House Foundation

How Much Does Foundation Repair Cost

Tips On When To Call In A Pro For Home Foundation Repair

SONY DSCThere are hundreds of different factors that can cause cracks in the foundation of your home, settling, age, concrete shrinking, or maybe the soil around your foundation is exceedingly dry.

However some kinds of cracks are more important than others, if they involve poor construction techniques, improper mixing of the cement, or major earth movement of the surrounding area, these causes could open up large cracks allowing water to enter and fill up your basement or crawl space.

Worse than that, it’s possible for too much settlement to affect the wooden structure of your home and cause doors not to fit their frames, or windows to be difficult to open and close. Let’s go over some different kinds of cracks that you might experience and give you some information on home foundation repair. Cracks in the foundation can come in a variety of different sizes and shapes, they can be horizontal or vertical, and as small as a hairline fracture.

Whatever the exact cause, each crack should be evaluated on its own merits and most likely repaired by professional foundation contractor. So, if you have noticed cracks in your foundation, even if you’ve had some experience of mixing concrete, sometimes it’s best to have a professional come by and evaluate the importance of the actual repair. To be more precise, some repairs are merely cosmetic cement repairs, while other repairs are true foundation repairs meant to restore the structure, original height and location of the foundation.

These are determinations that only a professional foundation repair contractor would be able to determine. Another factor that needs to weigh in on whether or not you call a professional, is if there is water leaking into your basement area causing mold, mildew, and flooding. It’s quite possible for these cracks to have no relation to the structure of the home above, but the fact that water is leaking makes them an important repair to have done. There are also quite a few different problems that can be related to the water that need to be inspected.

It’s possible, for example, to have a plugged downspout from your gutter causing huge amounts of storm water to wash the supporting soil away from the foundation and then undermining your basement which could be a dangerous situation. In these types of cases, a home foundation repair specialist will need to be called immediately before some kind of catastrophe occurs.

If it is determined that all of the foundation cracks are cosmetic, it’s highly possible for the average do-it-yourselfer to repair them on their own. Down at the local home improvement store there are variety of fairly inexpensive concrete patching materials that only need to be mixed with water and put on artistically with a spatula, then painted over.

These types of small hairline fractures, and inconsequential cracks, are surprisingly easy to fix in just a few hours time. However, if it at sometime in the future the same fractures reopen, that’s a good indication that you have a larger problem looming on the horizon.

When you experience a few cracks in your home foundation, there’s no reason to panic. But it is a good time to grab a flashlight and walk around the perimeter of the house, both inside and out ,and take note of every crack that you find. Then, if it seems like the cracks are a little too large, or expanding, a quick call to a foundation professional is definitely in order.

Related: What you need to know about foundation repair

Evaluating Your Walls For Possible Foundation Problems

Evaluating Your Walls

USS Timeline
Source: Flickr

If you are seeing some cracks on your walls, there is
no need to panic. This can have no significance at
all. However, there are some that can signify that you
are experiencing a big structural defect. If this is
the case, then you would have to do the appropriate
action for the case. This is why proper evaluation
should be done.

Noticing The Problem

Most often, cracked foundation walls are given
attention when a property is being sold in the market.
Even though the owner would insist that the cracked
wall has been like that “forever”, the buyer has a
tendency to become concerned about the situation.

Whether you are a buyer, seller, or some one who is
simply concerned about their wall, here are some
important points on evaluating your wall if it needs
repair or not.

Causes And Factors Of Wall Cracking

Foundation walls that are built using concrete blocks
are much predisposed to having cracks than solid
concrete walls. This is especially true if an 8-inch
block was used for the block wall.

Of course, foundation walls should support a
building’s the vertical weight. Plus, if its around a
full basement, it should be able to resist lateral or
inward pressure from the soil outside that are against
the wall. If water saturates the backfill or soil,
then the inward pressure could easily overload your
block wall, which can result into cracks.

Additionally, roots of large and moderate sized trees
that are near your foundation wall can also cause you
major wall problems. Most of the time, roots grow
toward your walls due to the water accumulation along

Seeing The Signs

Horizontal cracks on mortar joints are usually caused
by too much inward pressure against its block
foundation. If you see a horizontal crack that is
about high as half of the wall, then this can be one
sign of too much lateral pressure from the soil.
Sometimes, you may also find some step cracks or short
and small horizontal and vertical cracks near the end
of a wall. This too is a variation of soil pressure

When To Be Alarmed

Usually, block foundation walls can remain cracked for
about a number of years without any noticeable
cracking additions or inward bulging. But, the moment
you get a horizontal crack, your wall’s structural
integrity is very much reduced. Additionally, if the
soil backfill is saturated, especially during rainy
days, the number of cracks could increase or, worse
comes to worst; your wall foundation can collapse.

