Typical foundation crack repair cost for home owners is usually around $4000, which can go up to ten times that. Minor repair of minor cracks is frequently as low as $ 500, while major structural repairs or extensive bowing may cost well over ten thousand dollars. Bowing occurs due to soil pressure, settling of the soil or settling of the home after a long period of neglect. When homes have been neglected, basements may cave in, causing bowing. When this happens, the home loses support, which weakens the entire foundation. In extreme cases, foundations can even cave in completely.
Homeowners are sometimes surprised to learn of soil shifting, which can cause foundation repair options. While this is not always the case, it is good to know about all the options available. Most cracks will do minor repair with a few visits from an independent structural engineer. Most homeowners are unaware that soil can cause major problems with their home’s structure. As long as the water remains in the soil, there will be no problem.
One of the most common causes of foundation crack repairs is water leaks. Leaky pipes can soak up moisture causing walls to become unstable, especially when wet weather sets in. Water leaking from the roof, downspouts or gutters must be repaired immediately because they can cause significant structural damage. Homeowners may try to fix leaks using duct tape, but this method rarely fixes the actual source of the leak.
There are a number of other potential causes for foundation cracks, including soil shifting and minor soil or groundwater pressure. If you live in an area with constant rainfall, then you are more likely to have leaks in your walls and ceilings. Basement floors may get damaged because of shifts in the soil or because of groundwater pressure. Regardless of the cause of your basement foundation cracks, it is important to hire a licensed contractor to perform the proper foundation crack repair.
For smaller cracks, homeowners may consider waterproofing. Waterproofing is designed to keep water out by either sealing the walls or covering them with a thick layer of waterproofing materials. Unfortunately, not all house frames are designed to accept waterproofing systems, which means there is also a chance of leaking around the perimeter of your walls. Waterproofing is a great option for small leaks, but is not always the best solution for larger cracks. Some homeowners prefer to address larger cracks by installing a waterproofing system that seals the inside of the wall.
For larger cracks, such as those found in walls or basement floors, homeowners may decide to tear out the damaged area and replace it with new concrete or another waterproofing system. In many cases, the cost of a foundation crack repair will be far greater than the amount they would spend on waterproofing, so this should be considered when deciding whether to tear out the damaged area or to waterproof it. A waterproofing company will be able to assess the damage and make recommendations. If the damage is small, the homeowner may choose to fix the problem himself and simply buy a second-hand waterproofing product.
Other structural engineers may suggest other options, such as structural steel reinforcement. Structural steel reinforcement is also an option for repairing foundation problems, although many homeowners aren’t interested in installing steel drains and foundations. If drainage is a bigger problem than the foundation, the homeowner may decide to build an addition onto his or her home, which will allow him to build in a basement that is waterproofed by a drain line. The added cost of a basement will likely offset any savings from using a structural engineer for foundation repair options.
Whether the crack is a horizontal crack or a vertical one, the homeowner should never try to repair it on his own. Foundation cracks and other repairs require experience, expertise, and proper equipment. Any damage caused by improper repairs could lead to more serious problems down the road. Hire a professional to ensure that your home’s integrity remains protected.