherently require a variety of engineering needs and services.

These can range from simple structural repair recommendations to a full-blown structural set of plans with corresponding geotechnical reports (which require soil borings and slope analysis).

There is no one size fits all set of requirements when it comes to obtaining a permit for the foundation work to be performed.

Every city and county have their own unique and specific requirements. 

In addition to these highly individualized engineering requirements, there is a wide range of costs associated with obtaining a permit. 

A permit can range anywhere from $750 to $3,500 or more (depending on locale and the valuation of your project).

On top of possibly steep permitting fees, there are engineering fees to factor in. These can range anywhere from $1,000 to $3,500 for structural engineering and $1,800 to $6,000 for geotechnical engineering. 

These prices reflect the amount of time, investigation, and services required to fulfill the city’s requirements.  

We have our finger on the pulse of costs, requirements, and timelines for most cities in Southern California and Central Arizona. Feel free to reach out to us to get your city’s costs, requirements, and timelines. 

Further Break Down

So, now that we have dissected the primary items that influence cost, let’s run through how to do a quick assessment of your home and begin to get a rough estimate for costs associated with fixing your home’s foundation.

Step 1 –

Diagnose the area that you notice the majority of your issues with (including sloping floor, sticky doors, etc.) 

Measure the length along the exterior wall of the affected area (you will want to measure all sides of the house that are impacted). Typically, this will be 2-3 sides depending on your home’s settlement pattern.

Step 2 –

Determine linear footage.

Step 3 –

Multiply the linear footage by $350 to $450 to get a rough estimate for the repairs.

Step 4 –

Add engineering fees (an average of $5,000 for all engineering fees and permitting).

Step 5 (Optional) –

Stop swearing – it’s all gonna be okay.  

This should give you a ballpark estimate of the costs for repairs. 

Obviously, a foundation repair contractor (such as Dalinghaus Construction, Inc.), will be able to provide you with a much more accurate picture of data and costs, but this should at least point you in the right direction.

Top 25 Foundation Repair Questions –

The Q’s    

  1. Is the structural polyurethane foam dangerous to my animals?

Structural Polyurethane Foam poses no immediate health risks to you or your furry friends due to our precise, targeted delivery system. 

The expanding foam is dispatched directly beneath your foundation/affected locale and does not emigrate from the treated area. 

That being said, if your pooch has a B-General Building Contractor License and access to SPF, we never advocate it as a dietary supplement. 

  1. Is there significant noise pollution?

There will be some noise, but we’re not talking about a System of the Down concert. 

A typical foundation repair project involves jackhammers, generators, and hydraulic motors (nothing above 100 decibels). 

And this noise is intermittent and never a continuous ‘round-the-clock cacophony. We adhere to all neighborhood noise regulations and curfews.  

  1. How long will the process take (from start to finish)?

The timeframe for a lift/stabilization project is contingent on the magnitude of the project. On average, we are in-and-out in only 1-2 weeks.  

  1. What time will the crew get here in the morning? When will they leave?

We prefer to begin our jackhammering around 4:00 am…said no one ever. Our foremen always give you an on-the-way phone call to let you know their ETA. 

Typically, our crews arrive on-site around 8:00 a.m. and roll out by 4 or 5 in the afternoon. Before we leave, we always cover all open excavations and we never leave tools onsite. 

Our crews strictly adhered to OSHA’s safety regulations and work hard to ensure a safe job site.  

  1. What are the measures you are taking to ensure customer safety against COVID-19? 

First and foremost: your health and safety are always our top priority. We recognize COVID-19 poses unique communication restrictions and all of our design specialists follow CDC guidelines. When we meet with you, we:

  • Wear masks
  • Wear cute little foot booties
  • Keep a distance
  • Sanitize all tools prior to entering your home
  • Sanitize all tools prior to exiting your home
  • Use copious amounts of hand sanitizer

We take COVID-19 very seriously. Any team member who was potentially exposed is sent home for two-weeks (no matter how many times they test negative during that time).

