Wall Repair Systems

  • It’s hard to say if cracks in your foundation and basement are serious without a thorough inspection, but there are some tell-tale signs that a crack is reaching the serious stage. First, if there is any moisture or water leakage coming through, that is serious. If the cracks are larger than surface hairline cracks, often seen on poured-in-place concrete walls as they cure, there’s likely a problem developing that will become serious, if it isn’t already. If the cracks continue to grow over time, that’s a sign the issue is becoming more serious.

  • Drywall cracks on interior walls are not uncommon as your house settles in its foundation. Cracks that are thin and straight, especially on a seam, could be the result of a lack of drywall mud underneath, allowing the tape to lift. Cracks that have discoloration are likely due to a water leak. Diagonal, large or jagged cracks likely indicate a foundation problem or other structural issues.

  • Wall anchors are one of the most proven and widely used methods of repairing basement walls damaged due to foundation issues. Not to be confused with drywall anchors, wall anchors are two metal plates, one placed in packed soil in your yard, the other placed against your basement wall, joined by a steel rod that can be rotated to bring the anchors together, restoring bowing, leaning and cracked basement walls to a straight vertical position.

  • A push pier is a foundation bracket placed along the footing of a building foundation to prevent sinking. Push piers are installed after the ground around the building foundation has been excavated and are anchored deep into stable soil to better support the building. A series of push piers are often used to help distribute the weight of a building onto the stable soil that anchors them.

  • Thrasher offers industry-leading, fully transferable warranties and guarantees. Almost all of our foundation repair, basement waterproofing and crawl space work is covered by a 25-year warranty. The warranty is attached to the property, so not only does the warranty transfer to the new owner if you sell your home, it will also transfer to any future owners that buy your home!

  • Before making an investment in finishing your basement, there are a number of steps you should take. First, make sure there are no moisture issues, including leaks, pooling water or condensation or dampness gathering on walls or other surfaces. Second, make sure all of the basement walls are plumb (straight vertical) and the floor is perfectly flat. If either of these things are off, that could indicate deeper structural issues that need to be remedied.

  • Although the cost for basement wall repair will vary, you can rest assured that you will get the best value for your investment.  Our representatives are trained on how to design a basement wall repair that will give you successful results that is custom tailored and cost effective for your exact needs. 

  • Repairing basement walls that are crumbling requires a thorough inspection into the causes of the crumbling before the wall can be repaired, starting with an assessment of moisture and its impact on the soil surrounding the area of the basement wall that is crumbling. After a thorough inspection, there are a number of methods to repair a basement wall, including wall anchors, braces, or carbon straps, to name the most common repairs.

  • The PowerBrace Wall System reinforces foundational walls by pushing back against the external hydrostatic pressure that is causing a basement wall to buckle, bow and crack. Steel I-beams securely stabilize the wall to prevent shifting soil from impacting the foundation. When soil begins from excess moisture, the PowerBrace's sturdy brackets keep everything in place. Over time, the long, straight I-beams can be gradually adjusted to repair wall damage.

  • An I-beam support solution is especially useful when property lines or outside obstructions -- like buildings, sidewalks or tree roots -- prevent the use of a wall anchor solution for basement foundation wall issues. An I-beam support solution is used for foundation walls that are bowing, cracking or buckling or when they are leaning in, usually forward near the top or inward near the bottom

  • Installing the PowerBrace Wall System is fairly straightforward. Before beginning, Thrasher's foundation experts determine the proper height and number of braces necessary for your walls to stabilize and the strength of floor joists near your home's mudsill. Then, each brace gets attached to a special bracket bolted near the floor joist in the basement ceiling, where it can be adjusted and tightened. Finally, running the full length of the wall, the Powerbrace is bolted to the floor for consistent vertical straightening from top to bottom. 

  • Made of galvanized steel with a rust-resistant zinc coating, PowerBrace I-beams need almost no maintenance once installed, beyond work required to further straighten and repair bowing, cracking and buckling walls. They can be tightened or loosened from special brackets attached near the floor joist above the basement wall. The PowerBrace system is an extremely durable, maintenance-free and long-term solution. 

