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You’re in luck if you’re looking for information on the concrete slab repair cost. We’ve put together this complete guide that will tell you everything that you need to know.
In addition to details about the cost, we’ll also provide you with a wealth of information that can give you a good understanding of the issue at hand. You’ll know the different signs of concrete slab failure. Knowing these signs will help you understand when it’s time to get it repaired.
On this page:
- What is Concrete Slab?
- Pros and Cons of Concrete Slab
- Concrete Slab as a Foundation Material
- Signs of Concrete Slab Failure
- Dangers of Foundation Problems
- Factors Influencing Foundation Repair Cost
- How to Fix Foundation Problems
- Why You Shouldn’t DIY Foundation Problems
- Cost to Repair the Concrete Slab
- Getting Quotes from Contractors
In case you’re not yet convinced that this is an important issue, we’ll talk about the dangers of foundation problems. You have to know that the issue that you’re experiencing now has a direct effect on your home’s foundation. If that alone doesn’t convince you of the dangers, we’ll list down these specific dangers.
It’s important to note that there’s no one answer when it comes to the repair cost. This is because there are different factors influencing foundation repair cost. Knowing these factors will help you understand the cost and can also help you get a good estimate.
We’ll also discuss how to fix foundation problems. This is not to teach you how to do it yourself. This is because it’s not recommended. We’ll just show you how the contractor will do it so that you’ll appreciate the labor cost that you’ll be paying for.
Are you considering doing this DIY? We’ll stop you right now. This is not a DIY project. If in case the steps that we’ll list on how to fix the issue don’t discourage you, we’ll talk about the dangers of turning this into a DIY project.
The primary reason why a lot of people want to do it DIY is because they want to save money. If you don’t hire a contractor, you’ll save on labor cost. We’ll tell you why you’re better off paying for the labor cost and how you can actually save money doing so.
Of course, we’ll talk about the cost to repair the concrete slab. This is why you’re reading this article, right? As mentioned, there are several factors to consider so what we’ll give you are just estimates. Don’t worry because we’ll teach you how you can get a clearer estimate.
More importantly, we’ll tell you how you can get the best quotes that you can choose from. We actually have this free service that allows homeowners to get in touch with the best contractors in their area. By using this free service, you’ll receive around 4 of the best quotes that you can choose from. This way, nothing will stop you from hiring a professional which is what should be done anyway.
What is Concrete Slab?
It’s a commonly used material. It features a flat and horizontal exterior that is made with cast concrete. It can be anywhere from 100 to 500mm in thickness. It can also be reinforced with steel if it’s going to be used for ceiling or flooring.
It’s also often used for the ground floor of buildings. It can rest directly on the building’s foundation. In that case, it’s ground-bearing. If not, it’s suspended.
There are several available designs. If you’re reading this article as a homeowner, there’s a good chance that you have the beam and block. Beams are stressed beforehand and propped up with hollow blocks for around 21 days or until it sets.
There’s also a possibility that your home or building is using a precast slab called a hollow core slab. Precast slabs are also used for skyscrapers but they’re reinforced with steel frames.
Pros and Cons of Concrete Slab
Here are the reasons why it’s a good choice:
- It’s cost-efficient.
- It provides an effective barrier. It does an amazing job of keeping pests and water away. This is why it’s the logical choice in areas where water is usually present. Although it can get damaged and water may seep through concrete slab.
- It helps make the building more accessible. This helps households with people that have limited mobility.
- You can install a radiant floor heating system.
It’s not perfect, though. Here are some drawbacks:
- It can lead to discomfort if you have to stand on it for a long period of time.
- It can be a challenge to build HVAC ducts, pipes and the likes on older slabs.
- It may require frost protection if you have to install it in a building located in an area where it gets cold.
Concrete Slab as a Foundation Material
Concrete slab is a popular foundation material. This is especially true in areas where it gets warm. Their popularity started in the 50s. It’s still widely-used now which should tell you that it’s a good choice.
Your choice of material for the foundation is very important. It will bear the brunt of your home’s heavy weight.
Signs of Concrete Slab Failure
Don’t wait until it’s too late. Watch out for these signs of concrete slab or foundation failure:
- You see cracks.
Homeowners worry when they see cracks and for good reason. Cracks are often caused by a failed foundation as it leads to the house shifting. This leads to cracks.
You can often see these cracks along your ceiling or walls. Cracks caused by a shifting foundation usually appear above door and window frames. You have to investigate further if you see cracks.
- Uneven walls.
If constructed by a competent contractor, the exterior walls should be straight. However, failing concrete slab could lead to shifting which will lead to uneven walls. You can use a level to check. A simple eye test will also show if there are curves and bulges.
- The flooring is creaking or bouncing.
Now, these may be just signs that your flooring is old, but they could be sign that the slab is failing and that the frame is warping because there are issues with the foundation caused by the failing slab.
- The doors and windows are affected.
Are the doors suddenly getting jammed? Is it getting harder to close them? How about the windows? If yes, there’s a possibility that the foundation is failing and has led to the shifting of your home.
- Your home is suddenly more humid.
