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Foundation Repair

No homeowner wants to deal with foundation repair, but foundation problems can affect your home’s safety, appearance, and value.

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Have you noticed uneven floors in your home? Are wall cracks growing and worsening? While it is common to see these problem signs in your home, they can indicate significant foundation damage beneath the surface. This is dangerous for your home and family, and it is important to have these issues fixed before serious injuries result. When it comes to repairing and protecting your foundation, you are not alone. Our experienced, friendly team at Ohio Basement Systems will accurately diagnose what’s going wrong with your foundation and recommend solutions best suited to your home’s repair needs. Get started by requesting your free inspection today! 


The Causes of Foundation Problems

Factors such as expansive clay soil, hydrostatic pressure, and freezing water can create too much stress on basement walls, causing them to push forward and even collapse entirely over time.

While sandy soils remain stable as water passes through them, soils rich in clay undergo significant changes based on their moisture content.

When clay type soils dry out, they shrink significantly — so much that the ground can become covered with cracks. But after a heavy rain, the cracks are gone and the soil is fully saturated with water.

Because clay soil absorbs so much water, it expands during wet weather. Expansive clay soils can put enormous pressure on your basement or foundation walls. When the pressure becomes more than the wall can handle, the wall will begin to push inwards.

Hydrostatic pressure is the pressure exerted by a fluid due to the force of gravity.

To understand how hydrostatic pressure can damage foundation walls, imagine how much heavier soil becomes when it’s soaked with water. When the weight of water is added to the weight of the soil, you’ve got much greater pressure pushing against a foundation wall.

Hydrostatic pressure effectively amplifies soil pressure against a foundation wall. When pressure exceeds the foundation wall’s ability to withstand it, the wall will begin to bow, buckle, tilt inward at the top, or move inwards at the bottom.

In areas with cold winter climates, frost heaving can sometimes put enough pressure on foundation walls to make them fail.

When water turns to ice, its volume increases by about 9%. If wet soil experiences a deep freeze, the wedging or heaving force that results can be extremely powerful.

Frost heaving can put literally thousands of pounds of force against your foundation walls, causing cracks, bowing, and heaving.

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Is Foundation Repair the Right Solution for Me? 

Just as your foundation is responsible for ensuring the structural integrity of your house, it’s your responsibility as a homeowner to give it some help from time to time. Your home may need foundation repair solutions to help ensure its durability and combat common foundation issues. 

It doesn’t matter how old a home is or how recently a house was built. Homes of all ages have the potential to experience foundation problems like cracking and bowing walls, sagging floors, and sticking windows and doors. Issues with construction can sometimes come into play, but the root of damage to a home’s foundation is usually what lies beneath – the soil. Areas around Greater Cleveland and Northern Ohio have a mix of soil types including sand and silt, but clay is the most prevalent and problematic. 

When overly saturated clay soil expands – thanks to the region’s wet weather – it creates hydrostatic pressure that is forced upon foundation walls. Too much pressure leads to wall cracks, bowing, and basement leaks. Wall repairs and reinforcements are needed to better protect the foundation from these hazards. 

FAQs

Foundation settling affects the entire house, and the damage can show up in multiple places. Because of this, some Akron-Canton homeowners confuse foundation problems for isolated issues. They go on to repair their home without considering their basement or crawl space, which is what’s causing the damage in the first place. Recognizing the signs of foundation settling will save you from having to spend money on repairs that won’t solve anything until the foundation has been stabilized. If the problem is caught early on, it will also save your home from experiencing extreme structural damage.

The first problem sign you might notice is jammed doors. When a foundation is settling, the house shifts to one side. Some of the structures of your home, which rely on evenness and symmetry, will warp and bend as the house settles. The same goes for your columns and walls, which either crack or bow as the weight of the house is loaded on to one side. The floors will also be affected and become uneven, which you can confirm if you look at the joint between your walls and the floor: if there’s a gap, the floor is uneven.

