Foundation crack - what do you do?

Prepper

NES Member
Rating - 100%
11   0   0
Joined
Apr 12, 2007
Messages
20,327
Likes
8,757
Location
NH
All the rain 2 days ago resulted in my first ever leak into the basement. There's a hairline crack 2 or 3 feet long near the top of the foundation, directly under the one large beam that holds up the whole house. On the outside of the house is a deck, and I noticed the rain was puddling up there and not leaving the area, about 4 inches deep... the highest spot of the leak would be exactly at the top of that water puddle outside. So, yesterday, I crawled under the deck and dug a trench from the house to the far end of the deck, so that the next time it rains, the water should flow out of there. But, that's no guarantee of no leaking in the future. While under the deck, I could not see any crack... it would appear to be fully below the ground.

So, what does someone do with a crack like this? I'm guessing it has to be fixed from the outside, otherwise whatever goop I smear on the inside would just get wet and fall off? Fixing from the outside would be a pain due to the deck just 18" higher than the ground, although it should be possible to shovel dirt away from that to do.... something... the question is, do what? I tried looking on youtube but that quickly got useless, with people showing 3 inch wide "cracks" being "patched" and such.

Another useful data point is the house was built with a sump pump pit dug in the corner (not far from this leak), but it was never needed so it is just full of sand. If it would help, I could install a sump pump in here easily enough, to drain away water that would pile up against this crack.

Here's a close-up and zoomed out. In case you're wondering, that vertical 2x4 is something the previous owners put in there to hold shelves that I removed, and the leak doesn't seem to be coming from that. And that crap on the bottom is, literally, crap... that's the cat litter scoop and where I bag and dump it... not that that's important, but I know NES and someone's going to wonder WTF about that. So, now you know.



 
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Joined
Nov 2, 2008
Messages
3,571
Likes
1,923
Location
North Taxolina
Just continue to make sure the rainwater has a way to drain away from the house, especially in the winter when snow and ice can dam water against the house. Keep an eye on it to make sure it is not opening any further. Other than that try not to store your rice or oatmeal on the floor there.
 

Prepper

NES Member
Rating - 100%
11   0   0
Joined
Apr 12, 2007
Messages
20,327
Likes
8,757
Location
NH
You don’t live in western Massachusetts or Connecticut do you?
Southwestern NH, which is just over the border from what many people think of as western MA. It's more central MA than western.
 

Prepper

NES Member
Rating - 100%
11   0   0
Joined
Apr 12, 2007
Messages
20,327
Likes
8,757
Location
NH

strangenh

NES Member
Rating - 100%
36   0   0
Joined
Dec 17, 2007
Messages
6,555
Likes
1,642
Location
NH
Any idea what price range such a service would be? I'm only looking to fix a crack and don't want to dig out all the dirt from the entire foundation.
Looks like they do the injection repairs from the inside. Seems like a good approach for limited problems.
 
Rating - 100%
9   0   0
Joined
Jun 25, 2014
Messages
13,966
Likes
6,364
Give these guys a call. They did a fantastic job for me with our house.

CRACK-X- Foundation Cracks Repair Concrete Repair Basement Waterproofing Services Epoxy Floors Masonry Restoration

Anything less will not work properly. Do it right so you will not have to do it again.

When I lived in my last house there was a crack in the foundation. Called Crack-X to fix it. After the fix it never even got damp. They did a great job.
It has been a long time since that event but if I remember correctly the fix came with a 10 year warranty. Not sure of that is still the case.
 
Rating - 100%
9   0   0
Joined
Dec 10, 2010
Messages
1,795
Likes
339
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Joined
Sep 6, 2013
Messages
59
Likes
22
Location
Western Mass
I just had 3 cracks repaired in my foundation. They plastered epoxy with injection ports over the crack then injected expanding foam once it cured. Solved my issues but for the $1900 I paid I wish I did it myself. It would have been about $800 for the kits. As others have stated make sure to keep rainwater away from the foundation. If you are getting a leak that high up maybe your downspouts arent extended enough or you have insufficient pitch away from the house.
 

