The Foundation Leveling Process

underpinning foundation

What Is Foundation Leveling

the process of getting a foundation back to its original position and this can be achieved by repairing the foundation. A number of factors such as bad soil types, drainage problems and the types of materials used to build the foundation will play a role in damaging your foundation. Common signs of a foundation that is in need of foundation leveling that homeowners need to be on the lookout for include unaligned doors and windows, cracks on foundation and walls. The three most common types of methods used to level the foundation include caissons, underpinning pads & grade beams, which will be determined by the type of foundation.

Foundation leveling


Caissons are used when the soil under the house is very unstable or when the area is swampy. Caissons which are sometimes referred to as pier foundations are usually cylindrical in shape and are sunk deep into the more stable soil or bedrock in order to steadily balance the property. The caissons in the hole are then filled with concrete and allowed to dry.

Related: House Leveling & Construction

Grade Beams

Grade beams consist of a reinforced concrete beam that transmits the load from a bearing wall into spaced foundations such as pile caps or caissons. A grade beam is a column that is added in between two piers in order to distribute the weight of the house evenly on all the piers of the house, hence prevent the unleveling of the house.


Foundation Replacement

Underpinning Pads

Underpinning pads are pads that are made of concrete and are used to support sections of your foundation footing that have become weak. Underpinning pads are a preferred method of foundation leveling because they allow for a chance to only repair specific sections of your foundation that are weak instead of replacing the whole foundation.

Contact a professional foundation contractor if you are a Los Angeles homeowner or commercial building owner that is experiencing any foundation problems.

Call California Foundation Works to schedule a free foundation inspection and estimate.

post and beam foundation damage

Reasons Los Angeles Homes Need Foundation Inspections

Foundation Crack

Why Foundation Is Damaged?

Foundation damage is a serious and costly problem for homeowners all over the country but it does affect certain regions the most. Unlike other regions, most of the Los Angeles neighborhoods are susceptible to foundation damage because of a combination of factors such as the poor drainage and types of expansive soil. Los Angeles Homeowners should get foundation inspections to prevent any underlying problems from getting worse. 

Water Damage


Los Angeles has been in a drought for a couple of years until recently when it received massive rain, and this is problematic for many house foundations in Los Angeles. During the drought, the clay soil around the house foundations lost most of their moisture hence the soil shrank and then after receiving rain the soil expands, therefore, pushing against the foundation and eventually cracking it. Foundation inspections will prevent this problem from getting worse once it’s detected early.

Tremors and Earthquakes

Most of Los Angeles residents are aware of the San Andreas fault running below their house foundation but they forget about the hundreds of low-intensity tremors and earthquakes that this area experiences on a daily basis. As a homeowner, you might not be able to see or notice any damage from these tremors and earthquakes but your foundation will be gradually damaged over time if certain precautions won’t be made to maintain it properly.

Related : Retrofitting a Los Angeles Home for Earthquakes

Bricks Crack

Clay Soils

The type of soil that a house is built on is very important because clay soils which can also be referred to as expansive soils because of their nature to expand and then shrink in the year cycle. This tendency to expand and shrink is what causes damage to the foundation by pushing against it or shrinking and leaving spaces around the foundation which causes it to settle.

Contact a professional foundation contractor if you are a Los Angeles homeowner and haven’t yet had your foundation inspected.

Call California Foundation Works to schedule a free foundation inspection and estimate.

How Landscaping Affects Your Foundation

Surface Water

Landscaping Can Cause Trouble

Everybody wants to have an inviting home with beautiful curb appeal, but in the process of doing that you might end up damaging your foundation. Careful consideration has to be taken when it comes to landscaping in regards to foundation. However there are three main ways in which landscaping affects your foundation negatively.

Drainage Gutter

Trees and Shrubs Too Close To Your Foundation

Plants are almost always an essential addition to your home when it comes to improving its curb appeal. Choosing the wrong kinds of plants or planting them too close to your foundation can be problematic hence the need to carefully choose the location and type of plant. Plants that have roots that grow horizontally instead of vertically will have their roots drying up all the moisture that surrounds the foundation and in some instances even penetrate the foundation walls, therefore, causing damage.

