Repair Your Home’s Foundation with TerraFirma
Foundation Repair Solutions From Terrafirma Foundation systems
Give Terrafirma a call and schedule a
free inspection today.
Your home sends clear warning signs when its foundation is failing. Cracked or buckling walls, uneven floors, and stuck windows and doors are telling you that your foundation has been damaged. Foundation problems affect the safety, appearance, and value of your home and, if not addressed properly, lead to bigger—and more expensive—repairs down the road.
At TerraFirma Foundation Systems, our primary goal is to leave your home in a better condition than we found it. Since 2005, we have partnered with thousands of homeowners to deliver peace of mind that their homes are solid and strong for the long haul.
No two foundations are the same. Whether your home’s foundation has been compromised by poor construction, age, water damage, or another factor, TerraFirma can help. All products are installed by trained, bonded, and insured professionals and are backed by extensive warranties.
The strongest foundations are built on trust. When it comes to stabilizing your foundation, you can trust TerraFirma.
How Can We Help?
Signs your Foundation needs repair
You don’t need to be an expert to see if your home’s foundation is in trouble. Take a quick walk around your house and look for:
- Structural settlement
- Ground and soil sinkage
- Cracks in stone
- Crumbling or cracked brick
- A leaning chimney
- Water stains
You can also spot damage from the interior of your house:
- Sloping or uneven floors
- Cracked drywall
- Jammed windows and cupboards
- Sticky doors
Cracked Basement Walls?
Learn what horizontal and vertical cracks in your basement walls mean, and how we can fix them.
Cracks appearing in your walls are one of the most common signs of foundation instability.
Cracked Concrete Floors?
Cracked concrete floors indicate house settling problems which can damage your home's foundation.
Cracked Foundation Bricks?
Foundation bricks can crack horizontally, vertically, or in a stair-step pattern.
Cracked Chimney Bricks?
A chimney that’s cracked or leaning away from your home is the sign of a deeper problem.
Cracked Cosmetic Problems?
Cracked bricks are more than just an eyesore—they could be a sign of foundation problems.
A settling foundation can severely damage your home and ruin your property value.
Is the ground sinking underneath or around your home? This could be a sign of a serious foundation problem.
Sloping & Uneven Floors?
Uneven, bowing or sagging floors? The cause could be settling support columns or sagging floor joists.
Gaps In Floor?
Sagging floor joists and settling foundations are common culprits. You may also notice squeaking and uneven floors.
Stuck Windows & Doors?
Stuck doors and/or windows are indicative of foundation problems. But you don't have to live with it! We can fix it.
Bowed Or Buckling Walls?
Too much pressure against your basement walls can cause them to bow. This could be serious if not remedied.
Basement Flood Vents?
Storms and floodwaters can put extreme pressure on your foundation and cause major structural issues.
Drywall Nail Pops?
Sometimes nails can pull away from drywall, causing circular cracks known as nail pops.
How Can We Help?
Root Causes of foundation damage
Several common issues contribute to foundation damage, particularly for homes in the Pacific Northwest.
Mother Nature, plumbing leaks, poor grading or inadequate drainage can all lead to a house settling problem. When the soil is wet, it expands, pushing against your foundation. When the hydrostatic pressure becomes too much for your foundation, you'll start to notice cracks, leaks and bowed walls or sticky windows and doors.
Flooding and heavy rains are not uncommon during the winter months. Water can seep in through cracks in the floor or walls of a basement, expanding and putting pressure on the concrete. When the water recedes, it can leave cracks behind and make your home more vulnerable to water during the next heavy rainstorm.
Once the moisture around your home dissipates, your soil will start to shrink like a sponge. Expansive soil causes gaps in your foundation which can lead to severe structural damage. If your foundation isn't properly supported, then your home will shift and cracks will start to appear.
Despite its rainy reputation, the Pacific Northwest is no stranger to drought. As soil shrinks in the hot, dry summers, it pulls away from your home’s foundation, creating gaps where water seeps in when the rains return. The exposed foundation is subject to stress, cracks, and leaking. Look for gaps throughout your home and doors and windows that stick due to alignment problems.
A large tree growing next to your home could be the source of some of your house settlement problems. If the roots extend under or next to your foundation, they absorb necessary moisture that helps keep the soil surrounding your foundation stable.
Trees bring shade and tranquility to a home, but tree roots that are too close to your foundation can pose a slow-growing problem. Tiny new roots, seeking water, force themselves between hairline cracks in concrete, forcing it to crack further. The roots of mature trees expand and contract as they soak up water, displacing the earth – particularly rocky soil – underneath a home’s foundation. Cracked, broken concrete in nearby sidewalks and driveways can be an indication that roots pose a risk to your foundation.
The type of soil your home is built on makes a huge difference in your foundation's stability. Expansive soils, like clay soil, experience the most dramatic changes when there's too much moisture. Clay soil expands causing upheaval, which is the opposite of settlement and pushes your foundation up, creating the same problems as a foundation settling.
