Tag Archives: Foundation Repairs

How to Choose Foundation Repair Companies

How to choose foundation repair companies

When it comes to having your house repaired after the presence of a sinkhole, it may be daunting to search for foundation repair companies that will do the job well.  How can you tell the good companies from the bad? How do you find a foundation repair company that you can trust with your home?

Choosing your foundation repair company

When shopping for foundation repair companies, the first thing you’ll do is put them against each other. Seek out several bids or quotes from different companies to see what situation you’re looking at. For each company that bids, ensure they are licensed and fully insured.

Another great way to feel more confident about the process is asking for references. A good quality repair company will helpfully provide you with contact information for past clients, and provide you with any other kinds of information you request in order to feel confident in them. If they shy away from helping you feel comfortable, feel free to take another direction.

Also, check if they’re accredited by the Better Business Bureau. You might also look up public records to see if the company has ever been sued. All this information is readily available to the public, so don’t get stumped by a company with a record!

If you’re having a hard time finding a repair company you trust, ask your engineer (you will require an engineer to supervise the work) if they have any contacts with companies they trust. You can ask them for recommendations, or you may approach them with a company you’ve chosen and see if your engineer has any experience working with them.

After you make your choice

Once you’ve chosen a foundation repair company that you feel confident is, don’t be afraid to be present while the work is being performed. While you may not necessarily know exactly what’s going on, or what a quality job looks like, your presence at the work site may help to make sure the work is done properly – we all stand a little straighter when our boss is watching!

Throughout this process, remember that just because your home was repaired does not mean you will never be faced with sinkhole activity again. Not only is the possibility ever present, but a home with a history of sinkhole activity is more difficult to get insurance coverage for, and even an insured home may not be very well covered if sinkhole activity persisted.

With this in mind, it is incredibly important that the repairs are done properly to prevent another, bigger headache.

Is Partial Underpinning a Good Idea?

What is partial underpinning?

To understand partial underpinning, we first need to understand underpinning. Underpinning is a method of sinkhole repair in which the foundation of a home is secured to a metal beam, which is then inserted deep into the ground. Underpinning is used to secure a home to the earth despite past and future sinkholes; even if a sinkhole were to form under a home, it should be securely attached to the earth below it.

That being said, partial underpinning is underpinning that is only applied to one part of a home or building. This may come up in an engineering firm’s report of the best way to repair your sinkhole and the damage it caused your home.

Does partial underpinning work?

We’ve found that partial underpinning usually does more damage than good. This is because, if the earth shifts underneath the home, one part of the home is secured, but the other isn’t. This could mean creating even more damage to the home than a sinkhole would by itself. The only scenario in which this is not true is if you are underpinning a separate addition to a home that rests on another slab. In this case, partially underpinning a home by fully underpinning a smaller, separate slab may be an accurate method to repair sinkhole damage.

Therefore we suggest to avoid partial underpinning, and go for a complete underpinning job. If your engineering firm believes that partial pinning will do the job, then doing a complete underpinning repair should only strengthen the home post-sinkhole repair.

What if it’s my insurance company’s only option?

While being covered by homeowner’s insurance is obviously better than not, one of the issues is that you are depending on your homeowner’s insurance to find a reputable engineering firm that can truly be trusted to fix your home. If the report comes back and partial underpinning is suggested, you should be concerned about this firm and seek outside advice to make sure your home gets the attention it needs.

In this case, it is extremely important that before beginning this plan a homeowner in need of foundation repairs have the plan reviewed and evaluated by an independent expert. Only underpinning one part of a home’s foundation is not a suitable fix for a sinkhole, so do your research and fight for the repairs and coverage you need.