is foundation repair permanent?

Is Foundation Repair Permanent or Will My Home Settle Again?

You probably need foundation repairs but now you’re wondering how permanent the fix will be if you’re gonna throw down a chunk of change on this. Or perhaps you just got foundation repairs completed and now you’re thinking, “Will I need foundation repairs again? Will my home settle more or again in the future? Good questions.

Anchor Foundation Repair Bryan College Station

After 35+ years in the business, Anchor Foundation Repair knows that homeowners worry when they have foundation problems. You don’t know what to do or who to trust. You are concerned about your home’s safety and stability, and you’re also worried about whether you’re going to have to do this again or not! 

We hear you and can answer these questions for you with honesty. 

This article will discuss the permanence of foundation repair work and whether homes can settle again requiring more foundation work. We will also offer guidance on what to do moving forward in your foundation repair journey.

Please note: We are talking here about slab-on-grade foundation repairs by some sort of underpinning method like pressed piles, drilled piers, helical piers, or a hybrid pier. So our answers here only apply to this foundation type and those slab repair types.

How Permanent is Foundation Repair?

Sometimes the slab foundation repairs you get will be all that you need for all-time, and sometimes not. So we cannot say that foundation repair is permanent for every home in every situation. Here’s why:

tell me if foundation repair is permanent
How long is this going to last, anyway??

The vast majority of home foundation problems are caused by the movement of expansive clay soils acting upon a shallow residential foundation. Expansive soils react to moisture conditions and seasonal rainfall. So you’re dealing with not one, but two strong forces of nature that are impossible for humans to control.

By design, shallow foundations do not penetrate very far into the ground. On top of that, individual homes are built more for affordability than for permanent stability. So you’ve already got 4 disadvantages working against your home:

  1. An expansive soil system that cannot be controlled,
  2. Rainfall fluctuations that cannot be controlled,
  3. Shallow foundations that don’t reach non-reactive soil levels, and
  4. Structures that simply aren’t built to last for eternity.

Foundation repairs of any kind only address one of the factors above and that’s number 3. Foundation repair will lower the foundational base of your home to deeper, less reactive soil levels which should offer protection and some permanence on that front. Unfortunately, all the other situations cannot be rectified or prevented by any sort of foundation repairs.

So no, we cannot say that foundation repair is permanent because the situation around your home is ever-changing. Foundation repairs correct a situation that has already happened to a particular area of your home, but can’t permanently prevent more things from happening to the same or other areas in the future . . . 

typical slab foundation home

Foundation repair is, however, your absolute *best chance* at minimizing the opportunity for further foundation settlement. Repairs will lower the base of the foundation to less reactive soil levels (as well as correct the initial problem with lift and stability). But you can’t rule out the chances entirely of other issues developing. 

No one can say with 100% certainty that foundation repair is permanent. If anyone does say that, then they are, well . . . either straight-up lying to you or at the very least, stretching the truth.

Will My Home Foundation Settle More or Again?

The short answer to the question, “Will my home foundation settle more or again?” is yes it’s certainly possible. But I think we need to be more specific with this answer and it depends on what areas of the home we are talking about and other factors.

Areas of the Home Where Foundation Repairs Were NOT Done

foundation repair plan
Piers were only put around the garage in this repair, so only the garage area is covered by warranty.

Most situations do not call for foundation repairs underneath the entire home. If part of your home had foundation repairs, and another part did not, then there’s certainly a chance that other parts of the home could settle. 

After all, your home is all on the same dirt and experiencing the same conditions. If the soil affected one part of your home, it can later affect another part of the home, unfortunately. There are also other situations, like under-slab plumbing leaks, that could contribute to additional foundation settlement in another area of the home.

Any area of the home that did not have foundation repairs before, is not covered by your foundation repair warranty and could settle as well. Warranty work only covers the actual previously installed foundation supports, not the entire home. This is a common misconception that homeowners have about warranty coverage. 

Warranty coverage is for the installed underpinning (piers or pilings) only. The coverage does not extend to the entire foundation unless the entire foundation was supported with foundation repairs – and this is rarely the case.

I’m sorry, I guess that’s not the best news in the world. But we’re tryin’ to tell the truth here . . .

Areas of the Home Where Foundation Repairs Were Done

*Sorry More Bad News* There is always a chance for a home to settle more in the same area where repairs were already done as well. But the *good news* is that any areas where work was already done and piers or pilings were already placed should be covered by a warranty of some sort.

know your warranty terms
Know your warranty terms . . .

Warranty work happens. Usually, if a home settles again in a previously repaired area, your warranty should cover it in some way. Most foundation repair warranties have a period of time where adjustments are done for free, and after that, there is a cost. 

Warranty policies are not typically a *free forever* situation. Every foundation repair company will be different in how they structure their warranty, even if it’s a lifetime warranty. 

