Foundation Problem Signs
Do you notice any of the following signs and symptoms throughout your home? If so, you’ve got a problematic foundation on your hands. Click on the images to learn more about the cause of your foundation issue and our solutions.
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Foundation wall cracks are frustrating to deal with and can be very damaging. What should you know about how to repair your foundation wall cracks?
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Jamming, sticking, and difficult to open windows and doors may not have anything to do with the condition of these features. There could be deeper foundation issues leading to these problems.
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Foundation walls move inward primarily due to expansive soils and hydrostatic pressure on the walls from outside. However, foundation walls may also crack due to many other outside causes, including foundation settlement.
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A settling foundation often indicates significant damage that must be repaired right away. Learn more about identifying and solving problems related to foundation sinking and settlement.
Have you noticed foundation issues like cracks and inward wall movement that are worsening over time? Do you have uneven floors and sticking windows and doors that are difficult to open or close? These are just a few signs of foundation damage that can negatively impact your home’s safety and structural integrity. Your foundation has a big responsibility in supporting your entire house. That’s why it is important to protect it with durable, customizable, permanent solutions.
What Causes Foundation Problems?
Whether your home has a slab foundation or concrete block walls in a crawl space or basement, the soil is going to impact your living environment in some way. Here are just a few ways soil affects your home.
Water can enter through porous block walls and wall cracks, but another way it can seep inside and wreak havoc on your living environment is through open crawl space vents. Any water and moisture in an unsealed dirt crawl space spells trouble in a lot of ways. Something that will take a big hit is your home’s structural support system. Saturated wooden supports can rot and buckle, and metal supports can rust and corrode. This can then cause sagging, soft floors and floor joists, as well as contribute to problems with hardwood flooring.
It is natural for soil around your home, especially the backfilled soil, to settle into place over time. But it can settle at an angle and slope towards your foundation walls. This can contribute to the clay bowl effect and hydrostatic pressure, as well as the associated water seepage and wall cracks. The soil also could settle unevenly and lead the structure to do the same. When this happens, you’ll see diagonal wall cracks around windows and doors, and these windows and doors could become difficult to operate.
If you have a fireplace, you’ll need to pay close attention to the exterior chimney. A more dramatic sign of foundation problems and settlement is a failing chimney. Chimneys aren’t always built on the same soil as the house, and they could lack proper footing. When the soil underneath the chimney can no longer support the chimney or its weight, the chimney will start to crack and pull away from the rest of the house.
Once your home’s foundation was completed, previously excavated dirt is replaced or backfilled around the walls. This “fluffed up” soil is loose, 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 it creates a “clay bowl.” The saturated soil expands and puts pressure, known as hydrostatic pressure, on foundation walls. When this constant pressure becomes more than the walls can bear, they will begin to show signs of failure in the form of cracks and inward movement.
Foundation soils experience most of their drying and shrinking from two common causes:
- Drought: Prolonged dry periods cause soil to dry out. As we know, when clay dries out, it shrinks. Soil shrinkage beneath a foundation has the same effect as soil settling: It usually causes a section of the foundation to crack and settle into the void or hollow area where settlement has occurred.
- Maturing Trees: The root system of a tree can be up to twice the size of the tree’s canopy. If a tree’s branches extend over your home, there’s a good chance that they extend under your house as well, drawing moisture up from the soil and causing it to shrink.
