In Hawai‘i, the stormy months can bring potential risks to homes. Jonny Santo Tomas, Senior Estimator at Structural Systems, joined us to discuss the damages that homes can face during the stormy seasons and the solutions that his team provides to ensure their stability. Kelly went out to one of their active work sites at Waialae Iki, where Structural Systems is working to stabilize the home.  

 “Water mitigation systems, like gutters and downspouts, play a crucial role in protecting homes,” Jonny explained. However, even with proper maintenance, the relentless force of water can cause settlement issues over time. “Water always finds its path of least resistance,” he continued, highlighting the need for vigilance. 

He shared that 90 to 95 percent of home foundation issues stem from water-related factors. Hawai‘i’s homes are particularly vulnerable due to the expansion and contraction of the island’s soils, which can lead to unsettling foundation issues. Jonny elaborated, “Soil expansion levels range from low to high, with moderate to high expansion being most common in the homes we assist.” 

Structural Systems recently encountered a home that had experienced over 3 inches of settling, prompting the need for immediate action. “In cases like this,” he explained, “a deep foundation system is essential to stabilize the structure and prevent further settlement.” For this purpose, Structural Systems recommends a micro-pile system, which involves driving micro-piles at least ten feet deep to reach solid earth material. These micro-piles are attached to the existing footing of the home, effectively transferring the load and relieving pressure on the compromised foundation. 

Jonny also highlighted the signs that homeowners should watch out for—doors and windows not functioning smoothly, cracks in walls, uneven floors, and more. “These indicators,” Jonny advised, “may signal shifting or settling. If any of these signs are present, it’s crucial to act promptly.” 

Structural Systems offers free assessments for homeowners experiencing such issues. Their expertise and innovative solutions stand as a pillar of support for Hawai‘i’s homes, ensuring they stand strong against the challenges that nature can bring. 

For more information, visit or call (808) 913-0254.