If you are careful to select a foundation repair company that regularly *makes good* on their warranties, then at least the area of your home where repairs were already done should be covered in some way. 

We always recommend researching reviews and complaint histories online when selecting a foundation repair company. Thorough research is the best way to avoid problems when hiring foundation repair contractors.

Also, be sure you fully understand your warranty policy and are not mistaken about what is covered and if there’s anything you should or should not do to ensure that warranty coverage remains in effect. Check out the top homeowner misconceptions about foundation repair warranties to make sure you’ve got a handle on it.

What Are the Chances of Needing More Foundation Repairs?

The number that I can tell you with more confidence is that we have a very small percentage of homes that need warranty work each year. 

For our drilled bell-bottom pier foundation repairs, warranty repairs are needed for about 5% of the homes we have repaired. In other words, there’s a 5% chance that your home could need warranty work at some point. That also means that 95% of homes do not end up needing warranty work which in my opinion a really good success rate.

So your takeaway should be that warranty work for our foundation repairs does not happen that often. It might not happen to your home AT ALL. But there’s around a 5% chance that it might in any given year. This rate of warranty work only applies to our method of repair and our company and still only applies to the piers installed and the area of the home that we repaired.

Look for red flags with warranty policies
Ask a prospective contractor how often they have to do warranty work . . .

If you used another company that uses a different method – ask them what their rate of warranty work is and see what they say . . . If they don’t even know or know how to answer that question without hemming and hawing, that might be a red flag.

More good news for Anchor customers is that our piers are designed to easily allow for future pier adjustments and warranty work. Other foundation repair methods (particularly pressed pilings) do not have a pre-planned way to make easy adjustments.

What About My Lifetime Warranty for Foundation Repairs?

I’ve already mentioned this but I’m sayin’ it again. Most foundation repair warranties have a period of time where adjustments are done for free, and after that, there is a cost (that is hopefully somewhat reduced over new repairs). 

Every company is different and there are no typical standards here. Be sure you understand the ins and outs of the specific warranty for your chosen company. Remember that:

  • Even lifetime warranties will likely cost something at some point, and
  • Only the previously repaired areas are covered by a warranty – not the whole home (unless you got the whole home done which you probably didn’t).

The Anchor Lifetime Warranty

For example, our lifetime transferable warranty at Anchor Foundation Repair for slab-on-grade foundations is as follows for the piers we install:

0 to 5 years – no cost adjustments with some terms and conditions

After 5 years – reduced cost per pier for adjustments and terms and conditions still apply

The “reduced cost per pier” would be cited in the original contract. These prices change over time due to inflation and economic factors. If I were to put down an actual price here, it would change later so I don’t want to confuse matters. But the price per pier is generally going to be lower than any new pier cost.

How Can I Prevent the Need for Foundation Repairs Again?

Now that you understand the potential *permanence levels* for foundation repairs, what can you do to prevent the need for foundation repair again? We’ve got 5 recommendations:

  1. Avoid getting the cheapest foundation repair as you will likely “get what you pay for”,
  2. Understand the methods and carefully select the highest-quality, longest-lasting foundation repair method you can buy from a reputable established company,
  3. Regularly monitor your home foundation throughout the year to remedy unfavorable situations early on that could lead to foundation issues,
  4. Know the signs of foundation settlement and problems to watch for, and
  5. Use foundation problem prevention methods when possible with the understanding that sometimes there is nothing you can do.
foundation problem prevention checklist

I know this is a lot to consider and learn about. But as a responsible homeowner, I’m sure you’re up to the task of learning how to take the best care of your largest investment – your beloved home! Our Learning Center is open 24 hours a day (because it’s online *wink*) to find answers to your most pressing foundation-related questions.

Foundational Knowledge Is Permanent

Let’s see, where do we go from here in your foundation repair journey? Well, it depends on whether you’ve already gotten foundation repairs or are about to. My recommendation is to dive into one of the 5 articles listed in the section above that best matches where you are in your quest. Knowledge is power and no one can take it away from you. So happy reading!

If you’re in the Bryan-College Station or Brazos Valley area and you haven’t gotten foundation repairs yet, there’s *more good news* for you because we can help you with more than just articles.

Get the Best Foundation Repair Experience with Anchor

With Anchor serving your foundation needs with excellence, you’ve got 35+ years of expertise in the Brazos Valley and a 5-star Google rating too. On top of that, our drilled piers are the gold-standard, tried-and-true foundation repair method with a lifetime guarantee. You get a well-planned, well-communicated, well-executed home project because you deserve the best that your hard-earned money can buy.

Ready for the best foundation repair experience possible? Get your quoting process started and call 979.690.2020 during business hours, or use our online contact form 24/7 to avoid any phone tag troubles.