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sharon sherry
cracked basement walls

We have a vertical crack running around the basement about 5 feet from the floor. We have called 3 companies and are appalled at the cost for the repairs/ We watched a video and putting up carbon fiber or kevlar straps does not look that complicated. Can we do this job ourselves? If so where can we buy the materials we need? Any advise will be appreciated. Thanks

Re: cracked basement walls

You are aware that a good repair job must be on the exterior side of the wall, so don't neglect the excavation costs. Theoretically, yes, you can do it yourself and save your money. But practically, I doubt that you can do it.

Re: cracked basement walls

What DJ said plus;

1- If you do this wrong you can make it worse and more expensive to repair.

2- The huge advantage of hiring out the job; they bring an army of people and heavy equipment to get the job done quickly. You can't leave your foundation exposed to the weather, unsupported, for long periods of time.

MLB Construction
Re: cracked basement walls

there aren't too many basements out there without cracks in the walls. there's "usually" no reason to worry if the cracks are less than 1/4" wide. before calling people in to repair the walls, you should be calling a structural engineer to come in and evaluate the problem and give you a list of possible ways to remedy it if it even needs a fix. $200 for a structural engineer to tell you that you don't need to do anything is alot cheaper than a contractor coming in for $5000 to do work you don't need.

Re: cracked basement walls

What MLB said: plus:

Are we talking about a VERTICAL crack, or a HORIZONTAL crack???

A horizontal crack that is approx 5' along the foundation walls above the basement floor is usually caused by the outside soil around the foundation freezing in winter, expanding & cracking the foundation; known as frost heave.

Did the contractor(s) you talked to mention this as the cause???

If so, the remedy is to excavate the water-holding soil (usually clay) around the exterior of the foundation, install drainage tiles & backfill with gravel.

However, as MLB says, if the cracking is minor, consult a structural engineer first.

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