Foundation issues are the most common type of property damage. According to the National Association of Home Builders, foundation damage accounts for approximately 34% of home repairs. While foundation repair is the second-most expensive type of repair after major structural repairs, it’s a critical problem to fix. If left alone, these issues can lead to more serious structural problems, such as cracks in the walls or unstable chimney chases in the roof, which means more costly repairs.

The Cost to Repair

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development estimates that repairing a foundation will cost between $5,000 and $25,000 for a typical house with a 4-foot crawl space and 2-foot basement wall. Foundation damage can be caused by a variety of factors:

• Poor construction
• Poor soil conditions
• Shifting soil
• Rotting wood
• Water intrusion
• Pipes that are too close to the foundation

• Improperly set footings

Signs of Foundation Damage

One sign of foundation damage is water intrusion. Keep an eye out for moisture stains or discoloration on the ceiling or walls, and check for mold growth near windows and doors. If you notice cracks in your walls or flooring, this could also mean it’s time to seek out a professional.

Foundation Repair Options

Before deciding on a solution, it’s important to understand the extent of your foundation damage. A professional can offer their advice. There are two main types of repairs you can opt for:
Permanent Foundation Repair: This is the more expensive option and is usually done when the foundation has been severely damaged. Ranging in price from $7,000 – $10,000, it involves removing the old concrete and replacing it with new concrete that is reinforced with steel rods or other materials.

Temporary Foundation Repair: This repair option is cheaper because it doesn’t require demolition and reconstruction. It involves filling in cracks with mortar, waterproofing the soil around your home, and adding insulation.

How Can Foundation Damage be Prevented?

There are a number of ways to prevent foundation damage, such as installing a French drain, grading the soil so water flows away from the house, and repairing cracks in your foundation. Make sure that your home has a well-balanced water sprinkler system as well, which keeps the soil underneath the building from becoming too saturated.
Foundation issues usually come from soil settlement, water infiltration, or an unevenly distributed load on the structure. If you notice any warning signs of foundation damage, it’s time to call a professional. The sooner it’s fixed, the better.

This content is not the product of the National Association of REALTORS®, and may not reflect NAR's viewpoint or position on these topics and NAR does not verify the accuracy of the content.