Over the years, the foundation of your house will eventually need repairs. It’s vital that every homeowner understand the signs of residential foundation damage, so you can call a foundation repair contractor as soon as their services are needed!
The signs your foundation needs repaired include:
- cracks in your drywall
- water getting into your basement
- windows and doors that don’t open and shut properly
- cracks on the exterior walls of your house
- the foundation settling and one side of your house looks higher than the other
These 5 signs indicate foundation problems that need immediate repair. If you notice any of these signs, don’t hesitate to call in a professional right away! Besides these signs that your foundation needs repairs, there is other vital information that you should know about foundations and foundation repair contractors and which will ensure you’re keeping your home in good repair.
What Is The Purpose Of A Home’s Foundation?
A foundation bears the load of a structure, preventing the wind from moving the house. A foundation also keeps your house off the ground so moisture can’t get inside.
Most houses have a raised perimeter foundation that supports the floors and the load-bearing walls. Homes without a basement are built on a concrete slab, serving as the house’s base floor.
How Much Do Foundation Repairs Cost?
The average cost of getting your foundation repaired is anywhere from $350 to $6580. These repair costs depend on the work needed your foundation. If you have one crack in your foundation, for example, it could cost as little as $350 for repairs. However, if there are multiple cracks, repairs could cost upwards of $1,350 on average.
Large foundation issues causing structural problems can cost as much as $10,000. Foundation repairs also depend on the type of foundation under your home. Note the average cost to fix common foundations repairs:
- Underpinning-$9,500-$15,000-Underpinning your foundation strengthens, stabilizes and supports it.
- Mudjacking-$2700-Mudjacking is also called slab jacking. This is when a foundation repair contractor lifts or levels your slab foundation. Slab foundations can settle over time, so the contractor drills holes into your slab, then a mix of soil, sand and concrete is pumped beneath the slab. Once this dries, the concrete mix will stabilize the slab.
Is Foundation Repair Covered By Insurance?
Your insurance company may cover your foundation repairs depending on the cause of the problems. If your foundation needs repairs caused by the soil contracting and expanding, the insurance company typically won’t cover the costs. As a rule, insurance companies don’t cover foundation repair costs, but it’s worth asking your insurance agent about the possibility.
What Should I Look For In A Foundation Repair Contractor?
If you need the foundation of a house repaired, it’s important that you choose a reliable foundation repair contractor. Here are suggestions for choosing a good contractor:
- Check to see if the contractor is licensed in your state. Is he or she insured and bonded? The contractor should show you these licenses up front. Don’t choose someone who doesn’t have the proper qualifications.
- Ask to see referrals. Look up reviews on social media and consumer review websites.
- Ask around your neighborhood about contractors that other homeowners have used and their overall impression of the company.
- Get a quote for the work, then compare. Once you’ve gotten three bids, decide which company seemed the most detailed. Did they give you a written estimate? Did they list the problems and how they would fix them?
What Causes Foundation Damage?
Many foundation problems are caused by water damage. As soil gets wet, it contracts and expands. This leads to movement underneath your home’s foundation. Note some other issues that cause damage to your foundation:
- Poor drainage-If there’s been any construction near your home, this can change the flow of water and cause poor drainage.
- Extreme seasonal changes-hot, hot summers and very cold winters
- Tree roots growing close to your house
- Earthquakes, flood or drought can change the foundation’s structure
- High clay soil-This type of soil makes your home susceptible to foundational problems
How Long Do Foundation Repairs Take?
It shouldn’t take too long to have your foundation repaired, depending upon the problems and the weather. Also, if there are water leaks, these need to be fixed prior to the foundation repairs. If the problem in your foundation is caused by tree roots, then you’ll need to have those roots removed before a contractor can fix your foundation.
Severe weather such as rain or a long period of drought can also delay your foundation repair process. Typically, if there are no issues, it takes around 2 to 3 days for repairs.
Should You Buy A House That’s Had Foundation Repairs?
Buying a house that’s had foundation repairs can be fine, depending on what type of repairs were made. Here are some tips before you buy:
- Ask if there is a warranty for repairs
- When you buy a house, be sure to have an inspector take a look at the foundation where the repairs were made
- Hire a structural engineer to inspect the condition of your foundation
- Negotiate the price of the house with the seller the inspector feels the foundation needs more work or ask the seller to fix the foundation
- Look at city records to see if a permit was pulled for the job and if the city signed off on the work
How Long Do Foundation Repairs Last?
If your foundation has been repaired once, it may need more repairs in the future. Sometimes one repair leads to another; for example, if the foundation repair contractor repaired one side of the foundation, he may need to come back and fix the other side. Most contractors will tell you this when they fix one side and will also offer a warranty for their work.