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Crew Installing a Helical Pier In front of Home

Foundation Repair

If you'd like to get your foundation problem fixed permanently, you'll first need to know exactly what's needed for your unique problem.

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Do the cracks or nail pops in your drywall keep you up at night? Are you tired of struggling when opening or closing your stuck doors and windows? Do you notice your floor sloping or warping over a long period of time? It may be tempting to want to apply cosmetic repairs to your New Jersey, Philadelphia, or Delaware home; but these issues will only reappear because they signal deeper foundation problems below the surface.


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Is Foundation Repair the Right Solution for Me?  

For many states close to the east coast, soil profiles tend to range from sandy loam soil to heavy, expansive clay. You may run into issues with expansive clay soil, as rainy weather on the eastern seaboard hydrates the soil, causing it to grow larger. This inflicts pressure on your foundation walls, causing cracks, leaks, and uneven floors. When water in your soil evaporates and dries up, the soil will shrink again, creating voids, setting differential settlement into place.  

Since these issues happen with Mother Nature as the catalyst, BQ Basements & Concrete is dedicated to fortifying your home with innovative solutions that will last you for years to come. We know that home repairs can be intimidating to take on, but we aim to ease your mind with long-term, transferrable warranties and reasonable financing plans. It’s easy to have your problems diagnosed, or even troubleshot. Schedule your free, no-pressure inspection today!  

FAQs

Hydrostatic pressure is a serious threat to your entire home. Even though its effects are mostly seen in the basement, it does affect the structure of the entire house. As the basement wall bends inwards due to the pressure of the accumulated groundwater, it begins to crack. The cracks allow the water to seep through the concrete and infiltrate your basement. Flooding is most common in the wall-floor joint, which is where you’ll see most of the water come from. Your basement wall is a part of your home’s foundation. The second a foundation begins to have structural problems; the effects will be felt elsewhere. You might notice your floor begin to sink closer to the wall. Any columns that relied on the walls to support the ground floor will begin to fail, which means that the walls above will also experience issues with cracking, bending, and breaking.

Slab foundations are popular in places where the freeze-thaw effect would not be able to harm foundations. Even though it sometimes snows in Southern NJ, it’s not significant enough to require all homes in the city to have sub-levels. Slab foundations are easy to build and inexpensive, but they do have a lot of drawbacks. For starters, foundation settling in slab foundations is a lot more disruptive because of the proximity to the slab. Slab foundations are also difficult to modify or waterproof once they have been built because of all the ductwork under the slab. Settling in slab foundations is also more likely to happen because the HVAC vents under the slab tend to dry out the soil. By drying out the clay soil, it accelerates soil shrinkage, which in turn, accelerates settling. Traditional waterproofing methods don’t work on slabs because there simply isn’t enough space to install them. There are ways in which you can waterproof foundation slabs, but not all contractors work with those materials. Other than drain tiles, there’s not much you can do except repair the foundation with slab piers once there’s settling.

As a homeowner, knowing how to spot foundation settling is the most important thing you can learn. When a foundation is settling, a chunk of the foundation is literally tearing itself away from the house as it settles against unstable soil. As you can imagine, this has a profound effect on the rest of the home’s structure. Settling can be solved with a variety of foundation repair solutions, but you need to be able to catch the problem before it gets too severe. Many settling problem signs disguise themselves as isolated issues early on, so if you have even one of these problems, contact your local foundation repair company for an inspection. Jammed doors and windows are a typical sign of settling. Because a part of the house is falling to one side, doors and window frames become warped and are unable to function properly. Another sign of settling is cracks along the walls, though cracks on tile flooring can also occur if you have a slab foundation. An increased amount of basement flooding is another good indicator since a broken foundation means groundwater has better access into your home. Be wary of flooding that occurs in April, Camden’s rainiest month, since this indicates your foundation cannot withstand extra soil saturation.

It is easy for moisture to negatively impact your foundation, more so than the average Philadelphia homeowner might think. For instance, all the water from heavy rain and melted snow will all absorb into the surrounding soil. However, the soil is only capable of holding so much water weight before it either washes away or grows extremely heavy. This then can create an immense pressure against your foundation, causing it to shift away from this weight or even crack altogether.

