Toll Free:  (855) BE-SAFEE (237-2333)
                          (510) 666-0100

Foundation problems are often caused by a variety of changes that can occur in the soils under your home. These problems were found to have many causes such as older CONCRETE or BRICK FOUNDATIONS that were built about more than 50 years ago in the San Francisco Bay Area. Those older footings normally do not have any steel reinforcements and have very poor cement and sand mixture. These types of foundation are normally crumbling and gravel aggregates are exposed and visible. Many Cracks are visible in the footings and are associated with foundation settlements.

Foundation Repairs and Re-Building

  • Shore the building to remove and re-build sections or the entire foundation
  • Construct new Reinforced Concrete Footing with proper Anchor Bolts and new sill plates.
  • Foundation Underpinning using Reinforced Concrete Piers to stabilize existing footings.

There are many different types of RETAINING WALL, such concrete, concrete blocks, pressure treated woods, Steel Soldier Posts, etc. If you have an old retaining wall that is crumbling or leaning, we can help. We have different methods for re-building, strengthening and underpinning.

We provide Full Engineering Design and Calculations for your RETAINING WALL and Construction of the new wall.

Foundation and Retaining Wall Repair Causes

Cause of foundation and retaining wall failure are many depending on the ground condition beneath the building, Hill Side Effect, Clay and Expansive Soil condition, proximity of Bedrock, drainage problems, Plumbing Leaks, Tree Roots, Evaporation in Soil, Age of Concrete, Quality of Concrete, not sufficient Steel Reinforcement in the Concrete Footings and Existing of Un-Reinforced Brick Footings, Cut and Fill Situations, Poor Ground Preparation, and Poor Soil Conditions.

  • Visible Signs of Foundation Problems
  • Cracks in drywalls or ceiling
  • Sticking Windows and Doors.
  • Cracks in Concrete Floor
  • Sloped and Uneven Floors
  • Cracks in Foundation
  • Gaps around Doors and Windows
  • Chimneys are separating from the house
  • Soil Separation around the Foundation
  • Separation Cracks between the concrete floor and walls
  • Walls rotating outward
  • Slopping Floors
  • Tilting or Leaning Walls
  • Bowing Walls
  • Water Leakage through cracks at the base of walls

Safe Engineering Construction provides various solutions to solve foundation problems and repairs. Whether you have a Brick Foundation under your house or very old Cracked and Crumbling Concrete Footings with no Steel Reinforcements, or a Cracked Retaining Wall, Safe Engineering can assist you to identify the problem and provide you with a Full Service Engineering Design and Construction Proposal for the work. We do excavation to create the right ceiling height for your lower floor, create a new garage for your cars or just add more living spaces under your house.

Clay Soil

Expansive soil can cause major damage to a foundation and can leave you confused about how to fix the problem. Some soils expand when they are wet and can put hydrostatic pressure on foundation walls causing them to crack and bow inwards. Soil expansion can also cause interior floors and walls to heave upwards, causing severe drywall cracking throughout your home. Soils can also be affected by dry weather and will shrink during periods of drought, causing foundations to sink and settle. When a foundation settles, it can cause cracking in the brick, stucco or other outside finish of your home and can also cause doors and windows to stick and make them hard to open and close.

Concrete Piers Underpinning

Concrete Piers are the process of drilling 12 inch or larger diameter piers below a home's structure, from the foundation all the way down to bedrock. These columns are then filled with reinforced concrete. This is done to prevent a home's foundation from sinking, especially homes built on hills or on unstable soil.

A soil engineer's report determines the extent of required piers for a particular site.

Signs of Foundation Deficiencies

The following are some of the symptoms that will prompt Foundation Repair?

