Interior vs. exterior foundation repairs, what to know:
This homeowner came to us with leaning foundation walls and horizontal cracks in the interior of their 1890 home. This was likely due to due to excessive unbalanced soil pressure. This can be caused by insufficient drainage systems, soil grading or overly compacted soil.
Sometimes cracks can be monitored for changes, but any horizontal wall cracks should be inspected by a licensed structural engineer as soon as possible. This is because a horizontal crack can be indicative that the wall is failing. The longer you wait, the more you risk failure and the more expensive the repair tends to be.
This client had Mike Montgomery from Buyers Protection Group out to inspect their foundation and design repairs. During the design process, this homeowner was given a choice between an exterior and interior solution for bracing the walls.
We nearly always recommend exterior foundation repairs because the excavation process tends to unearth hidden issues. It also allows us the opportunity to repair any cracks, install or repair drainage systems, as well as waterproof your foundation the right way. This allows you the peace of mind that you have a fully waterproofed and sealed foundation. Watch the video below for details on why we don’t recommend interior drainage or “interior waterproofing”:
Of course, the cost of an exterior repair can be much higher, so some people do choose to do their repairs on the interior of the home. This homeowner chose the interior repair because they didn’t plan to stay forever. So for them, this decision made the most economical sense.
While we fully understand that this cost can be prohibitive, do not forget that you are preventing future costs down the road. Waterproofing and sealing your foundation will keep water from coming in and causing expensive damage. It may help keep it standing for generations, improve the resale value, as well as keep maintenance costs down. Plus, you won’t lose any of your interior space, you never even have to see or think about the repair once it is done. You simply know your basement is dry.
We have also found that homeowners are sometimes dismayed once the reality of the loss of useable space sinks in. In this case the homeowner had to take down most of their custom-built shelving to accommodate the repair. And the basement still leaks…
It is best left up to a structural engineer to determine the right repair method for your foundation’s unique circumstances. Do you have a foundation issue that concerns you? Feel free to reach out to us with any questions.