How bad of a problem is foundation damage in a home? Homeowners may live for years with some types of foundation damage, but find that for others, they need to decide whether it is worth repairing or replacing the foundation. Serious foundation damage often requires repair by a professional and is not ususually a DIY project. Such a project may affect the structure's integrity and home value. Understand more about foundation damage and what may need to be done about it today.
How Much Should Homeowners Worry?
First off, all cracks are not the same. While the appearance of cracks in a home may be due to natural settling, other cracks may be a result of a more significant issue. Look at the type of cracks that may be forming in order to get an initial idea of the type of repairs needed. Homeowners dealing with thin cracks may only need to properly seal them. Doing so prevents potential water intrusion and consequent water damage.
What About Multiple Cracks?
Owners should be concerned when multiple cracks develop over windows and entrances. This may also make it hard to open affected windows and doors. As the problem progresses, it may continue to undermine the structural integrity of a home and make it more susceptible to water damage, pest infestations, mold and more. This can negatively impact the equity of a home and add to the costs of repairing or replacing the foundation.
Where Can Cracks Develop?
Cracks can also form in other places. Aside from above entrances and windows, they may happen at wall intersections and in ceramic tiles which have been laid over concrete. The size of the crack may help indicate the reason for the issue as well as increase the repair costs. Reasons for crack foundation can range from natural settlement to concrete shrinkage.
When Can Foundation Material be the Problem?
Some of the most expensive repairs occur when the foundation material had been compromised from the beginning. When mixed properly, it may harden but will lend itself to easy chipping and breaking. A potential buyer who stumbles upon a home with such an issue would do best to keep looking for a home, as this issue can take them over their budget for repairs and upgrades.
What About Foundation Repair Costs?
Much depends on the type of damage and reason for it. An inspection can help improve understanding of foundation problems, which can run an estimated $700. For serious foundation issues, it may be necessary to work with a structural engineer. A few repairs and their potential costs include:
- Having to add steel braces at the cost of $70 to $500 per brace;
- Underpinning the foundation with piers for $1200 or more each; or
- Replacing the foundation outright that can cost as much as $40,000.
Making repairs for serious foundation damage is necessary for those looking to protect the equity in a home. When selling a home, homeowners who know about the damage will need to disclose it to potential damage and may have to lower their asking price. Issues can compound when water damage and mold growth occur because foundation damage has been ignored.
Learn More About Foundation Repairs
Leavenworth homeowners may have significant equity invested in a home and want to maintain their home's value. The good news is that some foundation problems are relatively inexpensive and easy to repair. However, others do require working with professionals. Those requiring more extensive repairs may want to look into available home loans and government grants, making it more affordable to repair or replace a foundation.