Estimated Costs to Fix Foundation Problems
Foundations that have been built on expansive clay, compressible or improperly compacted fill soils, or have been poorly maintained can cause serious damage as they settle and move. If you see signs of such damage, like cracks in walls or doors that won’t close properly, it is important to talk to a professional right away. Damaged foundations that are not repaired quickly can lead not only to irreparable damage, but to structures that are unsafe. The longer you wait, the worse the damage can get and the costlier it will be to fix.
The rule of thumb when you see any foundation issue: the longer you wait, the worse it gets. Even if you get it repaired, there may be damage to the inside of your home that will also require expensive repair. Often, in these cases, much of that extra cost could be avoided by acting more quickly.
Cracks wider than 1/16 inch are cause for concern. At this point, you probably have a structural problem and should consult a foundation contractor or structural engineer about your options. It could be that your foundation is sinking or the soil is exerting too much pressure on it.
Cracks that do not affect the structure can be fixed easily. However, they should not be ignored because they are runways for moisture and could lead to structural problems if left alone. This fix will involve injecting either epoxy or polyurethane foam. If its wet and leaking, waterproofing will be necessary.
A leak or two can signal a huge problem with drainage and moisture around your home. To fix this issue, you will want to consult a professional about various waterproofing techniques which will better secure the structure. They will probably recommend sealing your foundation. To do this, contractors excavate around your foundation, install new tile drains and fill the cracks with cement. They will also coat the structure in sealant and wrap it in a waterproof material. The cost of this repair involves labor, time and equipment, but it will be worth it to have a stable home.
This is a major issue which demands immediate attention. Further settling will lead to more damage and instability. You may not be aware that your foundation is doing this until you have cracks and leaks assessed, or you may be able to tell by inspecting early signs of damage. The solution for this problem is to have the foundation leveled.
Foundation Contractors can restore the structure to its original height by raising it up and securing it with piers or mudjacking. What makes this complicated is the fact that this problem often signals issues with soil or moisture. These will need to be addressed before your able to secure your home. Having these issues evaluating adds to the overall cost.
Foundation Bowing Basement Foundation Walls
This type of damage is a sign of poor soil conditions, whether you are dealing with expansive clay, weak fill or insufficient drainage. You want to catch this right away, because it lowers your home value and can cause your house to settle. To stop this, you need to have the walls stabilized with carbon fiber or steel. You’ll also need to assess the soil to solve the initial problem.
Average Foundation Repair Prices
Identifying the problem is the first step, but it isn’t enough to reveal how extensive your repair may be. Slabjacking a sinking foundation back into place may be all you need to do. Or, you may need to invest in the installation of steel support beams. Your contractor and structural engineer will play an important role in ensuring that you choose the right repair.
This is in most cases a more expensive method to repair, as it requires raising the foundation, excavation, and installing hydraulic piers. However, when the installation is performed by certified professionals, it is considered a permanent solution that will not be compromised by further settling of the house or shifting of the earth.
Also known as underpinning, this involves installing piers underground which lift and support the concrete. For this method, the foundation professional will need to dig many feet into the ground. The pier is then placed under your foundation and raised with hydraulics to lift it back into place and stabilize it for the future. This requires the use of multiple piers placed at different points.
Also known as mudjacking, in this process, a grout mixture is pumped into the space under the concrete foundation and floats the foundation back to its original position. This method is affordable and doesn’t demand as much equipment or excavation. However, it is not the right solution for every foundation type. A professional will be able to assess which repair method is best suited for your particular issue. Slabjacking, although effective, could be rendered ineffective if there were any structural shifts to your home or the soil surrounding it.
As mentioned above, sealing is a waterproofing solution to combat moisture and drainage issues. There are many facets to this process, and you dont necessarily need every service done. Get an inspection from a structural engineer to find out the extent of your repair needs, so that you dont end up paying for things you dont need. For example, applying sealant and installing a waterproof barrier may be the most you need to do. If you have poor drainage, youll need to make improvements in that area too.
There are two materials that a contractor can use to stabilize the walls: carbon fiber and steel. Carbon fiber is a good choice if you have minimal bowing, in your walls. Steel will be necessary for more significant shifts. Your contractor will help you to determine which will work best.
Steel, though more expensive, may be the most worthwhile investment. For this repair, you need to factor in the cost of repairing the walls, easing the pressure thats causing them to bow, and installing the support strips to strengthen them.