How to repair a cracked foundation
Non-structural hairline cracks caused by shrinkage during the concrete curing process can usually be repaired via epoxy injection. The flexible, epoxy resin seals the crack and prevents water from seeping through the foundation wall. Tuckpointing is a term for another method that uses mortar, grout, or like materials as a chosen repair solution for non-structural cracks.
Structural cracks caused by lateral or horizontal foundation movement can be repaired using:
Steel beam wall braces – Expansive soil, frozen soil, and hydrostatic pressure caused by excess water that can’t drain off can cause foundation walls to bow inward and even crack. Steel beam wall braces stop bowing and stabilize the foundation against future lateral movement.
Carbon fiber straps – Carbon fiber straps are another way to stabilize a failing foundation wall. Carbon fiber is strong, and the straps can be installed on both poured concrete and concrete block foundation walls.
Structural cracks caused by vertical foundation movement can be repaired using:
Resistance Push Piers – This foundation repair technique is called underpinning and involves anchoring the foundation to load-bearing refusal. Refusal happens when the pier encounters very hard soil or rock and cannot be driven any deeper.
Cost of repairing a cracked foundation
The cost of repairing a non-structural crack will be less than fixing a severe structural crack. The cost of repairing a cracked foundation will also depend on your geographical location, the type and severity of the crack, and the chosen repair solution.
Unless a foundation repair professional inspects the cracked foundation, it is impossible to obtain an accurate repair estimate. The only way to know how much it will cost to fix the cracked foundation of the property you manage is to contact a foundation repair professional to schedule an inspection. At USS, there is no charge for an onsite visit and the personalized repair plan is free.
Will my insurance cover repairing a cracked foundation?
Most policies only cover repairing a cracked foundation if the crack was caused by something the policy covers, like a sinkhole. The only way to know for sure is to check your policy or call your insurance agent.
What about DIY repairs for a cracked foundation?
If the cracks are minor and non-structural, you might be able to get away with a DIY repair by one of your property maintenance staff. Unfortunately, a structural crack can sometimes appear to be non-structural. To protect yourself and your tenants, have suspicious cracks checked out by an experienced foundation repair contractor.
Structural cracks should be repaired by foundation repair professionals only. Structural cracks are not DIY projects.
How to prevent a cracked foundation
Since water causes a lot of foundation problems, getting groundwater under control is one way to prevent trouble. You can do this by ensuring there’s good drainage around each structure you manage.
- Make sure the exterior areas slope away from the property’s foundation. If the yard or exterior areas slope toward the building, water will pool around the foundation and eventually cause structural issues.
- Clean the gutters regularly. Clogged gutters will cause water to spill over the side of the house and into the soil around the foundation.
- Install downspout extensions, if necessary. Many downspouts release water too close to the foundation. Make sure your downspouts channel water away from the foundation before releasing it.
Since a cracked foundation of a managed property can cost a lot to repair, it’s best to catch problems early or prevent them entirely. Monitor small cracks for growth and contact a foundation repair professional if you see anything suspicious.
If the property you manage is in our service area in Middle Tennessee, Southern Kentucky, or Northern Alabama, contact us today for a free inspection and repair estimate. We’re here to help!