Frequently Asked Questions

Look at the ways Robbins and Company fixes common foundation problems.



I’ve noticed cracks in my foundation and a few on my basement walls – are these serious?

Most property owners have no idea how to tell if the cracks in their foundation walls are serious or not. You are not alone. Some “shrinkage cracks” are common in poured concrete walls and floors, but other cracks, such as those in a block foundation are not. In most instances, a foundation crack is an indication that something has shifted or settled – this is especially obvious if a crack is wider at one point than another.

The bottom line with foundation cracks and concerns – it’s always good idea to seek a reputable professional’s opinion.

I’m not sure about the foundation and settlement around my home. What are some of the signs I should look for?

On your home’s exterior you should look for the following:

  • Cracks in the concrete foundation
  • Diagonal (stair-step) cracks in brick wall
  • Brick or mortar joints that vary in width
  • Tilting or leaning chimney
  • Separation of wood trim at joints and corners
  • Separation of concrete driveway, patio or sidewalk from the foundation

On your home’s interior:

  • Cracks in sheetrock/plaster walls or ceilings
  • Cracks in walls at corners
  • Cracks in walls above doors
  • Doors and windows that stick or are hard to open/close
  • Un-even floor surfaces or sloping of floor
  • Cracks in concrete floors (wider than 1/16th of inch)
  • If your home is experiencing any of these conditions, it is a good idea to consult with a foundation repair professional in your area. A complete assessment of both your interior and exterior should be performed.

A professional foundation repair representative will ask questions regarding the area surrounding your home (nearby creeks, new construction, recent repairs), when you first noticed the problem(s), if they are more prevalent during certain weather seasons than others, age of the home, etc. This type of question and answer helps in the proper diagnosis of a foundation problem and providing a custom solution.

My walls have started to buckle or bow in. I’ve heard that digging around the entire house and basically re-building the basement walls is the only solution. Is this true?

Every home is unique and therefore, every foundation problem is specific to the structure it supports. Re-building basement or foundation walls is certainly an option but it is not only time-consuming, expensive and inconvenient, it does nothing to solve the underlying problem – foundation soils exerting pressure against the walls. The first step in your situation is to have your foundation evaluated by a reputable and experienced foundation repair professional.

Once an evaluation is completed, options for repair should be presented to you in writing. As the patent-holder for the original Wall Anchor System, Grip-Tite recommends an earth anchor and wall plate system which permanently stabilizes a foundation wall (whether block or concrete) and prevents further movement.

I’m concerned about sagging floor joists in the crawlspace beneath my home – what can be done to support these?

Our sturdy jacks are designed to provide supplemental support for distressed floor joists or support beams. The sturdy jack raises, levels and stabilizes without the need for excessive excavation or messy concrete. Installation of the jack is relatively quick and will not leave a crawlspace or your property in disrepair.

These DO MEET building code requirements. Many stabilizers out in the marketplace do not – so be sure to ask your contractor for validation.

My concrete floor has become a tripping hazard with lots of cracks – what can be done?

The first suggestion is to contact a professional foundation repair contractor for an evaluation. It is important to determine what is causing the cracks and/or uneven floor.

During the evaluation, a professional foundation repair contractor will inspect both the exterior and interior of your home and ask questions regarding the changes you’ve noticed. With all of these variables in hand, a professional foundation repair contractor will make a recommendation regarding repairs.

Grip-Tite offers the Slab Pier System for failing concrete slabs as a proven solution to lift and stabilize sunken concrete permanently. The Slab Pier System is cost-effective, usually does not involve heavy equipment and can be installed year-round in just a few days – even in areas of limited access.

I’m planning to build a new home and would like to prevent any foundation settlement in the future. Can this be done?

During construction, before a foundation is poured (constructed), Grip-Tite® New Construction Piers can be installed to effectively stabilize a foundation by transferring the structural load of a home to deep, suitable soils.

As others have found, the Grip Tite® New Construction Pier System is often more affordable than over-sized concrete footings or removing and replacing unsuitable foundation soils.

With the Helical Pier System, the piers are mechanically advanced into the ground to a predetermined depth or capacity and the tops of the piers cast into the grade beam or column pad. Consult with your local Grip-Tite dealer regarding your residential or commercial construction project – you’ll be glad you did.


Are your piers International Code Council (ICC) approved?

YES! Our piers are manufactured by Grip-Tite and have gone through the expensive and rigorous process of being ICC Registered and Certified. You can view the ICC-ES Legacy Report HERE for our pier foundation systems.

If you’re getting multiple bids from other contractors, BE SURE to ask if their piers are registered and certified by the International Code Council (ICC). It’s important for you, the homeowner, that the piers that will be supporting the foundation of your home is certified by a 3rd party agency. (Meaning, the company that makes piers and sells them shouldn’t also “certify” them.)


For decades, ICC Evaluation Service has been the industry leader in performing technical evaluations for code compliance, providing regulators and construction professionals with clear evidence that products comply with codes and standards.

Having completed hundreds of evaluations of building products, components, methods, and materials, ICC-ES has a proven track record of excellence in product evaluations and customer service.

When you’re dealing with steel tubes, underpinning bracket assemblies and other pieces used to raise or stabilize the foundation of your home, you need to make sure the materials being used are tested, certified and approved by THE agency that provides technical code compliance for the construction industry.

