Foundation repair methods vary in cost. You can hire a professional to inject epoxy into cracks ($1,500-$3,000).
You can also pay a contractor to install steel push or helical piers. These galvanized steel devices are drilled into the earth until they reach bedrock or heavy soil compact enough to support your home. This is the most permanent type of Foundation Repair Sugar Land.
If you’ve ever browsed home improvement stores, you know there’s no shortage of sealants, epoxies, quick-setting concrete, caulks, and foams in stock. However, not all are suitable for repairing foundation cracks.
Some of them are just designed to fill or caulk small fissures in concrete walls and slabs, while others have a greater strength that makes them useful for re-leveling and sealing foundations. For example, polyurethane foam can be injected into cracks and expand into the deepest sections of the fissure to provide a powerful seal that prevents water penetration. Many of these kits include specialized injection ports so you can apply the resin inside the walls.
Foundation cracks can signal serious structural problems. The key is to identify the source of the cracks and fix it. Sometimes that requires simple repairs with cement and lumber, while other times it may require more involved solutions like steel piers or foundation replacement.
It’s not always easy to determine the source of a foundation problem, especially when the cracks appear in different parts of the house. This is why it’s important to look for other signs of a problem with your foundation, such as doors and windows that don’t open or close properly, uneven floors, and gaps in floorboards or between walls.
Using epoxy to fill in a crack may make it less visible, but it won’t stop structural damage or keep leaks from happening. To solve these problems, you’ll need to remove the moisture from the soil around your foundation and divert it away from your house. This can be done by removing foundation plantings, installing guttering and downspouts to divert surface runoff from the house, and grading the soil around your foundation so that it slopes 2 percent or more away from the house.
For severe cracks, you might need to excavate your foundation and replace it with a reinforced concrete slab. This is an expensive option, but it’s the best way to ensure your foundation has long-lasting stability and safety. If you’re not comfortable with a major excavation, however, there are other methods of re-leveling your foundation that can be much more cost-effective.
A foundation repair company should offer a variety of solutions that are tailored to the specific damage. For instance, steel piers can support foundations and lift them when they’re sinking due to soil composition or erosion. They’re capable of carrying massive amounts of weight and work in most upper soil conditions, making them the best long-term solution to stabilize a home’s foundation.
A reliable residential contractor should have a variety of options for fixing structural issues like bowing walls and uneven concrete slabs. Wall anchors and braces are effective at stabilizing foundations in learning situations, while helical piers are great for lifting foundations that have settled over time. In some cases, the use of screw jacks can level foundations and even a structure that’s sinking to one side due to a sloping floor or soil conditions.
Foundation problems that go unaddressed can escalate into more serious problems that may affect the integrity of the entire home. It’s important to recognize early warning signs and take prompt action, whether that involves watching for a visible crack or noting any doors or windows that are difficult to open or close.
Structural repairs can improve a home’s overall condition, making it more livable and attractive to potential buyers down the road. In addition, they can help reduce the need for expensive and time-consuming renovations such as drywall replacement or basement finishing.
While a homeowner can perform some of these repairs on their own, the use of professional services typically provides more accurate results and increased access to tools that aren’t available to DIYers. These contractors also know which techniques and materials are most effective for different types of damage to the foundation and can save homeowners money by choosing less invasive methods to address cosmetic cracks in walls.
Some of the more serious problems that require foundation repairs include bowing walls and house shifting. These are typically caused by moisture buildup or soil erosion. Moisture is particularly damaging to concrete, so ensuring that water drains properly away from the foundation is essential. A professional can also inspect the structure and recommend other corrective measures such as installing sump pumps to prevent future damage.
If you have a basement leak, foundation experts can help you with a solution to stop it and waterproof the area so that it stays dry. Leaks in a basement or crawl space are a sign of a failing foundation. If they are not repaired, it can lead to mold and mildew in the basement, as well as accelerated deterioration of the foundation walls over time.
One common way to fix a leak is to dig down to the level of the foundation and inject it with sodium bentonite clay, which forms a pliable barrier on the “positive side” of the basement wall. However, this is a spot repair and it is not a long-term solution for leaking basements. It’s a little like patching only one roof leak – you might succeed in temporarily stopping the flow of water, but it will most likely reappear somewhere else on the structure.
Non-structural cracks in poured concrete foundation walls that leak are often fixed from the inside with expanding polyurethane. This fills the crack, seals it to the soil, and remains flexible when cured to prevent minor foundation movement from re-opening the crack.
Occasionally, the problem is caused by groundwater seepage that cannot be stopped, even with proper landscaping around the house. When this happens, professional foundation contractors use a sump pump installation to remove the excess water. They also recommend installing a drainage system in the garden and around the foundation to divert rainwater away from the home.
Another method of fixing a failing foundation is to install concrete piers, which are concrete cylinders that are driven into the earth under the foundation. The piers extend to a depth that is suitable for the load-bearing capability of the soil in the area. This is generally a more involved project than the other methods and can be more expensive, depending on how deep the piers need to go.
A final type of foundation repair is the use of hydraulic piers, which are driven in the same fashion as concrete piers, but use a pressurized system to force the pier into the soil. This can be an effective and relatively inexpensive approach to fixing a failing foundation, especially if the damage is limited to the bottom few feet of the foundation.
Preventing Foundation Damage
As with any home maintenance problem, it’s best to catch a foundation issue early. This not only helps to keep repair costs down and prevents the damage from getting worse, but it also means that you can catch other problems before they get out of hand. Look for interior signs of a shifting or sinking foundation like doors that jam or won’t close and gaps developing where walls meet floors or ceilings. It’s also important to regularly inspect your exterior for any changes in soil conditions around the foundation.
The soil under your foundation naturally expands and contracts as it swells or shrinks in response to moisture levels. When these soil conditions are extreme, however, they can exert more pressure on your foundation. This can cause the concrete slabs inside your home to shift, creating a gap between the foundation and the soil and ultimately making the structure unsound.
If you are experiencing these problems, the best course of action is to have a professional inspect your foundation. A geotechnical engineer can determine if the soil conditions are ideal for a new foundation or if a more extensive repair is needed to stabilize your existing one.
Preventing these issues starts with good drainage around the foundation. This is particularly important in the spring when sudden, incessant rainfall can saturate the soil underneath your home. When the soil swells, it places more pressure on your foundation walls, which can lead to cracking and bowing.
A thorough inspection can also help you identify problems before they become serious. A clear view of the basement floor will reveal whether it is sloping or pulling away from the foundation walls. Check for the presence of puddles and pools in your basement, especially after rainfall. You should also take note of any unexplained dampness around the foundation and any tree roots that are growing into or touching the foundation.
Finally, if you notice any signs of stair-step or horizontal cracking in your masonry joints, this is a sign that your foundation is shifting and may be in danger of collapsing. This is usually a sign of an unstable soil condition that requires immediate attention.