Improper Drainage

Having a well-functioning drainage system should be a priority whenever you think of improving your landscape. In the efforts of making the exterior of a home beautiful, homeowners tend to forget about the drainage system and this is bound to damage the foundation. Plant beds should slope away from the foundation and as a rule of thumb, water should always flow away from the house not towards it.

Related :  Foundation Damage Caused by Trees

Drainage Installation

Not Watering Plants Frequently

The plants and trees that are closest to your foundation need to be sufficiently watered. They need a steady supply of water to encourage the vertical growth of roots. In order to retain soil moisture, the soil needs to be well mulched so that any foundation problems are prevented.

Contact a professional foundation contractor if you suspect that your foundation is getting affected by landscaping.

Call California Foundation Works on to schedule a free foundation inspection and estimate.

foundation repair

Preparing Your Home Foundation For Summer ?


It’s almost summertime and as enjoyable as the summer season is, it presents a number of problems for your home. It can cause minor or serious damage to your home or it’s surroundings. One of those serious problems that the summer heat can cause is foundation damage. However,  there are certain things you can do to prepare your home foundation for summer.Foundation Repair in los Angeles

Foundation Inspection

The most important step you can take towards preparing your home foundation for summer is by getting a foundation repair expert to do a foundation inspection on you house or property. By getting a foundation inspection, you’ll discover foundation problems before they get worse and you’ll save a lot in terms of repair costs.

Related : Foundation Repair: What to Expect at Your Inspection

Watering Your Foundation For Summer

One sure way of preventing foundation damage during summer is by keeping the moisture level around your foundation constant. Since certain types of soils such as clay soils tend to absorb water and expand and then shrinks when the water evaporates, this tends to cause damage to the foundation. So the best way of having a good condition foundation for summer is by watering it from time to time to keep the soil from drying out because of the summer heat or drought.

Related : How To Spot Foundation Damage Caused By Drought

Vegetation Control

Keeping your Plants or trees in control is a good way of preparing your foundation for summer. Tree or plant roots tend to spread out in search of water during the summer so they might penetrate your foundation and cause problems if not controlled.The best way to control this type of damage is by watering both your yard and around your foundation so that the tree roots don’t spread to your foundation. It’s also a good idea to cut down and not plant any trees or plants near your foundation. 

Related : Foundation Damage Caused by Trees

Contact a foundation repair contractor to inspect your foundation for summer. Call California Foundation Works on 323-418-2239 to schedule a free foundation inspection and estimate now.

grade beam footing in los angeles

Slab Foundation or Pier and Beam Foundation ?

Chances are you either have a slab foundation or pier and beam foundation and as a homeowner you should know the difference between the two. It’s important to understand and differentiate the two types of foundations so that you can properly take care of them and to seek the right foundation repair solutions in case of foundation damage. Whether you have a slab foundation or pier and beam foundation, you need to understand the differences between the two.

Slab Foundations

Slab foundations which are also known as slab on grade foundations are basically a reinforced concrete pad poured on the ground at a home site. This type of foundation was introduced in the 1970s and most houses built after the 1970’s are built on slab foundation. These types of foundations are relatively easy to install and you don’t have to worry about any rodents or insects in your foundations. You also don’t get to experience any water problems under your house. On the downside, repairing pipes and wiring in the slab can be such a hustle and the slab can shrink with changing weather which might cause it to sink or even crack.

Related: Foundation Cracks : To Worry or Not To Worry, That is The Question

Pier and Beam Foundations

Pier and Beam Foundations are foundations that are built on concrete piers or wood posts and incorporate a crawl space. Pier and Beam foundations were very popular before the 1960s so most houses built before the 60s have pier and beam foundations. These types of foundations are much easier to relevel if any movements occur and it’s easier to add wiring or plumbing under the house. Piers and beams are also less susceptible to damage caused by ground shifting. These foundations are prone to experiencing water issues in the crawlspace, bugs and rodents and wood rot is a big problem is the wood is not properly treated.

Related: When Do You Need A Post and Pier Repair or Reinforcement

Contact a foundation contractor to make sure your slab foundation or pier and beam foundation is in excellent condition. Call California Foundation Works on 323-418-2239 to schedule a free foundation inspection and estimate.