  • Properly installed, I-beam supports disrupt little space and are easily worked around when finishing your basement. While not as flush to the wall as wall anchor systems or carbon fiber strap systems, there's no need to leave open access to the I-beam supports. They can be painted over, boxed in, or framed around. Your basement can be finished in whatever way you wish after the I-beams are installed.

  • The PowerBrace system is a long-term solution to repairing bowing or buckling basement walls when access to outside yard space is limited. It is easy to install, can be covered up when finishing your basement, and it is very effective and durable long-term solution. It’s an essential tool in repairing foundation damage that could lead to worse structural problems or unhealthy conditions from water or pest infestation getting into your basement from wall cracks.

  • Carbon fiber wall straps are an advanced foundation repair system. They usually look like a dark fabric made of woven carbon filaments. The material is very lightweight, flexible and much stronger than steel when applied properly with a binding polymer like a structural epoxy. Using epoxy as a base, carbon fiber straps are attached to your foundation. They have high stiffness and won't bend under pressure or extreme temperatures. 

  • Carbon fiber straps are used to fix foundation problems like bowing, buckling and cracking basement walls. 'Stair step' patterned and horizontal cracks along your foundation wall, or an inverse lean, are indicators that you need structural support. More widespread, long-term problems, like severe cracks or extreme bowing over 2 inches, may require a different approach.

  • Before installing carbon fiber straps to repair a foundation, you must first grind the surface of the wall where the straps will go, creating a smooth, debris-free surface. After this, a base glue-like structural epoxy adhesive is applied and given time to set. Once set, the carbon fiber straps are applied, bonding to the epoxy, and another layer of epoxy is applied on top. Carbon fiber straps can be applied by themselves in certain situations or anchored at the top and bottom to help straighten foundation walls.

  • After carbon fiber foundation wall repairs are complete, they require very little, to no maintenance. If applied effectively, they work with no signs of wear or tear.

  • A strong benefit to carbon fiber repairs is they are essentially a permanent solution and extremely unobtrusive to any work you might do when finishing your basement. You're freer to make any kind of adjustments or work on your basement while the straps are in-use. You could even paint directly over them or cover them up with walls.

  • Foundation repairs using carbon fiber usually take around a day. The process itself isn't complex; but preparing the wall by grounding it down for a smooth, debris-free surface takes some time and letting the structural epoxy resin set properly takes a little while to set, before the straps can be installed. 

Foundation Crack Repair

  • Vertical wall cracks in a poured foundation wall often aren't as serious as horizontal ones. Hairline vertical cracks are not uncommon as concrete walls cure. Simply sealing these cracks and protecting from future damages should be enough.  If the cracks grow over time and our wider at the top than the bottom, more serious issues might be at play, including a sinking or sagging foundation creating vertical pressure on the wall and threatening your home’s structural integrity. To be safe, you should always have foundation wall cracks inspected by a professional. 

    If there are vertical cracks in a block wall foundation they should always be looked at by a professional because block walls will not get shrinkage cracks.  This could be a sign of a more serious foundation issue. 

  • Horizontal cracks are a greater sign of bowed walls or structural foundation problems than their vertical counterparts. Hydrostatic pressure from expanding soil due to moisture changes can exert tremendous lateral pressure, causing horizontal cracks to form in basement walls. Left unattended, these horizontal cracks tend to grow with time creating more serious issues, potentially a full wall collapse.   

  • Any cracks in the foundation not caused by concrete curing – normally surface, hairline cracks – are foundation cracks to worry about. Vertical and diagonal cracks in poured concrete walls near corners are usually caused by lateral pressure, while a sinking foundation can cause vertical or diagonal cracks anywhere. Both are foundation cracks to worry about. Horizontal cracks and stair-step cracks in masonry foundations are two other types of cracks to be most worried about. Also, any crack that is larger than 1/8” or that is letting water into your basement is a foundation crack to worry about.

  • If there’s water coming through a foundation crack, the first thing to do is to make sure it’s draining properly into a floor drain and that the water is cleaned up quickly. Water in your basement can lead to odor and mold problems. Next, check for any drainage issues outside the house to make sure water is running away from your foundation. Finally, get a foundation expert to throughly inspect the cause of the water coming through your foundation crack to protect against it happening in the future and to repair any structural issues that have been caused.

