Large gaps and cracks in a foundation require immediate sealing. If left unattended, these issues can lead to more significant problems and may even affect the structural integrity of a home or building. You can prevent many defects by knowing how to seal around a house foundation effectively.
Your house’s foundation bears the weight of the entire structure. One of the primary functions of a home’s foundation is to act as a barrier preventing water and other elements from entering a home’s internal systems.
The Purpose of Foundation Gaps
All buildings and homes have foundation gaps, which allow the foundation and other building materials to expand and contract. This material movement is caused by temperature changes, which act on concrete. Understanding these features enable you to determine how to seal around a house foundation.
Types of Foundation Gaps
Small fissures, cracks and gaps can form when a house’s foundations expand and contract due to the temperature changes. The damage can cause voids to form, reduce the stability of a home and cause internal flooding in a home when it rains.
Not all cracks can be a cause for alarm. Some more minor fissures can be negligible. However, some types of gaps in the foundation require repair and maintenance.
- Vertical Cracks: Many foundation gaps and cracks have a generally vertical orientation. Some may even be angled slightly up to about 30 degrees. These tiny cracks can be easily repaired using a simple sealant like epoxy and aren’t usually any cause for concern.
- Horizontal Cracks: Horizontal cracks, on the other hand, are more severe and threaten the structural integrity of a house’s foundation. These cracks can be caused by water damage or by external soil pressure.
- Diagonal Cracks: Diagonal fissures are another cause for concern but aren’t as serious as horizontal cracks. You can fix more minor hairline oblique cracks quickly. However, the larger ones will require immediate attention. Professionals know how to seal around a house foundation, so it’s best to leave these structural problems under their care.
How To Seal Outside a House Foundation
Gaps, cracks and fissures can lead to severe problems like flooding in the basement, which can be pretty expensive to repair. Situations like these can also be related to other issues like plumbing problems and faulty windows and walls. Foundation specialists can inspect the integrity of your home’s structure and assess the severity of the damage.
They will perform the following steps to seal a house’s foundation:
- The first step is to excavate the soil around the foundation wall. If trees are nearby, their roots need to be traced to determine if they’re causing any damage. In addition, utility lines, such as those for electricity and gas, must be avoided while digging.
- Excavating the surrounding soil exposes the footer, which needs to be cleaned.
- The remaining debris and dirt surrounding the other parts of the foundation wall need to be removed. You can use a vacuum or a leaf blower to perform this step.
- Once the foundation has been exposed, you can thoroughly inspect it for cracks and other deformities.
- You can apply the suitable sealant to the foundation at this point. Different types of adhesives can be used, depending on the material needing coverage. Use concrete sealants for cement foundations and wood sealants for foundations made of wood.
- Press foam backer rods into the cracks you find on the foundation gaps. Fill these joints using polyurethane caulk, which you should apply over the foam backer. Apply caulk to cracks on the foundation gap that are smaller than a quarter of an inch thick.
- Perforated pipes can be laid in certain areas to protect the plumbing and other utility lines.
- Lay down a layer of gravel to allow for proper drainage. It should also cover perforated pipes.
- Finally, cover the gravel with a soil separator.
Work with Trusted Foundation Repair Specialists in DFW
Cracks on your home’s foundation are indicators that your property is in need of maintenance. If your basement or room accumulates moisture or gets flooded, it’s best to call in experts. At HD Foundations, we have specialists who know how to seal outside a house foundation and prevent further damage to your home. Contact our specialists today by filling out this form and get a free quote.