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How Long Do Foundation Repairs Last? (Expert Advice)

January 11, 2021

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Foundation repairs are often costly for homeowners and rarely covered by homeowner’s insurance, which is why you might be wondering, how long do foundation repairs last? After all, you want to know that you’ll be getting your money’s worth when you invest in foundation crack repair, basement foundation repairs, or house leveling services.

So, How Long Do Foundation Repairs Last for the Average Property?

  • Expoxy Injections: Typically last 5 years before beginning to weaken
  • Anchors, Tiebacks, & Helical Piers: Can last for decades (20-30 years)
  • House leveling & Slab jacking: Approximately 10 years

There is no “one size fits all” answer as to how long foundation repairs last, as this depends on your repair method, quality of repair materials, and if you take steps to protect that foundation from future damage. To better understand how long foundation repairs should last, check out various repair methods, how and when they’re used, and how long each should last, as well as some tips for ensuring your home’s foundation stays in good condition over the years.

house with expose foundation awaiting repairs

How Long Foundation Repairs Last

To better understand how long foundation repairs last, note a few details about popular repair methods and how long they should last. Be sure to discuss any questions you have about these with a foundation repair contractor near you, so you know your home is always in good condition and protected from damage.

1. Epoxy injections

Epoxy injections work for smaller cracks and foundation damage. These injections close up cracks and all those pits and pores that form along concrete surfaces, reinforcing weak spots and helping to repel water and moisture. Most epoxy injections last around 5 years before they start to weaken and your home’s foundation needs new injections and other repair methods.

2. Straps, anchors, and tiebacks for bowing walls

As a basement foundation weakens, walls might start to bow inward in reaction to that stress and weight they can no longer support. Depending on their overall condition, a foundation repair contractor might tie those walls back with straps or tie backs designed specifically for basement walls.

For severe damage, those walls might need anchors, which provide added support while returning them to a level and upright condition. These foundation repair solutions should last for decades, if not permanently, as long as you address any underlying factors that caused the foundation to weaken.

3. Helical and steel piers

Helical piers look like large screws and are often used for foundation repairs around areas not carrying much weight such as underneath a porch or home addition. These piers are twisted into the underlying soil so that they provide support for the foundation and keep it from settling and sinking.

Steel piers are similar but much stronger than helical piers and are often used for slab foundations underneath a house or other such structure. Both steel and helical piers should last for decades, if not the lifetime of homeownership.

4. House leveling, slab jacking, mud jacking for sunken homes

If your home has settled or sunk, it might be time for house leveling, also called slab jacking or mud jacking. This process injects a specialized slurry into the soil underneath that sunken area; as the slurry hardens, it lifts the home back into its level and even position.

House leveling provides added support for the foundation over the years, keeping the home level. High-quality house leveling should last at least 10 years, depending on your property’s soil condition and if you address reasons for the house to have settled.

Your foundation repair contractor might suggest other repair methods and should note how long they’re expected to last. Ensure you get a warranty or guarantee from them as well, so you know you can trust their work!

fixing home with faulty pier and beam foundation

Tips for Foundation Damage Prevention!

  • Excess moisture around foundations is a common reason for damage. Concrete absorbs that water, getting soft and weak so that it cannot hold up the weight of the home. As a concrete foundation cracks, it allows in even more water so that the damage gets worse!
  • Proper grading or sloping of a property is vital for protecting a foundation from damage. Residential properties should be graded slightly toward the street, to allow excess moisture to drain away from the home and its foundation. A landscaping engineer can typically check your property’s soil conditions and moisture levels as well as its grade.
  • A home’s gutters are designed to direct rainwater and melting snow to nearby downspouts, which direct that water away from the home. Clogged gutters allow water to wash over their sides, where it then pools around the foundation. To prevent foundation water damage, ensure your home’s gutters are always clean and clog-free.
  • Waterproofing is also an excellent preventative measure against foundation damage. Waterproof coatings both outside the foundation and along basement walls can keep out damaging water, keeping a foundation strong and stable over the years.

Should You Buy a House That Has Had Foundation Repair?

