Steps to Identify Foundation Damage

Visual Inspection

Start by observing the home’s interior and exterior. Look for cracks in walls, especially around windows and doorways. Foundation cracks, especially horizontal ones, are often more alarming than vertical ones. If your doors are sticky or windows don’t open smoothly, it could indicate foundation shifting. Uneven or sagging floors bowed walls, or gaps where the ceiling meets the wall or between caulking and windows are additional red flags.

Water Damage and Soil Movement

After rainfall, see if there’s water pooling near your foundation. This can lead to soil erosion beneath the foundation, affecting its stability. Ensure your gutters and downspouts prevent improper drainage. Some soil types, particularly those that expand when wet, can indicate a higher risk of damage. Changes in these soil conditions can lead to foundation problems.

Check the Perimeter

A walk around your house’s exterior might reveal visible foundation issues. Check if parts of the foundation appear to be sinking or if there’s evidence of “slab heave”, indicating a rise in the foundation.

Professional Inspection

Despite your best efforts, nothing beats the expert eyes of a structural engineer. If you notice any of the signs mentioned, consult a professional. They employ specialized tools like electronic leveling to pinpoint how much a foundation has shifted.

Understanding Foundation Repair Costs

Factors Influencing Cost

The cost varies based on damage severity. Minor foundation cracks might just need sealing, but severe shifts might require more in-depth solutions like foundation underpinning. The type of foundation you have – be it a basement foundation, slab, or crawl space – also impacts the repair methods and costs. Two common methods of foundation repair are slab jacking and hydraulic jacking (or piercing). The former involves pumping a grout mixture beneath a slab to lift it, while the latter is generally more expensive.

Accessibility of the problem area and local labor and material rates also play a role in determining the cost.

We are ready to help

It’s prudent to seek multiple quotes from reputable foundation repair companies. This provides a price range and offers insights into the recommended repair techniques and their necessity.

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