Common Concrete Foundation Issues and Costs For Repair
There is a reason concrete foundations are standard in modern construction – nothing else compares. It’s incredibly versatile and convenient in liquid form, and durable and long-lasting once it hardens.
Even though concrete is the best choice for a foundation, there can be issues almost immediately in some situations. Some are easy fixes, while others can take more complicated solutions and could even require total replacement.
Common Foundation Problems
Foundation Issues in Cold Climates
A foundation that has been poured in frigid temperatures can experience freezing; in these cases, concrete grey sand or grit could come off the top of the concrete slabs, reducing its strength. Before you bring out your jackhammer, test it to determine its costs of stability—a structural engineer should recommend a lab to go and get the test done (if needed). When we consult a top concrete contractor in Olympia WA we get the same answers from the on site professionals.
If you suspect stability or strength issues in your newly poured concrete foundation, ask the builder to have it tested. If they do not know who to contact, ask them to get a referral from a structural engineer. This cost may need to fall on you upfront to prove that the company should replace the floor and reimburse you for the test.
Sinking Concrete Foundations
Most of the time, you only have to worry about this with older houses. Sometimes, under certain conditions, it might happen with a newer home.
No matter the technique, fixing a sinking foundation is a big, complex job. So it’s essential to keep an eye out for issues and get ahead of them.
There are obvious signs, such as a tilted house, but the symptoms are subtle more often. If your doors and windows become misaligned, it might be a good idea to call a professional for an inspection.
Fractures in the foundation of an older home may be caused by settling and are usually insignificant. In a newer building, any noticeable problems with the foundation should be immediately addressed.
Average Repair Costs
General Cost to Repair Foundation
The average cost of a foundation repair is between $2,012 and $7,064, but it can be $10,000 or more if it’s a major repair. Minor repairs cost far less; as low as $500.
Because it can get so expensive and depends on the job, so it’s important to be educated about common types of foundation issues, how best to fix them, and the cost.
You might just need a simple slabjacking, or something as extensive as adding steel support beams. Having an idea of the options will help you better work with your contractor for an affordable solution.
Cost to Repair Foundation Leak
A foundation leak usually costs $2,000 to $7,000 to fix. Leaks can signal that there are drainage and moisture issues with the home.
To fix this, contractors will excavate around the foundation, put in new tile drains, and fill in the cracks with cement. Then they will waterproof the foundation with a sealant and waterproof wrap. The cost depends on what needs to be done, but it’s worth fixing an issue like this because you want a stable home.
Cost to Repair Settling House and Sinking Foundation
Raising a home to its original height, which is called leveling, can be done in two ways. Piers are one way, which costs $1,000-$3,000, and mudjacking is the other, which costs $500 to $1,300.
Settling and sinking are major issues that should be addressed immediately, because they can worsen over time and cause other problems. You may not even know about it until significant signs like cracks or leaks occur, but if you get it inspected early, you might be able to catch it.
Oftentimes, the cause is an issue with soil or moisture. It’s best to address these issues at the time of repair.
Cost to Repair a Bowing Wall
This will be done with steel reinforcement strips or carbon fiber, at $350 to $1,000 per strip.
This issue usually signals poor soil conditions, weak fill, or inefficient drainage. It’s imperative to catch this right away because it can lower home value or cause settling. Be sure to have the soil assessed to resolve the problem fully.
Cost for Piering or Basement Underpinning
The average cost is $1,000 to $3,000 per pier. It tends to be a more expensive job because it involves excavation and raising the entire foundation.
This works by installing the piers directly beneath the foundation to support the concrete and lift it to where it needs to be. They will need to go several feet deep into the ground, place the pier underneath, and use hydraulics to lift and stabilize the foundation back into place.
Multiple piers in different places are required, which adds to the cost.
Cost of Foundation Jacking or House Leveling
Foundation jacking costs $500 to $1,300 on average. Other words for it are mudjacking or slabjacking. It’s done by pumping a grout mixture underneath the foundation, which floats it back to its original position.
It’s a much simpler job and much more affordable than underpinning. However, it can’t solve every type of foundation issue. A professional can assess which method is most suitable for your specific case.
Cost to Stabilize Foundation
On average, you’ll need about 12 strips of reinforcement which will cost between $4,000 and $12,000.
Your options for material are either steel or carbon fiber. Carbon fiber is good if the bowing in the walls is minimal. You’ll need to use steel if it’s more significant. Your contractor can help you decide what is best.
Although it’s more expensive, steel is often a worthy investment due to its effectiveness. In addition to the reinforcement strips, you will also need to factor in the cost of repairing the walls and easing the pressure that caused the issue.
The average cost to seal a foundation is between $2,000 and $7,000. As previously mentioned, it is a waterproofing method that helps prevent moisture problems and drainage issues. This is a multifaceted process; you don’t necessarily need every service done.
To avoid paying for unnecessary services, you should have a structural engineer inspect to determine the extent of the repair needs. Sometimes all you need is a sealant and barrier. Other times, you’ll also need to have drainage issues addressed.
That’s why it’s always helpful to know as much as possible. Understanding the process of these repairs can save you a lot of money long-term.