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What's the best way to fix a foundation crack?

Hello! I went to a Home Show to find some contractors that fix foundations. There were 2 different methods that I was told about. One was by drilling holes at a 45 degree angle then filling the cracks through these holes. I heard someone behind me say "that what we had done and it still leaks." I found another contractor that explained a different method. They showed me a 4" wide neoprene (rubber like material) that they would attach to the foundation, cut into the basement floor and create a drainage area that the water would drain into from the crack. There were 2 companies that spoke of this method. Has anyone had either method done or have an more information? Pros and Cons to either method? Is there a better method? :confused:

Re: What's the best way to fix a foundation crack?

If you give us exact information concerning the problem we can try to advise you.
Calcats ;)

Re: What's the best way to fix a foundation crack?

When I looked at the house there was a little water on the floor but thought it was because the gutters weren't up yet and the yard was dirt. I noticed a hairline crack just behind the stairs in the basement. The builder came to fill the crack with hydraulic cement(not sure if that's the proper name). That worked for a little while but after about 3 months, there was water after a heavy rainstorm, just a cup or 2 of water though. I'm thinking that the "fill" didn't work because the builder didn't see the hairline crack went all the way to the top of the foundation and didn't fill that area. That crack got wider after that 3 months (see pictures for current condition). The second picture is looking down at the stairs/foundation.

Re: What's the best way to fix a foundation crack?

If you think the water came in from the crack that wasn't filled, I would ask the contractor to return and fill the rest of the crack. If the water came in from the hydraulic cement I would call the contractor and have him re-do it at his expense. Hydraulic cement expands and is designed to fill holes, unlike regular cement. If the hydraulic cement is applied to near the surface and doesn't have an area to expand against it won't seal properly. After the crack is taken care of and you are sure you don't have running water coming in, I would advise painting the walls with a cement paint made by the Dry-Loc company. It works great at sealing the walls from exterior moisture. Hope this helps.
Calcats ;)

Re: What's the best way to fix a foundation crack?

We were having issues with our foundation.
Here is some very good information I received in a private message with Canuk.It is spot on and helped us solve our issue.

There is some misconception when it comes to " hydraulic cement ".

Portland based cements that are commonly used for concrete will shrink ( somewhat ) when the moisture evaporates while curing.

By definition a hydraulic cement is a cement that creates a chemical reaction when it comes in contact with water (hydration) and will even cure under water.

Many " hydraulic cements " aren't Portland based but rather sulfoaluminate based cement .... and those that are Portland have many additives added. A " hydraulic cement " has nothing to do with expansion,rather hydraulic cements will shrink less than others and with their suloalmate base and the additives is also the reason they set up quickly.

These are the reasons they are used regularily for things like repairing foundation cracks.

Now having said all that and on to your issue....

repairing the crack with hydraulic cement can be benifical since it sets up quickly. However ... like any rigid material it won't bridge any gaps if the crack grows since it isn't flexiable.

As for the paint on products that many people think is a waterproofing .... they are a adequate as a damp proofer or can be considered as a vapor barrier.

The problem with these paint on products is they don't bridge gaps either.While on the applied surface if a crack were to appear or an existing one were to grow these paint on coatings won't cover the gaps. In these cases the cracks would be as though there was nothing covering them.

There is basically two options available to solve wet basement problems. Interior or exterior.

Doing any repairs including the supposed water proofing sytems from the interior is only a band aid .... in my opinion
The best method is to repair the foundatin from the exterior since this is where the source of water is from.

Interior work utilizes drainage inside your basement to control the water that is entering and directs it to a sump pump. This method should never be called waterproofing, it should be referred to as water control. Water control systems allow the water in, in order to pump it back out.

Waterproofing is accomplished only by exterior excavation to the bottom of the foundation, installing proper drainage and treating the walls to prevent the water from entering. Having an appropriate elastomeric material that remains flexiable after curing which will bridge any gaps from cracks .... but also is part of a water proofing system.
These coatings not only cover the foundation to cover the gaps but also don't allow moisture to pass through. The other component for water proofing is an isolation membrane over this elastomeric coating.

Let it in and pump it out, or keep it out all together. This is the main difference between waterproofing vs. water control.

Which method is best for your foundation? The overwhelming consensus among professionals outside of the industry, structural engineers, local building department officials, etc. is waterproofing is always the best choice.

So why do so many companies in this industry propose water control approaches? The answer is because it is all they do. Water control systems are relatively easy to install. It requires very little in the way of equipment or material. It is fast, and requires minimal labor skills. Water control systems do have their place, however if damp spots, cracking, or shifting of the walls is your concern, water control systems can actually make your problem worse.

Hopefully this helps.:)

Re: What's the best way to fix a foundation crack?

Thank you so much for the responses and information. Much appreciated. :) I understand the problem a lot more and now know the best way to fix this problem. Thanks again.

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