How to Fix a Crack in a Concrete Foundation
To start, let me tell you that the majority of the concrete foundations have cracks. Cracks in concrete appear for many different reasons but the most common reason is ground settling under the weight of the house built either on improper types of ground and miscalculation of the bearing capacity of the type of soil built on. Having an engineer perform a ground test before construction is a wise thing to do. Not doing so to avoid spending the money may cost you way more. Never the less with the best precautions cracks will happen. What should you do if this happens and it is recommended to fix it? It is never a good idea to let things go and if not taken care of, in long term it might bring you a bigger problem. Not fixing it might mean water infiltration, insects, mold, and mildew. The longer you wait worst it will get.
So, how does it work?
The process consists of filling the crack with a waterproof material under pressure (polyurethane or epoxy) and depending on the width of the crack, install steel belts for structural value.
Basically, you have to get to the cracked foundation and expose it. There is two way to do it with pros a con.
From inside out, no digging
To have access to the crack sometimes means to remove the wall finish if covered (drywall, studs, etc…). The process is to inject material inside to outside.
- No need to excavate
- Less invasive
- Cost less
- Quick fix
- Sometimes the best thing to do when impossible to dig because of the outside structure
- Less efficient because you are working against hydrostatic pressure and even when well done will not last in time
- Contrary to fixing with digging, you can’t put an exterior membrane as double protection
- Not bulletproof and will need to be redone in a few years
From outside with excavation:
In order to expose the crack from the outside, excavation is needed. The injection is done from the outside toward the inside. The inside crack is covered with hydraulic cement when accessible to prevent material spill inside. The installation is doubled with a membrane covering the crack making the repair more efficient.
- Long term repair with double protection
- Block all access to water infiltration by covering a wider area around the crack
- Allow you to install steel belt reinforcements underground
- Allow you to check the efficiency of the french drain or find out if you have one
- Damage the landscape
- Cost more
Both approaches in crack repair have their place depending on the situation but in most cases, it is far better to make the repair from the outside unless impossible.
Aspen Foundation repair LLC offers you expertise in crack repair with more than 20 years of experience. We serve the western slope area including, the Grand Junction area, Aspen, Vail, Carbondale, Glenwood, Meeker, Montrose, Delta, and Paonia. Give us a call for a free estimate.