Have you come across basement wall cracks in your home? There are various decisions you will be faced with when this happens. Your decision will have a big impact on your household’s health and safety.
The following tips will help you deal with the problem the right way.
- Do not ignore
It can be tempting to ignore basement wall cracks. That is especially if they are not leaking or causing any noticeable problems. However, this only gives them a chance to cause serious problems. Wall cracks will not only let water in but also soil gases, rodents and insects. Be prepared to deal with a whole host of problems later if you choose to ignore those cracks now.
- Not all cracks are structural
Yes, cracks are often a sign of structural problems. However, not every crack in your basement wall is a sign that your home is on the brink of collapse. Some cracks are the result of settling of the foundation. Others may be the result of external pressure acting on the wall. Sources of this pressure include hydrostatic pressure as well as tree roots.
- Surface treatments won’t fix the problem
Surface treatments such as caulking will only mask the crack. They won’t make it go away. You need to deal with the root cause of the problem in order to prevent further damage to your basement wall. This may include cleaning or repairing your gutters, correcting the grade of your land or installing a French drain to redirect excess water in the soil.
- You may need to stabilize the wall
This is especially important if the crack is moving. A great way to do this is using carbon fiber straps or staples. This will reinforce the wall and prevent movement. The wall will be much stronger than it previously was.
- You will need to prevent the entry of water
If the crack is letting water into the basement, you’ll have to repair the crack even after dealing with its root cause. This will not only prevent further entry of moisture but also of pests and insects. You can use crack injection for this.
Polyurethanes are flexible and allow for movement. They are ideal in areas that experience freezing temperatures as they allow for contracting and expansion of the foundation walls.
Epoxies are more rigid. They hold the crack together. They are ideal if you’re trying to prevent movement too.
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