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How to Fix Foundation Cracks in Basement

Your house is physically supported by its foundation, therefore you need to make sure it is sturdy. Not only may foundation cracks be unsightly, but they may eventually result in the loss of structural integrity, necessitating expensive repairs. Examine your foundation right now to see if there are any cracks that require fixing. Repairs will be simpler and less expensive if you identify cracks early on and seal them before they spread.

Cracks in the Foundation

A crucial first step is to comprehend the distinction between structural and non-structural cracks. More than 1/4 inch in width, structural cracks have the potential to harm other areas of the house. Non-structural cracks usually have a smaller diameter and less significance.

Before seeing a professional, do-it-yourselfers may be able to resolve small difficulties with epoxy injections and hydraulic cement patches. The likelihood that the house has solid foundations increases if the cracks you see are not structural. Cracks can still be cosmetically improved without affecting the foundation.

Foundation Cracks

Evaluating The Crack in Your Foundation

Pay special attention to the following traits in order to determine the type of crack with accuracy:

accompanying signs (walls that are bowed or seepage of dampness)

Direction (horizontal, vertical, or diagonal)

Length (brief versus long)

Location: inside as opposed to outside

Existence of bulging or displacement

Breadth (thin versus larger gaps)

In the event that no additional symptoms indicate severe damage, minor vertical hairline cracking might not require medical attention. Keep an eye on them to see if they grow or worsen over time.

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Inquire about the following if your foundation has cracks:

Do the cracks have any associated damage indicators? These could be broken or sagging floors, gaps in the walls and ceiling, or malfunctioning doors and windows.

Do they run diagonally or horizontally? If these fissures are not treated right away, they can cause major damage and are frequently an indication of major structural issues.

Do they measure more than 1/8 inch across? Greater severity issues, such as shifting soil beneath your foundation, may be indicated by wider fissures.

Getting Supplies Together

Obtain the necessary supplies before fixing foundation cracks. To properly solve the problem, you can require different materials depending on the kind of crack. The following are some necessities that you might require:

Caulking gun: A caulking gun is a vital instrument for injecting polyurethane or epoxy resin into small gaps.

Concrete foundations with small, hairline cracks can be filled up using injections of epoxy or polyurethane, two specialty resins. They offer superior adhesion and aid in preventing water seepage via gaps.

Larger foundation cracks are best sealed with hydraulic cement, which expands as it dries to fill in spaces and firmly seal the damaged area.

Masonry patching compound: To fill in small surface cracks or spalling in your foundation and regain structural integrity, use masonry patching compound.

Knife or wire brush: Prior to applying the repair compound, use a wire brush or chisel to remove any loose debris from the fracture. Better adhesion is ensured, and any crumbling concrete that can obstruct appropriate repairs is helped to remove in this step.

Keep in mind that for long-lasting results, different foundation fractures need for different techniques and supplies. For instance, because epoxy and polyurethane injection techniques can reach tight spaces and form a solid link between several layers of concrete, they are frequently advantageous for hairline cracks.

8 Steps to Fix Concrete Cracks

Step 1: Use an epoxy sealer to fix a foundation crack

An 8-foot-long gap in a foundation wall that allowed water to seep into the basement during periods of intense rain was fixed by us. We used Polygem’s Liquid Concrete Repair Kit, an epoxy-injection system (about $60), to permanently patch the fissure.

Each kit includes seven plastic injection ports that allow the viscous epoxy to be injected deeply into the crack, two 10-oz bottles of Liquid Concrete Repair (LCR), a two-part epoxy crack sealer, and a viscous epoxy that comes in a caulk-like cartridge. Enough material is included in each kit to repair a crack with dimensions of 1/16 of an inch wide, 8 inches deep, and 8 feet long.

Ensure the crack is completely dry before starting. Use a blow dryer to dry any mildly damp cracks, then give it a 15-minute rest. In case it stays dry, carry out the fixing. If the moisture comes back, though, water will still be leaking into the crack, so you’ll have to wait for it to dry out naturally.

Using a wire brush, first clean the crack of any loose concrete, paint, or previous crack filler. To get rid of all the dust and debris, use a shop vacuum.

Next, close the injection ports.

Partially fill the crack with three-inch (10d) finishing nails placed 12 inches apart. To line up the injection ports with the fracture, use them.

Step 3: Blend the Sealer Epoxy.

Using two different sticks to prevent contamination, open the two epoxy crack sealer containers and scoop out equal volumes of Part A and Part B. Using a clean putty knife, combine the two parts on a scrap board and blend until a uniform gray color is achieved.

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Attach the injection port in step four.

Be cautious not to obstruct the hole in one of the plastic injection ports by applying sealer over its base. Press the port against the wall by sliding it over a nail that protrudes from the crack. Proceed with the same installation for the remaining ports.

Apply sealer along the crack in step five.

Next, use a margin trowel or putty knife with a 1 ½-inch-wide blade to cover the whole crack with a slightly bigger quantity of epoxy sealer. Distribute the sealer 1 in. thick on both sides of the crack and about 1/8 in. thick. Additionally, use crack sealer to completely cover the flange of each injection port so that only the expanded neck section is visible. A paintbrush dipped in mineral spirits can be used to smooth out the sealer and feather its edges.

Step 6: Fill the Crack with Epoxy

Check to see if the crack extends all the way through if you can get to the opposite side of the wall. If it does, use crack sealer to seal it as well. Prior to injecting the epoxy, let the sealer set for a minimum of 6 to 10 hours. Using the plunger rod that is included with the kit, thoroughly combine the LCR epoxy. The LCR cartridge should be put into a caulk gun. Pour the epoxy into the fracture, starting at the lowest injection port. Press the trigger repeatedly until epoxy starts to seep out of the port directly above.

Sealing the Injection Ports is Step 7

After taking the pistol out, close the port you just filled. To release the epoxy, pull the trigger after inserting the cartridge tip into the leaking port. Proceed with the remaining ports in the same manner; make sure to plug each one in before proceeding to the next.

Cut Off the Injection Ports in Step 8

After letting the LCR cure for five days, use a hacksaw to cut off the port necks. If preferred, you can use a little amount of crack sealant to repair the broken ports.

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Keep in mind these crucial steps you may take to avoid foundation cracks in the first place.

Fortunately, there are some foundation problems that are preventable. There are several simple preventive steps that are beneficial and effective, even though there are certain natural calamities that are out of our control. Unfortunately, many homeowners don’t particularly love the tasks on the list of ways to prevent cracks.

Unsurprisingly, preventing water from entering the house is a key component of many effective foundation crack prevention strategies. To prevent water from pooling close to the foundation, make sure all drains, gutters, and downspouts are free of debris. Consider landscaping to regrade the yard and keep plant roots away from the foundation if water tends to pool around the foundation during and after rainstorms even when your gutters and drains are clear. Additionally, be sure to always monitor minor cracks and fix them as soon as you see them to prevent minor issues from developing into larger concerns.

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