Not all foundation cracks can affect your home’s structural integrity. Sometimes they’re nothing more than unsightly lines tarnishing your home’s aesthetics. The shrinking of concrete causes these hairline cracks during its curing process.
However, some are large enough to make homeowners ask how to fix foundation cracks. The larger ones are called structural cracks and will require professional attention.
Foundation Cracks Requiring Immediate Attention
Before determining how to fix foundation cracks, you should first identify which ones are serious. Here are warning signs to watch out for:
- Cracks that run across your home’s ceiling then continue down a wall.
- Huge diagonal cracks.
- A bunch of vertical cracks that are close to each other.
- Foundation cracks that go horizontally.
- Brickwork foundation with stair step cracks.
- Cracks that tend to get bigger.
- Cracks that are wider on one end and narrow on another.
- Any foundation cracks wider than 1/10th of an inch.
If you spot any foundation cracks described above, you should call professional foundation repair services as soon as possible. It is best to address the issue early to prevent costly repairs.
Monitor Narrow Cracks
Any crack in your foundation that’s wider than 1/8th of an inch will require regular monitoring. The concrete setting may cause it, but if the cracks grow any bigger, they may become a problem. Mark the crack from one end to the other and record the information by measuring its length and width, then note down the date.
Take a picture so you have a photo to compare the next time you measure it again. Then, measure the crack again monthly, comparing the dimensions and pictures each time. If the measurements remain the same after several months, it means the crack is stable and safe to fill.
Apply a Sealer on Wider Cracks
Every crack on the foundation that measures ⅛ to ¼ of an inch should be sealed even if they’re not getting bigger. Sealing prevents smells, toxic chemicals and moisture from accumulating or passing through. You can use caulk, grout or an epoxy sealer to cover wider cracks. If you’re unsure which material to use as a sealer, it would be best to consult with seasoned house foundation experts.
Horizontal Cracks Near the Basement Floor
As you inspect your home’s foundation and walls, you may find horizontal cracks forming near the basement floors. They can appear a few months after your home has been constructed. However, if it appears where the floor meets the foundation wall, it shouldn’t be a cause for alarm since it usually won’t affect your home’s structural integrity.
These areas are common places where cracks can appear, especially when the concrete for your floor and foundation are poured separately. This is because the bond between the two areas sometimes doesn’t become complete, producing horizontal cracks when the concrete settles.
Many of these cracks can measure ½ inch in width, which can cause alarm for some homeowners. Further, since they’re non-structural cracks, you can seal them without any problems. However, if the cracks grow wider than ½ an inch to two inches, call your trusted foundation contractors to address the cause of the problem. It’s a serious issue that can affect your home’s structural integrity.
How To Fix Foundation Cracks
If the crack has no impact on your home’s foundation, you can carefully seal them using an epoxy sealer. You can use an epoxy injection kit from any supplier. It usually comes with a two-part sealer, caulk-type cartridges and injection ports. The kit allows you to inject an epoxy solution deep into the crack.
- Tap 10D finishing nails halfway into the crack with the nails one foot away from each other. Slide the injection ports over each nail.
- Mix the two epoxy sealer materials. Use equal amounts of both parts until you get a uniform gray color.
- Using a trowel or putty knife, apply epoxy along the length of the crack. Spread the epoxy sealer up to one inch on either side of the crack. Make sure to cover the flanges of the injection ports installed on the walls.
- Using the caulk gun, inject epoxy into the ports, starting at the lowest ones. Keep injecting material until you find epoxy oozing out of the next port above the one you’re working on. Dispense epoxy into the next port above, repeating the same process.
- Seal the injection ports and allow the epoxy to cure, which usually takes around five days.
- Saw off any protruding plastic ports on the walls after the epoxy has cured.
Call the Foundation Repair Specialists
You should call foundation repair professionals when you find structural cracks in your home’s foundation. At HD Foundations, we use an efficient five-step foundation repair process that restores your foundation to its pristine state. To learn more or to get a free quote, contact our consultants today by filling out this form.