A foundation repair professional can address leaks, cracked basement floors or foundation, uneven or sloping floors, cracked or bowing walls and siding, doors or windows that are not opening correctly, recent flooding or water damage, gaps between the wall and floor or ceiling, and more. Left unrepaired, damage to your foundation can cause long-term structural problems for your home. Foundation repair is available for any type of home, from ranch-style to bungalow, split-level to colonial, Victorians, and more.
The process of building a home includes proper testing to determine the load-bearing value of the soil, proper leveling, input from an engineer and appropriate permitting. Time, shifting earth, poorly compacted soil, stresses or damages to the foundation, and more can lead to the need for foundation repair. The sooner you have problems addressed, the more manageable they are. The average cost of foundation repair varies depending on the type of foundation, the extent of the damage and the location of the home.
Type of foundation
You likely have one of three types of home foundation: concrete slab, crawl space or full basement. Concrete slab foundations may be T-shaped, slab on grade (a pad of concrete flush with the ground) or frost-protected. If your home has a slab on grade you likely live in a part of the country where the ground is not prone to freezing, as the concrete can crack when directly exposed to the frozen ground over time. T-shaped and frost-protected concrete slab foundations are built to withstand ground freezing.
Cracks may appear in your foundation walls or floors for a variety of reasons, such as water damage or shifting or sinking earth. In some cases, fixing the cracks will provide the foundation repair or drainage correction you need and preclude costly underpinning work. Davis Smith of The Cracksmith in Fenton, Missouri says the average cost to fix a single crack from hairline to ⅜-inch width is $350, with the average repair job totaling about $600. The price can vary depending on the size, the number of cracks and the amount of preparation needed. The Cracksmith provides discounts for repairing multiple cracks at the same location. Here are two examples of foundation crack repair:
Four cracks repaired: $1,350 from The Cracksmith.
Total of 32 feet of crack repair. Included concrete cleaning, concrete preparation and injection with urethane. Six hours total on the job site.
- Included a lifetime warranty for the integrity of the crack repair.
One crack repaired: $650 from The Cracksmith.
- Total of 8 feet of corner crack repaired. Included concrete cleaning, preparation and injection with urethane. The pro also extended a defective gutter downspout extension that was buried 20 feet using a triple-wall PVC with cleanout.
Crack repair involves cleaning the concrete, then layering epoxy along the crack with plastic ports where the filling material is injected. After the layer of epoxy dries, The Cracksmith injects either urethane or more epoxy through the ports. Typically urethane is injected when there is leaking, and epoxy is injected where structural strength is needed. For added structural strength, carbon fiber ties or carbon fiber sheets applied over the crack can further restrict future movement. This process takes The Cracksmith less than two hours, on average, and in most cases comes with a warranty against future leaks.
Hiring a foundation repair professional
Foundation repair can be a costly proposition if you’re having major work done, so be sure to find a qualified pro to handle the job. Smith of The Cracksmith recommends verifying that the company is insured and has a trusted reputation. Smith suggests you have the pro explain exactly what they see and exactly what they will be using to fix it. Confirm they will use proper safety protocols; if you are not satisfied with their answers, move on to another competent professional.
Foundation damage prevention
Once you have repaired cracks or moisture concerns in your basement, preventing future leaks is key to preventing future foundation problems. One option is sealing the floor with a liquid rubber compound, explains John Wernsdorfer of John W Property in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. These concrete sealing compounds cost approximately $100 per gallon for materials alone, not including labor costs of application or preparing and cleaning the floor. Customers can also help themselves, says Smith of The Cracksmith, by keeping gutters cleaned and by using thin wall PVC for drainage rather than black corrugated pipe.