Are all foundation repair products the same?

Recently we received a call we very rarely get here at Hughes, a warranty call. We pride ourselves on making sure our repairs stay repaired, so this came as a bit of a surprise.



This was a project we completed for a home in Miami Township back in 2020. This property has a hill that terminates at the rear foundation wall, creating a heavy surcharge behind it. Both vertical and diagonal cracks had appeared due to the unbalanced pressure and lack of suffient foundation anchorage. The wall had also begun to lean inward up to 7″ and water was coming in from under the back porch.


This homeowner hired us to install repairs designed by Mike Montgomery of Buyers Protection Group. We shored up and excavated along the rear foundation walls and pushed them as close to plumb as possible. Then 13 steel angles were installed on the interior to secure the wall.

On the exterior, we added two new schedule-40 drainpipes to whisk the water away from the wall. Finally, we added waterproofing materials and filled the space with gravel completely to facilitate drainage and reduce wall pressure.


When we left, it looked like this:


So, what could have caused this (below) to happen just 3 years later?



While our waterproofing and all of the other work we did was still intact and working properly: The bolts holding the steel angles in place all along this wall had sheared right off. Getting to the bottom of this required coordinating with the engineer, as well as the bolt manufacturer.

As it happens, we completed this project during the beginning of the 2020 supply chain shortages. Unfortunately, like toilet paper and everything else; the Simpson Strong-Tie bolts the engineer had specified were back-ordered. We purchased much larger bolts (1/2″ instead of 3/8″) from a different manufacturer and doubled the amount of angles just to be safe. We should have been more than good.

Despite our best efforts, these bolts were still not up to the task. We resolved this issue at no extra cost to the homeowner, using the original Simpson bolts and installing everything as originally designed.  Engineers often specify Simpson hardware, as they are a trusted and well-engineered brand.

We do everything in our power to avoid issues like this. Which is why we only use the best products, and we require designs from licensed structural engineers for nearly all of our foundation repairs. At Hughes Construction we believe that every detail matters and all products are not the same. We take pride in our work and will treat your home the same as if it were our own.

Do you have a leaning wall that concerns you? Contact us and we will point you in the right direction.