Montgomery

The Montgomery homeowner’s complete guide to foundation repair

foundation repairIf you suspect foundation problems under your home, it can raise a lot of questions – not to mention anxiety. To protect your home and budget, you want simple, trustworthy answers, and you’ll find them here. This residential foundation repair guide will tell you exactly what you need to know to protect your home’s foundation.

If you live in Alabama’s Montgomery county area and think you might have foundation problems, there’s no need to panic, but you do need to take action. With the right professional help, most repairs can be more affordable than you might think. The most reputable foundation repair companies will do an initial evaluation free of charge and help you understand what repair will work are best for your situation.

Read on to find out what kinds of foundation problems are most common in the Montgomery, Alabama area. We’ll cover the top warning signs you’ll want to watch for, what repair options are available and what they cost, and how to get reliable professional help and advice.

Average foundation repair costs – what people are paying across the country

Most of our worst fears about foundation trouble have to do with money. That’s why we’re putting some general pricing information up front. What you see here are very general national averages – don’t assume the worst until you get a professional repair estimate.

The actual cost of a foundation repair job depends on a few different factors:

  • The location and age of your home
  • Your property’s elevation, terrain, and surrounding soil types
  • The construction methods and materials used for your foundation (slab, footing, etc.)
  • The type and extent of structural damage you’re experiencing
  • The soil preparation steps followed by the contractor who built your home
  • Cost and availability of materials, local labor rates, and regional permitting requirements

Websites like Home Advisor and Angie’s List, and trade groups like the Concrete Network ran nationwide studies to see what homeowners across the country spend on foundation repairs. Costs can run from a few hundred dollars for small cracks to $10,000 and up for “whole house” hydraulic pier restoration.

It’s important to remember that these numbers are on the extreme ends and don’t represent what most Montgomery area homeowners actually experience.

A recent survey of over 2,600 HomeAdvisor customers places the nationwide average for foundation repair bills at around $4,173. According to the survey, a typical homeowner will pay somewhere between $1,842 and $6,566 to get a foundation back in “like new” condition.

Residential foundation problems in Alabama: most common causes

house waterproofingSoil conditions play a big part in the kinds of foundation problems you’re likely to experience. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Montgomery County sits on a wide coastal plain with four major soil types, mostly of the loam and clay variety.

With a mix of sand and clay, loam is generally good for foundation support. Clay expands and shrinks a lot with alternating wet and dry periods, which can put a lot of stress on foundations. This pressure and shifting can gradually weaken parts of your foundation, especially with localized issues like:

  • Hurricanes and flooding (three of the last six major storms impacted Alabama)
  • Excessive rain or wind
  • Poor erosion management

Other (sometimes hidden) environmental factors that can cause your foundation to deteriorate:

  • Tree roots that push on the foundation or pull moisture away from supporting soil
  • Undetected plumbing or sewer leaks
  • Improperly installed or damaged rain gutters
  • Frost heave from extreme freezing and thawing
  • Normal seepage from in-ground gunite pools
  • Improper soil preparation below your slab
  • Poor drainage around your home that causes water to collect at the foundation
  • Construction activity on adjacent lots that causes your soil to shift

If all the soil under your foundation contracts and expands evenly, your house will probably settle normally. If only part of the house settles, that’s when trouble signs start to show up.

The most common signs of foundation damage in Montgomery, AL

Crawl Space Stabilization | SouthernDry of AlabamaIn most cases, water tends to be the main cause of shifting soil under your house. Problems happen when this settling becomes extreme or happens unevenly. Hairline cracks, especially vertical ones, are normal, but large cracks that appear suddenly need attention. Sixty percent of homes built on expansive clay soils can end up with foundation trouble, and here are the most common warning signs.

Outside or under your home:

  1. Displaced moldings or trim materials
  2. Cracked broken or foundation elements
  3. Rafters that separate from ridge boards
  4. Cracked bricks – especially jagged, expanding cracks bigger than one-eighth of an inch
  5. Separation around garage doors, walls or windows
  6. Separating, deflecting, deforming, twisting, or tilting structural elements

Inside your home:

  1. Bulging, uneven, cracking, or sloping floors
  2. Doors or windows that start to stick, or don’t line up anymore
  3. New or expanding cracks in sheetrock
  4. Walls that separate from floors or ceilings
  5. Damp building materials, rotten wood, mold, water stains, or musty odors
  6. Condensation or moisture that collects  in basements or crawl spaces

Most foundation problems can be taken care of affordably and quickly but you should contact an expert as soon as possible you see any of these classic trouble signs.

What to do if you see signs of foundation trouble in your home

If your home sits on the coastal plain soil types around Montgomery, Alabama, here’s what you should know about repair options. It’s all about knowing how to ask the right questions.

