Introduction

sealing a crack in concrete
Photo: Geoffrey Gross
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Concrete consists primarily of cement, sand, gravel and water. As the water in the slurry evaporates, the remaining ingredients cure into a hard, monolithic slab. Unfortunately, the curing process causes the concrete to shrink slightly, often resulting in hairline cracks. Larger stress cracks occur when a house settles or the ground beneath it shifts. These types of cracks typically don't threaten the structural integrity of the house, but they do create an entry point for groundwater, insects and radon gas. Here, we'll show you a simple, effective way to patch cracks in poured- concrete walls.

If you notice large, recurring cracks or bulging walls at your house, don't try to fix these conditions yourself. The cracks might indicate a more serious structural problem; call in a structural engineer for an in-depth evaluation.
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