Homes age over time. They begin to sag and lose their structure. Foundations are often the first place you’ll notice deterioration in your home. Your foundation may develop wall cracks as it begins to give way to the pressures and stresses of time and nature.
The good news is that a few wall cracks don’t always mean that you’ll have to replace your foundation. That is especially if the cracks aren’t leaking or are only causing a minor leak. In many cases, these cracks can be repaired and the foundation restored.
There are various materials available in the market for the repair of wall cracks. These include:
This is a common material in the construction industry. In fact, many homeowners reach for caulk when they notice any cracks in the structure of their home. While caulk can help to improve the appearance of the crack, it will not seal it up properly. Using caulk on a crack may result in the formation of efflorescence (a powdery mineral salt deposit). The seal may also succumb to water pressure and be forced out of the crack over time.
- Hydraulic cement
This can be handy but requires specialized equipment to install. You simply shape the cracks into v-shaped grooves and pump the hydraulic cement into them. The cement forms a tight and neat plug. However, it should be noted that wet cement does not bond properly with cement that has set for years. As the foundation wall shifts, the cement plug will weaken and is likely to fall out. You may also experience efflorescence as water leaks through.
- Epoxy injections
These are the go-to materials for professional contractors. They are a great way to seal a crack and prevent further penetration of water through the crack. They bond strongly to the walls of the crack.
You will have two options with epoxy injections. Urethane injections result in a rigid seal that prevents further movement of the crack, while polyurethane polymer injections can be installed in leaking cracks. They provide a flexible seal to allow for movement along with the natural movement of the wall.
Word of caution
While it can be tempting to want to repair cracks on your own, it is advisable to get a professional contractor. Sealing the cracks will only cause the water to collect behind the wall, which will create a dam. You will be dealing with an even more serious problem when the dam bursts.