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When it comes to the care and keeping of your home, you have to make an effort to maintain your foundation. If you don’t, you may find yourself facing unexpected cracks, leaks, or even sinkage.

If you want to prepare for foundation maintenance, though, what kind of budget should you lay out? More importantly, what kind of problems are you likely to run into?

Let’s dive into the basics of foundation repair so you can have a better idea of what problems you may encounter.

Cracks To Look Out For

While your foundation may sink as a result of poor grading or bad weather, it’s far more likely that it will crack. Foundation cracks form for myriad reasons, all of which tend to boil down to stress. The good news is that most contractors will be able to readily help you fix a crack that’s appeared in your foundation.

What cracks do you need to be on the lookout for? Some of the most common foundation cracks include:

  • Vertical cracks: If the original contractors who built your home used green wood or other inappropriate materials for your supports, you may start to notice vertical cracks appear after overexposure to moisture.
  • Horizontal cracks: Horizontal cracks form in your foundation as a result of hydrostatic pressure in the soil around your home. Your foundation material works to compensate for that pressure and can break open, as a result. Foundations made out of concrete and brick see horizontal cracks more frequently than any other type of foundation.
  • Diagonal cracks: Diagonal cracks form for the same reasons horizontal cracks do, but they’ll usually be larger on one side than the other. This is because your home is settling unevenly, leaving one side more exposed to longer-term pressure than the other.
  • Stair-step cracks: The aforementioned hydrostatic pressure will readily crack concrete block or brick-based foundations along mortar lines. These cracks are often easier to identify than the other types of cracks.

The contractors working in the Greenville, SC, area can propose a variety of solutions to repair and protect your foundation walls from cracking and moving inward. Some of these include wall anchors and beams that can be tightened to help improve the walls’ conditions, and carbon fiber supports that will hold the walls in their current positions. The cost of these wall repair and reinforcements will vary based on the size of your home, the cracks in question, and the extent of wall damage. On average, though, you’ll want to budget between $5,000 and $15,000 for potential repairs.

When Does A Crack Become A Leak?

Unfortunately, a crack that goes neglected or unnoticed for a significant amount of time will readily become a leak. If you aren’t able to catch your foundation damage in time, then you’re going to need to expand your budget appropriately.

Luckily, contractors will be able to recommend a number of waterproofing measures for you to implement in your home. Some of the most common will likely include:

  • Draining your window wells
  • Installing interior drainage 
  • Installing a sump pump

What To Do If Your Foundation Starts To Sink

As previously mentioned, it’s not just foundation cracks that plague the structural integrity of your home. You may come home one day to find that your previously sturdy foundation has, in fact, been slipping away from its original position.

When faced with a slipping or sinking foundations, contractors in the Greenville, SC, area will likely recommend repairing and protecting the foundation with piering. Different piering options include helical piers, push piers, and slab piers. The solution used will depend on the type of foundation you have, as well as the extent of settlement damage.A piering project can cost you between $1,000 and $2,000 or more per pier, with costs varying to match the severity of your home’s sinkage. Depending on what contributed to the sinking, you may be able to supplement these costs with some help from your insurance provider. Reach out to your carrier for guidance, and don’t forget about payment and financing options that may be available to you through your repair contractor.

Foundation Repair Options

Unfortunately, it’s difficult to recommend a set budget for foundation repairs. As you’ve seen, costs will vary based on the severity of a foundation’s damage, the size and age of a home, and other contributing factors.

That said, you shouldn’t let any existing concerns about the cost of foundation repairs keep you from reaching out to professionals. It can be tempting, if you’re trying to save money, to forgo an inspection in favor of testing out a DIY solution. Unfortunately, any DIY foundation cures could make the problem worse. When you do eventually call in a professional, the project could take longer and cost more due to the removal and damage control of quick DIY fixes.

Effectively, if you want to save money while also saving your foundation, go to the professionals first. The contractors operating out of Greenville, SC, will be able to offer you a free inspection and estimate on potential services before they even get started. This way, you’ll be able to go into repairs knowing what’s wrong with your foundation, what action needs to be taken, and how your repair budget will be impacted.

Ready to reach out for help? Call your local foundation repair contractor today.

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