Foundation Damage Repair Los Angeles

Foundation Damage Caused By The Storms in Los Angeles

Los Angeles residents have been on their toes as storms have been sweeping through Los Angeles in the past weeks. However the primary concerns for most of the residents are either blocked roads or flooded houses instead of the very costly foundation damage that these storms can cause. Foundation damage caused by the storms in Los Angeles might not be evident right away but it’s advisable to prevent or stop any foundation damage that storms might cause. Foundation damage caused by storms usually happens in two ways.Foundation Damage Repair Los Angeles

Expansive Soils

The most common type of foundation damage by storms is caused by water over-saturation of the soils surrounding the foundation. The expansive soils increase in volume as they come into contact with more water so they exert pressure on the foundation and create cracks which in turn allow water seepage into the foundation. Expansive soils are also known as clay soils and are usually found in coastal areas, that’s why most of Los Angeles is covered in clay soils.

Related: How Expansive Soils Can Affect Your Hillside Home

Settling or Sinking Foundations

Contrary to popular belief, storms can also cause foundation settling and sinking. Foundation settling or sinking is when the soil under the foundation compacts and ends up forming spaces below the foundation which cause it to sink. If the storms flood and cause the soil under the foundation to swell, that will raise the foundation a little and then cause foundation settling when it dries up.

Related: What Effect Do the Storms Have on Your Los Angeles Home ?

Contact a foundation contractor If you are a homeowner and are worried about the damage that the storms in los angeles might have caused to your foundation. Call California Foundation Works on 323-418-2239 to schedule a free foundation inspection and estimate.



How To Deal With a Sinking House


A sinking house is initially a puzzle to homeowners as they don’t know what’s happening to their property when signs of a sinking house begin to manifest.  

Even though a sinking house can mean a lot of things, its very important to always call a professional whenever you notice any of these signs. A sinking house can be attributed to numerous factors and there are different solutions to each.

Signs of a Sinking House


Cracks will form in certain places of the house whenever the foundation starts to sink. Cracks will form near doors or windows when a house is sinking and also on interior and exterior walls. Stair-stepping cracks are usually the first sign of a sinking foundation and need immediate attention.

Not in all cases cracks are an indication of a sinking home, in some cases earth movements or small earthquakes can cause minor cracks around the house.

Related: When Do Cracks Mean Structural Damage ?

Sloping floors

Even though sloping floors are not easy to notice, they are a sure way of diagnosing a sinking house. They are not easy to notice because of how gradually slow they tend to slope, but a few techniques can be used to inspect such as placing a ball on the floor to see how fast it rolls to one side.

Sticking Doors & Windows

When a house is sinking, it’s structure changes and therefore doors and windows begin to stick and bind. Usually the doors and windows will start with squeaky sounds as they are opened or closed and then lead to sticking and binding.

Related: How to Asses When Your Home Needs a Foundation Repair

Causes of a Sinking House

Drying of Soil

After experiencing long periods of drought, clay soil tends to dry out and shrink because of its expansive nature. Empty spaces are formed as a result of the shrinking soil and the house settles because of those spaces. Its advisable to maintain the same moisture content by routinely watering the soil near your foundation to prevent it from shrinking.

Wetting of Soil

Clay soils have a tendency of retaining water, so the soil easily gets soft and weak therefore enabling the house to sink. Having a good drainage system will prevent water from pooling near your house and this problem will be avoided.

Related: Slab Foundation or Pier and Beam Foundation ?

Poor Construction Site Preparation

Poor site preparation is a big problem which later leads to a sinking house because poorly compacted soils will not be able to hold the weight the house over a long period of time. It’s advisable to contact a professional when you suspect that your house was built on a poorly prepared site.

Contact a foundation contractor If you think that you have a sinking house. We have Call California Foundation Works on 323-418-2239 to schedule a free foundation inspection and estimate.



Common Misconceptions About Foundations

Because of how important a foundation is, a lot of people will tend to believe in certain negative misconceptions about foundations that are simply not true. The following are some of the most common misleading misconceptions about foundations:   

Foundation Repairs Affect the Sale

There’s a false belief amongst homeowners that a house with prior foundation repairs will not fare well on the market when you decide to resell it. This is a false misconception about foundations because in actuality if you have a foundation repair by a reputable contractor, that in itself is beneficial and might help to sell the house faster. However for the foundation work to be beneficial towards you selling your house, you have to use a reputable and licensed contractor and structural engineer.

