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What Is the Average Cost of Foundation Repair?

April 15, 2019

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Never put off needed foundation repair for your home or business, as small cracks and chips in a structure’s foundation typically become larger and more pronounced over time. Cracks, chips, and other forms of foundation damage allow water to seep into a structure, leading to damage of the building’s framework and increasing the risk of mold growth. Sealing up those cracks and chips keeps a home or commercial building dry, protected from structural damage, and supported properly.

Average foundation repair cost for homeowners is typically just over $4000, or between $1800 and $6500. Minor patching of small cracks is often as low as $500, whereas major structural repairs or underpinning might cost over $10,000.

While average foundation repair costs might seem a bit prohibitive, it’s good for homeowners and commercial property owners to understand the importance of needed foundation repair. It can also be helpful to note some signs of foundation damage as well as foundation repair methods, so you know when to call a foundation repair contractor and what to expect with their work. You might also wonder if foundation damage is covered by your homeowner’s insurance!

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Are Cracks in the Foundation Normal?

Cracks in a foundation are normal to a certain extent. Concrete is a very durable substance but it can become dry and brittle or soften over the years, leading to cracks and other minor damage. Heavy rains also create water pressure against the foundation as does a home shifting and settling on the soft soil underneath it, all of which lead to minor cracks.

In most cases, small vertical cracks in a foundation are normal and not a sign of needed repairs. However, if those cracks are extremely pronounced, if your home’s foundation is suffering large horizontal cracks, if chunks of concrete are missing, or if the home’s interior is showing signs of potential foundation damage, it’s time to schedule needed foundation repairs!

As with all home repairs, it’s also good to “be safe rather than sorry” when it comes to residential foundation repairs. Small cracks might not put your home at risk structurally but those openings can allow in added moisture and become very unsightly, so investing in minor concrete crack repair is often worth the cost.

What Are the Signs of a Bad Foundation?

Not all signs of a bad foundation or needed foundation repair are obvious to homeowners, as some such signs aren’t even related to the foundation itself! To ensure you call for needed concrete foundation repair on a timely basis, note some signs that your home has a bad foundation:

  • When a foundation shifts and settles, the home's interior shifts with it. In turn, you might notice cracks along the home’s interior ceilings, floors, and walls.
  • As a home’s foundation shifts and settles, door frames and window frames move out of position. Doors and windows might then stick or fail to open and close properly, and locks might be cumbersome to engage or disengage. Doors might also move out of position and even swing open or shut on their own!
  • When doors and windows move out of place, gaps often form around their sills or frames. You might then notice a more drafty interior environment during wintertime or that your home is allowing in more heat and humidity during summer months.
  • As a home settles and shifts on a bad foundation, cabinets often pull away from the wall. Cabinet doors might then refuse to close all the way or might hang crooked when open.
  • Sagging and uneven floors are also a sign of needed foundation repair or of a foundation sinking.
  • Foundation upheaval, or apparent and obvious bubbling and unevenness in the foundation, signals damage to a concrete foundation.
  • Cracks in a foundation allow in moisture, as said. A damp basement or crawlspace, standing water in the basement, and other areas of excessive humidity are often the result of foundation damage and a sign of needed foundation repair.

While these are typically the most common sign of needed foundation repair, note that this is not a comprehensive list! If you suspect that your home or business needs residential or commercial foundation repair, call a concrete crack repair contractor as soon as possible. A full inspection of your structure will alert you to needed foundation repair and the extent of any damage to the structure’s framework.

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Foundation Repair Options

Your foundation repair options will depend on the type of foundation holding up your home or commercial structure, the type and extent of damage to the foundation, and if you want to invest in strengthening your foundation against future damage while repairs are made. Note a few foundation repair options for most structures and some price variations for each; as always, remember that these are only national averages. Your exact costs will vary.

  • Cracks wider than 1/8” need repairs. If your foundation has cracks larger than 1/8”, it’s also recommended to consult with a structural engineer, to note if your home or business is sinking, shifting, or otherwise in danger of future foundation damage. Foundation crack repair for smaller cracks is relatively inexpensive, usually starting at $500 on average. Silicone or other patching materials are injected into the cracks and allowed to dry.
  • A leaking foundation requires more extensive crack repair as well as waterproofing or sealing. A foundation excavator typically digs around the structure’s foundation and fills those larger cracks with fresh cement. Waterproofing membranes are then applied to the structure’s interior. Foundation leak repair costs often run between $2000 and $6000 on average.
  • A sinking foundation requires raising and then securing with piers or mud jacking. Cost for pier foundation repairs run between $1000 and $3000, but note that a sinking foundation often signals problems with soft soil or improper drainage. These issues need addressing, which then adds to your foundation repair costs.
  • Bowing basement walls are often the result of poor soil conditions and excess moisture around the home. The soil might need treatment with clay or another stabilizer, and bracing or reinforcement added to the structure’s basement walls. Costs for fixing bowing basement walls might range from $350 to $1000 per brace or reinforcing strip.

Is Foundation Repair Covered by Insurance?

Since major foundation repair costs are often a bit steep for most homeowners, many wonder if foundation repair is covered by insurance. The short answer is that homeowner’s insurance typically does not cover the cost of foundation repairs. In most cases, fixing foundation cracks that are the result of age or shifting and settling is considered standard home maintenance.

However, a homeowner’s insurance policy might cover the cost of foundation repairs if the damage was caused by an event covered by your policy. For example, if a plumbing pipe were to burst and flood the basement and cause resultant leaks in the home’s foundation, repairs might be reimbursed by your insurance provider.

Also, if you carry a flood insurance policy and your home’s foundation is damaged by an outside flood, repair costs might then be reimbursed. To find out if foundation repairs are covered by your insurance policy, ask your insurance agent about your coverage and what is included.

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5 Reasons to Repair Your Structure’s Foundation

Before you decide that you can put off foundation repair for another year, or even indefinitely, you might note 5 reasons why concrete crack repair and other such fixes are so vital. This will ensure you call a foundation repair contractor and have those cracks patched and filled or have your home underpinned as needed.

  1. Cracks in a structure’s foundation allow water to seep in, as mentioned. Don’t underestimate the extent of damage caused by water leaks in a foundation, as a structure’s wood framework absorbs this moisture and then softens and cracks itself. Excessive dampness and water in a home also increase the risk of mold growth and even attracts insects and rodents looking for a water source!
  2. Foundation damage affects your home’s overall value! You might not think much of the value of your property if you’re not considering putting your home on the real estate market, but note that a house’s value is considered when you apply for a home equity loan or any other such secured loan.
  3. Small cracks in a foundation and other such minor damage only gets worse over time! The weight of a structure, pressure from surrounding soil, and other such factors will cause small cracks to spread and allow larger sections of a structure’s foundation to chip and crack. Repairing a foundation now will avoid that damage and keep foundation repair costs contained.
  4. Foundation repair helps avoid damage to the structure’s interior. As a bad foundation continues to crack, chip, or otherwise suffer damage, a home or commercial building will shift and settle with it, allowing cracks to form along interior walls, ceilings, and floors. Foundation repair helps avoid this damage and the cost of patching or replacing interior building materials.
  5. Repairing foundation cracks and other damage helps contain your utility costs, as heating and cooling is often lost through cracks in a foundation as well as resultant gaps around windowsills and door frames. When a structure’s foundation is strong and stable, you avoid these resultant gaps and keep your structure’s interior dry and comfortable year-round.

For all these reasons and more, always invest in needed foundation repair for your home or office.

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