Foundation crack repair can be a complicated process when there is insufficient knowledge on foundations and construction methods. This is often a component of many new building constructions. Unfortunately, not all building codes are fully enforced, which leaves many vulnerable buildings susceptible to collapse. In these cases, a foundation repair specialist is called in. This is an essential component of the advanced foundation crack repairs required to prevent further damage and devaluation.
This type of foundation crack repair service involves extensive ground exploration to locate problem areas, such as concrete footer drains, basement walls and other vulnerable areas. It also requires extensive drilling of both sides of an existing crack and then grouting using heavy metal units which rotate the crack to spread the crack evenly across the area. Such anchor grounding requires extensive excavation, but the results are worth the effort due to the re-establishing of tensile strength. After the groundwork is complete, the foundation cracks are repaired and reinstalled with new footers and drains.
The typical method of foundation crack repair involves filling the cracks with waterproofed concrete. A special trowel is used to smooth out the concrete, followed by a layer of waterproofing membrane. The membrane serves to not only provide added protection against moisture, but also to make the area more visually appealing. The waterproofing membrane is then combined with plastic footer drains to form a finished basement floor. In some cases, rubber footers or screed drains may be used instead of the traditional concrete.
Foundation cracks which result from seepage, groundwater pressure or soil failure can sometimes result in water damage to surrounding structures and even injuries or death. In such cases, a water absorbent pad can be placed to contain any potential leaks and absorbent materials can be used for further waterproofing. The contractor will then seal the area to prevent moisture from seeping back into the basement. All cracks and leaks in your house should be checked by a professional before they’re repaired or replaced.
Foundation cracks are characterized by either flat top or flat bottom, depending on the direction the wall is leaning. In case of flat top cracks, concrete can be poured to fill the void, and the area re-cast into a new reinforced concrete slab. In case of flat bottom cracks, a borer can be inserted and the existing concrete slabs turned to cast them in a new round shape. Cracks can also be found along the walls. In such cases, a hole is first dug to allow the contractor to carefully remove the damaged part of wall. After that, the hole is filled with concrete to make the wall strong once again.
It’s not possible to completely fix structural integrity of a building without repairing foundation cracks too. However, if we find out that the damage is minor, all the cracks are likely to be filled within three to six months using crack filling materials. Some contractors prefer using high quality silicone elastomeric crack fillers instead of borer materials because they’re more flexible and cost-effective. Borer materials, on the other hand, tend to last longer than silicone elastomeric crack fillers. If the damage is extensive, both types of crack filler can be utilized together to provide long-lasting cracks that effectively solve the problem.
When you discover a crack in the foundation, do not attempt to save the structure. It’s not necessary to tear down walls just yet. You need to assess the situation first and contact experts to get an estimate about how much it would cost to repair foundations. Then, move on to eliminate the root cause of the problem right away. Most often, it’s found that soil above the ground surface has shifted considerably, leading to improper drainage.
In cases when a foundation wall needs to be demolished for remodeling or repair, do not use heavy equipment or demolition methods that may create additional issues in your search for the source of the leak. It’s not enough to fix a leaky wall with cement. If you dig a hole for wetness and then pump water into it, you may end up worsening the problem by further compressing the soil. Moreover, when digging through the soil, you need to protect the floor beneath it from damage. You’ll be better off to use excavators equipped with special waterproofing systems to make this job easier. With these tools, you will easily finish waterproofing a basement or wall without causing damage to the surrounding areas.