This phenomenon is commonly referred to as hydrostatic pressure. Hydrostatic pressure can also take another form as well. Water can easily become trapped in the concrete foundation’s pores. When winter comes and that trapped water freezes, the expanding ice then can lead to the foundation cracking apart from within.

You will also need to deal with a common construction mistake known as the clay bowl effect creating settling issues as well. Basically, contractors will dig a large hole where they plan to lay down the foundation (and either a basement or crawl space) when they first build a home. Once these components are installed, there is typically a little space left around the perimeter that the contractors will then backfill in with the soil they dug up. Of course, it is now much looser than it once was, and Philadelphia’s sandy-loam soil is already quite loose. The soil creates a bowl of sorts around the foundation that can be easily washed out during a huge storm or when the snow begins to melt in the spring. Without this crucial support, your foundation will start to shift or settle into the remaining soil and may even crack apart. BQ Basements & Concrete can waterproof your foundation to ensure that this does not happen.

The Wall Anchor System permanently stabilizes your foundation walls, offering the best opportunity to straighten the walls without the cost and disruption of foundation replacement. Heavy-duty, galvanized earth anchors are embedded in stable, undisturbed soil outside your foundation wall. Each anchor is connected by a steel rod to a wall plate that provides clamping pressure against the inside of the foundation wall. This method also offers the potential to straighten the wall back to its original position. Wall anchors are the most versatile wall repair method because they can be used to stabilize walls with a variety of problems, including bowing walls, tipping walls, and walls that are pushing in at the bottom. Wall anchors are installed independently of a home’s floor systems, making them the ideal installation under appropriate conditions. In order for a wall anchor system to work effectively, several feet of access is needed on the outside of your home. In areas where homes are only a few feet apart, wall anchors are not a valid option. If this is the case in your situation, we will recommend another wall repair option.

Having a beautiful, healthy tree growing on your property makes your yard look interesting and visually pleasing. However, there’s a good chance that your tree is ruining your foundation and causing those pesky leaks in your basement or crawl space. Many homeowners misunderstand how a tree is able to do so much damage and believe that the tree roots themselves are the issue when it’s actually the soil. Like most problems pertaining to foundation damage, expansive soils are the culprits, not the tree roots. The characteristics of clay soils make it so trees encourage shrink-swell capacities and soil displacement.

BQ Basements & Concrete can offer your Philadelphia home different piers systems: helical piers and push piers. These piers systems are used to repair shifted, settled, and cracked foundations, permanently stabilizing them, potentially restoring them to their original position, and bracing your home against any future moisture issues or other damage. These galvanized steel piers are installed directly below your foundation, using the strength of the more compact layers of soil below. These layers are too deep into the earth for any rain or melted snow to wash out, so you will not have to worry about any settling or shifting issues with these piers installed. Of course, you may want to know how these two pier systems differ and why you might need one solution over the other.

The main difference between these two pier systems is how they are installed. Both pier systems perform the same function and will provide the same support to your foundation. Helical piers have spiral-like attachments on the ends of each pier, which make them easier for our experts to hydraulically drill into the tougher layers of soil far below your house.

Push piers, on the other hand, are manually pushed through the dirt and work best with already loose soils. Both piers are attached via a heavy brace to the underside of your foundation. You might worry that these piers will ruin the aesthetic of your home from the outside. Fortunately, these piers will not be visible at all, so you can enjoy a completely reinforced foundation without them interfering with your curb appeal or anything else.

Additionally, slab piers are installed in a similar way and are specific to settling slab foundations.

