If you’re a homeowner in Alameda, Albany, Moraga, El Cerrito, Kensington, Oakland, Orinda, Piedmont, and San Leandro, CA.
Foundation Replacement and Repair
Foundation Replacement- Older foundations often require repair or replacement.
They typically lack rebar, and are often cracked and settled. Their dimensions are smaller, and they are often not deep enough into the adjacent soil to be stable. Due to drainage issues and moisture in the soil, the concrete may be deteriorated, and is often in poor condition and crumbling. Replacement with more modern reinforced concrete of appropriate dimensions is needed. Sometimes portions of the foundation are in better
condition than others, or have already been upgraded, in which case partial replacement is possible.
Pier and Grade Beam Foundation Repairs
Conventional t-shaped foundations are often not sufficient to support homes in
hillside conditions. If there is settlement but the current foundation is more
modern and in decent condition, we can sometimes do a pier and grade beam
repair. This consists of installing a new reinforced concrete beam next to the
current foundation and attached with rebar that is epoxied to it, and then supporting the modified structure with drilled concrete piers, consisting of holes
often 10’-20’ deep filled with concrete and steel. This serves to hold up the
modified foundation with supports in deeper more stable soils.
Foundation Retaining Walls
Supporting additional soil on the outside. Older foundation retaining walls
are generally not designed to modern engineering standards, lacking rebar
and the wide footings needed for proper stability. They also lack modern
drainage, and older systems are often no longer functional. The installation
of new proper walls and drainage solves this problem.
Crawlspace Supports (Isolated Piers)
Often the interior walls in the crawlspace or basement are supported with
isolated piers, which have posts sitting on them supporting a beam which holds
up the floors above. In older homes these piers are often in poor condition and
substantially undersized. We typically replace them with new piers of 24” square
or larger dimensions, with steel reinforcement and post base hardware and post
caps to provide better connections between the piers and the support beam
Foundations for New Construction
For new residential structures or additions properly engineered walls are a must.
Drainage is also critical, consisting of proper French Drains and downspout drainage. The
drainage under the new interior floor slabs can be integrated with the perimeter drainage.
Depending upon the elevations, new drainage can either be sloped to the street, or on
downsloped or level properties sometimes a sump pump system will be needed.
Foundation Crack Repair
Small foundation cracks in older footings are common and are usually the
result of settlement, often related to drainage issues. When they are not too
large or numerous, epoxy can be used as a repair method. Steel plates bolted
to the foundation are sometimes used for bigger isolated cracks. When these
cracks become larger (typically greater than 3/8” or so) and they are
numerous, or if there are more severe issues with settlement or rotation,
replacement with a more modern foundation that is properly designed is the
solution of choice.
Replacement of Brick Foundations
Brick foundations generally lack stability and do not function well in a
seismic event. They are not reinforced and the mortar is often in poor
condition in soils exposed to moisture, causing the bricks to become loose.
We generally recommend their replacement with modern engineered steel-
reinforced foundations or foundation retaining walls, along with proper
drainage and basic seismic upgrades.