  1. Spot Piers – For more lightly loaded areas, these smaller, shallow piers are usually dug out by hand in strategic spots and then filled with concrete and backfilled. This solution is for more minor corrections under lighter structures or extensions to your home like porches or carports.
  2. Slab Repair – In some cases, unsupported concrete can be stabilized by injecting high-density polyurethane foam below the slab. The advantage of this method is that it’s relatively fast and low cost. This is similar to the lifting process you may have seen used on cracked exterior concrete like driveways. The downside is, the material breaks down over time.
  3. Concrete Piers – Before steel piers, poured-in-place concrete piers were preferred for new construction, and are also useful for repairs. It’s a good solution, but requires drilling rigs that may be difficult and costly to move around your property, and also tears up your yard with a lot of excavation.
  4. Steel Piers – A technical improvement over concrete piers is the engineered steel pier. They’re effective for stabilizing a variety of foundation issues, but can be installed much more quickly than poured concrete and are a often less disruptive to your landscape.
  5. Helical Piers – Experts say that helical piers are among the most versatile for different foundation repair situations. As with their steel and poured concrete counterparts, they’re designed to connect your foundation to deeper, more consistently supportive layers of soil. They’re easier to install and customize and usually offer the best possible structural support.

The more you educate yourself about the pros and cons of these repair options, the more you improve your chances are of finding an affordable solution. A trustworthy foundation repair professional will help you find a quality solution that will fit your budget.

Buying or selling a home in Montgomery with foundation problems

For sellers, a foundation problem doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re stuck with the house, or that you’ll be forced to take a painfully low offer. You’ll want to get expert advice from a qualified technician as quickly as possible so you know exactly what you’re dealing with. The best foundation contractors offer transferable warranties that will give your buyer peace of mind.

As a buyer, it’s important to get an independent home inspection before you sign. A qualified structural engineer can tell you whether the house is structurally sound, but will likely not be able to help you with a cost estimate for repair. For that you’ll need to talk with a reputable foundation contractor before you make an offer to purchase the home. Many issues can be fixed easily and affordably.

How to find the right foundation repair help in Montgomery

In Montgomery, Alabama, foundation repair companies come in all sizes. Go with the smallest, and you might get a cheap bid up front, only to find that they disappear after (or during) the job.

Go with the cheapest, and you could get stuck with quality problems that cost you more than you saved. Go with the biggest, and you risk becoming just another sale.

Look for an experienced company that’s small enough to make you a priority, but large enough to back their work with solid warranty protection and customer service . Choose a contractor that offers a competitive price based on real value, but not a lowball bid that cuts corners on workmanship, quality, or materials. Beware of companies that use high-pressure sales tactics to rush you into the sale.

Personalized attention, quality, and value from a customer-first foundation expert

SouthernDry is family owned – small enough to give you the personalized service you deserve – and big enough to deliver the experience and reliability you need. We’re a foundation repair company first and foremast, and excel at, installing helical piers, crawl space repair, crawl space encapsulation, indoor air quality, drainage and basement waterproofing.

The primary objective is to ensure decades of worry-free living in your home. We do that by offering you transparent, competitive pricing, and by staffing your job with people who care personally about delivering great work and great value.

With SouthernDry, you get one-on-one attention from a local expert from the first estimate to final repair. Alabama is our home. We’ll answer your questions, make the recommendations that are in YOUR best interests, and stick with you until the job is done to your satisfaction. In the unlikely event that something’s out of order, we’ll come back out promptly and make it right. Homeowners choose us over the big box outfits because we’re relentless about quality.

Let us show you what sets SouthernDry apart. For peace of mind about your foundation, call us at (205) 719-2544 for a free home (or business) evaluation.