Related: Selling a Home with Tree Roots Vegetation and Foundation Problems 

Foundations Repairs are Costly

Even though foundation repairs have a reputation of being costly, that is not always the case and the total cost is usually dependent on the scope of work. Even though some repairs might be deemed costly, they prevent even more costly repairs that might arise in the future because of a lack of those repairs, so in the long run you are saving yourself some money. The cost of foundation repair is mostly dependent on factors such as method used to repair the foundation, type of foundation, location of the damage and degree of damage.

 Related : Foundation Repair & Insurance

Avoiding Foundation Damage

It’s advisable for homeowners to do whatever they can to avoid foundation damage but it’s impossible to prevent it. Homeowners are told to keep plumbing joints from leaking, keep bushes or trees from growing near the foundation and to also have a proper drainage system but that alone won’t prevent foundation damage because at times expansive soils or poor construction materials are what causes foundation damage. Having regular foundation inspections is the best way of keeping your foundation in excellent condition because your can detect early damage.

Related: We Help Solving Foundation Problems

It’s important to be correctly informed as a homeowner on how to take care of your foundation. It’s advisable to call a foundation repair expert if your house hasn’t had a foundation inspection in a long time or you suspect any foundation damage. Call California Foundation Works on 323-418-2239 to schedule a free foundation inspection and estimate.

foundation damage

When should you get a foundation repair ?

Don’t wait for a huge crack in your foundation before you can be sure that your house needs a foundation repair, because not all foundation issues are easy to spot. However there are certain signs that should prompt a homeowner to get a foundation repair or inspection.Foundation Repair

Neighboring Foundation Problems

It’s recommended that you get a foundation inspection if one of your neighbors is experiencing or has experienced foundation damage in the past. There are certain causes of foundation damage that not only tend to affect a particular house but will affect the whole area such as expansive soils or inferior construction practices. Most foundations built on expansive will at some point experience foundation problems because of the change in moisture content which tend to negatively affect the foundation.

Related: How to Determine if Your House Needs  a Foundation Repair 

Visible Damage

One of the surest ways of knowing when you need foundation repair is when you see the actual physical signs of foundation damage. There are certain signs that signal foundation damage that a homeowner should be aware of such as Unlevel floors, sticking doors and windows, cracks on the interior and exterior of walls and also cracks in the foundation.

When buying or Selling a Home

Having a foundation inspection and possibly foundation repair should be on each and every home buyer’s and seller’s to do list before anything else. As a homebuyer, you don’t want to unknowingly buy a house that has foundation problems because it can greatly devalue the house. Similarly, home sellers should also have a foundation inspection to prevent any complications in the future.

Related : Be Careful of Foundation Problems When Getting Your Home Ready for the Market

Drainage Problems

The number one cause of foundation damage is water, so many of the drainage related problems can cause foundation damage. Drainage problems such as ponding water near the foundation, leaking roof or gutters and leakages in the basement will definitely cause foundation problems over time if not promptly  addressed.

Related: Latest Southern California Rains Might Jeopardize Your Home’s Foundation!

The foundation is the most important part of a house because of the massive devaluation a damaged foundation can cause to a property. It’s advisable to call a foundation repair expert if any of the aforementioned signs apply to you. Call California Foundation Works on 323-418-2239 to schedule a free foundation inspection and estimate.

drainage problems

Wet Weather Is A Big Problem For Los Angeles Homes

Wet weather is a big problem for Los Angeles homes because it tends to affect the properties very negatively. drainage problems

Wet weather in Los Angeles tends to cause water pooling, runoff, flooding, erosion or foundation damage. The following are ways in which Los Angeles homes are vulnerable to problems that come with the wet weather:


Most houses in Los angeles are built on the type of soils called expansive soils.Expansive soils are soils that significantly expand or shrink depending on the water content. This expansion and shrinkage of the soils can cause a lot of problems for homeowners because if a home is built on expansive soils, it’s foundation might easily get damaged by the frequent change in moisture in the soils surrounding it.

