House Foundation

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The Right Way to Repair Foundation Cracks In Your Home

fixing foundation cracksDo you have foundation cracks in a basement wall? If so, it is not the end of the world. Usually these appear to be worse than they actually are and do not affect the foundation of your home.

Oftentimes, however, a crack in a wall will leak and let water into your basement from the outside. Water that pools around the outside of your home’s foundation will always travel the path of least resistance and the crack may provide an easy entrance into your basement. If you have an unfinished basement this may not mean a major problem. If you have a finished basement, however, with carpeting or other types of expensive floor finishes, a wet basement can result in serious financial damage!

Often homeowners are too quick to reach for a caulk gun when they see a crack in a basement wall. When they see a wall crack, a crack in the stair steps, or even a chimney that is tilting a bit, they often think their house is just experiencing “normal settling.” It is true that their house is settling — but it may not be normal.

As soil settles is normally does so uniformly, which usually causes no cracks in your walls. When soil settles unevenly around your home, however, cracks in the foundation may occur. A caulk gun will not solve the problem.

There is some good news: Cracks and leaks can be repaired and waterproofed fairly simply. One of the most cost effective treatments is to inject the crack with a specially formulated polyurethane material. This procedure seals the crack completely and will prevent water from coming through.

Before this process is done, however, is is important to identify where the exterior water is coming from. Many times it may be clogged rain gutters or a misdirected downspout. If the ground around your home is improperly graded it can cause the water in your yard to flow toward the exterior wall of the home, gathering at the foundation.

It is important that your property is graded to divert water away from your home. Rain gutters should be kept clean and damaged downspouts should be repaired. Once these outside problems are identified and corrected it is time to focus on the crack in the basement wall.

Here is how these cracks are usually repaired.

The crack is cleaned thoroughly.

A number of injection ports are attached to the crack. It may be necessary to drill a series of small holes into the crack if it is very tight.

Starting from the bottom, a polyurethane material is injected in each port until the crack is filled. Water is then used as a catalyst.

Once the injections are completed the ports are removed and material is applied over the entire surface of the crack to act as a water seal.

This process is fairly simple and usually takes one day or less to complete.

Once you remove the outside water source, crack repair using this injection method is a long-term solution to a wet basement.

It is important that you, as the homeowner, select a trustworthy company to do the repairs. Professionals who specialize in basement crack repair are much better prepared to fix foundation cracks in your basement walls than a routine contractor or your local handyman.

Related:  All about expansive soils