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Foundation Repair vs. Replacement: Which is Best?

Many homeowners feel that if their foundation is cracked or damaged, the logical thing to do is to replace it. However, as with most home repairs, it’s important to consider ALL your options if you want to get the most for your money and the least disruption of daily family life.

We want to help you make an informed decision that will benefit your home and family, so we compiled this guide comparing and contrasting foundation repair and replacement.

AFS crew repairing a foundation

What’s Causing My Foundation Problem?

closeup of soil

In a nutshell, foundation settlement is the movement your home experiences when the soil beneath it shrinks, settles, or can no longer support the structure’s weight.

Changes that occur in those soils — such as drying and shrinking, wetting and softening, compacting, and swelling — all affect the stability, strength, and overall condition of your foundation.

The different types of soil around a foundation will behave in different ways as temperature and moisture conditions change, possibly affecting the condition of the foundation.

A foundation with bowing walls demonstrates the damage caused by expansive soils. When clay-rich soils absorb moisture, their volume increases dramatically.

This can increase pressure on your home’s foundation walls by thousands of pounds, causing walls to buckle and bow inward.

A home that is experiencing foundation issues is not likely to get better on its own. As the constant cycle of wet and dry periods continues, your home is likely to experience damage on a continuing basis. The sooner the problem is addressed, the better.

What is Foundation Replacement?

digging outside a house

With total foundation replacement, heavy equipment is brought in to totally excavate the soil around your home and expose the foundation.

Anything around the foundation — such as porches, steps, gardens, walkways, and foliage — would be removed.

The house would need to be “jacked up” on temporary supports as the foundation walls and slab floor are removed. After the new foundation is built, the house is lowered into place, the soil is replaced and the landscape details are restored as much as possible.

This process is disruptive, time-consuming, and much more expensive than foundation repair. It also doesn’t address the source of the problem: your foundation soils.

Since you’ve built a new foundation on the same troublesome soil, you can expect the same behavior from that soil — the kind that will “break” your new foundation just like it did the old one!

What is Foundation Repair?

crew installing helical piers

After a thorough foundation inspection, a foundation repair expert will explain how and why the damage occurred, and how specialized solutions can be used to make permanent repairs.

There are many solutions that can be applied. If you have buckling foundation walls, for example, wall anchors may be suggested as the solution. Foundation settlement issues are often solved with foundation piers.

Foundation repair can be performed year-round, and many repairs just take a day or two to complete, depending on the severity of the damage and the extent of the project.

While there are some extreme cases where a foundation just can’t be fixed, we recommend repairing the foundation whenever possible.

Why is Foundation Repair Better?

A reliable foundation repair professional will do more than simply repair a damaged foundation. Their repair strategy will take problematic soils and site conditions into consideration so that the original problems cannot recur.

Push piers or helical piers, for example, extend deep below your foundation, extending past poor supporting soils to bedrock or competent strata to support your foundation and permanently stop settlement.

Wall anchors reach beyond foundation walls, using the soil outside of your foundation to anchor the walls and counteract inward pressure. It’s important to note that foundation problems can occur in houses of any age, size, and style.

Our solutions are designed to permanently stabilize your home for the lifetime of the structure, offering lasting stability and peace of mind you deserve.

Contact AFS for Reliable Foundation Repairs

As your locally owned and operated foundation expert, we have the tools, training, and professional foundation services you need to permanently solve your problem. Our warrantied solutions can restore the value and structural integrity of your home.

We offer free foundation repair inspections and quotes to local homeowners. Each written quote includes an on-site inspection of your problem and professional answers to all your foundation questions.

Ted Dryce

Ted Dryce

Content Writer

Ted is an SEO Content Writer who has been with Groundworks since 2021. He’s covered home repair topics ranging from crawl space encapsulation to regional soil conditions. When he’s not working, Ted is performing improv comedy and working on his own creative projects.

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