Related : Your House May Have Been Built on Expansive Soils, and You Should Be Worried


Los Angeles Homeowners with houses that are built on hillsides are very familiar with the problems that the wet seasons can bring. A home that is built on a hill without any preventive measures will experience a lot of problems such water runoff, flooding, erosion. To prevent these problems, a professional has to inspect the hillside property and then recommend some solutions such as a retaining wall or drainage system to prevent any of the aforementioned problems.

Related: Is Your Hillside Home Retrofitted ?


Flooding is the collection or the overflow of water into an area. Floods can occur anytime and the presence of canyons, ravines and basins make it easy for mudslides to occur. A number of  houses in Los Angeles are very susceptible to flooding simply because they lack the proper drainage systems to adequately drain the rainwater. The use of french drains, rain gutters and sump pumps will prevent many of the problems associated with flooding.

Related : It’s Rain Season Again!

Hire a professional to prevent any foundation damage, protect you hillside home against damages or prevent flooding due to improper drainage. Contact California Foundation Works on 323-418-2239 to get a free inspection and estimate.

waterproofing foundation walls in los angeles

Does Foundation Waterproofing Help ?

It’s estimated that US households exceed over 1 trillion gallons of water in annual leakages and that the cost to repair the damages caused by these leakages can go as high as $27,000 for each homeowner.waterproofing foundation walls in los angeles

The first thing that comes to mind when you think of foundation waterproofing is the cost and whether it’s effective. Foundation waterproofing will help you prevent any water related problems such as mold, cracks, pest infestations and bad odors.


Prevents Flooding

Basement and crawlspace flooding is the overflowing of water into the basement or crawlspace through leaky plumbing or foundation walls and floors. Basement and crawlspace flooding is a potential problem for all homeowners regardless of their location or building type. Foundation waterproofing will prevent the seepage of water through your foundation in cases of heavy rain or when you happen to have a bad drainage system.

Related: Hiring A Foundation Waterproofing Contractor 

Good For Your Health

A non waterproofed foundation will allow water and moisture to enter your foundation or basement, therefore causing mold and encouraging insects to live in your basement or crawlspace. Mold and certain types of insects can be very harmful to your health. A waterproofed foundation will prevent moisture in your basement or crawlspace, hence mold or insects won’t exist.

Protects Your Investment

Having a waterproofed foundation is a perfect way of continually maintaining and improving the value of your property. A weakened or damaged foundation will greatly impact the value of your house. Foundation waterproofing will prevent any costly foundation damage which may be caused by water seepage into the foundation.

Related : Are You Planning To Buy A House ? 5 Things You Need To Know About Foundations.


You should hire a foundation waterproofing  professional if you want to prevent any damage to your property or foundation. Contact California Foundation Works on 323-418-2239 to schedule a free inspection and estimate.

Your Winter Preparedness Checklist for Your House Should Look Like This

Winters in the Los Angeles area can range from moderate to property damaging storms.

Harsh winter conditions can cause flooding, wind damage and expanding soils which are all bad for your house, but you can still prevent your house from winter damage. Here’s the winter preparedness checklist to help you prepare your house for winter:

Foundation and Wall Cracks

Foundation cracks and wall cracks are signs of serious foundation damage. Since water is usually the main cause of foundation damage, it is necessary to solve or repair any foundation damage before winter which could be worsened by the rainwater. You need to make sure that your foundation is in very good condition before the start of winter.

Clogged Gutters and Leaky Roof

A leaky roof or clogged gutters could spell big trouble during winter. Clogged gutters will cause water to overflow and hence either seep through the foundation or cause flooding in your yard. A leaky roof is usually very bad because if the leak is in a hidden area,it won’t be discovered until the damage to the house is bad. Professionals can better assess how to identify leaks and repair them.

Related: Prepare Your Gutters for Winter

Bad drainage system

A bad drainage system will cause soil erosion or flooding on your yard. No matter how heavy the rain is, a good drainage system should be able to direct the rainwater accordingly in order to prevent any damage to the house or yard. A bad drainage can be fixed by the use of proper systems such as french drains, catch basins, flo-wells, downspouts or the use of proper techniques such as soil grading and retaining walls.

Related: Draining Solution Tips For The Los Angeles Homeowner

Hire an Expert

You need to hire an expert in order to successfully inspect and achieve everything on the winter preparedness checklist. Call California Foundation Works on (323) 418-2239 for a free inspection and estimate.