  • When you have a crack in your foundation where it meets the basement floor, there are a number of options based on what type of crack it is. If the crack is a hairline, surface crack indicative of concrete curing, particularly in newer homes, it probably doesn’t require immediate attention. If the crack is larger than 1/8 inch then it should be sealed with caulking to prevent basement leakage. If the crack appears to be caused by the basement floor heaving upward, that could indicate the start of more serious structural issues from soil expansion and requires a thorough inspection from an expert.

  • Common fixes for foundation cracks vary widely based on the unique circumstances of the building and its foundation. Smaller cracks not caused by deeper structural issues – such as wet clay, hydrostatic pressure or frost heaving – are commonly repaired with caulks or epoxies that seal the foundation crack. When soil expansion or settling is going to put continuous and growing pressure on the foundaction cracks, then more advanced fixes are common – wall anchors, wall braces or carbon fiber straps, for instance. 

  • Although the cost for foundation repair will vary, you can rest assured that you will get the best value for your investment. Our System Design Specialists base the cost of your foundation repair off a price sheet so you are protected from variable pricing and don't have to worry about negotiating. All of our representatives are trained on how to design a foundation repair system that will give you successful results with a system that is custom tailored and cost effective for your exact needs.

Leaning Chimney Repair

  • Your chimney may be pulling away for a variety of reasons. The first, and most prominent of which, is your foundation being built upon unstable soil. Moisture (like rainwater) seeping into the ground causes soil to expand, putting pressure on the foundation above, which ends in the chimney drifting as a result. If your home is built on unattached footing to the chimney, it'll move independently, which gives a higher chance for leaning to occur.

  • Similar causes for pulling away may also be applicable to leaning in, depending on how the foundation settles and soil expands. However, weak, undersized, or deteriorated footing are more commonly associated with leaning in, as the chimney weight puts pressure on a foundation not suited to support it. This may also be associated with serious structural problems, which requires a contractor or masonry professional to address and a more thorough replacement process.

  • There's many ways to repair an unstable chimney, but specific methods often include helical piers and hydraulic jacks. Helical piers, often compared to steel screws, are driven into the ground to reach load-bearing soil. This adjusts the foundation from unstable to stable ground. Hydraulic jacks are then used to lift a chimney back into its proper place. Brackets can be added afterwards for an extra layer of support.

  • If the problem isn't widespread and is simply foundational, it can typically be repaired without the necessity of rebuilding. However, if the chimney moves a significant amount, contractors may suggest a complete rebuilding. This is to prevent gas leakage and potential fire hazards associated with cracks in your foundation.

  • A leaning chimney, being an important foundation issue for consideration, also carries with it different side-effects. Since the chimney separates and leaves a gap, this allows outside elements to leak through the siding. Most common of these being water and smaller bugs. Settling foundation causes bricks to come loose, leaving them a hazard to potentially fall as people approach. If your lining is cracked, it gives the opportunity for combustible gasses to leak, which is extremely dangerous.

  • As with most work done by Thrasher, a transferable 25-year warranty is offered with chimney repair. Customer satisfaction is the goal, when it comes to the work we do.

Street Creep Repair

  • Most foundation repair projects take our crews just one day to complete, and we do everything possible to minimize disruption to your home and surrounding grass and landscaping. Our Property Protection Guarantee ensures that all property such as lawns, floors, walls and door frames are protected, and we do our best to clean up after ourselves. 

  • Some interior drywall cracks are normal while others can signal a foundation problem below. You can read more about identifying potentially harmful wall cracks and schedule a free foundation repair consultation with one of our experts if you notice damage that indicates a potential problem. 

Foundation Piering

  • Hairline vertical cracks are not uncommon as concrete walls cure. If the cracks grow over time or become more than 1/8 inch wide, more serious issues might be at play, including a sinking or sagging foundation creating vertical pressure on the wall and threatening your home’s structural integrity.

  • Hydrostatic pressure from expanding soil due to moisture changes can exert tremendous lateral pressure, causing horizontal cracks to form in basement walls. Left unattended, these horizontal cracks tend to grow with time creating more serious issues, potentially a full wall collapse. 

  • Horizontal cracks indicate foundation failure and more serious structural problems. Diagonal cracks can appear in masonry basement walls as “stair-stepping,” while they tend to form in the corners of poured concrete basement walls. If any crack in your foundation that is growing and widens to more than 1/8 inch aren't addressed, your home's stability will soon be compromised. They are undoubtedly the most worrisome foundation cracks.

