Foundation Repairs & Home Leveling
WHAT IS FOUNDATION REPAIR
Underpinning is the process of modifying an existing foundation system by extending into subsurface stratum that is deeper and more stable than the near surface soil that supports the existing foundation system. This is done to provide vertical support that is not present in the existing design. Methods of underpinning include the construction of footings, stem walls and driven pilings for drilled piers.
The underpinning, if properly designed and installed, provides the basis to lift the structure to a more acceptable elevation and provides vertical support to prevent the underpinned area from settling.
There are many systems and many contractors that perform foundation repair work. The buyer must be educated and selective when deciding on the repair method for their home. Improper repair methods could cause tens of thousands of dollars in additional defects.
Before any repairs are started, 2 important professional observations are necessary:
FOUNDATION FAILURE REPORT
A Foundation Failure Report is an investigation by a non-engineering firm - usually a foundation repair specialist - of a structure's foundation integrity and repair alternatives. The survey is conducted on site and can take several hours to complete. The report involves an interior and exterior examination of the structure, interior floor elevations, load calculations and a recommendations on the repair methods along with a price. Contractors may charge from $200 to $1,000 for a complete survey and Foundation Failure Report. This fee is typically deducted if you order.
GEOTECHNICAL REPORT/SOILS REPORT
This is a comprehensive report prepared by a licensed engineering firm. It involves on-site soil testing by taking soil samples at various depths around the structure, looking at the geographical features and history of the area and drawing conclusions from that data. These reports are often required by structural engineers when determining how to repair a foundation. The reports can cost in the range of $1,500 to $5,500.