Foundation Crack Repair
Cincinnati’s Best Choice for Crack Repairs
If you see large foundation cracks, you may need to have foundation repair service. Certainly homeowners love how a concrete basement provides a safe, clean and dry area to store possessions or expand a home’s living space.
But what they don’t love is how concrete cracks. Because cracks in a basement wall can let in water or signify that there is a structural problem with the foundation. Therefore injecting a basement wall crack repair with epoxy will stop any water leaks. So when that’s required, call contractors at Dry Effect. Because experts like us serve the tri-state and deal with these issues often. Above all it’s important to learn the common causes of foundation cracks before you have repair service. As a result excessive moisture, expansive clay soils and slab leaks can all harm your foundation and create a variety of problems.
The Reality: All Concrete Cracks
First, the basics. All concrete basement walls crack. It’s very common for concrete to develop cracks, scaling, crazing and pitting. Because all concrete has the tendency to crack, and it’s not possible to produce completely crack-free concrete. Concrete expands and shrinks with changes in moisture and temperature. Consequently this shrinkage places stress on the concrete and to relieve that stress, the concrete cracks. The cracks will develop soon after the foundation is cast in place. The vast majority of cracks are not a sign of a structural defect with the foundation.
Structural Cracks in Concrete Basement Walls
While it is difficult to determine by looking at a basement wall crack if it is in fact a structural problem, there are a few rules to help guide you. Foundation cracks that run sideways (horizontally) are the most serious type of crack to look out for, as they can signal serious damage to your home’s foundation and structural integrity. As a result if the crack is over ½” wide there is a chance that it is a structural crack. Horizontal cracks are almost always a structural problem. Cracks that run on a severe diagonal. Especially those that start at an inside corner are usually a structural issue. In contrast diagonal cracks that start at the corner of a window or where the foundation “steps down”. And are under ½” most likely are not a structural issue.
If you are not sure if a crack is structural in nature. An engineer can be hired for a few hundred dollars to determine it for you. The engineer may use a crack stress gauge to help in determining if it is.
Signs of a structural crack
- >1/2″ in width
- The crack is horizontal
- The crack runs on a severe diagonal
Why should I fix my cracked foundation?
- The problem will get worse.
A foundation problem never gets better on its own- only worse- and it does, it’s going to cost more to fix.
- Resale Value.
Who wants to buy a house with a foundation problem? Nobody.
Foundation problems often cause ugly cracks not only in the foundation itself, but inside the home as well.
- Door and window operation.
As your foundation fails to hold the house where it should be, you house sinks, settles and moves. This causes door and windows to stick and jam.
- Water intrusion.
Cracks let in water, or at the very least moisture, which can damage your living space in a variety of ways.
Foundations collapsing, chunks of brick veneer falling of the house and other serious safety hazards can and have happened.
- Critters like cracks.
Insects and rodents can get into your home through cracks in your foundation, becoming uninvited hu
Solving the Issue: Crack Repairs
An epoxy injection uses a two-part resin that when mixed becomes a very rigid, high strength material with tenacious bond to clean concrete surfaces. The epoxy is generally packaged in two parts that are mixed prior to application. The two parts consist of 1) an epoxy resin which is cross-linked with 2) a co-reactant or hardener. Epoxy injections are formulated based upon the performance requirements for the end product. When properly catalyzed and applied, epoxies produce a hard, chemical and solvent resistant finish. Cleaning of cracks is mandatory.
Some additional consideration for every application:
- Inspect concrete integrity, surface temperature, moisture and crack contamination. Epoxy injection resins will not cure properly when introduced into the presence of water inside or weeping of moisture out of crack.
- Identify and solve the cause of the crack
- Mechanically roughen length of concrete surface on each side of the crack to ensure epoxy paste bond.
Not All Cracks Need Attention
Fortunately, some cracks are more aesthetic in nature and won’t hurt if left untreated. Angular cracks often occur in the top 12-16 inches of brick walls laid directly on concrete foundations. Brick expansion during summer and the pushing of outer foundation corners cause angular cracks. You do not need to call in your crack repair specialist at Dry Effect if you notice angular cracks since apart from being relatively harmless, they will most likely occur every single year as temperatures rise.
In the upper levels of your house, cracks can appear above windows, doors, and archways. Although such cracks can be a sign of settlement, they are mostly simple relief joints. The size of these cracks will most likely change with temperature variations. You can, however, control these harmless eyesores by running a dehumidifier during summer and a humidifier in the winter.
Basement floor hairline cracks are quite common and mostly affect only the appearance of homes unless they widen to half an inch or more. Hairline cracks usually start at 90-degree offset corners and radiate into the room. Waiting for about a year for this type of crack to finish growing before you fill it in with hydraulic cement or urethane caulk is the best course of action.
How to Fix Foundation Cracks in Basement
Foundation cracks may be injected with materials to deal with the leaks. These injections are meant to fill the crack through the thickness of the concrete from the bottom of the foundation to the top. When a crack repair has been properly executed, there will be no more water that will come through that particular crack. It is often argued which material should be used, epoxy or polyurethane for a crack repair. The truth is it depends on the type of repair you are trying to achieve. Both epoxy and polyurethane have qualities that fit different repair needs.
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Foundation Crack Repair Frequently Asked Questions
What happens when your foundation cracks?
This can increase the hydrostatic pressure behind the foundation wall and cause it to bow inwards. Bowing foundations are serious and can lead to structural failure of the foundation and collapse of the house. There are a couple of different techniques for fixing horizontal foundation cracks
Are cracks in slab foundations normal?
You can expect shrinkage and cracks in the slab foundation and these are very common. They usually do not compromise the structural integrity of the home. But, in highly expansive soil areas, slab foundations can be designed for soil movement up to 4 inches.
Is a crack in the foundation covered by insurance?
However, most policies exclude coverage for issues such as foundation cracking or your house sinking or subsiding. Generally, the only instances when homeowners insurance covers a home's foundation is if it was damaged by other issues such as broken plumbing.
Can you sell a house with a cracked foundation?
You can. It simply must be disclosed to the seller, and they can agree to buy the house on the terms that they'd be accepting the foundation “as is.” It can sometimes be hard to sell a house with a problematic foundation on the traditional market.
How to Prevent Foundation Damage so You can Save Time and Money
Clean Gutters and Spouts. Gently Sloped Landscaping. Install Drains Where Needed. Smarten Your Sprinkler System. Keep Root Plants Away From the House. Low-Water Flowers Near the Foundation. A Few Inches of Mulch. Repair Cracks Immediately.
How much does a cracked foundation affect home value?
Again, the cost to repair a foundation varies drastically depending on the type of foundation, severity of the problem, size of the home, and a variety of other factors. According to HomeAdvisor, minor cracking can cost as little as $500, while major foundations involving hydraulic piers can cost more than $10,000
How much does sealing basement wall cracks cost?
Reputable companies usually charge anywhere form $300-$600 per crack. Multiple cracks should have a discounted price if completed at the same time.
How long will it take for an interior crack repair project?
Typically is can take 45 minutes to 1 hour per new crack.