Outside, you might notice that your chimney is tilting as well, and that the mortar bricks have stair-step cracks. Depending on how advanced the settling is, the handrails on your porch may have warped and are now uneven. If you have an attached deck, the deck posts will look bent as well. You can also visually see that your home is uneven, but it might be difficult to see up close. Take a step back and look at the front or back of your house and see if you notice that it’s sinking.

Foundation settling often gets detected after the house is falling apart. If you’ve spotted the problem signs and have determined that your foundation is failing, you need to act fast. Settling only gets worse with time, which means that what you are seeing will become more of a problem later on. If allowed to go on for too long, the house may even become too structurally unsound to live in. Before that happens, call your local foundation experts for repairs.

Foundation problems are not something you can just DIY, like a paint job or hanging a painting. For the job to be done right, professional solutions are required. At Ohio Basement Systems, we provide the best foundation repair options for the homeowners of Youngstown, OH, such as helical piers and push piers. These pier support systems will permanently stabilize your foundation and completely stop the settling. The piers even have the potential to lift your home and even it out again.

After repairs are done, you can go about repairing any damage created by the foundation settling. If any door and window frames are warped, get them replaced. If any walls have cracks, get those patched up. It’s not worthwhile to repair your home when it’s settling, since anything that isn’t a support pier will not stop the damage caused by settling. If you haven’t already, also consider waterproofing your foundation, since some problem with the foundation drainage may have caused the settling.

One common misconception about trees on a Youngstown property is that the tree roots will damage your foundation. The truth is, it isn’t really the tree roots themselves that cause the problem, but the soil. When tree roots grow to an extent to find moisture, they push the soil around and displace it. Displaced soil will be a lot looser on your property, allowing for easier soil erosion. Properties with loose soil tend to have more foundation and concrete settling problems.

If you have a tree that is close to your home, you might want to consider getting a root barrier to discourage root growth. If you aren’t able to get one, you might have to cut the tree and replant another one farther from your foundation. Trees should be 15 to 20 feet away from the house. You can also look up smaller trees that have roots that don’t extend as much as others. These trees are ideal for planting on a property if you want one but you’re worried about foundation damage.

If you’re worried about how your property will look, remember that your foundation’s health is important too, not just the way your house looks. Beautiful trees can always be replanted, but continuously paying for repairs is not ideal. If you’re unsure about whether your tree is causing foundation damage, give us a call for a free inspection.

When you first move onto a new piece of land, you’ll want to do what you can to stabilize the soil beneath and around your home. While professionals can do the bulk of the hard work for you – and should – there are a few other experts you can work with if you want to protect your home. 

Assess the Stability of Your Landscaping 

Landscapers in your area may be able to make more sense of your trees and grade than others. If you’re moving onto a new piece of land, then, you can work with them to ensure that your concrete slab is as stable as possible. 

Professional landscapers can do what contractors in your area may not be able to when it comes to the environment’s impact on your concrete slab. While landscapers can’t install waterproofing measures around your home, they can help you relocate trees whose roots might otherwise destabilize your soil. Similarly, they can regrade your lawn, ensuring that moisture rushes away from the perimeter of your home. You can take all of these steps long before your concrete slab starts to show signs of instability. This means that you can get ahead of the worst of the slippage that might otherwise negatively impact your home’s value. 

Work with Area Professionals to Protect Your Home 

The professionals in your area are among the best people equipped to make sure that your soil stays exactly where it needs to. You can work with area professionals to inject your soil with polyurethane foam or concrete slurry even before your concrete slab starts to show signs of wear. 

Above all else, though, area professionals can regularly inspect the conditions in your basement, crawl space, and foundation. Because professionals will know what signs of damage to watch for, they can help you act when something starts to go wrong in your home. They can also help you maintain any home waterproofing measures you install, ensuring that you limit your repair expenses later down the line. 

Why is Foundation Repair Needed?

