If you’re shopping for a new home and find a house needing foundation repair in Nashville, don’t assume that you should walk away from that potential purchase! Homes with a foundation in disrepair can still be the right choice for buyers, depending on your budget and if you can commit to needed fixes quickly.
Knowing a bit more about common foundation repair methods and their costs, and what happens if you neglect needed repairs, can help you decide if a home purchase is right for you. As always, discuss this information with a real estate agent, attorney, or property appraiser so you know you’re making the best home buying decision for yourself and your family! Ask the experts at Nashville Foundation Repair & Waterproofing (nashvillefoundationrepairandwaterproofing.com)
Why a Home Needs Foundation Repair in Nashville
Note how and why a home’s foundation might begin to weaken and suffer damage over the years, so you can better understand foundation repair methods. There are typically three types of foundations for a residential home; basements, concrete slabs, and pier and beam foundations.
If a home has a basement or sits on a concrete slab, the foundation concrete will absorb moisture from surrounding soil or trapped humidity inside the home. This moisture causes concrete to expand; it will then shrink as it dries out.
This expand-shrink cycle puts pressure on the concrete so that it can then form cracks. Cracked concrete then weakens, leading to even more cracks! If concrete absorbs moisture but doesn’t dry out as it should, it can also soften and then weaken over the years.
Pier and beam foundations are a bit different; these foundations start with piers installed in the ground. Beams running horizontally along a home’s underside are then attached to or rest on those piers. Often made of wood or concrete, pier and beam foundations can also absorb water and then expand and shrink as they dry out, also leading to cracks and weakening.
Nashville Foundation Repair Methods and Average Costs
If you address foundation cracks as soon as they appear, you can typically just fill them with specialty putties or grout meant to expand and then harden. These specialty grouts adhere to concrete around them, keeping cracks from spreading. Professional crack filling can cost as low as $300 per application but might need reapplying after 5 to 10 years.
As basement walls weaken, they might start to bulge or bow inward under the weight of the home. When this occurs, they need more than crack patching and filling, as the walls are at risk of outright collapsing.
Strong carbon fiber straps are typically attached to bowing basement walls, to help push them back into position and provide added support. These straps might cost from $1000 to $3000 each on average, so your total foundation repair cost in Nashville will depend on how many straps are needed to ensure a basement’s overall structural stability.
Underpinning uses actual steel pins or screws inserted into the ground either along basement walls or underneath a slab foundation. These pins are then attached to damaged or weak foundation section, lifting it back into place and providing support. Concrete piers can also be poured under a slab.
Underpinning is often the most expensive choice for foundation repair in Nashville and might average from $1500 to over $10,000 per property, depending on how many pins or piers are needed and if the house also needs leveling and other such fixes.
If a property needs house leveling, contractors will drill holes through the foundation concrete and then pour leveling grout or mud into those holes. The house is then lifted with heavy-duty hydraulic equipment, and the grout dries and hardens, keeping it level and even. House leveling might average around $1500 or so, depending on how much grout and leveling are needed.
Pier and beam foundation repairs might average between $4000 and $6000 in total, depending on how many piers and beams need patching or replacing. A foundation repair contractor might just add shims, or wedge-shaped pieces pounded between piers and beams, for added support. Shimming might cost between $2500 and $3500 total.
Should You Buy a House Needing Foundation Repair?
Knowing a bit more about foundation repair helps you determine if a home with foundation damage is a sound financial choice! For example, if a home inspector notes that the foundation only needs minor crack filling, you might be willing to invest a few hundred dollars in those repairs.
When deciding if you should purchase a home needing foundation repair in Nashville, it’s also vital to note if the property requires other repairs or upgrades, to protect that foundation. For example, crawlspace encapsulation keeps moisture away from foundation piers and beams. Encapsulation, foundation waterproofing, French drain or sump pump installation, and property grading can add several hundred dollars to your overall foundation repair costs.
What Happens If You Neglect Needed Foundation Repair in Nashville?
While there is typically no reason you shouldn’t buy a home with foundation damage if you can afford those fixes, it’s vital that you schedule foundation repairs quickly. The longer you ignore cracks and weakened areas, the more likely it is that the damage will spread and get more extensive and costly to fix!
A weak foundation also allows a home to settle which can then result in cracked walls and ceilings, cracked and crumbling chimney stacks, and torn roofing shingles and tiles. As plumbing pipes get pulled out of position, they risk leaks and clogs. Gaps might even form around doors and windows, which also might not lock securely.
When a home sinks, it also pulls on structural framing, risking cracks and chips. While a home might not outright collapse, this can mean buckled floors or damaged floorboards that might give out from under you, collapsed ceiling tiles, and other costly and risky damage.
Moisture seeping in from those foundation cracks can also risk mold growth! To avoid these risks, ensure you can schedule needed foundation repair in Nashville quickly if you’re considering buying a home with foundation damage.