  • Water coming through a foundation crack is most likely caused by moisture expansion in the exterior soil and is always an issue to be addressed. First, the source of the moisture should be addressed and drainage should be set so water flows away from the foundation. Second, it’s important to determine if there’s a structural issue that needs to be addressed or if basement waterproofing solutions might work. If there’s a structural issue, restoring the foundation surface to its original position is critical to closing the crack and preventing water from coming in your basement permanently. Thrasher offers waterproofing solutions, designed to keep your basement dry. 

  • A crack in the cold joint gap, where the foundation wall meets the basement floor, indicates a foundation issue, whether it’s hydrostatic pressure in the soil creating lateral pressure on the wall or unstable soil causing the floor to sink. A trained foundation expert can identify the source of the problem and recommend the best solution. For tilting or leaning walls, anchors or braces could be the best solution. For a sinking floor or wall, piers could be the best solution.

  • Other foundation cracks require a more permanent solution to prevent further damage and expense to your home. For wall cracks, anchors or braces are a common fix. For floor cracks, piers are a common solution.  For sinking floors, PolyLevel polyurethane foam lifts and levels concrete floors. PolyLevel is a lightweight, strong high-density polyurethane foam that lifts and supports concrete slabs without adding weight to the soil beneath.

Sagging Foundation Repair

  • Typical foundation repairs (from wall anchors and braces to helical and push piers) take roughly a few hours to install. Although a small area of your yard may need to be excavated, the disturbance should be kept to a minimum. If foundation repairs are more widespread, a larger system might be your solution, for instance multiple piers, braces or anchors may need to be added, taking extra time. Once the project completes, there should be little to hardly any signs of a yard being disturbed.

  • Drywall cracks, if not caused by seasonal changes in humidity, may also be caused by structural problems. For example, poor settlement leading to cracks in concrete slabs often indicates that drywall is soon to follow. If your house is built on uneven soil, the shifting and sagging will result in cracks forming on your interior walls.

  • Wall anchors are a very common solution in foundation repair, particularly for issues like bowing walls caused by lateral pressure from soil expansion. There's little excavation work, with an anchor plate placed in the yard and another on the basement wall, joined by a steel rod drilled from the inside anchor to connect them. The inside anchor plate is topped with an adjustment nut that helps pull your wall straight, reducing instability in your foundation settlement and wall bowing.

  • A push pier is a series of sectioned, hollow steel pipes, which can fit together into a longer shaft. A small area outside the foundation is usually excavated to get access to underneath the foundation. In the process of installation, the sections of pipe are driven down through unstable dirt until it can be firmly footed in load-bearing soil. They are then attached underneath the foundation with a steel bracket to address settlement by shifting weight on to the pier, lifting and stabilizing a sinking foundation.

  • Many minor cracks are simply visual, and not indicative of serious structural damage. However, to distinguish this from cracks that might indicate more serious problems, look at the size and number of cracks. If cracks are more than 1/8 inch wide, span a large surface area, that's probably serious. If the cracks are growing over time or allow moisture and gases into your basement, it signals the foundation is starting to give way under pressure and is losing its integrity, becoming more serious.
     

Wall Anchor Systems

  • Although not a necessity, if you are aiming to finish or use your basement, its recommended you install wall anchor covers. Steel plates with threaded rods and adjustment nuts are strong foundation repair tools, but they do stick out and they will need to be accessed. That might interfere with how you want your basement to look or to be used, something a wall anchor cover nicely fixes.

  • Wall anchor covers should be removable and cleanable and are generally made of a hard plastic. However, they can be covered to look like almost any material, matching painted drywall or wallpaper, even stone, ceramic, or marble. Thrasher uses the Supportworks Hide-A-Way Wall Anchor Cover solution with a low-profile design and snap-on functionality.

  • Attaching wall anchor covers is a straight-forward process, with two parts. The first part is installing the cover opening and base around the steel plate, making sure to surround it, but also allowing easy access for adjustments. Often times the base is placed in basement drywall. The second part, the covering plate, will simply snap to the opening and conceal any signs of the wall anchor. No excavation, no large equipment, and no hassle involved.