Nathan Brand was our basement inspector, and we were extremely satisfied with his level of expertise, his thorough inspection and analysis of our basement, and the amount of time that he spent with us educating us on the process. He told us straight…View review Read Joel Dighans's review for Innovative Basement Authority
Joe came to check on an issue and has been helpful in finding a solution.View review Read Nick Henricksen's review for Innovative Basement Authority
Tevyn came and did my annual inspection for my waterproofing system and was very thorough. He did a foundation check and was great about explaining some of the options I had to do some preventative work. As a first time homeowner, I was really…View review Read Mary Pahuski's review for Innovative Basement Authority
RJ, Aaron, and Brandon were very efficient, respectful, polite and did an awesome job! These guys were really a dream team, couldn’t ask for a better group of workers! They were amazing.View review Read Mary Marquardt's review for Innovative Basement Authority
Joe raised our front porch in order to stabilize the floor. The upshot: We can use our front door again! His explanations were clear and he answered all of our questions. We enjoyed his positive attitude and work ethic.View review Read Jane St. Anthony's review for Innovative Basement Authority
Isaiah McKeown did an excellent job raising our concrete sidewalk, leveling it, and filling in the gaps. He was very friendly, addressed our concerns, and very thorough in finishing the repairs.View review Read Bev Arten's review for Innovative Basement Authority
This was a year follow-up to a basement waterproofing and sump pump installation. Joe M. was excellent in his maintenance and overview of the newer system. Answered all my questions and showed me things that I can do to maintain both the sump…View review Read Cyndi Young's review for Innovative Basement Authority
My wife and I were very pleased with the work done by Innovative Basement Authority. Ty and his team Alika, and Tony were professional, and knowledgeable. Communication was excellent. They explained their process and answered all of our…View review Read Matthew R's review for IBA_Minneapolis
Good company, have been pleased with the service, and happy to have a dry basement.View review Read Erbes Family's review for Innovative Basement Authority
Brandon, Adam and Greg did a great job. Very professional and cleaned up well after the job was completed. Thank you guys. Gene HagemanView review Read Gene Hageman's review for Innovative Basement Authority
Luke’s team done a wonderful job today! They worked so hard and what a great hardworking group of young menView review Read Bonnie Kipp's review for Innovative Basement Authority
Basement authority stabilized one wall of my house. Very professional, very honest, communication from sales to completion. Not a cheap procedure, but price was well below competitor. Definitely would do business with them if needed.View review Read Scott Graff's review for Innovative Basement Authority
Innovative did such a great job during the whole process of waterproofing our basement. They were flexible with my beer can budget and let me know of several options I had to save some money and create a plan that works my family and budget. We are…View review Read Emily N's review for Innovative Basement Authority
David Graham was our inspector over here in Minneapolis. He was prompt and great in his communication. He provided some great insight into my sinking front porch and wonky front steps. He did measurements, took photos, and gave me a lot of options…View review Read Hung Tran's review for Innovative Basement Authority
Grant B. came out to our house and did a completely thorough job diagnosing our basement/foundation issues and proposing a solution. We were very pleased with his professionalism and quote, and even though we’re not deciding to have the work done at…View review Read Leah Carmical Hargrove's review for Innovative Basement Authority
Shane and Domonik did a great job and kept us informed on the process of water proofing and wall supports, quality of work was great and highly recommend them!!!View review Read Jordan Hively's review for Innovative Basement Authority
Our waterproof system needed service and Julio, Zack, and Greg made an extra stop in their day to get our issue taken care of at the last minute. They explained everything well and were friendly & professional.View review Read Katie Knowles's review for Innovative Basement Authority
We recently had Aaron, Ramon, and Hunter waterproof our basement. They were on time, worked hard, and completed the job in a timely fashion. They also stayed and addressed all of our questions and concerns without complaint. They did an all around…View review Read Stephanie K's review for Innovative Basement Authority
Great team! Very efficient and respectful of the area where they needed to work.View review Read Budd Renier's review for Innovative Basement Authority
We thought our window was leaking water, turns out it was cracks in our foundation Adam Johnson was the inspector that came out and walked over the process with me. He even came back a second time to answer questions my husband had in person. Very…View review Read Kate Koch's review for Innovative Basement Authority
Foundation Repair Solutions
Every home and its foundation is different, which is why we provide tailor-made solutions that are the right fit for your specific repair needs. All our solutions come with nationally backed, long-term, transferrable warranties. Here are some of the solutions our experts may recommend for your foundation repair project.
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The Wall Anchor System permanently stabilizes your cracking and bowing basement walls, offering the best opportunity to straighten walls without the cost and disruption of foundation replacement.
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Is your home's foundation falling or settling? Check out how helical pier systems can repair old damage and help safeguard your home for the future.
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The IntelliJack™ system provides solid support for sagging and undersized beams, restoring stability and straightness to sagging floor joists in a crawl space.
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A push pier system made with heavy-duty steel helps support your settling foundation walls and can even help lift them back to their original positions.
Is Foundation Repair the Right Solution for Me?
The presence of foundation problems and how they are handled can make or break your home. If issues like wall cracks and bowing are left to fester for too long, they can develop into dangerous living conditions for your family as well as potentially lengthy and costly repairs down the road. It is important to address any problems you notice and nip them in the bud as soon as possible in order to stabilize, strengthen, and protect your home for good.