Why Foundation Repair Is Needed 

block wall cracks

Foundation Issues Get Worse, Not Better 

It’s understandable for many homeowners to wait until they’re more financially stable to invest in repairs, or potentially wait for the price of foundation repair to come down. Unfortunately, waiting will only result in more stress overall, as the longer you wait to fix your structural issues, the more complex, dangerous, and costly the repairs will become. No foundation damage is irreversible without professional-grade repairs and protection.  

key going into door

Decreases the Value of Your Home 

It may come as a huge disappointment if you put your house on the market, and your foundation issues get in the way of your ideal selling point, or even being able to sell your home at all. Severe foundation issues tend to decrease a home’s market value by 10-15%. Many buyers are in search of move-in-ready conditions, and not having your home in its structural prime may attract buyers seeking a fixer-upper, who will likely bid lower. 

crack in basement floor

Foundation Problems are A Major Hazard 

Not only are sloped floors a tripping hazard, but having consistently growing cracks and fissures in your foundation walls or supports can be detrimental to the structure of your whole home. When foundation issues persist, you may face structural failure which is extremely expensive to repair and can cause physical harm. 

Common Foundation Repair Tips & Mistakes 

Mistakes

  • Neglecting Your Gutter System

When your gutters are overflowing with water due to debris, clogs, or other damage, you may be alerted by water pooling around the sides of your home. This can kickstart foundation damage or worsen it by saturating the soil around your home. It’s recommended that all homeowners clean out their gutters at least twice a year.

  • Going With a General Contractor for Repairs

While you can count on general contractors for many home improvement projects, you may want to entrust your foundation investment to a specialty contractor with expertise. General contractors may misdiagnose your issues and give you the wrong repairs, causing you more stress and costing you more money in the long run.

  • Waiting Too Long

Waiting too long to take action on repairs is the number one mistake that many homeowners understandably make. This is typically because the cost of foundation repair can be intimidating. However, the longer you wait, the more complicated your issues will become, and the more repairs you will need. Acting now can save you money in the future.  

Tips

  • Check for Other Issues

Since many types of home or foundation issues spur from the same root causes, it’s wise to keep an eye not only on your foundation, but your outdoor concrete, gutters, attic, roof, and basement or crawl space. Having a foundation expert from BQ inspect your whole home for free can help you target the root cause of your home’s issues and stop it at the source.  

  • Landscape Smarter

There are a few quick and smart tips that can help you avoid or slow foundation issues from progressing, and it all has to do with your yard. Ensuring your landscape has a positive yard grade (rainwater flows away from the home) can keep water from pooling around your foundation. Also making sure to plant trees at least 15 to 20 feet away from a home can prevent tree roots from interfering with your home’s foundation.  

  • Consult With Your Foundation Guides at BQ

At BQ Basements & Concrete, our goal is to diagnose your home with precision so that you can get the solution you need right the first time. We’ll give you a full plan of repairs without any obligation to book with us so you can decide what’s right for your family and lifestyle. We strive to be your guide in repairing your foundation, keeping you in the loop of what’s going on with your home, and exactly how our solutions work.  

Find your service area

Camden, NJ

Camden, NJ

Crawl space encapsulation, interior drains, and floor joist supports are effective solutions against the problematic soil and climate in Camden.

Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia, PA

With year-round rain, homeowners in Philadelphia are all too familiar with the damaging effects that water can have on their foundation and basement. Let us help protect your home with our proven solutions.

Trenton, NJ

Trenton, NJ

Foundation and basement problems can destroy your Trenton home and lower its value. Let the experts at BQ Basements & Concrete help repair and restore your property.

Atlantic City, NJ

Atlantic City, NJ

Known for its iconic Boardwalk, Atlantic City is also known for its year-round precipitation which leads to homeowners experiencing flooding foundations, basements, and crawl spaces.

Dover, DE

Dover, DE

Situated near the St. Jones River, Dover homeowners are all too familiar with the problems that water and humidity can bring upon their foundation and basement.

Wilmington, DE

Wilmington, DE

Wilmington’s proximity to the ocean and the Chesapeake Bay makes for a variety of water related damage to homeowners’ foundations, basements, and crawl spaces.

Southern, NJ

Southern, NJ

The climate in Southern NJ can bring a multitude of issues with your crawl space, basement, foundation, and concrete surrounding your home. Weatherproof your home with our proven solutions.

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    535 Route 38 East, 149E
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