  • Since the wall anchor cover functions in two parts, the covering plate can be removed like a lid when pulled. From there, any adjustments you wish to make to the tightening nut on the anchor can freely be made. Then, just as simply, the plate can be snapped back on to hide the construction again.

  • Regardless of how much of your basement is finished, wall anchor covers are a good addition for keeping wall anchors properly covered and protecting against any other activity in your basement that might come into contact with wall anchors, making your basement more visually friendly and practically useful.

  • Thrasher developed, patented and licensed the Supportworks Hide-A-Way Wall Anchor Cover Systems to foundation repair experts across the country with thousands and thousands of installations. It has a simplistic, snap-on design allowing for easy access at all times. If you're looking for an easy solution with durability and style, the Hide-A-Way Wall Anchor Cover System is for you.

Push Piers

  • Push piers work by anchoring foundation walls on brackets and then hydraulically thrusting sections of hollow pipe past unstable soil into competent, load-bearing soil. The weight of the structure pushes against the pipes to help drive them downwards while lifting the foundation upwards. Once it reaches stable soil, where a foundation can sit reliably, push piers can be stabilized to support the foundation or raised to bring the foundation to a secure level. 

  • Foundation push piers can be used both inside and outside foundation walls. With exterior installation, soil excavation outside is required around the footing of your home to give the bracket enough space to support the entire foundation wall. With an interior installation, a small area of concrete must be removed for push piers to be attached to the foundation and driven down to a firmer footing. With either installation option, the area excavated or cut out is restored to its original state. 

  • Foundation push piers are primarily made from heavy-duty, corrosion-resistant galvanized steel. They also attach to the foundation with a steel-based bracket. Push piers are designed to permanently withstand the immense pressures from supporting an entire foundation. 

  • Once installed and the foundation restored, the push pier system requires very little maintenance or upkeep. If your foundation shows any further signs of unevenness, it’s possible you might need support from additional push piers.

  • The type of foundation that works best for push piers would be a heavier building with some distance beneath the ground to reach load-bearing soil or bedrock, requiring extensions to reach deeper depths. This makes them especially popular for larger projects or in areas with more unstable soil. Lighter houses closer to firmer soil underneath might be better suited for other options, such as helical piers. 

  • Push piers are typically installed underground, so they're not visible after installation completes. This applies to piers installed both inside and outside. The excavated soil or removed concrete are replaced, with very little to no sign of disruption.

  • Push piers are also referred to as resistance piers, jacked piles, or hydraulically driven piers.

Slab Piers

  • Thrasher helped develop and license the patented Supportworks Geo-Lock Wall Anchors, designed with steel plates placed on basement walls and attached by a steel rod to another steel anchor plate buried in stable soil outside your home. An adjustment nut attached to the rod, and flush with the basement wall steel plate, pulls your wall outwards, reducing instability in your foundation settlement and instances of wall bowing.

  • Slab piers, either push or helical, restore vertical support to your foundation floor and by extension, often the foundation walls as well. It requires a brief soil excavation so the piers can be driven down to find their footing. Next, with the pier properly set on load-bearing soil, it attaches underneath the foundation with a steel bracket. After it's attached, the pier shifts weight from looser expanding soil to firm compacted soil, allowing for straightening the foundation floor.

  • Many minor cracks are simply visual, and not indicative of serious structural damage. However, to distinguish this from cracks that might show larger problems, you must look at the size and number of cracks. If cracks are more than 1/8 inch wide, span a large surface area, or continue to grow over time, that's likely becoming serious.  If cracks in your foundation are allowing moisture or gases into your basement, that's also becoming a serious issue that should be addressed immediately.

  • Thrasher guarantees customer satisfaction, offering a transferable warranty. Basement waterproofing and crawl space repair are backed by 25-year warranties, while concrete repairs have a 5-year warranty and egress windows have a 10-year warranty. When any owner sells the home where Thrasher has warrantied its work, the warranty transfers to any new owners, through the life of the warranty. 

Foundation Repair

  • A foundation repair project generally takes less than a day to complete with the proper
    assessment, trained experts and the right equipment. For repairs that require some yard
    disturbance – wall anchors or pier solutions -- a small surrounding area must be excavated,
    although disturbance is kept to a minimum, allowing for working in tight areas. The more
    widespread foundation problems are, the larger the repair system required, taking extra time.
    Once the project is completed, all signs of work will be covered as dirt is put back into place and
    landscaping restored.