Here are just a few of the many benefits foundation repair can have on your home:

foundation repair with wall anchors

Protected Safety and Structural Integrity

You may have other home improvement projects in mind, but it is best to start with your foundation and ensure your home’s safety from the ground up. A structurally sound home is a safe home and vice versa. Foundation repairs such as piers or wall anchors reinforce your foundation and not only immediately protect it but ensure its safety and stability for years to come. 

crew installing push piers

Repair is More Cost-Effective Than Replacement

A lot of people weigh their options of foundation repair vs. total foundation replacement. The latter is very invasive and time-consuming and won’t actually get to the root of the problems. But various repair methods will permanently solve the issues, so you won’t have to worry about them again. 

home for sale

Improved Real Estate Value

Before selling your house, it’s important to make sure it’s ready and that it has retained its market value. Most home buyers expect to see houses that are free of problems like foundation cracks. A problematic foundation can decrease your home’s value by 10 to 30 percent, and buyers could have problems getting a mortgage. But a house that is structurally sound and properly protected is more attractive to buyers as opposed to a house with cracks and uneven floors. 

Common Foundation Repair Tips & Mistakes 

During our more than 20 years in the foundation repair industry, we have heard and seen a lot of repair attempts. Here are some things to consider when addressing your foundation concerns, as well as what to avoid: 

Helpful Foundation Repair Tips:

  • Trust a Local Company with Repairs: It can be difficult to differentiate foundation problems from other issues around your home, which also could be connected. But trusted local experts like our team at Ohio Basement Systems take the guesswork out of the process by accurately diagnosing and repairing foundation issues. 
  • Do Your Research: The best thing you can do is empower and educate yourself with knowledge and research. Do your homework and check things out. Make sure to learn as much about a company as you can. Ask your potential specialist for reviews, references, and work samples, as well as must-haves including proof of insurance, licenses, and other pertinent certifications. 
  • Keep Up with Regular Inspections and Maintenance: We care about you and your home not just when we are initially inspecting and repairing it, but beyond. Even when the installation is complete, our job is not done. You can take advantage of our annual maintenance program so we can help ensure our solutions continue to protect your home. If any further fixes are needed, we are happy to handle those as well. 

Foundation Repair Mistakes to Avoid:

  • Addressing a Problem Only If It Changes: Something homeowners might hear regarding fixing foundation problems is “continue to monitor a crack until something changes.” A wall crack could be cosmetic, but it also can indicate deeper issues below the surface. Treating any kind of crack you notice as serious can help fix the problem faster before it spirals out of control. 
  • Not Monitoring Foundation Settlement: Another inaccurate tip homeowners may have been told relates to settling – “all the settlement already happened, so there’s nothing you need to do.” True, most homes slightly settle into their permanent positions within the first few years after they are built. While that is normal, it is not normal for a home to continue settling. That means there’s a problem with your foundation, the underlying soil, or both. These issues need to be addressed promptly to avoid further damage, safety hazards, and expensive repairs. 
  • Investing in DIY Repairs: While DIY repairs have their place with some projects, your foundation is not one of them. Foundation damage can be complex and even dangerous, and it’s important to have specialized knowledge and tools to fix these issues. And instead of working with a general contractor who is a “jack of all trades,” opt for the professional experience of foundation specialists. 

Find your service area

Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland, Ohio

From lake effect snow to summer rain, the weather in Cleveland is likely wreaking havoc on your home’s basement or foundation. Our waterproofing experts can help.

Youngstown, Ohio

Youngstown, Ohio

Poorly drained silty and clay soils in Youngstown and surrounding areas can mean trouble for your home. We can find the one-of-a-kind solution that fits your home.

Akron-Canton Metro Area

Akron-Canton Metro Area

Akron-Canton homeowners endure snowfall and melt cycles several times throughout the year. It’s not only a headache—it can cause water damage and structural problems.

Mansfield, OH

Mansfield, OH

Mansfield is home to a diverse number of soils vulnerable to poor drainage. This can cause structural issues to your property down the line—is your home protected?

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    Ohio Basement Systems Service Map

    SERVING CLEVELAND, YOUNGSTOWN & NORTHERN OHIO

    OHIO BASEMENT SYSTEMS

    7950 Bavaria Rd.
    Twinsburg, OH 44087
    (330) 235-1229