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How to Determine Cost Estimates for a Foundation Repair

How the cost of Foundation Repair is evaluated depends on the magnitude of damage, underpinning method, material, and number of piers required for adequate levelling and support. A thorough foundation inspection that can last from 30 minutes to several hours depending on the structure is often required to obtain an accurate estimate.

Foundations can be moved by certain soil types. When the soil composition changes beneath the foundation, the foundations under homes begin to stress and fatigue with time and cause the home to be out of level. When a structure is out of level and needs to be repaired, there are several signs a homeowner can see. There are three levels of foundation damage: cosmetic, functional and structural.

First Sings of Visual Damage

The first sign for cosmetic damage is usually cracks in the exterior brick and the interior sheet rock walls and ceilings. A homeowner whose home is their largest investment can be disturbed by this. A homeowner will be prompted by these cosmetic cracks to take action and contact a foundation repair company to examine the foundation and determine the repairs that need to be done and, most importantly; the cost of the repairs.

Parts of the structure that do not function properly are classified as functional damages. The signs of functional damage are doors that will not close or latch completely, windows that won’t open or close well, huge gaps in the brick and mortar causing cold or hot air to enter the home. The framework and brickwork get distorted and out of level when the foundation gets distorted. Piers or underpinning are usually required for functional damages to correct the distorted areas and level the foundation.

The worst of the three levels is structural damages. Huge breaks in the foundation, sheet rock, walls and ceilings to a point where foundation repair may cause it to damage more are signs of structural damage. You should hire a structural engineer to design a scope of repair along with piering method if you notice these signs in your foundation. You should also ask the engineer for the best foundation repair companies he has had experience with to repair the foundation. An engineer gives one of the best referrals for a foundation repair company.

Determining the Costs of Waterproofing a Basement

The determination of the cost of foundation repair depends on the amount of underpinning or piers needed to level the foundation. The number of piers will be determined by the person estimating it. Labor and materials do not break down a repair estimate. The number of piers that it will take to properly repair the foundation and the cost of all the piers will be determined by an estimator or engineer. A small job will usually be a higher pier price than a decent size job of ten piers or more. The more the number of piers the lesser the money the foundation company will charge per pier to repair the foundation.

Besides the foundation repair itself, additional charges for engineer reports, plumbing tests, permits and concrete breakouts will add to the cost of foundation repair. In Texas, foundation repair is very competitive and many people have foundation issues. Although, competition is good for the consumer, some contractors that give very inexpensive prices give you just what you paid for.

To be sure that your foundation is getting supported correctly with the correct number of underpinning, it’s wise to get an engineer determine the number of piers and let the estimate for foundation repair from the engineers scope of repair as outlined in your engineers report be done by foundation companies. In this way, you and the foundation repair company are protected from having an under or over engineered repair plan. Sometimes, other damages and more repairs down the road can result from underpinning areas of a home that have risen because of a plumbing leak or poor drainage. When a leak or poor drainage that has caused an over saturation of moisture under a foundation is repaired, it will allow the area to get back to the proper moisture content after it has had time to dry out properly.

Estimates Will Differ In Price in Different Locations

Depending on the foundation companies charge per pier, estimates can differ in price. Different companies use different piering methods, materials and machinery. The price range of a pier can be from as little as $100.00 to well over $1,000.00 per pier. The least expensive is not always the worst and the most expensive pier is not always the best. Location and availability of materials and competition in the particular market area are factors that influence pier prices, but in other areas of the Canada, where there is low competition and materials are not as accessible and need to be delivered; pier prices can increase by several hundred dollars more per pier.

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Basement Waterproofing is Performed Before A Major Storm

People who specialize in basement waterproofing use a lot of tools to get water out of your basement. Flooded basement can be dried out in no time with interior drainage systems, sump pumps, industrial-strength dehumidifiers, and other even more advanced techniques.

Of course, preventing a wet basement is a better way to deal with it. You can prevent all of the damage that accompanies basement flooding with a proper basement sealing before you acquire the ‘water in basement’ issue. You can avoid the costs of mold removal, basement wall repair or even a complete basement remodeling. You can save a boatload of money by having a little bit of foresight.

Basement sealing is not what pre-flood basement waterproofing is all about there are a number of factors to consider too.

Gutters

Gutters play a major role in the prevention of basement flooding. In simpler terms, without water pooling up against the outside of your basement wall, water would not seep into your basement. A good gutter system ensures that the water is directed away from your home or, in some cases, in a big underground cistern made for managing a week’s heavy rain.

Foundation Cracks

The immediate connection between the basements’ waterproofing and the cracks in foundation of houses are not made by most people. And if you stop and think about it, the mechanics can be seen: water comes in through the foundation, at which point it has only whatever your basement walls and floors are made out of before it gets into your basement proper — and those items are often made of wood, and water will eventually destroy them or seep through.

Basement Waterproofing

Three steps are required for actual basement waterproofing: drying the basement, sealing the basement, and fixing any problems that remain (like removing the mold, basement wall repair, and so on.) Drying the basement, as stated above, generally involves pumping any standing water out and then drying up any wet spots that remain by using a powerful dehumidifier.

