The most vital aspect of any home construction is the foundation. Until about the 1970s, most foundation repairs had concrete. Today, most foundation consultants consider location and site conditions. Repairs are time-sensitive. Allowing cracks in the foundation to spread may cause the structure to shift, which can be a safety hazard as well as causing damage to the interior.

Repairs using steel piers require extensive calculations. In the past, steel piers were the first to gain popularity. Most likely attributed to the lack of impact it had on the environment and landscape. Helical piers served as a desirable alternative for interior slabs or exterior foundation repairs. Helical piers work effectively with lighter loads, such as gazebos or porches. Larger construction projects tend to use modern concrete piers before actual construction begins. As far as home foundation repair goes, it may be best to explore another method due to the cost and cleanup of the job. The most common form of slab repair is polyurethane foam. Because of its accessibility in general hardware stores, it has become a favorite for do-it-yourselfers. It’s recommended a trained technician apply polyurethane foam, due to its susceptibility to clogging HVAC vents.

Repairs can range anywhere from $1,200 to $10,000 depending on the severity of the damage. The size or value of the home also comes into consideration when providing the consumer with an estimate. Preventative upgrades to the home’s foundation are the best options if there is flexibility in the budget.

Most pier and beam foundations have concrete piers around the home to provide added structural support. These foundations are accompanied by joists that run vertically and horizontally and may also warrant repair or replacement when the time comes. Wood posts need to be frequently repaired due to their vulnerability to erosion, rodents, and mold. For homes with mold, replaced or added vents may be required to reduce moisture to keep new wood posts dry. When dealing with wood posts, the best option is to upgrade to concrete beams. It’s suggested that a trained professional inspect the foundation of any residential property every few years. Homeowners should not enter the crawlspace of their home for any reason due to animal bites, or sudden structural collapse.

The easiest way to tell if a home is suffering from structural damage is when picture frames do not remain level, or cupboard doors hang open when they didn’t in the past. Structural shifting may also become evident when windows and doors aren’t level. Although all foundations are at risk of having cracks or holes, most concrete or steel beams are known to last over 75 years. Several factors go into the consideration of a foundation’s longevity, such as soil and thickness of the posts. Wood posts are more susceptible to hazards but are still known to last for decades.

If you have a simple crack in your foundation, repair costs can range from anywhere from $250 to $800. The length of time for the job is a factor to consider as well. The jobs can range anywhere from a day to a month, and cost anywhere from $1,500 to $30,000. Most companies charge by the pier and the depth they need to dig. Whether to repair or upgrade a pier and beam foundation is not a calculation that can be made by a consumer with no experience. It takes consultation from a professional that will also take into account how long you wish to keep the home and how difficult it will be to resell. Pier and beam foundation issues should not be ignored. They are imperative to the people that live in the home to keep everybody safe.

By Muezza