Ins and Outs of Basement Foundation Repair (5 Facts to Know)
Your basement walls are made to support the weight of your house and prevent moisture from invading. When they work correctly, you won’t have leaks in your home or cracks in the basement walls. However, when they begin to crack, moisture begins to seep in, damaging things that you have stored down there, and it promotes the growth of mold.
Typically the first sign of foundation damage is when cracks start appearing in your basement walls. This occurs when the soil along your basement starts expanding, causing it to press against your basement wall. After a time, the pressure begins weakening the area, and cracks start to appear. The biggest challenge is when homeowners don’t notice the early signs until more serious damage occurs.
In reality, most people aren’t aware of the signs of foundation issues and repair. There are misconceptions about foundation repair, and people are left with questions they don’t know the answer to. Below are some facts about foundation repairs that everyone should be aware of. For further resources, visit https://cincinnatifoundationrepairandwaterproofing.com/.
1. You can’t just fill in the cracks
Other than hairline cracks that occur naturally, they are usually signs of an underlying issue. In other words, filling in the gaps will not fix the problem, just cover it up. While the cracks in your foundation do need to be repaired. In order to know the full extent of the damage, the basement foundation needs to be inspected, and then a repair plan needs to be constructed.
2. Foundation Repair can be expensive
Depending on the extent of the damage, the materials needed, and the foundation repair company you choose, foundation repair can be costly. Frequently this is the main worry for the homeowner and the most common reason they delay calling someone to inspect their foundation. However, if you don’t call a professional, the damage will worsen and become more expensive.
3. The Amount of Time It Takes To Repair A Basement Foundation
The amount of time to repair a foundation varies depending on many factors.
- The type of repair method
- The location of the damage
- The number of piers to stabilize the foundation
- The amount of excavation needed
- The extent of the damage
Foundation crack repairs
As you would expect, simple repairs like crack fills can be done quickly. A basement foundation repair company will use epoxy to fill the crack to prevent water from leaking or getting larger. The epoxy is also flexible, allowing it to shift, expand, and contract during temperature changes. This simple repair is typically completed within a few hours.
What can increase the repair time?
The length of the crack, how many there are, and if they are on the interior and exterior of the wall. If this is the case, it can take a few days, depending on how difficult it is to excavate the found to expose the crack on the outside.
Bowing wall repair
When the walls in your basement are bowing or bulging, you need to have this repaired immediately. Usually, you can expect each wall to take 1-3 days per wall to be repaired. The repair method required is determined by how far the wall is moving. If more than 2 inches, it can be fixed with carbon fiber straps. The straps can be installed inside and are the quickest repair method. However, if the wall is significantly compromised, you’ll need anchors or helical tie packs, which take longer.
What can increase the repair time?
The amount of excavation needed, wall anchors, and wall strengthening increase the amount of time the repair takes. Repair methods that require digging will take longer, especially if the ground is frozen.
Foundation settling repair
If the foundation settles unevenly, it causes the foundation to crack, doors and windows to stink, and cracks in the drywall. The best way to repair this is using helical piers. This type of repair requires excavation either by hand or with a machine. Depending on the number of piers needed and the excavation method, it can take several days to a week to complete the pier installation. Typically professionals can install 4-6 piers a day.
What can increase the foundation repair time?
If you have soft soil that extends over 21 feet (Which is the length of a standard pier), then longer piers will need to be purchased, costing more and taking longer to install.
4. Most Common Reasons For Basement Foundation Damage
Just because your foundation is damaged, it doesn’t mean you’ve done something wrong. In fact, most of the time, there’s nothing you could have done to prevent it. Below you will see some of the most common reasons for foundation failure.
- Soil Expansion occurs when the soil absorbs a lot of moisture. This causes the soil to expand up to 15 times its size and push up against your foundation. After a time, the pressure starts to crack.
- Water Damage is the most common cause of foundation damage. Storms or plumbing issues can impact your home, allowing excess water to surround the foundation. Once this occurs, it drains into the soil, making it expand and push against your foundation. The same thing can happen with melting snow.
- Drought does the opposite as water, and instead of the soil expanding, it is contracting. It pulls away from your foundation when it contracts, creating a gap between the soil and foundation. This causes the foundation to settle, and cracks occur.
- Poor Craftsmanship is another reason foundations get damaged. If the people who did the work on your foundation didn’t use high-quality materials or didn’t prepare the soil properly, it can lead to foundation issues later.
5. How To Prepare For The Foundation Repair Process
The best thing to do is to ask the project manager what you need to do because they’ll be able to tell you for sure. But below are some things you can expect.
- Make sure you’ve removed all of your furniture, wall decor, and plants from the workers’ area.
- Clear a path, so the workers have enough space to do their job.
- Put plastic on all of your furniture to keep it protected
- Keep children and pets away from the work area.
Basement Foundation Repair Gives You Peace of Mind
No one wants to have to deal with basement foundation repair and issues. They’re expensive, unpredictable, and disruptive. But once all of the work is done and the workers have left, you have peace of mind knowing your home and your family have a stable home.