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Garland Culbreath
Garland Culbreath
2020-10-24T13:55:38+0000
Jonathan was great with our quote and answering all our questions. They were amazing working with us to get our project... underway. The crew was fantastic... very professional, super kind, and explained our system to us in great detail before wrapping up the job. Our hardwoods had started cupping from humidity. Since Southern Dry completed our project, a little over a month ago...our floors have settled back as they should and our crawl space looks pristine. We would highly recommend Southern Dry. Great service, great work, great warranties.read more
Danny Hillis
Danny Hillis
2020-03-17T05:45:04+0000
I have worked for several foundation company's in north Al afs included and I must say I like the way John does... business he goes to no limit to make sure his customers get the working system they were promised. southern dry will always be my 1st and only choice for repairs.read more
Ramsay Young
Ramsay Young
2019-12-06T18:50:55+0000
Very professional group from the estimate to the installation. Kept me informed all the time. the installers were great... with no disruption. Very pleasedread more
KarlaJohnson Bullock
KarlaJohnson Bullock
2019-11-28T01:46:16+0000
Very efficient and hard working men. They go out of their way to make sure the customer is satisfied. I highly... recommend this company. KB. Glencoe, Alread more
Meredith Smildsin
Meredith Smildsin
2019-11-26T18:40:07+0000
Fantastic customer service and high quality workmanship! The team at SouthernDry was great from start to finish. Came... out for a free estimate, presented recommendations, assisted with financing, worked around my busy schedule, and got the job done QUICKLY! Work crew was professional and efficient. Highly recommend!!read more
Valerie Dawson Miles
Valerie Dawson Miles
2019-10-07T16:52:07+0000
I highly recommend Southern Dry and their crew. They are very responsive and do a great job. I truly appreciated the... way they kept me informed of when they would be arriving, the expected timeline of the job and when then when job was complete. Each person I interacted with throughout the process from beginning to end was professional and courteous. 5 Stars.read more
Daniel Hutcheson
Daniel Hutcheson
2019-09-29T21:30:42+0000
SouthernDry came by the house and answered all of the questions and concerns that we had about our house. They... presented multiple solutions and helped us choose the best one for us. The crew that installed all components were very professional and courteous. Kudos to SouthernDry also saved us a lot of money.read more
Brad Wright
Brad Wright
2019-09-10T17:01:30+0000
Everyone was great. The owner is super nice and worked with me on a lot of things. The crew was great. Definitely... treated like family. A++ all around.read more
Caleb Danley
Caleb Danley
2019-09-09T21:47:06+0000
Excellent service, excellent product, excellent people. Very reliable company with great communication. I would... recommend this company to anyone. 10/10read more
Caren Stone
Caren Stone
2019-07-05T19:51:20+0000
I am so pleased with the waterproofing Southern Dry did for my basement and den area. When I asked the team to cover a... large portion of sheeting of the wall that was not covered in their quote, they did it free of charge. upon completing the work, the crew cleaned up the construction debris meticulously. All the crew men were professional and pleasant and answered all the questions I posed during the process. Definitely 5 stars earned.read more
Nelden Smith
Nelden Smith
2019-05-25T13:52:06+0000
Very fast, very good--and they were very willing to work with me to find a solution that met all my needs without going... over my budget! Thanks John, Calvin, and Russ, for your customer service and offering such a nice quality product.read more
Kathy Morris Ryan
Kathy Morris Ryan
2019-04-23T01:21:20+0000
I am very satisfied with the work these guys did with the foundation of my house. It was a great experience from... Calvin's inspection and quote to the guys that did all the work. Great group and I highly recommend them.read more
Kennedy Todd Davis
Kennedy Todd Davis
2019-04-16T20:06:14+0000
Very professional! They got the job done quick and cleaned up and didn’t leave anything behind!
Bob Curry
Bob Curry
2019-04-09T21:29:13+0000
Very professional company and the work performed was first rate. I would highly recommend this company and I highly... recommend having your crawl space properly sealed and a dehumidifier installed. I had check pricing from several different companies in my area that do this kind of work and they were the most reasonable. I live in Alexandria AL which is in the deep South with very humid weather. I had some serious moisture damage this fall with mold forming from a clogged HVAC unit under my house. Water was puddling onto the plastic under my house, I was not aware of this and it had been going on for several months. By the time I discovered it the damage had already been done to my house flooring. Thank goodness the homeowners insurance covered the floor repair to the tune of $30,000. I wanted to make sure this would never be an issue again even if I had some kind of water leak. They completely clean out all the old plastic, vacuumed the under side of the flooring and removed any construction trash from under the house and then properly sealed my crawl space. My dehumidifier has an app that I can check anywhere in the world and see my temp and humidity levels under my house. There is also a water sensor installed so if water is detected, it will send me a message.I could not be happier and it was worth every penny!read more
Eddie Wendy Akers
Eddie Wendy Akers
2019-03-19T14:56:33+0000
Great company. Good communications. Gteat job. No problems
Dona Warnick Jones
Dona Warnick Jones
2019-03-15T15:58:28+0000
Southern Dry was very easy to work with during the encapsulation process. Luckily I did not have foundation damage but... my house needed french drains, sump pump, dehumidifier and the crawl space encapsulated. The job was completed as promised and I am very satisfied with the end product. The entire crew was professional and efficient. I recommend Southern Dry.read more
Rita Murphy Lueth
Rita Murphy Lueth
