Foundation Repair & Crawl Space Encapsulation in Auburn, Alabama
When Alabama homeowners suspect foundation problems, they want answers. We’ve put together this guide to give you the straight story on foundation repair in the Auburn area ― what to look for and how to evaluate the repair options that are going to be best for your home and budget.
Several considerations come into play that can influence your foundation repair choices. These typically include the age and location of your home, the construction methods used when it was built and environmental factors like soil, water and climate conditions.
Let’s explore the basics of how foundation repair works in Auburn.
Estimating foundation repair costs in the Auburn area
As you might expect, foundation repair costs are driven by a number of local variables, including competition, the labor market and material supply and demand. Resources such as HomeAdvisor or Angie’s List (as well as respected industry organizations like the Concrete Network) have documented actual repair costs from across the country to see what homeowners like you are paying.
While prices vary, the national data these researchers have found will give you a general idea what to expect for foundation repair in and around the Auburn, Alabama region. Costs can run anywhere from a few hundred dollars to fix superficial cracks to as much as $25,000 for a complete restoration.
It’s important to remember that these numbers are on the extreme ends and don’t reflect what most Auburn area homeowners actually experience. A survey of over 2,600 HomeAdvisor customers place the national repair cost average at around $4,173. Homeowners with more typical foundation issues pay somewhere between $5,842 and $12,566 to restore their homes to “like new” condition.
If you see signs of minor foundation problems, or even more serious structural issues, there’s no need to panic, but you do need to take action. With the right professional help, most repairs can be taken care of very affordably and may last for the life of your home. Reputable companies will send a qualified inspector free of charge to do an initial evaluation and let you know where you stand.
Understanding your foundation repair options
Technology has come a long way when it comes to the repair choices available to today’s homeowners. Each of these options has advantages and disadvantages based on your specific circumstances, and a trained foundation repair specialist can give you reliable recommendations.
Helical Piers – Experts say that helical piers offer the most versatility and value (structurally and financially) for different foundation repair situations. As with their steel and poured concrete counterparts, they’re designed to connect your foundation to deeper, more consistently supportive layers of soil. They’re also easier to install and customize compared with older technology.
Steel Piers – A big technical improvement over concrete piers is the engineered steel pier. They work very well for stabilizing a variety of foundation issues, but can be installed much more quickly than poured concrete and are a lot less disruptive to your landscape.
Concrete Piers – Before steel piers, poured-in-place concrete piers were the choice for new construction, and are also useful for repairs. It’s a permanent solution, but requires bulky drilling equipment that may be slow and costly to move around your property. This option also tears up your yard with a lot of excavation.
Spot Piers – For more lightly loaded areas, these smaller, shallow piers are usually hand excavated in strategic spots and then filled with concrete and backfilled. This solution is for minor corrections under lighter structures or extensions to your home like porches, patio covers or carports.
Slab Repair – In some cases, unsupported concrete can be stabilized by injecting high-density polyurethane foam below the slab. The advantage of this method is that it’s comparatively fast and low cost and also great for commercial property. It’s similar to the lifting process you may have seen used on exterior concrete such as patios, sidewalks, pool decks or driveways.
How the foundation repair process works
No matter when and how it was built, virtually every home is subject to some normal settling over time. Factors like soil, groundwater and weather conditions can accelerate or intensify this process, leading to excessive strain on key structural components. When that happens, a number of the corrective measures we described can be used to bring things back into alignment and restore the structural integrity of your home.
Ideally the repair process will begin with a thorough evaluation by a qualified expert. They should show you the parts of your structure that have been compromised (by shifting soil or groundwater issues for example) and explain the relative advantages and costs of the available remedies.
Once you commit to your preferred repair option, the foundation repair company should give you an itemized service commitment and timeline so you know what to expect. As an example, if helical piers are the method of choice, they’ll point out the engineered pier locations and perform a minimally invasive installation. The piers can be loaded immediately without the “cure time” of older poured concrete methods.
Foundation repair and Auburn, Alabama homeowner’s insurance
Many common homeowner’s insurance policies will cover the costs of foundation repairs, however, successful claims often depend on the causes of damage. Low-risk events that some insurers will cover include things like collapse due to snow loads, damage from vehicles, aircraft or falling objects, fire or overflow from HVAC systems or plumbing.
Unless you’ve negotiated special coverage and related premiums, most insurers will not cover foundation repair costs arising from events like floods, earthquakes, tree root encroachment, and most importantly, natural cracking, bulging, expansion or shrinking of foundation components, which unfortunately are among the most common and frequent causes of structural problems.
In a region like Auburn, Alabama, variable soil and groundwater conditions make it imperative that you confirm your carrier’s specific insurance coverages with a qualified agent. Although most foundation issues can be quickly and affordably corrected, the last thing you want is to find that you’re on your own in the event of a costly “whole house” restoration.
In general, it’s safest to plan accordingly and assume that foundation damage costs will not be covered by a standard homeowner’s insurance policy, unless it can be shown that the damage was caused by a covered event such as major plumbing leaks.
When to pay attention to cracks in your foundation or other parts of your home
As we mentioned earlier, a certain amount of settling is expected in just about every home. Superficial cracks in interior or exterior finish materials are usually cosmetic in nature and can be inexpensively repaired on a DIY basis. These are the kinds of trouble signs that call for a closer look:
Outside or beneath your home:
Cracked bricks – especially jagged, expanding cracks bigger than one-eighth of an inch
Separating, deflecting, deforming, twisting, or tilting structural elements
Separation around garage doors, windows or walls
Rafters that separate from ridge boards
Displaced moldings or trim materials
Inside your home:
Doors or windows that don’t line up anymore, or start to stick
Bulging, sloping, uneven, or cracking floors
New or expanding cracks in sheetrock
Walls that separate from ceilings or floors
Damp building materials, musty odors, rotten wood, mold, or water stains
Collecting moisture or condensation in basements or crawl spaces
How to find the right foundation repair help
In regions like Auburn, Alabama, foundation repair companies of all sizes, (and from across the entire price, quality, and customer experience spectrum) will be eager to get your business. Pick the cheapest low bidder, and you could end up with quality or service problems that more than erase your savings. Choose the large national chain, and you risk becoming just an invoice number and could be ignored.
SouthernDry is a foundation repair, crawlspace repair, basement waterproofing and encapsulation services company that focuses on the homeowner. The only reason we’re in business is to ensure decades of worry-free living in your home. We do that by offering you transparent, competitive pricing, and by staffing your job with people who care personally about delivering great work and great value long after the repair is finished.
With SouthernDry, you get one-on-one attention from first estimate to final repair. We’ll answer your questions, make the recommendations that are in your best interests. Furthermore, we’ll stick with you until the job is done to your satisfaction. In the unlikely event that something’s out of order, we’ll come back out promptly and make it right. Auburn area homeowners like you choose us over the big box outfits because we’re obsessed with quality. For peace of mind about your foundation, call us at (205) 719-2544, or visit us online at www.southerndry.com.