Foundation Stabilization and Repair/FOUNDATION PIERS
Recently, our basement experienced moderate water intrusion from one of our foundation walls. Upon examination, we noticed a vertical crack in the the foundation wall extending from the basement floor to the top of the wall, gradually increasing in size moving up the wall, maximum of just over 1/4". This vertical foundation wall crack seems to correspond with a linear crack located on our concrete front porch. It appears one side of the porch settled almost 2", creating a sag in our overhang which is supported by posts anchored to the porch. Our home is located in southeast Iowa (clay) and was built on fairly aggressive slopes, north to south and west to east. We also have various exterior cracks on brick, and interior drywall. I think it may be time for professional consultation relating to pier installation. What do you think?
Given the recent significant drought and the description you give of the location and the geography, it would be wise to have a structural and/or geotechnical engineer assess your
structural distress and take into consideration the slope conditions, drainage and combined effects on the structure.
I know that in some areas in Iowa contractors may have to extend piles to depths of 100 ft or more to get the required capacity.
You could elect to request quotes from area foundation repair specialists to get a feel for costs involved. It is common however to receive quotes and opinions of varying degree in terms of the approach, number of piles and type of pile they would recommend.
I would suggest getting a quote from an engineering firm for costs of their investigation and then go from there.
If you proceed in that direction you can then request quotes based on the same requirements.
The engineer could also provide follow-up inspection/s and prepare a letter of approval for the repairs.
This will often make a prospective buyer feel more comfortable should you decide to list the home at some point down the road.
I would also ask the engineer for a referal of reputable area foundation repair specialists.