Solution Choices

Problems like these are possible to be permanently
repaired. In fact, there are methods in which you do
not need to have a complete replacement, provided that
the inward movement doesn’t exceed one inch in
relation to the bottom of the wall. You can usually
find the maximum inward deflection where the
horizontal crack is and near its mid-height.

One method you can do is bracing your wall with
reinforced block piers or steel post-braces. However,
if you are concerned with the cost, you may want to go
for steel post-braces since they are less expensive
than the other. However, if it is the overall look you
are after, then you may want to use piers since they
can give a better finished appearance.

What Is the Cost of Foundation Repair

The cost of having a professional foundation repair company come in and fix your foundation will vary depending on the location/city. Here is a short video that explains cost factors:

Helical Piers in Foundation Repair

Using Helical Piers in Foundation Repair

Foundations are no doubt the most important part in a home. However, a time comes when one may be required to do repairs. In this regard, one of the most effective means of doing repairs is to use helical piers. Helical piers, also known as screw piles, in foundation repair is a technology that has been in use for over a hundred years now. It has been proven to work effectively, either on new construction or on repair work. This is especially so in cases where the soil conditions are unstable and deep piles need to be installed.

Benefits of Helical Piers

Using helical piers is advisable considering the fact that the equipment needed for installation is generally smaller and lighter. Furthermore, they are less specialized than the equipment known to be used in other forms of deep foundations. The fact that the cost of mobilization is much less compared to other systems ensures that the contractor’s access the tight or confined sections in order to install helical piers where other equipment could not fit.

The other benefit is that helical piles are installed free of vibration because they get turned in with a torque motor, just like a wood screw that gets turned into a piece of wood. In cases whereby one is working with an existing structure, it is advisable to minimize any opportunity for additional settlement.

During the installation of helical piers, the contractor should ensure that he continually monitors the torque it takes to install each pier. The torque rating is directly related to the load capacity of each pier. In this regard, the contractor would be able to know what capacity each pier will support at the end of each installation.

The other advantage of using helical piers is that there is minimal excavation required since the helical piles are screwed in. This therefore means that there will be fewer spoils thus reducing the overall costs of the repair. Furthermore, it ensures that there is no noise pollution that is synonymous with violent banging or hammering.

helical pier installation

It is important to note that there are two basic types of piers used in foundation repair. These are resistance and helical. However, resistance piers are much better suited for buildings that have very heavy load requirements or typically need to be raised. However, the helical piers have been preferred by many foundation repair contractors due to the fact that they can be conveniently screwed down until they get to the base rock that is strong enough to support the overhead structure. This twisting ensures that they cannot be pushed or pulled out. This makes this type of piers, the strongest to work with in regard to home foundation repair. It’s appropriate for people who look at the long term results of the repair.

Helical piers therefore are no doubt the most appropriate choice for any homeowner who wants to restore the strength and integrity of their foundation. Nothing is more comforting than a strong foundation in a home. In this regard, a prudent homeowner would see the sense in making the right choice for their foundation repair. With these in place you can rest assured that your foundation is well maintained.

Expansive Soil Causes Foundation Damage

Many homes around the country are build on layers of clay or bentonite soil. Also known as expansive soil, management of the soil’s water content is the key to preventing or halting foundation damage. This issue is particularly evident in Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma where expansive clay soils are the dominant soil type.

All foundation types are vulnerable: slab, pier and beam and basements.

There are several things that can go wrong with your basement. The most common reason foundation walls crack, bow, or settle is due to the earth around them, not a poorly constructed foundation. The dynamics of the earth/soil around a home can change due to various weather conditions and time. These changes put a lot of pressure on the concrete and can cause cracks, bowed walls, settling, etc…. Moisture or lack of moisture is the # 1 reason soil conditions change.

expansive soil damageWhen a basement is first constructed, it is typically sitting on soil and is backfilled with the same soils that were extracted from the excavation. At that time, there will be a particular moisture content in the soil based on the weather conditions at that time. Over time, the moisture content in the soils can change from dryer to wetter.

Additionally, the soils used to backfill around the foundation can take years to settle to a fully compacted state. In some cases, the soil can settle enough around a foundation to create a negative slope towards the home.

The bottom line: Do everything you can to maintain the soil around your home so the dynamics of the soil do not change and cause stress to your concrete foundation.

Most people blame their faulty foundation on the type of concrete used, lack of re-bars, and just poor craftsmanship on the part of the foundation contractor. Some of this may be true, or partly true, but the soil your home sits on causes the most damage.