The effects of expansive soil damage a foundation slowly. Certain types of soils in the Pacific Northwest absorb water and expand, exerting significant pressure against the foundation. This type of damage can be easy to overlook because it happens over time, but it can cause a greater financial loss to you than earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes combined. Expansive soil often compounds problems caused by poor construction.
Consolidating soil has the opposite effect of expansive soil, causing it to shrink and compact. Although clay soil is an expansive soil when wet, it also consolidates when dry. This effect will pull the soil away from your foundation causing structural settlement issues and gaps between the soil and your home.
When water is squeezed out of the soil around your home, the mass of the soil decreases. Because the weight of a house isn't evenly distributed, consolidating soil can cause your home to be off balance. Houses built on hills or with a southern-facing exterior are particularly susceptible to consolidating soil. Uneven sidewalks and driveways are signs that consolidating soil may have damaged your foundation.
Poor Soil Preparation
Preparing the ground before construction typically requires an excavation. This includes clearing away trees and plants, as well as grading and staking the soil. If the builder didn't prepare the soil properly before building the foundation, then your home will start to settle.
To prepare a site for construction, it's important to grade, compress, and test the soil first. Homes built on a site that is not properly compacted or graded will settle and shift over time.
Protecting your foundation is as easy as keeping your gutters clear and pointing the downspouts away from your home. These simple steps can help prevent some of the foundation damage caused by poor drainage, expansive soil or hydrostatic pressure, which is caused by, you guessed it, too much water.
Fall foliage in the Pacific Northwest can be breathtaking, but falling leaves pose a real problem for your gutters. Ensuring proper drainage by keeping your gutters clear and downspouts pointed away from your home can prevent soil erosion around the foundation and reduce the risk that water will seep into your basement.
Before your home was built, contractors prepared the ground where your new home was to be built. This typically involves testing and compacting the soil and designing the appropriate footing to support your home. If any of these steps were skipped or if substandard materials were used, your foundation could be at risk.
Cheap building materials, poor planning, and shoddy work all spell trouble for a home’s foundation. Inaccurate grading and poorly placed structural reinforcements can also cause damage to a home’s foundation.
Plumbing leaks cause expansive soil problems around your foundation. Leaks can occur in your crawl space foundation, exterior plumbing or city lines. Be aware of hidden leaks in your home as well, which can be a serious issue if not caught quickly. When the soil expands it will push against your foundation causing cracks and erosion.
Standing water damages more than just carpets and furniture – it could also wreak havoc on your home’s foundation. As moving water pushes against the interior of the house, the pressure can cause load-bearing walls to shift. Water can seep through porous concrete of a home’s foundation, expanding and eventually drying, causing the concrete to expand, contract, and crack. Toxic chemicals can seep out, and plumbing and electrical wiring can be damaged. Plumbing leaks can cause cracks in the foundation, gaps, misalignment, warped surfaces, and sticky doors and windows.
A hot, dry summer or period of drought can create problems for your home's foundation. When soil dries, it contracts, pulling away from your foundation. The shrinking soil creates a gap next to your foundation which allows it to shift and settle. You will start to notice cracks in the foundation that if not caught, can cause further damage in the wet and rainy months.
Low-quality soil, organic components, and debris have one quality in common: They hold water. When the water evaporates, the material contracts. And if that shrinking, shifting material happens to be beneath a house, the foundation can suffer severe damage. As soil contracts, it pulls away from the foundation, leaving it unsupported and vulnerable to uneven settling. Water stains, cracks, and misaligned floors and doors may indicate evaporation issues in your home.
Scheduling a free inspection with your local TerraFirma System Design Specialist is the first step toward a permanent fix for your home’s foundation. Your System Design Specialist will conduct an onsite evaluation of your foundation, walking you through every step of the inspection. The specialist will use animations, videos, and images to illustrate the specific solutions we recommend for your home.
Once you are ready to begin with the repairs, we collect an upfront deposit, and a Customer Experience Advocate helps you select a start date for your project. Don’t worry about the necessary permits or neighborhood logistics – TerraFirma takes care of it all.
On the big day, you can expect a fully stocked truck with an expert production crew that is prepared for your specific job. Your Foreman will lead the crew through the process and serve as a resource to answer any questions you may have.
When the repair work is complete, your foreman will do a thorough final inspection with you. We always ask our clients to leave us a review on Google, Yelp, the BBB, Angie’s List, or Facebook and refer TerraFirma to friends and family who are experiencing problems with their foundations, basements, or crawl spaces.
TerraFirma’s award-winning service and products are backed by extensive warranties that are fully transferable. In the unlikely event that you have a follow-up repair issue, we are here to help. If your solution required a sump pump, drainage system, or anything else that needs upkeep, you may benefit from regular maintenance with the TerraFirma Service Department. All products and solutions have predetermined inspection and service intervals, but the ultimate decision is up to you.