Your foundation can become damaged from many factors, but the main culprit is the soil surrounding and underneath your home. The areas we serve throughout Minnesota, the Dakotas, Eastern Montana, Western Wisconsin, Burnsville and Rogers, have a diverse range of soil types. These include clay loam in Bismarck, silty clay loam in Sioux Falls, fine sandy loam in Duluth, and sand in Eau Claire. Clay loam, sandy loam, and other similar soils can be problematic for home foundations because they shrink, shift, erode and lead to settlement. They also can contribute to hydrostatic pressure that leads to wall cracking and bowing.
Depending on the type of damage and its severity, your home’s type of foundation, and your home’s specific needs, our team at Innovative Basement Authority offers a variety of permanent foundation repair solutions. Foundation settlement typically calls for helical piers, push piers, or slab piers, and uneven floors can be reinforced by our crawl space stabilizer. Walls that have succumbed to hydrostatic pressure can be stabilized with carbon fiber straps or potentially restored with specialized wall braces, wall anchors, or channel anchors.
It’s so important for your home to have a strong foundation. If it doesn’t, it’s going to crumble. Why subject your family to that kind of danger? Nip it in the bud at the first sign that something could be wrong. Lingering cracks and movement will only lead to a compromised structure and costly, lengthy repairs.
Whether you have a basement and/or crawl space, or your home was built on a slab, it’s important for you to know what kind of condition your foundation is in. It’s what holds up your entire house, so it needs to be durable.
Foundation problems can threaten your home’s appearance, value, and safety. Hiring a knowledgeable and experienced contractor is the best way to find the root of the problem and mitigate any damage. Innovative Basement Authority is your best choice when it comes to identifying and solving foundation repair issues. We offer foundation support that works!
Innovative Basement Authority has extensive experience in the foundation repair industry, meaning we know what solutions are right for your specific repair issues and needs. Our line of foundation repair products is proven to get your property back into great shape. We are specially trained to use foundation materials and techniques throughout Minnesota, North Dakota, and Eastern Montana, and our foundation repair specialists are fully trained to carry out any work that’s needed.
Here, we’ll explore common questions and concerns homeowners like you have regarding foundation problems and their repair.
Do you notice any of the following signs and symptoms throughout your home? If so, you’ve got a problematic foundation on your hands.
Click on the images to learn more about the cause of your foundation issue and our solutions.
Even after reading about typical foundation issues and how they start, you’re probably still questioning what’s in it for you with a repair project. There are a lot of ways you, your family, and your home will benefit from finally fixing those foundation problems. Here are just a few major advantages:
- Enhanced Safety and Structural Integrity
Everyone deserves a safe and healthy home in which to live and grow, but that can’t happen if the structure itself is in danger of collapsing. If you notice a crack in the wall but brush it off because you think you don’t have the time or money to deal with it, how will you feel after some time has passed and that crack has only continued to grow and the wall has started shifting? Instead of putting off repairs, have them checked out immediately and then fixed the right way the first time. You’ll not only be protecting your home, but the wellbeing of your family as well.
- Improved Real Estate Value
Whether you’re ready to sell your house soon or you plan to live in it for the foreseeable future, your home is going to be on the real estate market at some point and you need to make sure it is ready. While various factors can impact a home’s real estate/resale value, structural issues carry a lot of weight. Foundation problems can reduce your home’s resale value by 10 to 30 percent, and buyers could have problems getting a mortgage. When selling your home, you also must fill out a residential disclosure form and note any known past or current issues with the home’s structural integrity. Show home buyers you care about your house by having any problems fixed ahead of time.
Now that you’re armed with more foundation facts, do you feel motivated and ready to take back your home with needed repairs?
A lot of people weigh their options of foundation repair vs. foundation replacement. Foundation replacement is quite 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.
Something you need to first consider is who will be completing these projects. Foundation repair is quite a commitment, and you’re probably thinking about how you could save money by just doing it yourself. But, as handy as you may be, it is best that you leave the heavy lifting to professionals. This type of repair is a big deal, and a lot can happen if you try to DIY your way through it. Oftentimes, these DIY repairs don’t stand up to code or the test of time, and you’d have to spend more time and money to bring in a contractor to fix them. Have them fixed the right way the first time with a trusted company.
It can be intimidating to think about hiring a contractor. And undoubtedly, you’ve probably heard about others’ awful experiences of dealing with contractor mistakes and those who fail to follow through with promises and projects. But don’t let these troublesome tales completely influence your decision.
