So you think there may be something wrong with your foundation, but you haven’t reached out to a contractor. Why? Because you don’t know how much foundation repair in Baltimore is going to cost you.
Most foundation repair costs will vary based on the problem you have and its individual scope. However, there are a few things you can keep in mind while preparing your repair budget that’ll help you estimate how much you’ll need to save.
Should You DIY Your Foundation Repair?
There are several pervasive myths that scare many people away from professional foundation repair.
Some people say the practice is too expensive, others argue that it’s too invasive, and both make homeowners think professional assistance isn’t worth the cost. Partner that mindset with the recent rise of DIY, and you might imagine that several homeowners would find themselves asking: can you manage foundation repair on your own?
The short answer is no. You need to leave foundation inspection and repair to the professionals unless you yourself have the licenses and certifications necessary to repair your home. While DIY-ing your foundation may seem cost-effective, the reality of the situation is that you may end up making the problems with your foundation even worse by trying to treat them yourself.
If you’re looking for ways to save money on foundation repair, you can. One of the best ways to protect yourself from unexpected costs is to waterproof your foundation as soon as you move into your home.
While it’s more difficult to waterproof pre-existing homes, it is possible, and doing so will save you a lot of stress in the long run.
Alternatively, don’t hesitate to talk to the contractors serving the Baltimore area about their pricing. Before committing to a contractor, seek out several free quotes to see what the average cost of foundation repair should look like. Once you have that information under your belt, you’ll be in a better position to negotiate.
Preparing for Cracks
The amount you’ll have to budget for foundation repair will depend entirely on the problem you anticipate facing.
One of the easiest faults to fix in a foundation is a crack. Smaller cracks won’t compromise the structural integrity of your home if you treat them quickly. That said, any crack that exceeds 1/8th of an inch in size is a crack that’s probably causing other problems throughout your home.
The types of cracks you’ll see most often in your foundation include:
- Vertical cracks – Vertical cracks frequently appear when the supports in your foundation are exposed to an excessive amount of water. If the contractor who built your home used green wood in your supports, for example, your walls may start to bow as water permeates the overly porous material.
- Horizontal cracks – These cracks most often form when the soil around your home begins to shift or exert excessive hydrostatic pressure on your foundation.
- Diagonal cracks – Diagonal cracks form for much the same reason as a horizontal crack. However, they’re a sign that your home may be settling unevenly or that one side of your home may be exposed to more groundwater than the other. If left untreated, these cracks will vary wildly in size, but one side will typically be wider than the other.
- Stair-step cracks – These cracks tend to appear in homes with foundations made out of brick and mortar and are a sign that water’s made its way into your home.
Foundation repair contractors will more often than not try and seal off a crack in your foundation via crack injection. The cost of a crack injection will vary based on the size and severity of your foundation crack inside of your home.
Preparing for Leaks
There’s a difference between a foundation crack and a foundation leak. A foundation repair contractor will be able to tell you whether or not your foundation is leaking based on the amount of dampness in your basement. If you are dealing with a foundation leak, then you’re not only going to have to budget for crack filling and sealing but for further foundation waterproofing. Under these circumstances, be prepared to consider:
- Draining your window wells
- Exterior waterproofing via outdoor excavation
- Installing a sump pump
- Repair tie-rod leaks
What to Expect If Your Home is Sinking
It’s easier than you think to determine whether or not your home is sinking. An inspector will be able to assess the structural integrity of your foundation as well as your grading and let you know if your home needs underpinning or if it can be protected with a solution that’s less all-encompassing.
If your home is sinking, however, you need to act quickly. Repair solutions like piering and concrete lifting can help lift your home back up to its original ground level have wide ranging costs. Some average foundation repair product prices are $1,000-$3,000+ per foundation pier and $500-$1,300+ for leveling/slab jacking. It depends on the severity of your sinkage. In these cases, consider asking your contractor if they’ll work with your home insurance to lessen the severity of your costs.
Contractor Repairs and Other Solutions
Again, the cost of your foundation repair will depend entirely on the problems a contractor is able to find after a free inspection. Once your contractor’s been able to identify any potential problems with your foundation, the two of you will be able to sit down and discuss the different solutions available to you and their costs.
Most contractors will propose one or some combination of the following solutions if damage has been done to your foundation:
- Crack Injection
- Slab Jacking
- Preventative Exterior Waterproofing
- Preventative Interior Waterproofing
- Gutter Fees
If you’re concerned that you haven’t budgeted enough for comprehensive repairs, talk about setting up a payment plan with your contractor. Alternatively, quote-compare and see if your contractor is open to negotiation. Whatever you do, don’t wait to fix the biggest threat to your foundation. The longer you delay fixing your foundation, the more severe – and expensive – the problems therein will become.