Many homeowners believe that repairing cracks and / or leaks in their basement will cost them a small fortune; in fact, many are convinced that it will cost them thousands of dollars because they have been led to believe that it is necessary to excavate around their homes to properly repair leaks from cracks in their homes. foundation walls. In reality, invasive searches are rarely really necessary; In fact, most of the time, it is possible to effectively repair basement leaks inside the house for less money, and damage to the landscaping around the house. house are entirely avoided. The fear associated with the supposed high cost of repairing foundation cracks leads some homeowners to decide to undertake their own basement waterproofing.
Most self-repairing for cracks in paired concrete foundations is carried out using one of the following three methods:
- The application of hydraulic cement or caulking on the crack on the inner side of the foundation wall;
- The use of crack injection kits to make oneself using epoxy or polyurethane; and
- External excavation of the wall, with the application of a substance to prevent water from entering the crack.
Method 1 is absolutely a major mistake; Here's why:
- This approach, while possibly stopping a short-term leak, traps water in the wall. Since poured concrete is porous, water trapped in the crack will saturate the concrete and weaken it over time;
- In the northern regions, water trapped in a crack can freeze; the resulting ice will expand (in the same way as the water in your ice bin), essentially forming a wedge that can cause crack cracking;
- "V-ing" out of the crack to apply hydraulic cement is a waste of time because, while the "V" facilitates the filling of the crack with hydraulic cement, you will stick 2 different materials l & # 39; one to the other. Since each material expands and contracts at different speeds during the thermal cycle of the wall (heating and cooling), a capillary crack will eventually develop between the two materials, causing the eventual failure of crack repair; and
- The use of caulking will also retain water inside the crack and the caulk will not withstand significant hydrostatic pressure (the pressure on the outside wall attributable to the water table ).
Method 2 can work well; however, the do-it-yourself crack injection kit has important limitations:
- You must choose between an epoxy crack injection and a polyurethane crack injection. Each type of injection has technical advantages and disadvantages that the average do-it-yourselfer would not be aware of; therefore, you run the risk of choosing the wrong type of injection for the crack you plan to repair;
- The crack injection kit you buy may not contain enough epoxy or polyurethane to completely repair the crack;
- Polyurethane crack injections can be used for waterstopping on any crack; However, a do-it-yourself repair kit will not provide you with a way to flush the crack before injection. In most cases, rinsing cracks is crucial to ensure the success of an injection;
- Unless you are installing professional injection packers, a do-it-yourself crack injection kit can not be used when a crack is actively leaking because these kits require it. Applying a paste on the surface of the crack; if the paste is epoxy-based, the paste will not adhere well to a wet or damp wall surface; and
- The dispensing tool provided with the kit may only offer a low pressure injection that may not be sufficient to ensure that the injected material penetrates completely into the foundation wall.
Method 3 can work as well; However, this involves a lot of work and must be done correctly. Here are some basic rules and potential problems:
- Locations (identification of locations of electrical, telephone, gas and other underground services) must be obtained prior to any excavation;
- With any excavation, there is always a risk of soil collapse that can be deadly;
- Exhavation must be conducted until the base;
- Cracks are not always visible on the outer surface of the foundation wall (it is therefore difficult to know where the crack is and where the repair is to be done); and
- Appropriate waterproofing materials shall be used on the surface of the wall; Sticking polystyrene or plywood to an outside wall over a crack will not provide a permanent repair.
The waterproofing of basements is a specialty just like plumbing, law, engine repair, and so on. There is a lot of science and technology involved in the basement waterproofing business; therefore, it is advisable to consult a truly professional waterproofing contractor .
For more information on repairing foundation cracks and basement waterproofing in general, visit www.aquaguardinjection.com .