There is no “right or wrong” answer about buying a house that has had foundation repair or that needs foundation repair currently, as only you can determine if needed repairs make that home a poor financial choice. For example, epoxy injections to repair foundation cracks and other minor damage might cost less than $1000 and last for five to 10 years. If you’re willing to pay that repair price and realize that it’s not a permanent solution, the home might be a good purchase for you.

Other homes needing more costly foundation repairs might also be priced accordingly. Homeowners trying to sell a “fixer-upper” or “handyman’s special,” whatever the needed repairs, might price their house well below comparable properties in the neighborhood. If you know the home needs extensive foundation repairs and that the house is priced low enough to compensate you for the time and cost of scheduling those repairs, the home might be an acceptable purchase.

If you’re considering purchasing a home that has had foundation repairs, it’s vital that you note when the repairs were performed and how long they’re expected to last. You might also note if the homeowner corrected the property’s slope or grade, or has taken any other steps to ensure the foundation stays in good repair. Check with a property appraiser, realtor, or real estate lawyer for advice on purchasing any such home!

home with foundation cracks requiring repairs

Does Foundation Repair Affect a Home’s Value?

Unrepaired foundation damage can affect a home’s value, sometimes more than any other needed repairs! Some experts suggest that a damaged foundation might lower a home’s value by 10% to 15%, so for every $100,000 of your property’s value, foundation damage lowers that amount $10,000 to $15,000! Your $400,000 home might then be worth only $340,000 to $360,000 if you neglect to repair foundation damage.

On the other hand, repaired foundation damage might not affect a home’s overall values. As with any other needed repairs, investing in high-quality foundation repair materials and a reputable foundation repair contractor can help protect home values. Addressing reasons for foundation damage, such as improper grading or undersized gutters, can also mean ensuring your home’s value stays intact after foundation damage repairs!

Living in the House During a Foundation Repair

Most foundation repair methods are applied outside the home; steel piers, for example, are inserted into the ground near its foundation, rather than being inserted from inside the home. These foundation repair methods don’t disrupt the home itself and shouldn’t interfere with a homeowner’s daily activities.

The only exception is house leveling or slab jacking, which might require a homeowner to vacate the premises, taking pets with them, and secure fragile items. Otherwise, unless you work in the basement where a foundation repair contractor might need to inject epoxy or apply waterproof coatings, foundation repair shouldn’t interfere with your daily routine.

What Happens If You Don’t Fix Your Foundation?

home with interior foundation cracks

 

A homeowner should never put off needed foundation repairs! No matter their costs, it’s vital that you have your foundation repaired as quickly as possible.

  • Cracks and chips along concrete allow in water and moisture, which only weakens concrete and lets damage get worse. The longer you ignore needed fixes and patching, the worse that damage and the faster it spreads!
  • Moisture seeping into a home through foundation cracks risk wood rot and structural damage, mold growth, and insect infestation.
  • Trapped moisture also creates a damp, musty feeling and unpleasant smells in the basement!
  • Excess moisture can mean mold and mildew growing along items stored in the basement as well as rust and corrosion on home appliances.
  • A damaged, weak foundation cannot support a home’s weight. Over time, that home might then settle and shift, sinking along one side or another. As it does, it pulls on building materials and surfaces, leading to cracked walls and ceiling tiles. Doors and windows might also stick and become difficult to secure and lock properly.
  • In severe cases, a settling home might also mean buckled floors, roof damage, and damaged plumbing pipes. Baseboards and crown molding might also pull away from walls, and walls pull away from each other, leading to gaps in the corners of rooms.

Note that all this damage resulting from an unrepaired foundation is often costly to fix, and only adds to your eventual foundation repair costs! To keep your home in good condition and keep costs as manageable as possible, schedule needed repairs as quickly as possible, and ensure your home is protected from future damage with needed grading, waterproofing, and other such measures.

A Word from our Foundation Repair Contractors

Indianapolis Foundation Repair Experts is proud to offer this information to our readers and especially proud of the work provided by our foundation repair experts! If you still have questions about how long foundation repairs last, or would like to schedule a foundation inspection Indianapolis, give us a call. We offer over 20 years of foundation repair services and experience and stand behind all our work with a satisfaction guarantee you can trust.

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