  • If a foundation is properly set on the right soil, the house sits on a crown so water flows away and the gutters and drainage all properly work, your basement should be dry all of the time. Now,
    even if all of these things are true when a home is constructed, it can change over time. To
    guarantee a dry basement all of the time, you will have to make sure all of these factors remain
    intact over time, requiring extra viligance. Even the best viligance, however, won’t be able to
    catch everything, especially changes to the soil alongside and beneath your home, though
    proper drainage can go a long way to preventing these changes.

  • Sometimes the source of water intrusion into your basement is obvious, for instance a clogged
    drain, crack in a wall or failing mortar between blocks that allows water to get in. However,
    knowing the full path and source of that water leak can take some serious foundation detective
    work, requiring a trained expert with the right moisture detection tools. The cold joint, where the
    basement wall meets the basement floor, creating a natural seam, is a frequent point of water
    intrusion. Hydrostatic pressure, water building in loose soils, can also force moisture through
    porous blocks, joints and cracks.

  • Many minor cracks are simply visual, and not indicative of serious structural damage. However, to distinguish this from cracks that might show larger problems, you must look at the size and
    number of cracks. If cracks are more than 1/8 inch or spanning a large surface area, that's probably serious. If the cracks are growing over time, it likely signals the foundation starting to give way under pressure,which could become a very serious issue.

  • Drywall cracks, if not caused by seasonal changes in humidity, may also be caused by structural
    problems. For example, poor settlement leading to cracks in concrete slabs often indicates that
    sagging walls are next and drywall is soon to follow. If your house is built on uneven soil, the
    shifting and sinking will result in cracks forming on your interior walls.

  • There are several precautions to take when preparing your basement for finishing. First, make sure there are no moisture issues, including leaks, pooling water or condensation or dampness gathering on walls or other surfaces. Second, make sure all of the basement walls are plumb (straight vertical) and the floor is flat horizontally. If either of these things are off, that could indicate deeper structural issues that need to be remedied. Third, get your basement checked for radon and take appropriate steps to have any radon mitigated.

Bowed Foundation

  • Drywall cracks, if not caused by seasonal changes in humidity, may also be caused by structural problems. For example, poor settlement leading to cracks in concrete slabs often indicates that sagging walls are next and drywall is soon to follow. If your house is built on uneven soil, the shifting and sinking will result in cracks forming on your interior walls.

  • Thrasher Foundation Repair guarantees customer satisfaction and offers a fully transferable warranty. Basement waterproofing, crawl space and most foundation repairs are backed by 25-year warranties, while concrete repairs have a 5-year warranty and egress windows have a10-year warranty. The warranty is attached to the property, so not only does the warranty transfer to the new owner if you sell your home, it will also transfer to any future owners that buy your home! In addition, free basement inspections are offered, regardless of whether anything's been installed up to that point. We want the best work done with the best value for you.

  • A push pier is a series of sectioned hollow, galvanized steel pipes, which can fit together into a longer shaft and can be installed on the exterior or interior of your home. Normally installed on the exterior, a small area will be excavated to create access for the push pier’s bracket to sit completely underneath the foundation’s footing. Installed inside, a section of the floor will be cut out to achieve this access. In the process of installation, the sections of pipe are driven down through unstable dirt until they can be firmly footed in load-bearing soil. After adjustments to restore the foundation are complete, exterior installations are covered by dirt and restored landscaping. Interior installations are covered when the floor section is repaired with concrete.

Leaking Foundation

  • Thrasher guarantees customer satisfaction, offering a transferable warranty. Foundation repairs, basement waterproofing and crawl space repair are backed by 25-year warranties, while concrete repairs have a 5-year warranty and egress windows have a 10-year warranty. When any owner sells the home where Thrasher has performed the work, the warranty transfers to any new owners, through the life of the warranty. 

  • Wall anchors are a very common solution in foundation repair, particularly for issues like bowing walls caused by lateral pressure from soil expansion. There's little excavation work, with an anchor plate placed in the yard and another on the basement wall, joined by a steel rod drilled from the inside anchor to connect them. The inside anchor plate is topped with an adjustment nut that helps pull your wall straight, reducing instability in your foundation settlement and wall bowing.

