Foundation Stabilization and Repair/Sinking house


Mr. Hise. We built a house on a slab in 1999. Builder did not compact soil. We noticed settling in back room of house shortly after moving in. Builder told us just normal settling. It got worse over time. We put in twelve cable lock piers all acrossed the back of the house and slab jacked the floor twice. House is still settling. We have contacted several companies to put new piers in. One said 24 needed and came back and changed it to 14. Several others said 12. When they put piers in they found a lot of tree linbs and a hugh amount of what looked like tin roofing. We hired 3 different engineers, The one engineer that oversaw piering said backfill was crap. We are still trying to decide which company to choose. We are in Centerville, Ohio. We have also put in drains all around the house. Developer has said house was probably on share pit. A lot of clay in soil. Don't know has this passed inspection when we were building. Would appreciate your opinion on this matter. Thanks Kathy

      I have seen two pier installations "attempt" to correct settlement problems over a builders pit many years ago. The problem driving or drilling piers through a site like this is you'll never know with 100% certainty that your pier has benched into stable strata. I saw two piers which ended up "benched" into  large tree stumps and a large chunk of junk concrete. Without deep soil borings it's unlikely you'll ever know exactly how good the piering will end up. Another problem could be with construction trash down there the piers could catch a roll of wire and tangle up the pier...and it will torque out. Sometimes the piers can hit debris and be deflected at an angle, ending up far away from the intended bearing location. Wood stumps and branches will rot causing more settlement...later.
      Since you have hired 3 engineers, they are certainly more qualified to voice an opinion than I. I would discount any engineer who also makes a living installing piers if he's on their payroll. You really might not want 3 opinions from pier representatives. Sometimes you have a site that should never have been built on and will never be able to be rectified. Get opinions from reps who do not have a direct, vested interest in a sale. At least one should have probably said no.
      If this were a "normal" slab piering project with settlement as described all bearing walls need stabilization and also the interior floor would required slab piers.

Best Regards,

Foundation Stabilization and Repair

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Jim Hise


I am the owner of EXPERT BASEMENT REPAIR in Cleveland, Ohio. see WWW.EXPERTBASEMENTREPAIR.COM for more helpful links, pricing and information on repair work and products I can identify the reasons for movement or cracking in home foundations, basements and walls. I am familiar with most waterproofing and water control methods. I am familiar with and have installed Ramjack, Dixie MacLean, and A.B.Chance™ helical and push pier systems, including tiebacks, steel beams, and rod and grout repair and also several carbon fiber stabilization products. I am currently certified for Fortress carbon fiber installation and have performed carbon repair in the greater Cleveland and Northeast Ohio region for 14 years. Please remember to tell me what city you live in to help me answer your question up front!


20 years of structural foundation fault identification and most repair and stabilization methods. I introduced Fortress carbon fiber to this region of Ohio 14 years ago. I am always on site and involved in order to monitor each project I am responsible for. I have seen high pressure sales tactics used on homeowners over the years to buy on the very first contact. The most dominant ads on this site are good examples. My experience is that you need to be very careful when having these companies in your home.

Waterproofing magazine issue #2

Associates degree...and the school of hard knocks! Formerly certified by A.B.Chance company from 1993-2005. I have a construction and home improvement background for almost 35 years. I bought, restored and resold distressed property. I worked with 4 different foundation repair companies and am familiar with most methods. I also worked for a waterproofing company for several years. I teach ongoing education classes for home inspectors, adult education and Realtors in foundation fault identification and repair.

Past/Present Clients
Hundreds of residential, commercial and some industrial.

©2016 All rights reserved.