When a foundation is built, it typically does not have any cracks at that point. It is generally stable, has not settled, and looks pretty good.

When the condition of the foundation changes, it is generally due to the earth that the foundation is sitting on. The earth, or dirt, will experience many weather related changes. Rain, snow, hot, cold, and then dry. All of these conditions cause the dirt to chemically change, or expand and contract. This can put a lot of pressure on your foundation walls and basement floor when the earth moves.

sump pump in basementIn a perfect situation, you want to keep the soils around your home at a constant moisture content. When it rains a lot and over extending periods of time, you don’t want too much water saturating the soils around your home. Good grading around the home is one of many ways to help this. When we are lacking rain or melting snow, you don’t get enough water in the soils around your home. It is a good idea to water your foundation during excessive dry periods. Keep the soils at a constant moisture content to reduce the problems that they can cause your foundation.

Clay-like soils are a big factor. The more clay in your soil, the more likely your soil will expand and contract based on different moisture contents. Wet clay-like soil will expand. Expanding soils can push against your foundation walls and floor. Dry clay-like soil will contract. Contracting soils can cause your home to settle, or go down. They can also create gaps in the soil next to your home. These gaps can let water run directly down against the foundation the next time the rain comes back.

The best way to avoid foundation problems are to maintain the soils around your home. Here are some things that you can consider:
1. Make sure there is good grade or slope so that rain/snow can effectively drain away from the basement walls.
2. Bury your gutter downspouts and/or sump pump discharge so that this water can effectively drain away from the basement walls.
3. If it becomes dry, water the soils around the basement walls to keep them at a consistent moisture content. Don’t let the soils dry out. A soaker hose works best to get the moisture down to where foundation sits on the footings.
4. If building a new home, have a soils test done. This will tell you how much potential there is for your to experience expansive soils.
5. If building a new home, don’t backfill with the expansive soils.
Do not build on clay like soil. You can do a soils test to see what the soil conditions are. If the soils pose a potential problem, you can inject a chemical into the ground to break down the clay. Another option is to install piers under the footings which can support the home in lieu of the clay soil.
Another way to help is to backfill with gravel. These options cost more up front, but they can cost you a lot more later in foundation repair bills.


Living in areas with clay soils can be a serious challenge when is comes to maintaining the integrity of home’s foundation. It just takes paying a little more attention to water management around the home. In some instances, installation of a French drain system may be required. Always check with a reputable foundation repair company.

Related: Foundation problems

Suffering From House Foundation Problems?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANo one likes to spend money. sometimes, we just have too. Especially when it comes to saving the value of our home. Many people experience foundation problems with their home eventually. Even new homes can develop foundation problems as they settle into the ground. Don’t worry though, because there’s foundation repair. I know, foundation repair can be expensive, but it’s so worth it when you think about all the benefits.

First of all, when you have a foundation that isn’t damaged your house will actually be worth something. A damaged foundation turns a once three hundred thousand dollar home into something that’s worth next to nothing. If you’d like to keep the value of your property, you need to talk with a foundation contractor that can help you fix the foundation.

Having a bad foundation might make other home improvement tasks look bad. A bad foundation can create an uneven looking home, which can in turn make every glass window you install look crooked. I know you don’t want your other home repairs to look bad. Especially after spending all that money paying people to make them. That’s why it’s always best to start with the foundation when it comes to home improvement.

Termites can weaken our foundation, and make our home unsafe. If you think that having a cracked foundation can lower the value of your home, you haven’t seen anything yet. Termite damage can cause the value of your home to go way down. Termites love to eat the foundation of our home. This creates another problem that needs to be taken care of along with foundation repair. You need to make sure that you hire an exterminator before having your foundation repaired. If you don’t, the problem will just repeat itself.

Wondering how much you’ll be paying? This will depend largely on how big your house is, and how much you’d like repaired. If you only need a few piers done, then you can expect to be charged around $700. The average cost around the nation is $300-$400 per pier. A person can get a thousand square foot house leveled for around $6,000. The cost of your repairs might also have something to do with were you live. If you’re in a city, you might expect to pay more.

Not finding the right contractors to do this sort of work? It’s easy to find caring professionals that take pride in their work when you use Angie’s list. Yes, there is a fee, but many customers still use Angie’s list because they like getting honest reviews more then they like saving a buck. The reviews on Angie’s list are easy to understand and available for almost any business you can think of.

I hope you find the right people to help you with your foundation problems. As you long as you look up reviews, you should be able to find the perfect team. Remember, this might take a while. Ask them for an estimate on the time? It’s so worth it to have a proper foundation!

