If you own a home in Los Angeles, foundation issues are something that you may have to deal with at some point. Foundation problems are a serious issue that can cause significant damage to your home if left unaddressed, making it important to know what to look for and how to find a reputable foundation repair specialist.
In this article, we’ll discuss the common signs of foundation issues, the causes of these issues, repair options, and what to look for in a foundation contractor.
Here at GreatBuildz, a free service that connects homeowners in Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, and San Diego Counties with reliable contractors, we speak to homeowners every day about foundation repair – here’s what you need to know about finding a reliable foundation repair specialist.
Signs you have a foundation issue
There are several signs you should keep an eye out for that may indicate that you have problems with your home’s foundation. These include:
- Cracks in the foundation or exterior walls, especially if they are wider than 1/4 inch
- Uneven floors or sloping floors
- Doors and windows that stick or don’t close properly
- Gaps around window frames or doors
- Cracks in the drywall or plaster, especially near corners or door frames
- Sagging or uneven roofs
- Chimneys that are leaning or tilting
- Water damage or mold in the basement or crawl space
- Bulging or leaning retaining walls
If you notice any of these signs in your home, it’s important to have a professional inspect your foundation as soon as possible to determine if there is a problem that needs to be addressed.
Common causes of foundation issues
Foundation problems in Los Angeles can be caused by a number of factors. Some of these are:
- Poor soil conditions – Many areas in California have soil that is expansive, meaning it can expand and contract significantly with changes in moisture content. This can cause the foundation to shift and crack.
- Earthquakes – California is prone to earthquakes, which can cause the soil to shift, and the foundation to crack or shift as a result.
- Poor construction – If the foundation was not constructed properly or if the wrong materials were used, it can lead to foundation issues.
- Water damage – Water can cause the soil to become saturated, which can lead to foundation movement or settlement. Poor drainage, leaky pipes, or flooding can all contribute to water damage.
- Tree roots – Trees planted too close to the foundation can cause the soil to shift and the foundation to crack.
- Poor maintenance – Neglecting to maintain the foundation, such as failing to repair cracks or properly water-proofing, can lead to foundation issues over time.
Foundation repair options
Each foundation is unique and the solutions required to repair them depend on factors including the foundation type (slab foundation or raised foundation), the nature of the problem, your home repair budget, and more. Some options for ways to repair foundation issues include:
- Underpinning -This involves installing additional support to the foundation, typically in the form of concrete piers or steel push piers, to stabilize and strengthen the foundation.
- Helical piers – These are similar to underpinning, but they use helical plates to anchor the foundation in place.
- Concrete lifting – This involves injecting a polyurethane foam beneath the foundation to lift and level it.
- Retaining wall repair – Retaining walls are often used to hold back soil, but they can also experience foundation issues. Repairs may include installing additional anchors or reinforcing the wall with steel.
- Crack repair – If the foundation has cracks, they can be repaired using epoxy or polyurethane injection.
- Drainage solutions – Improving drainage around the home can help prevent further foundation damage by reducing the amount of water that comes into contact with the foundation.
The appropriate foundation repair option will depend on the specific issue with the foundation and should be determined by a professional foundation repair contractor after a thorough inspection of the property.
What to look for in a foundation repair specialist
If you want to hire a foundation repair specialist to inspect or fix your foundation, it’s important to find somebody qualified and reliable. Some characteristics to look out for in a foundation contractor include:
- Licensing – In California, foundation repair contractors must hold a valid contractor’s license issued by the California Contractors State License Board (CSLB). The license categories to look for include B (General Building Contractor), C-8 (Concrete Contractor), and C-61 (Limited Specialty Contractor), as these categories allow contractors to perform foundation repair work.
- Experience – Look for a contractor who has experience working with foundation issues similar to yours. Ask for references and check online reviews to see what previous customers have to say about their work.
- Insurance – Make sure the contractor has liability insurance and worker’s compensation insurance to protect both you and their workers in case of accidents or damages.
- Warranty – A reputable foundation repair contractor should offer a warranty on their work to ensure that you are satisfied with the repair and that it will last for many years to come.
How to find good foundation repair specialists in Los Angeles
Finding a great foundation repair specialist that you can trust can be a tricky matter. Referrals from friends and family are always a great place to start, but what if you don’t know anybody who has somebody to refer?
Another great option is to go through trade organizations such as the Foundation Repair Association (FRA), the National Association of Waterproofing and Structural Repair Contractors (NAWSRC), or the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). But this may be time-consuming and tedious.
If you want to save time and skip the process of finding and vetting contractors, GreatBuildz may be just the solution you’re looking for. Just let us know what you need and we’ll help match you to one of our pre-vetted foundation repair contractors in the Southern California area. Each of our professionals is licensed, has plenty of experience, and is easy to communicate and work with.
Contact us today at (818.317.3567) or visit our website to learn more.