2019-03-15T01:52:12+0000
Southern Dry was responsive an professional from start to finish, from the moment I phoned them, through the... installation process, and through follow-up phone calls. The workers showed up on time on the scheduled day, completed the work efficiently, cleaned up, and left. I would definitely recommend them.read more
John King
John King
2018-08-15T11:29:36+0000
Very courteous and professional. They were 50% less than a estimate I received from a competitor. Great communication... and speedy installation!!!!!read more
Jay Watts
Jay Watts
2018-08-13T12:56:16+0000
Very professional.
Amy Lambrecht
Amy Lambrecht
2018-08-08T17:13:46+0000
From start to finish, Southern Dry treated me as a customer with courteous responsiveness. They answered all my... questions, made practical recommendations (without the up-sale in mind) gave references that had glowing praises all around. The workers were neat and efficient with their time. It made the whole process smooth and pain free.read more
David Johnson
David Johnson
2018-06-16T13:16:45+0000
Everyone I spoke with from Southern Dry was top notch. I prefer doing business with people who are average, regular,... down-home folks trying to make an honest living. If you're like me and want someone straight up to give you a reasonable quote on your repairs, call Calvin. They were fast, gave me a date to begin, started that morning early and did a fantastic job. Juan was the foreman on my project and if I had a question he had an answer for me. He was extremely nice and knowledgeable about what was being fixed and done. I was never left in the dark about anything. I had some pretty major foundation issues on one side of my newest house. The back sill plate was rotten and the floor was sagging from no support in the rear. Juan and the crew installed 6 piers, replaced the sill plate, cleaned the crawlspace completely, installed 5 jack supports, encapsulated it all and installed a dehumidifier and battery back up, and made me a 2 new doors in 3 days! So Calvin, Russ, John, Juan, and the other crew, thank you for a job well done. The house looks a million times better! I really appreciate it!read more
Dustin Hughes
Dustin Hughes
2018-05-30T17:49:10+0000
Very fast, very good--and they were very willing to work with me to find a solution that met all my needs without going... over my budget! Thanks John, Calvin, and Russ, for your customer service and offering such a nice quality product.read more
Rob Mackintosh
Rob Mackintosh
2018-05-24T21:44:39+0000
Entire team was very professional. They were excellent at communicating what needed to be done. They were always on... time and let you know every step of the process. There was no high pressure sales techniques. They give you the quote and you can start on your timeline. Just call them when you are ready. I got quotes from the more widely advertised foundation repair companies as well and SouthernDry gives you the same product and same warranty at a great price. They worked hard to work around the landscaping. They also did an excellent job of cleaning up. I highly recommend them.read more
Stephanie Stephens
Stephanie Stephens
2018-05-13T14:54:49+0000
Great customer service. Guys that came out to complete the job worked fast and communicated each step of the process.
Nadder Fawaz
Nadder Fawaz
2018-03-21T02:23:50+0000
Forgive me for the long review, but great service is hard to find these days. When it’s found, it should be... celebrated. John and his crew were incredible from day 1. Water was pooling in our crawl space on a new construction and we were eager to have it resolved quickly to avoid the formation of mold and spores and potential health hazards for our family. John came out immediately and assessed the situation, explained all the issues, and developed a plan. We had a guaranteed price in our hands within minutes; fair middle road pricing for extremely high quality work. Many estimates came in 2x higher, just fyi. There was plenty of trash and construction debris left under the house from the contractors; SouthernDry crew removed every piece of debris and leveled out the ground before installing the drains and pumps and encapsulation material. John and his crew returned a week later because they wanted to make a modification to the system that they believed would be more efficient. I would have never known the difference, but because they care about the quality of their work, they made the modifications to ensure the efficiency and longevity of the system. After a month, I finally made it back to the far corner under the house and noticed water pooling under the encapsulation in one area. One phone call and 24 hours later, the crew showed up, assessed the situation and implemented the necessary modifications, installing additional drainage at no additional cost to me. Using SouthernDry was the easiest and best decision we made!read more
Sable Mayfield
Sable Mayfield
2018-03-15T18:52:46+0000
Denise Patty Etter-Collins
Denise Patty Etter-Collins
2018-02-20T23:02:51+0000
They were prompt, thorough and curteous. Prices were the best. I would highly recommend a conversation and inspection,... at the very least.read more
Jerry Wayne Rich
Jerry Wayne Rich
2018-01-22T20:42:59+0000
The initial estimate was entirely too high. they wanted more money than afs. then, after review the owner came out... himself and gave me a second estimate that was reasonable. im looking forward to doing business with this company.read more
Clyde Mills
Clyde Mills
2017-07-06T00:18:24+0000
I have had the total encapsulation for one week now, I am proud to say my relative humidity in my house now stays... around 38-40%, I have actually had to raise my thermostat due to it feeling so much cooler and comfortable in my house with the lower humidity levels. I called around and compared prices and Southern Dry was by far the least expensive and the personable and easy to work with. And my crawlspace is dry as a bone. If you have moisture problems or high humidity in your home I would definitely recommend giving John Kabel with Southern Dry a callread more
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SouthernDry
213 MDS Dr. Suite 100
Pell City, Alabama
35125

205-719-2544

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Saturday: 9am - 1pm
Sunday: CLOSED