The importance of a good foundation in your home can’t be overstated. A solid foundation keeps your house level (although some settling will occur over time), insulates in cold conditions, and keeps moisture from seeping into the home. Properly done, poured concrete is the best option, but many existing homes have concrete blocks, brick, or stone foundations and basements. This means cracks and other damage eventually will occur.
So how much will having your foundation repaired cost you? That depends on the severity of the issue and the company or contractor you hire.
Research Companies and Get Estimates
The first thing you need to do is research any companies or contractors you think can handle your repair. Check credentials, licenses and certifications, and recommendations. With foundation and basement repair, it is important to find a company such as Acculevel that specializes in this type of work. After you narrow the field, schedule an appointment for an estimate. Get the estimate in writing (ask for an emailed copy, too). Ask if the estimate is subject to change, and make sure the person providing the estimate leaves his or her name on the paper in case you have questions later and as proof of the estimate’s legitimacy.
A good contractor may give you a general idea of cost if you provide detailed information about the problem over the phone or email, but he or she needs to see the issue first-hand to give you a more specific price tag. It may be tempting to go with the lowest estimate, but the quality of the repair should be your priority. You want the repair to last, especially if you live in a location prone to heavy rains and flooding.
Foundation and basement repairs are not “one size fits all.” For cracks that allow in moisture but haven’t yet threatened the foundation’s structural integrity, Acculevel estimates a cost of less than $2,000 to clean out and seal them. For full foundation repair, the estimate may triple. These costs are based on a concrete foundation; costs for brick and stone may differ as these materials require different repair methods. Depending on what needs to be done, the time required may range from a couple of days for minor crack fixing to a week for major foundation problems.
Why It Happens
When the soil supporting your foundation absorbs water, the soil swells. This puts pressure against the walls underground, which may result in leaks inside. When the soil dries out, it contracts, releasing the pressure. All this give and take can cause your foundation to shift. Soil erosion and poorly compacted soil when the foundation was constructed also may result in future repairs.
Materials and Labor
Good materials and labor will cost more than a fly-by-night operation charges, so be wary of extremely low estimates. During the estimate phase, ask what products and brand(s) the company uses, and do a little research on unbiased consumer sites as to the products’ effectiveness. If you have cracks from water leaks, products such as the epoxy used to fill the cracks should be waterproof.
If your home’s foundation and walls aren’t straight and level or are weak, Acculevel has more than one option for rectifying the situation. Metal wall anchors in cracked or bowed walls stabilize the walls; this solution is quick and doesn’t require massive soil work. Another wall-stabilization repair uses tie-backs, which are shafts installed at angles. A specially designed epoxy combined with carbon-fiber Kevlar straps can be added to walls for reinforcing. Helical piers installed deep into the soil lift a foundation so it’s level again.
Acculevel Wants to Set Things Straight
Acculevel specializes in repairing foundations and basements in Indiana, northern Kentucky, western Ohio, and eastern Illinois. In business since 1996, the staff at Acculevel is trained to deal with mold, cracked or sinking foundations, and groundwater seepage. We truly believe honesty is the best policy and will not do any unnecessary work. We encourage homeowners to get estimates before hiring. If you have leaky basement problems or need help with a shifted or cracked foundation, please contact us at (866) 669-3349 or email us at [email protected].