The best thing you can do is arm yourself with research and knowledge. Do your homework and find out as much about a company as you can before deciding who to hire. It’s important for you to feel comfortable with who you bring into your home, and to have confidence in the company’s ability. Check out reviews, ask for references, and turn to third-party resources like the Better Business Bureau for further information and customer input. Be sure to ask for contractor must-haves like licenses, insurance, certifications, and other pertinent documents.
The cost of repair is, without a doubt, one of the top concerns homeowners have when it comes to foundation problems. And that’s normal. Money is a big deal, and so is your home and its foundation. You want to make sure you are protecting it with the best solutions that also are cost-effective.
There is a lot to consider with foundation repair such as the extent of any damage, square footage, material needed, and labor. How these are addressed differ from company to company, so be sure to have a thorough conversation with your contractor about pricing and payment.
Plus, no two foundation problems are alike. Every home is different and requires its own unique repairs. That means that what may have worked for a friend or even your next-door neighbor might not be quite what your home needs.
To give you an idea, average home improvement spending is around $7,500, and most homeowners pay between $4,000 and $10,000 for foundation repairs. Some average foundation repair product prices are $1,000-$3,000+ per foundation pier, $500-$1,300+ for leveling/slab jacking, and $2,000-$6,000 for sealing/subfloor drainage. Read our “Budgeting For Foundation Repair” blog to learn more.
Check with your insurance carrier if you have questions about repair needs and insurance coverage, as all policies are different. Some policies may cover losses from fires, but many exclude coverage for issues such as foundation cracks or settling. But coverage may kick in if the foundation has been damaged from other problems like broken plumbing, for example. (Source: SF Gate)
Your home and your safety are important to us. That is why we only use the most reliable solutions to repair your foundation. Manufactured here in the United States, each product is carefully designed and tested by a team of structural and geotechnical engineers. All our systems also come with a long-term written warranty, giving you complete peace of mind.
Our strong wall reinforcement and piering solutions are made with galvanized steel to prevent rust, corrosion, and damage, and stand up to the toughest forces.
Here are the solutions we’ll use to address foundation problems in your home:
- Wall Repair and Reinforcement Systems – Wall cracks and movement can vary in severity and condition, so we offer a few different options to address these problems.
- Wall Anchors – Wall Anchors are the most effective method for permanently stabilizing walls in moderate to severe disrepair. They extend out to more stable soil well beyond your home’s foundation, providing an anchor point to brace the foundation wall. This stops inward movement and prevents wall failure. The anchors can be tightened over time to help move your foundation walls back toward their original positions.
- IntelliBrace ™Beams – IntelliBrace™ beams act the same way as wall anchors in stabilizing and helping straighten shifting walls. They are best to use when there is limited access available outside of the home for exterior wall repair.
- Carbon Fiber Supports – Durable Carbon Fiber supports firmly bond to the walls to stabilize them and hold them in their current positions. This prevents any further cracks or inward movement. Their low profile and smooth finish allow them to easily be concealed with paint or basement finishing materials. These supports are best used on walls with minimal to moderate cracking and movement.
- Foundation Piering Systems – We use heavy-duty piering solutions to properly tackle foundation settlement. These pier systems are installed deep into the ground and to more stable soil to permanently stabilize the home and help lift it back to its original position.
- Push Piers – Push Piers are the commonly used piering solution for most foundation settlement applications. These piers are hydraulically driven through a bracket attached to the foundation footing and down to bedrock or stable soil.
- Helical Piers – Helical Piers act the same and are installed almost the same way, except they are manually advanced or screwed into the ground. These round shaft helicals do not bend like their square shaft counterparts. These piers typically are used in specialty foundation settlement applications and for very light structures like porches.
- Slab Piers – Slab Piers can be installed the same way as Push Piers and Helical Piers. They are used to stabilize your concrete slab foundation and help lift your home back toward its original position.
- Crawl Space Supports – IntelliJacks™ are used to stabilize and help lift sagging floors and floor joists above your basement or crawl space. At five times the strength of builder’s grade support jacks, IntelliJacks™ are engineered to transfer your home’s weight onto stable soils and stop settling.
Why is Foundation Repair Needed?
Foundation repair can be a huge benefit in so many ways. Here are just a few of them:
Improved Structural Integrity
Your home relies on the strength and stability of your foundation. If something is wrong with the foundation, the rest of your home will suffer. With a reliable foundation repair solution in place to protect your home, the overall structural integrity will be enhanced.