  • Cracks in sheetrock
  • Doors and windows that stick
  • Cracks in floor or tile
  • Misaligned doors and windows
  • Trim or molding misaligned
  • Walls leaning in or out
  • Cracks in walls
  • Water leakage through cracks at base of walls
  • Separation from door
  • Wall rotating out
  • Cracks in the brick
  • Gaps around doors and windows
  • Cracks in foundation
  • Cracks in the bricks
  • Fascia board pulling away
  • Chimneys tilting or leaning

Crumbling and Cracked Brick Foundation

Diagonal and horizontal cracks in the mortar joints can be a sign of serious movement. Brick foundations do not have any steel reinforcements and are very poor in resisting lateral forces in earthquake country. We strongly recommend replacing the entire brick foundations with reinforced concrete footings.

Crumbling and Cracked Concrete Foundations

Vertical, Diagonal or Horizontal cracks in Concrete footings may be a sign of settlement when combined with other signs such as sticking windows and/or doors.

Cracks in Brick Facing Veneers

Cracks can indicate that your foundation has moved. If you notice these cracks, a professional should be contacted. Avoid cosmetic repairs prior to determining the cause of repairs.

Chimney Cracking and leaning outward

Cracking and leaning are signs of settlements and separations for chimneys.

Drywall Cracks

A shifting foundation will cause other damage in the house. Drywall cracks around doorframes and windows are common signs.

Sinking Foundation

Separation of the foundation from your home is a sign of serious settlement problems. This problem must be corrected immediately, or further damage and even more costly repairs could result.

Uneven Doors / Windows and Floors

Gaps between doors and framing and un-even floors are signs of foundation movements and settlements in homes.

Cripple Wall

Cripple walls are built to support the weight of the house and provide a crawl space. These cripple walls are normally built from wood and provide the main layer that supports the weight of the house. Normally when we re-build the foundation we also need to re-build the cripple walls along with plywood shear for upgrading for earthquake resistance.

If your cripple walls are not braced properly to the foundation horizontally and vertically they can collapse during an earthquake.  Don’t wait until your cripple walls have collapsed, as this will become a very expensive procedure.

Quick Fix Doesn’t Help

Some homeowners try quick fix solutions to the damaged footings by Capping and covering the crumbling footings by putting a new layer of concrete over it. New capping and cement layer will normally comes off the footings and the older footings continue to deteriorate and settlements continue to get worse and worse. In ADDITION another common repair is patching and painting over drywall cracks on interior walls. While these temporarily solutions solves the cosmetic damage in the living area of the home for a short time, it does not stabilize the foundation to prevent it from happening again, again, and again. Repeated patching can be frustrating and adding costs.

Not doing anything

Living with foundation problem doesn't allow you to fully utilize and enjoy your living space without worry. Any finish work done to the home will constantly need to be repaired until the problem is permanently fixed
In some extreme cases, homeowners have waited so long to fix the problem that entire footing have crumbled and collapsed, resulting in an unlivable home that is very expensive to repair.

Permanent Fix and Peace of Mind

It's clear that the issue of a defective foundation is going to have to be dealt with. Fixing these problems now, and forever, can bring you the peace of mind of knowing your greatest investment is safe, secure and fully usable. It's simply an investment that makes sense.
Some times you can combine your foundation and earthquake upgrades with your ADDITION and garage expansions. Combining everything in one project will save you time and money and will bring you a much better return on your investment without any future changes or disruptions to your daily life.
Safe Engineering can help you to protect your investment and bring you a peace of mind in an Earthquake Country.
We are located in San Francisco / Bay Area to serve you.

We Design / Build your project.
Call Us at 510-666-0100
Toll Free 855-BE-SAFEE (237-2333 )
Email us at

  • New Deck Foundations
  • Soft Story Correction
  • Underpinning Foundations
  • New Second Story
  • Create more living spaces
  • Waterproofing
  • Hillside Failure or Landslide
  • Leaning Retaining Wall
  • Leaning Retaining Wall
  • Poor Drainage
2122A Dwight Way
Berkeley, Ca. 94704
Tel : (510) 666-0100
Toll Free : (855) BE-SAFEE (237-2333)
Email :