Foundation cracks exist in most poured concrete foundations, though not all may leak or have seepage. Most foundation cracks are the result of natural settlement, shifting or pressure on the concrete foundation itself. Many factors can be the culprit, however, the crack exists.
If your basement is unfinished, a simple visual inspection of the interior walls can determine if cracks exist. Examine each crack to look for evidence of seepage - usually there’s discoloration along the crack and near the floor.
If your basement is finished, the interior walls are not exposed. Therefore, the only way to inspect the foundation is on the outside. Look closely at the very top of the concrete foundation around the perimeter of the home. If a crack exits, it should show at the top of the foundation as well. However, if the soil is built up over this area, or the home is obstructing this portion, a more detailed inspection is needed. (Also this is highly not recommended because it can lead to many other foundation complications.)
A good test you can do to confirm if this particular crack is the problem is to turn the hose on outside along the foundation in the general area located by the crack for about an hour. Check the wall and floor periodically to see if there’s seepage. If the walls are finished check the flooring to feel for moisture. (This can be tricky, because sometimes the water will travel several feet behind the wall before it will seep under the wall and reveal itself.)
If the basement is finished, a home owner may choose to repair the crack from the outside. This exterior crack repair requires excavating a large hole to expose the crack, allowing a rubber membrane to be applied, and the foundation to be re-tarred and sealed. This will ensure no water can travel through the present foundation crack. The excavated hole will then be back-filled in stages, allowing the soil to be systematically packed to avoid settlement and shifting of the membrane, and the possibility of water settling in the newly excavated area. This can be an invasive project and may not be possible due to other existing conditions. Concrete patios, walkways or other obstructions may prevent an exterior repair.
An interior crack repair is done using epoxy compounds applied directly to the concrete wall. The foundation crack is covered with an epoxy compound. Then another epoxy resin is injected into the body of the foundation crack, filling its interior until the void is then filled, resulting in a mended foundation where water can no longer penetrate through. In most cases, this would be the most cost-effective treatment. We’ve also become specialists in opening finished walls and treating foundation cracks and closing them back up. Depending on the wall condition and materials involved, usually you can’t tell the wall has been treated.
Both repairs are effective if done properly and each differs in cost. We have found the interior approach is more cost effective, and in most cases can be completed in one day.
Other foundation types, like cinder block, rock and quarry stone, may have foundation seepage as well and could require additional attention, if not these treatments alone. We recommend a professional inspection of these foundation types to maximize your protection.
We will match or beat our competitors written estimates, so call for a free consultation and evaluation today!
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