What is a wall anchor and how are they installed?

The wall anchor system is a property owner’s alternative to completely removing and rebuilding foundation walls that have become cracked and bowed as a result of lateral earth pressures exceeding the allowable design capacity of the wall.

The Grip-Tite® Wall Anchor System consists of an interior wall plate, an exterior earth anchor and a connecting steel rod to stabilize foundation walls by counteracting the pressure being exerted against the wall. The system is utilized to anchor foundation walls and exterior earth retaining walls constructed of masonry block or cast-in-place concrete.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recognized wall anchors as a viable option for stabilizing basement/foundation walls. An April 24, 1992 HUD memorandum states, “There are three common ways to save bowing foundation walls:

  • Contractors install wall anchors on approximate 6’ centers. These stop further movement and with proper tension will eliminate some, if not all, of the bowing over time.
  • Another acceptable, but more expensive method, is to replace the affected walls.
  • The third is to use passive resistance such as grout filled channel steel or pilasters which may stop further movement. This is the least effective.”

The GRIP-TITE® Wall Anchor System has been evaluated for compliance with all applicable building codes by building officials of the International Code Council (see ICC-ES Legacy Report #22-03).

Why are your piers tested and approved while your competitors’ are not?

Robbins and Company believes in the job done thoroughly and correctly the first time, and completely to industry standards and manufacturers’ specifications. It’s safer and offers more value to you doing it this way, and it serves you the customer, best!

When it comes to securing the foundation of your home, make sure the piers being used are 3rd party tested and approved. Grip-Tite piers have passed the rigorous testing required to obtain a legacy report from the International Code Council with ICC Evaluation Services, Inc. Many other piers common in the marketplace are made, sold and “approved” by the same company.

Is your warranty 25 years or Lifetime?

We provide a Limited Lifetime Warranty on the performance of the Grip-Tite piering system to the original purchaser for its useful life against deficiencies and workmanship. If there are deficiencies in material or workmanship, we will correct the problem at our expense or, at our option, refund the purchase price of the Grip-Tite piering system paid by the original purchaser. This warranty does not extend to deficiencies in material or workmanship caused by the original purchaser or any other party, and does not include any incidental, consequential or exemplary damages as a result of the failure of the Grip-Tite piering system, or the installation by Robbins and Co. This Lifetime Warranty comes to you at NO extra charge.

Grip-Tite Manufacturing Co., LLC warrants all system components to be free of defects in materials and workmanship under normal use and service for 25 years.

When driving foundation piers, how much do you charge over 15 feet?

Robbins does not charge more for depth of the pier, (but we reserve the right to stop the installation over 35′ if we feel that the soil or product may not support the soil condition). Another product, such as a helix pier may be better suited for the deep soil condition. (There is no cost to the customer if we stop the project.)

Some companies charge extra for going deeper than 15 feet, as much as $65.00 per 3 feet section for any piles going deeper than 15 feet.
Grip-Tite offers the Slab Pier System for failing concrete slabs as a proven solution to lift and stabilize sunken concrete permanently. The Slab Pier System is cost-effective, usually does not involve heavy equipment and can be installed year-round in just a few days – even in areas of limited access.

When digging pits for the piers, what are your additional costs for depth?

We include the excavation in our bid, and only if there is unknown depths where we incur additional costs, do we ask for a change order. This makes our clients happy, as opposed to charging EXTRA when digging deeper than 3 feet. The typical industry practice can be as much as $350.00 per pit.

How long does a foundation repair project take and how much of my home or yard will be affected?

The length of a project truly depends upon the nature of the foundation problem and suggested repair.

For instance, a typical bowing basement wall can be stabilized in less than a day (situations vary) with little damage to a lawn, landscaping or decks.

For stabilization projects, your local Grip-Tite dealer will perform minimal excavation on the exterior of a property to expose a foundation’s footings. The soil is replaced once work is complete.

When can we begin, immediately or after materials arrive?

Once we receive your signed contract, we immediately schedule your appointment and crew onto our calendar for earliest availability. Robbins and Company is able to do this because we stock all materials needed for future projects.

Because of our long history and our buying power, we have found this makes our customers happy instead of having you wait 1 – 3 weeks to receive materials after placing the order secured by a payment.


I’ve seen other “FEES” on some proposals, what are your extra fees?

NONE! We don’t have extra charges for fees. Other companies have been known to charge for a “Steel Surcharge”, a “Setup” fee and others. We don’t do that for our customers, so read your proposals thoroughly and always ask questions on anything you’re not familiar with or clear about on details.

How long is your proposal good for?

Our proposal is good for 30 days.

What happens if I cancel the contract 48 hours after I’ve signed?

We do NOT charge you for anything should you choose to cancel the contract 48 hours after signing.

I’m ready to get started! How much do I need to put down?

We require NO money down on projects for homeowner-owned properties. This is unique to the industry, as many contractors will require some money to be put down before beginning a project.

When is payment due?

Our payment terms are Net 30 or COD on most projects unless engineering is required before project begins.

Do you provide financing?

Yes, Robbins and Company offers a variety of financing solutions for homeowners including in-house financing so you don’t have to deal with pre-approval from a bank.