In addition, anyone who has even a sniffle is immediately sent home and tested. In short, if Dr. Fauci had acolytes – we’re those groupies.  

  1. Will you need to use my electricity for your drills/equipment?

Nope. Nada. Nah. We have our own generators that run all of our heavy equipment. And say, for example, we were to use your electricity, the so-called spike in the electricity bill would be negligible.

  1. Will the foundation lift cause any structural damage to my house?

Abso-freaking-lutely not. Take comfort in the knowledge that your precious load-bearing walls, wooden-skeletal-frame, and foundation slab are all safe

However, the monkey-wrench is there is a good chance there may be surface, cosmetic damage if you tried to fix these eyesore issues before your home was returned to maximum practical recovery. 

Plaster might pop back out, things of that nature.

The vast majority of these issues can be easily remedied with a little plaster and a little paint after the lift/stabilization is completed – then you’ll never have to touch up again.

 It is imperative to wait to remodel until your foundation has been stabilized. 

We always work with the homeowner every step of the way (even through the micro-steps) to ensure the homeowner’s goals are met.    

  1. How long is the warranty?

We have a lifetime warranty for all steel pier systems that covers material, labor, and peace of mind. In addition, our polyurethane has a 10-year warranty

The one caveat is: we can’t guarantee we’ll be as good-looking in a decade or two – but we’ll do our best.  

  1. Is there financing/different payment options?  

Of course! We offer competitive financing through outside companies whose interest rates will keep you interested. (*Note – these rates and terms are all based on credit). 

Some clients refinance their homes to pull in the Benjamins needed, but most clients qualify for a small loan (about the loan size of a car).

  1. Is it really worth the financial investment?

It. Is. Definitely. Worth. The. Financial. Investment. It’s damn near impossible to sell your home if you suffer from foundation woes.

You’ll be forced to sell to a cash buyer, which directly translates into at least 30% off your home’s value.

In addition, any remodeling you take on before your foundation is properly repaired – you’ll just have to do it again. It’s like Groundhog Day except you’re not using the same money over and over again.  

Your home is your biggest investment. Provide you and your family peace of mind by knowing your foundation is stable and secure.   

  1. Will the construction workers need to use my restrooms? 

Nope. We rent porta potties for when nature calls, especially when we know we’ll be on a project longer than 3 days.

  1. Will the foundation lift damage my neighbor’s property?

Not unless you pay us extra. Obviously, just kidding – the foundation lift/stabilization does not and will not affect your neighbor’s property. All of our work is incredibly localized. We’re like precision surgeons – our work is laser-focused only on the affected area.  

  1. Will it change the topography of my yard?

Never. Your koi pond, swing set, flowerbeds, and hot tub are safe. We subscribe to a ninja-esque espionage mentality. Once the stabilization or lifting process is complete, it looks like we were never even there.  

  1. Will it affect my swimming pool?

Your swimming pool will not be affected unless we are working directly on your pool; in which case, your pool will be improved by our stabilization.  

But be warned, if you have pool noodles or pink flamingo floaties, we just might be tempted to take a dip.  

  1. Can I be home during the process?

Absolutely. We actually recommend that homeowners are there at the beginning of a project and the end.

You’ll definitely want to see the construction crescendo/climax when we lift your house. Trust me, you’ll want a big bag of popcorn handy. 

  1. Will I need to have my home lifted again in the future?

Your odds are better at winning the lotto than needing us to come out and repair your foundation again. 

So, if for some reason you ever do need to call-collect on your warranty, go buy Powerball ASAP. We always shoot for a one-and-done lift and stabilization process. 

But if the wrong stars align or mercury is in retrograde or whatever – your warranties have you covered.

  1. Are my gas/power/water lines in danger of being hurt?

Not likely – gas, water, and power lines all settle with the home. We always take all the precautions we can, utilize DigAlert, and identify all utility locations long before a shovel even hits the dirt.