  • A push pier is a series of sectioned, hollow steel pipes, which can fit together into a longer shaft. A small area outside the foundation is usually excavated to get access to underneath the foundation. In the process of installation, the sections of pipe are driven down through unstable dirt until it can be firmly footed in load-bearing soil. They are then attached underneath the foundation with a steel bracket to address settlement by shifting weight on to the pier, lifting and stabilizing a sinking foundation.

  • Many minor cracks are simply visual, and not indicative of serious structural damage. However, to distinguish this from cracks that might indicate more serious problems, look at the size and number of cracks. If cracks are more than 1/8 inch wide, span a large surface area ,that's probably serious. If the cracks are growing over time or allow moisture and gases into your basement, it signals the foundation is starting to give way under pressure and is losing its integrity, becoming more serious.

Helical Piers

  • Helical piers are steel-based screws with sections that are turned deep into the soil. Heavy duty even galvanized steel allows it to withstand tense foundational shifts while raising and supporting the weight of a foundation. Additionally, helical piers can be adjusted, or turned, to restore a foundation’s balance.

  • A foundation helical pier system consists of a system of helical piers installed to the correct depths at key support points in your foundation. Each helical pier starts with a screw-like section, where this pier solution gets its name, while straight, smooth sections are added to help the helical portion reach the depth it needs. A steel bracket shifts the weight of the foundation on to the pier. In an overarching pier system, push piers can also used in addition to helical piers.

  • Helical piers are often installed in sections, first with the blades screwing into the dirt. Before beginning, the soil must first be excavated for an exterior installation, or a section of the basement floor cut out in an interior installation, to allow access to the foundation footing. After the helical pier reaches a point of load-bearing soil, brackets will be attached to shift foundation weight on to the pier. Helical piers are then adjusted to help restore the foundation to its original position and provide long-term stability. 

  • Helical piers systems work best for many types of foundations, but in particular they are the best solution for lighter structures, like decks and stoops, and in cases where little soil disturbance is necessary, water tables are high, where there's little access, or where soil compression disallows for other foundation solutions. 

  • In addition to being relatively straight forward to install, helical piers take little time to install. Having to excavate soil to reach a structure's footing, installing the helical pier, attaching brackets and adjusting to repair and stabilize the foundation can take about a day for most installations. There are a number of factors that can impact the length of time it takes to install a helical pier system properly:

    • The more piers that need to be installed, whether based on the extent of the unstable soil underneath or the diameter of the structure itself
    • The depth required to reach load-bearing soil
    • The amount of adjustments and corrections required to stabilize and repair the floor 

  • Helical piers are a reliable, long-term solution, and require very little to no maintenance to maintain. When helical piers are properly installed to the correct depth, they are resistant to soil content that expands or swells based on the amount of moisture it receives. Thrasher offers a 25-year, transferrable warranty on all foundation repairs.

  • Since helical piers work beneath the ground supporting foundation floors and walls, they are not visible. When surrounding dug-up soil is moved back into place in an exterior installation and floor cut-outs have been repaired from interior installations, there's little evidence of a pier's presence around the structure. 

  • Helical piers are also referred to as helical anchors, helical piles, or screw piles.

Wall Anchor Systems

  • Using the best materials, installed properly by trained technicians, and with a minimum amount of maintenance, foundation wall anchors work extremely well, providing an almost permanent solution to cracking, bowing or buckling basement walls. Installed across thousands upon thousands of homes all across the country over many decades, foundation wall anchor systems are one of the most common and proven foundation solutions.

  • The cost to install wall anchors can vary, depending on the overall number required for a wall anchor system to stabilize and restore your wall. Using the highest quality materials properly installed to provide the best long-term solution, wall anchors can range from $600-800 each. Compared to the cost of a foundation rebuild or the damage that can be done to your home from structural weaknesses, wall anchors are well worth the investment.

  • Basement walls that are bowing, buckling or cracking are best anchored with a wall anchor system that repairs the basement wall and restores your home’s structural integrity. The best way to anchor a basement wall is to first place an anchor in compact, load-bearing soil outside in the yard, joined to a wall anchor on your foundation wall by a steel rod that can be adjusted. This allows your wall to slowly return to its original position, closing cracks and restoring foundational strength.