Related:  Repair the right way

The Right Way to Repair Foundation Cracks In Your Home

fixing foundation cracksDo you have foundation cracks in a basement wall? If so, it is not the end of the world. Usually these appear to be worse than they actually are and do not affect the foundation of your home.

Oftentimes, however, a crack in a wall will leak and let water into your basement from the outside. Water that pools around the outside of your home’s foundation will always travel the path of least resistance and the crack may provide an easy entrance into your basement. If you have an unfinished basement this may not mean a major problem. If you have a finished basement, however, with carpeting or other types of expensive floor finishes, a wet basement can result in serious financial damage!

Often homeowners are too quick to reach for a caulk gun when they see a crack in a basement wall. When they see a wall crack, a crack in the stair steps, or even a chimney that is tilting a bit, they often think their house is just experiencing “normal settling.” It is true that their house is settling — but it may not be normal.

As soil settles is normally does so uniformly, which usually causes no cracks in your walls. When soil settles unevenly around your home, however, cracks in the foundation may occur. A caulk gun will not solve the problem.

There is some good news: Cracks and leaks can be repaired and waterproofed fairly simply. One of the most cost effective treatments is to inject the crack with a specially formulated polyurethane material. This procedure seals the crack completely and will prevent water from coming through.

Before this process is done, however, is is important to identify where the exterior water is coming from. Many times it may be clogged rain gutters or a misdirected downspout. If the ground around your home is improperly graded it can cause the water in your yard to flow toward the exterior wall of the home, gathering at the foundation.

It is important that your property is graded to divert water away from your home. Rain gutters should be kept clean and damaged downspouts should be repaired. Once these outside problems are identified and corrected it is time to focus on the crack in the basement wall.

Here is how these cracks are usually repaired.

The crack is cleaned thoroughly.

A number of injection ports are attached to the crack. It may be necessary to drill a series of small holes into the crack if it is very tight.

Starting from the bottom, a polyurethane material is injected in each port until the crack is filled. Water is then used as a catalyst.

Once the injections are completed the ports are removed and material is applied over the entire surface of the crack to act as a water seal.

This process is fairly simple and usually takes one day or less to complete.

Once you remove the outside water source, crack repair using this injection method is a long-term solution to a wet basement.

It is important that you, as the homeowner, select a trustworthy company to do the repairs. Professionals who specialize in basement crack repair are much better prepared to fix foundation cracks in your basement walls than a routine contractor or your local handyman.

Related:  All about expansive soils

All You Need To Know About House Foundation Repair Costs

house foundation repair costAs a house foundation repair is highly important to the structural maintenance of a property, it is obvious that the repair expenses cannot be neglected under any circumstances. Unfortunately, as much as one would prefer to avoid them, these particular costs are essential and can be linked to the strengthening of your home’s foundation. To be aware of this fact it is recommended you have a better understanding of these repair costs and the various associated aspects. This article provides some insight into the concept to ensure you can begin the payment process with all realities checked and understood.

1. A very costly endeavor

While the payment of house foundation repair costs can be identified as a long-term investment safeguarding the property against future disasters, it is a very expensive investment that must be examined in detail before being undertaken. Firstly, you must remember that the foundation repair costs are dependent on the existing damage and can be as high or low based on the type of distress. You must also remember that the foundation repair technician is also contracted to complete the full project and will account for each item used and replaced when drawing up an invoice.

If the repair project requires specialized equipment there is a great chance that the costs will be larger than traditional, smaller structural repairs. For example, a condo repair cost will be less cost-effective than a one-bedroom cottage repair cost. Material, time and labor must be taken into account when calculating overall costs as the three costs combined can be expensive for the homeowner.

2. Overall foundation repair estimations

Before a technician begins repairing your property foundation, it is highly recommended that you obtain several estimations from different companies to ensure you receive the best service from the most effective company at the most beneficial price. An estimation is generally completed quickly (approximately three hours/100 sq ft) and both skilled and unskilled workers must be taken into consideration. The full condition of the damaged area must be examined and included in the estimation. For example, water leaks and stone foundation cracks will be more expensive to repair than a shift in soil.

3. Always be alert

It is important to be very alert when calculating the cost of a house foundation repair. There are various contractors who will provide free estimations, however their main intention is to extract greater amounts of money from the homeowner later in the process. It is recommended that you avoid these types of technicians and contact more efficient, reliable companies. Locating reliable and dependable companies can be done by reading online testimonials written by previous clients. It is also advised that you ask to see a portfolio to determine the contractor’s level of experience and degree of customer service before engaging their services.
Final words on the matter

As can be seen, finding a house foundation repair contractor to assist in repairing the foundation of your structure can be complicated; however, if you follow the tips noted in this article you will find it less difficult than originally anticipated.

Related:  Tips on foundation repair companies