  1. Will you have to pull up my favorite shrubbery to access my footings?

Unfortunately, in some select cases, we may have to pull up your favorite-baby-bush. It all depends upon optimal pier location; however, never fear, we have green thumbs

We always go out of our way to protect loved plants and shrubbery. And, if they do need to be temporarily relocated, we have had success returning said greenery back to their natural habitat. 

  1. Are you insured/bonded/protected in case you are injured on the job?  

In the unlikely event a Dalinghaus Construction employee is injured on the job, the homeowner is never held liable. We are insured up the wazoo.  

  1. I just put in an addition last summer. Does that complicate the process?

Additions, if not properly demarcated, can complicate the planning process. Typically, this just adds thirty minutes to your inspection time to nail out the exact location of the additions.

We cover this potential hiccup and more in our blog post How Long Does a Foundation Inspection Take & What Can Add Time.  

  1. Comparably, how are you priced against your competition?

Well, at our last price-fixing conference in Switzerland, all of the construction-Dons decided on a rough ball-park premium of about $24,000 per home. 

Of course, I am joking (for legal purposes), but most of the foundation-repair companies in Southern California are similarly priced. 

That’s why it’s imperative to compare apples-to-apples if you get several bids/proposals. Here, check out our competent competition in the 5 Best Foundation Repair Companies in Southern California.  

  1. What am I going to get from you after the inspection?

Our ultimate goal is to provide you with peace of mind. Either your foundation is in superb-tip-top-shape or requires some TLC. Either way – knowledge is power. 

Upon the completion of our inspection, you will receive a full report that summarizes your foundation’s issues and an accurate CAD drawing.

Unlike some of our competitors, we pride ourselves on including all of the floor evaluation measurements. Some unsavory gents and disreputable companies sneakily omit important measurements. 

The goal is to leverage or finesse “the big picture” to increase your bill. They may want you to lift your whole house when just lifting a section would do – for example.  

  1. How long does the permitting process take?

Great question! Let us know if you figure it out (we'd love to know).  

Permit. It’s almost an obscenity – the dirtiest of dirty words in the construction biz. The permitting process depends on the city. We typically see an average of 4-12 weeks to get your permit. 

If you would like more specific information on the city you live in, please feel free to drop us a line so we can provide you averages.

Be sure to read our article: Foundation Repair Permitting Demystified (top 4 Q’s) 

  1. Do you have engineers on staff?  

We have no engineers on staff. We do this because we don’t want any conflicts of interest.

Some of our competitors have engineers in-house and it allows them to make recommendations that might not necessarily be the right or most cost-effective fix. 

We work with the best in the industry, including Waypoint Engineering, Helfrich & Associates, and Engineering Services & Design of SoCal, Inc.   

  1. Are you qualified? Why should I listen to you?

We have a long litany of swanky certifications and licenses. We have a:

  • B-General Building Contractor License
  • C-61/D30 – Pile Driving/Pressure Foundation Jacking License
  • C-8 – Concrete License
  • A – General Engineering Contractor License
  • A License to Kill (in crayon up on my office wall, not certified by MI6…yet)

Ok, so we have nothing to do with Her Majesty’s favorite double-O agent, but we have over 50 years of combined foundation experience and have stabilized over 1,200 foundations in Southern California alone.  


Book a Foundation Inspection Now 

Dalinghaus Construction Inc. can help you fix your sinking foundation once and for all with helical pier, push pier, and polyurethane underpinning

We do foundation underpinning the right way. With over 100 years of combined experience and 4.9 stars out of over 300 reviews – we are here to ensure that you never settle

If you live in SoCal or Arizona and would like a FREE foundation inspection, click the link below – 

schedule free foundation evaluation

How To Repair Your Homes Foundation
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A Recent Foundation Repair Project Where We Lifted A Settling Home 6 Inches!