Basement Wall Crack Repair: What Works and What Does Not
Believe it or not, basement problems such as cracks in poured concrete walls are very common. Most basement wall crack repair is necessary due to the shrinkage attributed to the concrete curing process. Often times, you will see these type of cracks located in the middle-third of the wall or from the corner of a window. However, many of those cracks do not pose structural concerns.
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The main problem with the presence of these cracks is their ability to let water into your basement. When it comes to basement wall crack repair there are many different solutions, but only a few make the cut in terms of their effectiveness.
What Does NOT Work
Patching wall cracks on the surface
One of the first things many homeowners assume is that they can patch basement wall cracks by applying plaster over them. However, this does not solve the underlying issue. The soil around your home swells and shrinks as the weather changes, so the plaster will either crack in the middle or lose its bond with the concrete and leak again.
Another “quick fix” for many homeowners is injecting epoxy into the crack. The problem that arises from this method is the fact that epoxy does not allow flexibility for movement. Meaning, when the wall moves, the epoxy won’t, creating even more cracks.
Urethane came about as a better solution to epoxy because it is more flexible. However, urethane does not stretch very far. Therefore, urethane is not an effective basement wall crack repair solution.
What Does Work
What DOES work, is the basement wall crack repair solution called FlexiSpan. FlexiSpan seals the crack and provides added back up by using a multi-step installation process. First, a very small drywell is built into the floor under the crack. Then, installers will seal the basement wall. Next, a special polyurethane ether foam strip is applied over the first seal. This special foam is designed to redirect water from within and behind it to drain into the drywell. Then, another polyurethane sealant is placed on top as an added layer of protection. The last step of the FlexiSpan basement wall crack repair process is the re-cementing of the floor opening that was opened to install the drywell. FlexiSpan is the best solution when it comes to basement wall crack repair because it seals the cracks in your basement wall and prevents water from leaking through your wall by draining it down to the drywell.
If your basement wall has a lot of cracks, then you might want to consider installing a BasementGutter system and BrightWall paneling over your leaking wall cracks without doing anything else to them. By installing a BasementGutter and BrightWall system you are protecting yourself from any future headaches involving floor/wall joint leakage.
Although some basement wall cracks don’t point to the structural problem, it’s important to know when they do. If you have vertical or diagonal cracks – contact a professional immediately. Here’s a chart explaining each type of crack and the urgency those cracks require. If your basement wall cracks are wider than 3/8 in., or if you can run your fingers across them and feel uneven ridges then you need to seek the advice of a trusted and licensed foundation repair company.