The actual basement sealing is usually a process that involves more than one step by itself. It generally begins with plugging any cracks that can be seen from the inside of the foundation and basement walls. An adequate coat of waterproofing paint (NOT damp-proofing, but waterproofing) is the second part of the process. After which you polish it off by finding all of the holes (windows, ducts, pipes, etc.) between the inside of the basement and the outside, and caulk or otherwise seal around them.

Then finally, you can go on with the last repairs. This involves finding any mold- or water-damaged items — whether furniture, carpets, the walls themselves, or anything else — and changing them. It’s okay for you to live in your basement once all of the damaged goods are replaced (there shouldn’t be many if you haven’t flooded yet). Just don’t take your eye off the smell; it’s the first sign that there’s another leak — but that should not border you for some couple of years.

A good basement waterproofing company can usually assist you with some of these preventative steps at a relatively affordable rate if you find any of these tasks outside what you can do yourself.

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What to Do If Your Sump Pump Overflows

One of the best ways to prevent your basement from flooding is with a reliable sump pump. However, if your sump pump stops working or can’t respond quickly enough to the amount of water rushing into the pit, then you might end up with a lot of water in your basement. Having water in your basement can lead to structural damage, mold, and even fire. Therefore, it’s important to know what to do if your sump pump ever overflows.

Power outages are one of the biggest causes of overflowing sump pumps.

Since heavy storms can often trigger power outages, it’s highly probable that your basement will flood when the pump goes out. One way to prevent this from happening is to have your sump pump on a backup battery. However, this won’t help if the sump pump breaks or has some other particular fail. By knowing how to troubleshoot your sump pump, you can help protect your basement from flooding.

 Reset the Overflown Sump Pump

If you find your sump pump overflowing, you first need to make sure that it still has power. Even if the power is still on in your home, there might be another electrical issue preventing your sump pump from working. Check to make sure you don’t have a blown fuse or tripped circuit (watch video: How to Replace a Blow Circuit). If this isn’t the problem, then you can try resetting the pump by unplugging it and plugging it back in after a few minutes. A plumber’s help may sometimes be needed to perform extra operations if you have leaky or broken pipes that need a Toronto plumber for your residential and commercial drainage systems, by providing 24 hour emergency plumbing services for your property in these cases. If the issue doesn’t seem related to power, then you should check to see if the discharge line is blocked. A blocked discharge line can cause problems with the entire sump pump system working correctly.

Sump pump and the basin - Aquatech Waterproofing

Sump pump outside the sump pump basin.

You can also check to see if there is any debris in the basin that is preventing your pump from functioning. Make sure your pump is unplugged when you reach into the basin. If none of these solutions fix your pump, then it is time to replace the pump.


Watch Video: How to Reset your Sump Pump

By checking and cleaning your sump pump twice per year, you can help make sure it will work when you most need it.

If you need to install a new sump pump or pit, Aquatech Basement Waterproofing can make sure you do it the right way – Call: 1-866-891-1917

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Exterior Basement: Waterproofing When Water Attacks

Exterior Basement: Waterproofing When Water Attacks

When the outside of your basement is attacked by flood, the smallest crack in your cellar’s defenses can even turn the battle into your foundation into a real problem. This is because some events are just too overwhelming to hope on a traditional interior basement waterproofing effort.

Let there be no doubt about exterior basement waterproofing, it is a huge undertaking. It’s going to begin with excavating the earth out from around your basement regardless of the techniques that will be used. Envisioning a huge backhoe in your yard scraping mud away from your foundation.

However, it’s a necessity for many homes as scary as it is. Cracks can be forced in your foundation that will get water into the cellar even though it’s been recently waterproofed on the inside if the hydrostatic pressure on the outside of your basement walls gets too high. With Exterior basement waterproofing, the strength is brought right to where the fight is actually taking place — the external wall of your basement.

Kinds of Exterior Waterproofing

Several different varieties of external basement waterproofing exist. In the simplest kind, some form of waterproofing agent is sprayed down the basement wall and then the dirt around the basement is changed. It’s the most common, least expensive, and least powerful way of protecting your cellar walls.

The next step is basically involves using plastic to wrap your entire basement wall. It adds extraordinary strength and water tightness to your basement walls, although it’s a huge undertaking. It’s also expensive — actually more than the next option, which many people prefer for their homes.

Installing footer drains all the way around the home is a common alternative to strengthen the basement walls. These footer drains act much like solid set of gutters by collecting the rain that pours down the outside wall of the home and gently directs it dozens of feet away, usually into a storm drain or a garden. Generally, footer drains will manage any problem with the exception of a rising water table or a water main breakage near the basement walls.

Don’t Wait Until The Damage is Done

Basements that require exterior waterproofing are already in danger – water is forcing its way even through the standard interior waterproofing job into the basement. That’s critical; the possibility for hazardous mold cannot be compared to the potential that the entire foundation of your home could split and crumble.

You’re staring at a whole different level of expense when that occurs. Contractors will come out and lift your entire home off of its foundation, and fix the foundation in under it. The kind of expense that will be invoked by that adventure cannot be compare to any amount of basement waterproofing. Thus, it’s much better to reach the basement waterproofers while you still can.

Call a basement waterproofing crew immediately and get your home checked out if you know or even suspect that this might be happening to your home. If you don’t need them, great! But if you do, you’ll be glad you called them when you did.