  • Wall anchors are tightened by an adjustment nut on the end of the steel rod in the basement wall anchor, secured to a yard anchor by the rod. This is normally done with a wrench that turns the adjustment nut. Wall anchors should be tightened every 3-4 weeks when the ground outside is dry and not frozen, until the wall is straightened.

Wall Brace & Beams

  • Before bracing a wall, you must first measure the specific height of your basement walls at each placement, so the beams can be accurately cut to fit. The top of each brace is attached close to your home’s mudsill, near the floor joists in the basement ceiling, where they are bolted to a special bracket. The wall brace is then attached to your basement floor with another special bracket, spanning the entire height of the wall. Once installed, the I-beam can be tightened with an adjustment mechanism at the top to create the best vertical plumb possible against the buckling wall, restoring your foundation’s integrity.

  • It’s almost impossible to figure the cost of bracing a wall without a proper inspection to determine the root causes requiring the braces and a permanent solution that ultimately delivers the best return on investment. Not addressing root issues and incomplete solutions can cost multiples more in ongoing fixes over time. According to HouseLogic by Realtors, a starting point for the cost of a steel brace alone is in the $700 range. Corrosion-resistant, zinc-plated galvanized steel braces cut to specification, plus installation, accessories like anchors or attachments and adjustments to repair the wall, will add to this cost. 

  • A power brace is another word for wall brace or I-beam wall support. Thrasher uses its patented PowerBrace system when a wall brace or I-beam wall support solution is required. Zinc-plated, galvanized steel beams are custom fit to your basement wall specifications and secured by special brackets anchored to your mudsill and floor joists at the top and the basement floor at the bottom. A special adjustment mechanism at the top bracket can be tightened over time to restore your wall to its original position, fixing issues with bowing, buckling and cracking foundation walls.

  • A proper fix for a bowing wall is one that addresses underlying issues and presents a permanent solution. Foundation systems used to repair a bowing basement wall include wall anchors, wall braces and carbon fiber straps for lateral pressures and piers for vertical pressures. Depending on your home’s unique siting and construction, and the amount of bowing that has occured, any of these solutions or a mix of them could be the proper fix for your wall.

Rebuilding Walls in Place

  • Extreme cases of foundational damage would have to be present to justify rebuilding basement walls in place. This includes deep cracks, on multiple areas across the foundation and severe cases of bowing, shifting or sinking, where wall anchor or brace systems won’t be enough to repair and stabilize the problems. In particular, older homes built with clay tile foundations, or with basement walls built from native stone and limestone mortar, are often candidates.

  • Other repair solutions like Thrasher’s Geo-Lock Foundation Wall Anchor system or PowerBrace system go a long way in restoring and maintaining foundation walls, but both require a basement wall that has been properly installed and retains enough integrity to maintain structural support. Sometimes problems in a wall are too widespread for these smaller, reliable solutions. Rebuilding in place can be a quicker, one-time method, when compared to ongoing surface repairs requiring more maintenance and work over time. 

  • Below ground walls are not accessible from the outside, so it takes exterior soil excavation work to rebuild foundation walls in place. The area to be excavated can be fairly narrow and normally removed quickly with the proper equipment. After rebuilding the foundation wall is finished, soil will be returned to the excavated area, with little to no sign of the work that was completed.

  • While rebuilding foundation walls, your existing above ground home is temporarily supported as the process takes place. This means installing a system of jacks and supports in the basement to disperse the weight of your house off of the foundation walls. Your house will be lifted during the rebuild in place process, then lowered back down when the work is completed.

  • Since rebuilding means having an essentially brand-new foundation wall installed properly, there are very little to no ongoing maintenance or considerations. Poor drainage issues over time left unaddressed can create lateral pressures on the new wall, so always continue to insure water drains away from your home.

  • Rebuilt foundations, much like most foundations, can include different types of materials, but normally the footings for the rebuilt wall will be poured concrete and the wall itself built from concrete blocks, reinforced with steel rods, carefully tied into adjacent basement walls with each row. This mix of materials allows for the strongest wall, set to the best specifications when the weight of the house is returned to the foundation.