Ensured Personal Safety
If your home has severe cracks, bowing, heaving, or unevenness, the stability is negatively affected and in turn impacts the safety of your living environment. A significantly bowing wall, for example, could collapse and bring some of your home down with it. But a structurally stable, protected home is a safe home.
Enhanced Curb Appeal and Value
A house with cracks, uneven floors, and other foundation problems also looks unappealing. When selling your home, this can be an instant turnoff to prospective buyers who typically want homes with little to no problems or projects to take on. But a properly repaired and stabilized home inspires confidence in buyers and can also increase the value of your home.
Common Foundation Repair Tips & Mistakes
We have come across a lot of interesting theories and “fixes” for foundation repair during our years in the industry. That’s why we want to urge you to follow these tips and avoid these mistakes when it comes to the care and upkeep of your foundation.
Helpful Tips About Foundation Repair to Consider:
- Monitor Concrete Issues: While they are not always related, problems with your exterior concrete sidewalks, driveway, and patio also could signal foundation problems. Especially since the root cause of most concrete and foundation issues stems from the soil underneath, it’s a good idea to check around your property for cracking, sinking, uneven concrete slabs.
- Maintain Vigilance and Awareness: Your home can showcase signs of foundation damage in a variety of forms including wall cracks, drywall nail pops, uneven floors, sticking windows and doors, and more. It’s important to keep an eye out for any new signs you notice and have them repaired right away before they have a chance to advance to severe damage.
- Contact Professionals for Assistance: It can be difficult to differentiate between various forms of foundation and other types of damage. You don’t have to go through it alone. Our friendly staff of professionals can help properly diagnose what’s going on with your home and how to best fix it with the right solutions.
Foundation Repair Mistakes to Avoid:
- Putting Foundation Repairs on the Back Burner: Many homeowners take an “out of sight, out of mind” approach to foundation issues. The problem still exists even if you don’t see it. A cracked or bowing foundation will continue shifting even if it’s covered up. This also means that foundation issues can be hiding behind things like drywall and furniture. Similarly, some homeowners choose to monitor a problem until something changes. By just waiting it out, the foundation could shift and change the type of solution needed to fix it. This can result in a more costly repair.
- Bracing a Wall with Wood or Installing Another Wall: Nailing boards to a wall will not prevent further shifting. Wood is not strong enough to hold the weight of a foundation. Similarly, using wooden beams or metal pipes placed at 45-degree angles also are not strong enough, and they are extremely intrusive. Additionally, putting another wall in front of a bowing wall will not solve anything. The original wall will continue shifting and potentially push on the new wall as well. A new wall in front also will not support the rest of the home’s foundation.
- Installing Other DIY Solutions: Just as the above installations are not effective permanent solutions, so are the majority of other DIY fixes. Your foundation can be both delicate and dangerous to handle, and it has its own unique challenges. The best thing you can do for your home and its foundation is to contact experts like our team at Innovative Basement Authority for help. We offer free inspections so our team can pinpoint the cause of the problems and recommend the solutions best suited to its repair needs.
Find your service area
Extreme weather is common in Bismarck. Cracks and leaks are familiar results, but they should be addressed right away. Trust Innovative Basement Authority.
Fargo’s hot, humid summers and freezing winters put stress on a home’s foundation. These extreme elements need constant monitoring when it comes to the health of your home.
Grand Forks Metro Area
Snowy winters and hot, humid summers are all too common for Grand Forks homeowners. These conditions, plus the area's soil, put your home at risk.
Saint Cloud, MN
Homes throughout Minnesota, but especially in Saint Cloud, deal with foundation problems. From leaking basements to musty crawl spaces, Innovative Basement Authority can help.
Sioux Falls, SD
The soil around your Sioux Falls home could play a big role in why you’re having foundation problems. The clay soil expands and shrinks, causing major problems.
Duluth-Superior Metro Area
Located in the heart of Minnesota’s Land of 10,000 Lakes, your Duluth-Superior home is likely to experience foundation problems. Find a permanent solution for your home.
Minneapolis-Saint Paul Metro Area
Those in the Midwest are used to harsh elements. However, your Minneapolis-Saint Paul home is not. Foundation problems like flooding in areas with a lot of snow and rain are all too common.
The red soils so commonly associated with the Midwest cause structural failure. Helical piers, concrete lifting, and other solutions can protect homes from damage.