This is not that usual but it could still be a sign. This phenomenon is caused by soil that has expanded because it has absorbed water. Due to failing foundation, the water can find its way into your home. This can affect the humidity in your home.
- There’s a weird smell.
This is related to the humidity issue above. The water that has found its way inside your home can cause weird smells.
The smell could be because of mold or mildew. On that note, these are also signs of a failing foundation.
Dangers of Foundation Problems
It’s really frightening how some homeowners still put off repairs even if they see the signs listed above. These signs point to an emergency issue that should be solved ASAP. If you’re not convinced, here are the dangers of foundation problems:
- It will start a domino effect that will affect your home’s structure.
It could be a minor sign of slab damage, but if you leave it alone, it will start a domino effect that will soon affect your home’s structure. Problems with the concrete slab in the foundation will eventually lead to structural damage. It’s not a question of if. It’s a question of when.
This is because the foundation serves as support. If it’s not doing that, then it will put unnecessary strain on the rest of the structure. If the foundation is not doing a good job of supporting the structure, the rest of the structure will get strained and it’s not designed to handle the additional strain.
This will affect important parts of your home like the doors, walls, flooring, garages and more. Think of it like cancer that will spread to the rest of your body if you don’t stop it in its tracks. In this case, it will spread to the rest of your home.
You also have to worry about water damage. All it takes is a small crack or hole. The water will wreak havoc starting with where it starts to enter like in the basement. Then, it will spread to the rest of your home, affecting your walls, flooring and foundation.
In addition, some minor damages can be fixed DIY if you’re an experienced DIYer. If you put it off because you feel that they’re just small issues, time will come when it’s not going to be a DIY project anymore. You’d lose that window wherein you can still do it DIY.
- The repair bills will pile up.
Let’s say that you put off repairs because you don’t want to spend money on repairs. Here’s the thing. The repair cost is not going to go away. In fact, it’s just going to get bigger.
As mentioned, even the most minor of concrete slab or foundation damage will lead to a domino effect. With the damages getting bigger, the repair needs will get bigger as well. Of course, you can’t expect the repair cost to get smaller.
One problem that you may have is problem with your plumbing. This is especially true with plumbing located beneath your home’s foundation. They can easily break and problems with the foundation aren’t going to help. They can be very expensive to repair. It’s not a DIY project. It will require professional assistance and you can expect to pay a lot since the pipes are challenging to access.
This is why you shouldn’t put off the repairs. Pay for the repairs now and you can save yourself from future headaches associated with a higher repair bill.
Note: Read on towards the end of the article. We’ll provide you with a free service that can help you find the best and lowest available quote in your area.
- Your energy bills will go up.
As damage spreads around your home, it will lead to cracks and crevices. Soon, your home’s insulation will be affected as well. This means that your HVAC system would have to work double time to make your home comfortable for you and your family. This will of course lead to higher energy bills.
As the damages get worse, and we’ve already established that they will get worse, the energy bills will go higher and higher. So in addition to rising repair bills, your energy bills will continue to rise as well.
- Your home will be infected with insects.
They love dark and humid environments. They’ll set up shop, breed and nest. Soon, it will be a full-blown infestation.
You’ll get mosquitos that bring forth diseases with them. You’ll get termites that will slowly eat away at your house. You’ll also get spiders and ants. In addition to being annoying, they can cause havoc as well.
- Your home will be infested with mold and mildew.
This is a direct effect of water and moisture entering your home. They need 3 things to survive and thrive – a food source, the right temperature and moisture. Your home already has the first 2. Add in moisture and it can start a mold and mildew infestation.
You probably know by now how mold and mildew can affect your home. They will slowly eat away at your home. Soon, you’d have to replace the infested parts of your home. Worse, they will also affect your health especially if you’re allergic to them in the first place.
Mold and mildew by themselves are huge problems. Don’t let them happen.
- Your home’s value will plummet.
As a homeowner, your home’s value should be treated with utmost importance. It doesn’t matter if you’re planning on selling your home in the future or not. You can’t let your home’s value to plummet.
Your home is one of the biggest investments you’ve made. Sure, it will deteriorate, but why would you hasten the process?
What if suddenly, you have to sell your home? It could happen. Your job may require you to move elsewhere. You may need to move to a home that fits your needs better. You’d have to sell your home in these cases, and homes with a damaged foundation aren’t going to sell well in the market. You’d have to spend a lot of money to repair it or settle for a price that’s way lower than what you’re expecting.
- They can cause accidents and even death.
A house with a damaged foundation is a compromised home. It may sound like a far-fetched scenario, but imagine eating dinner and suddenly the house goes crumbling down. Damages to property will be the least of your concerns as it can lead to accidents and even death.
With these dangers, you should be more than willing to pay for the foundation repair cost.
Factors Influencing Foundation Repair Cost
The first thing that you have to know is there’s cost involved to fixing the concrete slab foundation. Even if you’re an experienced DIYer and you plan on fixing it yourself, you still have to pay for materials needed. Of course, time spent on the project is time spent away from your job. Time is money.
