Originally posted 6/24/19, revised by Kelly Kater 8/27/20
Foundation repairs are not a “one size fits all” type of situation. Every repair is unique to the home where it takes place. There are a wide range of variables to consider when planning a repair: where the issue is, what type of repair is to be done, where utilities are located if excavation is needed, etc. Scheduling these repairs can be tricky and requires some flexibility.
Acculevel has been repairing foundations since our start in 1996. We recognize that time is immensely valuable: both to us and to our customers. Many homeowners have to request time off work and adjust their daily routines to incorporate home repairs into their schedules. We recognize the trust implicit in working on someone’s home, and take this responsibility with the utmost care.
In this article, we’re going to review various foundation repair types, their approximate repair times, and explore the potential setbacks that can occur.
How Long Does Foundation Crack Repair Take?
The quickest repair is usually a simple crack fill. Acculevel uses an epoxy fill that has strong adhesive properties, so that it will stay in place. The epoxy also has some flexibility in it, which allows it to shift with the foundation as it expands and contracts with temperature changes.
If the cracks are thin and only visible from the inside of the foundation, repairs are usually completed within a few hours.
This photo was taken by an Acculevel project manager during a free estimate appointment. The hairline crack is widening and allowing water to seep in.
What Can Increase Repair Time?
If the crack is visible on both sides of the foundation, you will need to have both interior and exterior repairs made. This could take a day or two, depending on how difficult it is to excavate the ground around the foundation to expose and seal the crack from the outside.
For more detailed information, we discuss crack repair methods and costs here.
How Long Does it Take to Repair a Bowing Wall?
If you have a basement wall that is bowing or bulging, you need to take action promptly. Your home depends on the stability of your foundation, and a wall that is moving is losing stability. On average, it takes 1-3 days to repair per bowing wall. Please note that if more than one wall is bowing, the length of time will increase. The repair method needed is usually determined by how far the wall is moving.
If your wall is bowing less than 2 inches, this can be repaired with carbon fiber straps. You can learn more about those here. Straps can be installed entirely from within the basement, and are usually the quickest to install.
But if your wall has bowed more significantly, you’ll need either wall anchors or helical tiebacks. These take longer to install, because they are larger and meant to reinforce a more damaged structure.
This is an illustration of wall anchors
What Can Increase Repair Time?
Excavation will slow down the installation. Wall anchors and wall straightening are both repair methods that require a contractor to dig. This will obviously slow down the installation process- especially if the ground is frozen.
If you’d like to know more about repair methods and costs for bowing walls, we have an article that explains in greater detail, here.
How Long Does it Take to Repair a Settling Foundation?
When a foundation settles unevenly, it causes stress throughout the structure. This causes the foundation to crack, doors and windows to stick, and cracks in the drywall. The best method to repair settling issues uses helical piers.
Piers require excavation, either by machine or by hand. Depending on the number of piers your home needs and the excavating method, it can take several days (up to a week) to complete a pier installation. On average, Acculevel crews can install 4-6 piers per day.
The goal of pier installation is to secure the pier deep enough into undisturbed soil that it will hold firm. Once this is accomplished- measured by a pressure gauge designed for this purpose- then the pier is attached to your foundation to achieve stability.
This is an illustration of helical piers
What Can Increase Repair Time?
The standard pier length is 21 feet. If your home is located in an area with softer soil, soil with significant amounts of organics, or you live in a naturally high water table, that may not be long enough. Extra depth piers are available, but they cost more and take longer to install.
If you’d like to know more about helical piers and their costs, we have an article that explains in greater detail, here.
Not sure if you’re experiencing settling issues or sagging floors? The two have some overlapping symptoms. This article further explores this question.
How Long Does it Take to Fix a Foundation?
As we’ve demonstrated, the repair time varies depending on the repair type and your home’s individual circumstances. Crack repairs can be done in hours, bowing walls need several days, and piers can take up to a week, depending on quantity and depth.
If You Need Foundation Repairs
If you’re ready to move forward with foundation repairs, the first step is finding an experienced local foundation company, and make an appointment. Looking for recommendations? Ask your neighbors if they’ve had similar repairs done, or check with the realtor who helped you buy your home. Many realtor organizations maintain a list of reliable contractors they use for their own clients.
If you’re not sure what questions to ask, or if you’ve had difficulty managing repairs in the past, we offer a free downloadable guide of questions to ask a contractor.
Before you sign a contract for any service, you should always verify the company is reputable, insured, and accredited by the Better Business Bureau. If you live in Indiana or the surrounding states, contact Acculevel. Established in 1996, we specialize in foundation repairs.
Over her twenty year career, Kelly has worked in a wide variety of fields: secondary education, nursing, biology, elder care, the postal service, multicultural development, and academia. She has developed a skill for translating industry-specific jargon into everyday language. Her goal is to share the knowledge and experience of the Acculevel team with homeowners, in a way that is both engaging and informative.