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Updated: August 22, 2015
Foundation settlement can lead to major structural problems within your home. There are ways to repair a concrete foundation without having to tear it out and start from scratch. Repairing a foundation can be a costly job, but the better educated you are about types of foundations and how best to repair your foundation, the better you can work with your contractor to find a solution you can afford.
With major foundation repairs involving hydraulic piers costing $10,000 or more, and minor cracks costing as low as $500, most homeowners will pay around $3,842 to repair foundation issues.
Here are a few things that can influence the cost of a foundation repair.
Foundations that have been built on expansive clay, compressible or improperly compacted fill soils, or have been poorly maintained can have serious damage as the foundation settles and moves. If you see signs of foundation problems, things 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 more costly it is to repair.
The rule of thumb when you see any foundation issue: the longer you wait, the worse it gets. Even if you get the foundation itself repaired, there may be damage to the inside of your home due to waiting too long that will then also require expensive repair. Often In these cases, much of that extra repair cost could be avoided by acting more quickly
If you see that there are foundation issues, it is worth it to spend the money for a report from a structural engineer. A structural engineer has no vested interest in selling you a solution to your problem and so you will most likely get an unbiased opinion as t the best solution for fixing your problem. If you go straight to a repair professional they may want to sell you the solution that seems right for them, rather than right for you. It is better to come to a repair pro, with your structural report in hand and ask them the cost of doing that particular solution
Piering and Slabjacking
There are two common methods for lifting a sinking concrete foundation: piering and slabjacking. Piering places supports underground that lift and support the concrete. To use piering, the foundation repair professional will need to dig many feet into the ground to solidify the pier which is then placed under your foundation and raised with hydraulics to lift the foundation back into place and stabilize it for the future. This repair method requires the use of multiple piers placed at different points under the foundation.
Slabjacking is a process whereby a grout mixture is pumped into the space under the concrete foundation and floats the foundation back to its original position. A professional will be able to assess which repair method is best suited for your foundation issues.
Piering is in most cases a more expensive method for fixing a foundation as it requires excavation and hydraulic piers to be installed. However piering is almost always considered to be a permanent solution that will not be compromised by further settling of the house or shifting of the earth.
Slabjacking, although effective, could be rendered ineffective if there were any structural shifts to your home or the soil surrounding it.
Home Resale Value
One of the biggest worries when any foundation issue appears is if it will make your home difficult or impossible to resell. Granted you must disclose any work that you have had done on your foundation when it is listed for sale, but if you have had hydraulic piers installed in some cases that could be seen as an asset rather than a drawback. In areas known to have expansive clay or soil issues, having hydraulic piers installed can be seen as a solution to a problem that every homeowner in the area will encounter at one time while owning a home in that area.
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