Skip to main contentSkip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.
Edit
AP

Do I need foundation repair for my home?

  • 0
ATHOME-ASK-ANGI-DMT

Basement and foundation cracks can lead to potentially expensive repairs.

Here’s a couple of words you never want to hear as a homeowner: “foundation repair.” The foundation literally holds up your house, and it’s under constant pressure from earth beneath it, the house above it and water pressure from all sides. Even the strongest foundation can crack from that much wear and tear.

Foundation repairs can run into the tens of thousands of dollars. So if you notice cracks in your foundation or basement walls, it’s a good idea to take them seriously. The sooner you address them, the less you’ll have to pay.

Experts say homeowners should never underestimate how severe the problems can get with even small foundation or basement cracks. Even in an unfinished basement, a crack can be a sign of a compromised foundation — not to mention the potential health issues that mold and mildew in those cracks can cause.

Here’s the good news: There’s a high chance your problem isn’t structural, but rather caused by surface water coming too close to your home. Clogged gutters and downspouts can pour water right next to the foundation, or a poorly graded yard can result in pools by the wall. In both cases, the solution doesn’t involve major structural work. Gutter cleaning or yard grading can clear the problem right up without intervening in your structure at all.

More complex problems will require attention from a professional. The simplest repairs involve pumping epoxy into the crack, which will cost between $250 and $800. You might also need to build a drainage system that diverts water away from the foundation. If a foundation is actively leaking, you’ll probably pay between $2,300 and $7,300 to fix it.

Whatever you do, don’t leave cracks untreated. If you see cracks in your basement or foundation, you should hire a basement waterproofing expert or structural engineer to examine the problem.

Even under ordinary circumstances, your foundation expands and contracts and can eventually break itself apart. Small cracks might not get worse, but they never get better on their own.

If your foundation completely fails, expect to write a big check. Costs for foundation replacement run into the tens of thousands of dollars. Plus, the work can often be a huge upheaval in and of itself. Major foundation repairs involve jacking up the house with supports before digging around and replacing foundations or basement walls.

When looking out for foundation damage, not all cracks are created equal. Small hairline cracks can sometimes result from settling, for instance. You should be particularly wary when a crack starts to grow. Horizontal cracks are also likelier to indicate structural damage.

Most of the time, you’ll see evidence of foundation trouble before it manifests. Peeling paint, leaks and dampness can all give away a foundation problem. Water rot can cause stained or discolored baseboards, and musty odors mean water is hiding somewhere.

Some basement and foundation professionals offer inspections for a few hundred dollars, and it’s a worthwhile price to pay to catch major problems early.

0 Comments

Make your house a home

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Most Popular

Q: I had a contract with a buyer to sell my home. A week before the closing, the buyer canceled the deal. The buyer said they couldn’t get the interest rate for their loan as listed in the contract, even though they were approved by the lender and the rate was well below current market rates according to our agent.

In this column I want to inspire you as dark financial storm clouds form on the horizon. Over the past few months, we’ve all been alarmed at the steep rise in the prices of food, gas and, well, everything. That, of course, includes building materials and the prices contractors charge — if you can even get them to bid your job.

Q: My mom recently passed away. She was 91. We sold her condo this year while she was still alive. We put the proceeds from the sale in an account, which I held with her jointly, with rights of survivorship. I have had this arrangement with her for some 20 years. The account was exclusively for her benefit. All of her known bills are paid. I held a power of attorney for financial matters for her while she was alive.

To create a manicured lawn and flower garden, flexible plastic edging does a good job of separating the components of a landscape. The edging defines garden beds and paths and driveways, and prevents plants from creeping and spreading. The metal edging creates a fine line so the beds are set off and separated from the lawn, creating a tidy appearance.

For anyone living in an apartment or condo, having a balcony is a major perk. Although it’s not as luxurious as a sprawling backyard, even a tiny balcony provides a private outdoor space where you can kick back and take in some fresh air. And with a little extra attention to the design, your balcony can serve as a cozy outdoor hangout that’s well equipped for dining, entertaining, gardening and unwinding. These balcony decorating ideas demonstrate how you can turn even a sliver of space into a relaxing outdoor retreat.

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics

Breaking News

News Alert