Obviously, there’s cost involved if you’re hiring a professional which is recommended in the first place. There’s no definite and specific answer as to how much it will cost. This is because it varies per project because there are several factors influencing foundation repair cost.
Here are the major factors that affect the cost:
- The severity of the foundation’s settling.
Simply put, you can expect to pay more for extreme cases of settling. How badly has it settled already? Is it just starting to settle or has it been settling for years now? If it’s the latter, you can expect more damages which as we’ve mentioned will require expensive repairs. The cost to repair it can be $10,000 or even more.
- The accessibility of the damaged foundation.
The contractors need direct access to the damaged foundation for them to fix it. If it’s not that accessible, they’d have to spend a lot of time trying to access it. More man hours means a higher labor cost. In some cases, they’d have to create access ways for them. This can add to the cost.
Also at play here are the utility lines. Are they in the way? If they are, then certain accommodations would have to be made. The same thing applies to your home’s landscaping and hardscaping. They can be in the way.
These 2 major factors determine the number of piers necessary to repair the foundation. More extreme cases would require more piers. Worse cases would require up to 50 piers of them. This will lead to more expensive repairs.
We have to consider that one pier would require breaking a 2 by 2 foot of concrete area. This has to be repaired once the pier has been installed.
How to Fix Foundation Problems
Here’s how a professional will fix foundation problems:
- Pinpoint the cause of the problem.
It’s not a good idea to go in blindly. You may end up fixing the wrong issue. You may end up prolonging the issue. This is why a professional would do a thorough inspection in order to pinpoint the cause of the problem. An experienced professional wouldn’t take long to pinpoint the cause of the problem.
- Dig a hole to access the damaged area.
A contractor may need to use a backhoe especially if you have a full basement. This is to ensure that the hole will be big enough.
- Lift the foundation.
There are two ways to do this:
- Hydraulic jacking
This is where the contractor uses hydraulic jacks to lift the foundation back up to its original position. Piers are then inserted to stabilize the foundation and prop it up. This method is utilized for bigger settling issues.
Instead of using hydraulic jacks to lift the foundation, grout is used to lift it up. It’s pumped with enough force to lift the foundation slabs back to their original place. This method is often utilized for smaller issues with concrete slabs.
The contractor will choose the method based on what’s causing the issue. They’ll inspect windows, mortar joints, moldings and the likes.
- Leave it for a few weeks.
The contractor will expect it every now and then to make sure that it remains leveled. The contractor will then decide when it’s steady.
- Fill the hole.
The soil will then be back-filled. The contractor will make sure that the proper grade is attained.
- Fix the cracks.
Patch cement will be used for this.
There are only a few steps but every step is crucial. Most of the steps here are not for DIYers. They may sound simple but they will require the expertise and tools of professionals.
Why You Shouldn’t DIY Foundation Problems
A lot of DIYers are guilty of biting off more than what they can chew. Sure, you’ve fixed cracks, plumbing and the likes, but your home’s foundation is an entirely different animal. It’s not meant to be fixed DIY.
You have to understand that it serves as support and base for your home. That alone should tell you how important it is. There really is no room for mistakes and trial and error. It has to be perfect.
Here are the specific reasons why it’s not meant to be a DIY project:
- You don’t have the tools and expertise needed to ensure a perfect job. You also don’t have the highly-specialized training needed to perform the job.
- It will fail a home inspection. This is because a home inspector will see that a non-professional did the job. This can affect you if you’re selling your home. At the very least, it will lower your home’s resale value.
- You can get injured. This is because you don’t have the right training and protective gear.
- You can make matters worse. Imagine an already expensive repair problem getting more expensive because you made matters worse.
With these things in mind, you know that you should hire concrete slab contractors.
Cost to Repair the Concrete Slab
Again, it’s hard to say the specific cost to repair the concrete slab because of the mentioned factors that influence the cost. But just to give you an idea, homeowners on average pay a little over $4,000 to repair issues with their foundation. More extreme cases can cost over $10,000. While minor cracks can cost as little as $500. Plumbing problems underneath concrete slab can significantly increase the cost of repair too.
To get a more specific number, it’s better to ask for itemized quotes from contractors.
Getting Quotes from Contractors
This is the only way for you to get a more specific number as far as the concrete slab repair cost is concerned. You can give contractors the details that they’ll ask for so they can give you a more accurate quote.
Here are 2 tips to help you find the best quotes:
- Get itemized quotes from contractors in your area. There’s no reason for you to hire an out of town contractor that will be more expensive to hire.
- Get quotes from around 4 of the best licensed contractors. Let them know that you’re shopping around for the best deal so they’ll be encouraged to send their best quote.
We’ve made it easy for you to do these 2 things with the free service that we’ve set up for homeowners like you. All you need to do is to complete the form that you see on this page with the basic details asked. This will give you access to our database of licensed contractors in the country.
Send the completed form and the best licensed concrete slab contractors nearest you will receive your details with the understanding that their competitors received your details as well. This is why they’ll put together their best quote for them to be considered. You can expect to receive around 4 of the best quotes.
Try it today!