Foundation Repair can be pretty complicated. The fact is, there are many different types of ways to repair your foundation, even for the same issue. Many companies have made their money by creating new and creative ways of repairing your foundation. Most importantly, as always, it is key to find a reputable contractor with a solid Warranty. Below we are going to go through a few common repairs/processes you may come across so you can help judge the size of your project.
Foundation Repair Timelines
1. Foundation Underpinning. Other than a full replacement of your foundation, Foundation Underpinning is the most time-consuming repair there tends to be. This is because of the prep work that goes into it. This type of foundation repair puts steel pipes under your foundation to secure and lift the structure.
When dealing with a settlement issue and repair as above, the average job takes 2-4 days to complete. The average job being about 8 piers, these jobs are typically knocked out efficiently and get the homeowners on their way.
The larger jobs obviously will take more time in order to complete. Jobs lasting 1-2 weeks is not uncommon, but certainly signifies a much larger issue in need of foundation repair.
2. Wall Plates/Wall Pushback. This repair deals with walls that are bowing/tipping inwards. Over time, pressure from outside of a foundation wall will push in and cause that wall to “Bow” or “tip” inwards. This can cause an eventual wall collapse, and we don’t need to illustrate how bad that can be.
Wall Plates are generally a simple install for foundation repair. The general idea is to place a plate on the inside of your foundation wall with another plate buried at least 12 feet from the foundation outside. A threaded rod connects the two lined-up plates. These plates are placed at intervals along the entire length of the wall. Once in place, they are tightened, putting pressure on the wall and preventing further inward movement.
When simply stabilizing a wall, we are looking at a timeline of 1-2 days. When we are dealing with pushing the wall back (any wall tipped or bowed over 4” needs to be pushed back), we need to add at least 2 days to the work. This is because we need to dig out the foundation and lift the house off the foundation in order to push the wall back effectively.
3. Carbon Fiber Strap Repair. Carbon Fiber Straps are a different application to the same problem Wall Plates solve. A wall bowing or tipping in can be a serious problem that requires foundation repair. Carbon Fiber Straps can be used to stop, but not correct, this movement as long as the wall is not bowed or tipped beyond two inches.
When tackling the issue in the preliminary stages, you save the most money and have the most efficient repair. Carbon Fiber is exactly that for foundation repair. If you catch your issue early, you can save a lot of money with Carbon Fiber Straps.
The timeline with Carbon Fiber is the shortest of them all. We can get these projects done in 1-2 days. Some larger jobs may take a little longer, but 95% of the jobs we do with Carbon Fiber are accomplished in this timeline.
Read more about – Do Carbon Fiber Straps Work?
4. I-Beam Support & Beam Replacement. As we move inward towards the middle of the basement, the repairs change a little bit. When dealing with sloping or uneven floors in the stories above your basement, often the I-Beam is the culprit. Weather it be wood beams rotting/deteriorating away, improper I-Beam Supports, or simply mis-engineered weights, we can repair/replace the defective parts to re-secure your foundation.
When replacing a full I-Beam, we must support the home above and replace the beam section-by-section. Typically, these are 10 ft sections. We replace all beams with steel 6” 25 lb/ft beams for single family home residences. Different beams are engineered for different applications.
When replacing an I-Beam and supports, we are talking about a timeline of 2-3 days. If you read the link above, you will know that we need to pour new footings for the I-Beam Supports. The concrete takes time to dry, so we cannot pour new footings and install the supports the same day, even if it is a smaller job.
5. Foundation Crack Repair. Arguably the most common foundation repair out there, Foundation Cracks are in almost every foundation out there. Homes are not permanent structures, as much as we want them to be. They are solid, though, and not flexible. This means that when there is any shifting, pressure, stress on the foundation, it will form a Foundation Crack.
Not every Foundation Crack is a foundation repair concern. Cracks are normal in a foundation, and unless they are getting larger or shifting inward/outwards, it may just be a waterproofing concern. It is important to determine which it is, by a reputable contractor.
Foundation Crack Repair is the quickest repair when it comes to foundation repair. Cracks are repaired in conjunction with all the repairs above as well, many times as the finishing touch to the job. When done alone, Foundation Cracks take about 2 hours to repair. The more cracks you do, the more efficient the technician can be. For example, 7 foundation cracks can be done inside of 6 hours by a skilled technician.
Check out more – Reasons You Shouldn’t Ignore Foundation Problems
It is important to note that all the timelines above are expressed for the work itself, not all the pieces that need to be put in order before the work starts. We are, of course, talking about permitting. Local governments have different permitting processes. State to state it changes even more dramatically. You may have read from a previous blog how some states don’t require permits at all, while some require a permit to switch a light socket.
Every state and every city within that state, has a different process they follow in order to evaluate and process permits. For the sake of argument and the limits of my knowledge, we will talk about Chicago and surrounding suburbs:
- Chicago takes the longest with the permitting process. This is due to the extra requirements set forth by the city and the review process it must go through. Instead of just going through a building or engineering department like in more suburbs (Below), it has to go through EVERY department. On top of that, sit downs and engineer reviews take longer, and are more closely evaluated. There is a lot buried under Chicago, and they need to ensure we won’t be hitting any of it. It is safe to expect 90 days for a permit to be processed in Chicago.
- Chicago Suburbs, and outlying suburbs as well, are a much quicker permit process. The departments are smaller and the number of things underground are fewer. This eases up the process and allows for a quicker review. Typically, we see a 2-3 week turnaround on Foundation Repair permits in the suburbs.
Each job is unique, so it is best to take the information here as a ballpark. Once the issue is evaluated, we can more accurately give timelines for the repairs and permits needed. Always remember to get a reputable contractor for your foundation repair.
Thanks for reading, and as always:
“Not Everything’s Better When Wet”