Chevy 2 65

NES Member
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Joined
Dec 29, 2013
Messages
15,103
Likes
5,839
Location
Somewhere in the sands of time

Prepper

NES Member
Rating - 100%
11   0   0
Joined
Apr 12, 2007
Messages
20,327
Likes
8,757
Location
NH
I just had 3 cracks repaired in my foundation. They plastered epoxy with injection ports over the crack then injected expanding foam once it cured. Solved my issues but for the $1900 I paid I wish I did it myself. It would have been about $800 for the kits. As others have stated make sure to keep rainwater away from the foundation. If you are getting a leak that high up maybe your downspouts arent extended enough or you have insufficient pitch away from the house.
There are no downspouts. But yes, there isn't all that good of a pitch away from the house in spots. Hopefully the trench I made under the deck helps the area around this crack. There's still another area in the back of the house that will still pile up by the back door of the garage and seep into it... I went out there today and ripped another trench about 16 feet long from that area where the water pools up, away from the house... although now I have a new problem, what's a good way to make this trench permanent? Right now I just have a foot deep foot wide 16 foot long hole in the ground. If I fill it in with stones, it'll just ice over in the winter and not let the water drain out. If I leave it there, I have a big hole for people and the riding mower to fall into, plus it looks hideous. Koi pond liner? Perforated pipe? I'm not sure... I should probably post pics of it but it is dark now.
 
Rating - 100%
3   0   0
Joined
Aug 2, 2008
Messages
5,244
Likes
736
Location
Middletown, RI
I've done my own epoxy crack repair. It was a 4 foot crack, and had been previously repaired so I had to first remove the old crappy repair. I then found the original crack and drilled in 2 inches into the crack using a bit the same diameter of a brass tube (5/16"). I did this every 6" and then once they were all in I back filled the crack with a thickened epoxy mix. Once hardened I injected un-thickened epoxy using a caulking gun I would start at the bottom and work my way up, moving onto the next hole once some epoxy would come out of the hole above it. I would cork the brass tube so epoxy didn't drain out. Once hardened I cut it off flush, 3 years later I have zero problems. I even removed the gutters recently while I do some fascia/soffit work and still no water. For reference, here is a more comprehensive link: Repairing Cracks in Concrete
 

strangenh

NES Member
Rating - 100%
36   0   0
Joined
Dec 17, 2007
Messages
6,555
Likes
1,642
Location
NH
^^^ That's pretty much what these companies do - they just use a compound that pushes out water as it infiltrates the surrounding concrete and then hardens to create a total seal. The 2-thickness epoxy application you did is pretty slick.
 

calsdad

NES Member
Rating - 100%
28   0   0
Joined
Apr 24, 2006
Messages
38,490
Likes
14,101
Location
Chelmsford MA
There are no downspouts. But yes, there isn't all that good of a pitch away from the house in spots. Hopefully the trench I made under the deck helps the area around this crack. There's still another area in the back of the house that will still pile up by the back door of the garage and seep into it... I went out there today and ripped another trench about 16 feet long from that area where the water pools up, away from the house... although now I have a new problem, what's a good way to make this trench permanent? Right now I just have a foot deep foot wide 16 foot long hole in the ground. If I fill it in with stones, it'll just ice over in the winter and not let the water drain out. If I leave it there, I have a big hole for people and the riding mower to fall into, plus it looks hideous. Koi pond liner? Perforated pipe? I'm not sure... I should probably post pics of it but it is dark now.
I've never used Crack-X , but I can testify that some of these new epoxies definitely stick together concrete and stone very well.

A few years back I built a retaining wall using a bunch of square cut granite curbstones - I stacked the things up edge-wise - and glued them together with some Bonstone epoxy made for exterior stone facing. The stuff seems to have held together very well. It's been thru 3 or 4 summers now - and it's been thru the last few winters (last winter was very cold)- and it seems to be holding together great.

If it was me - I'd get that crack bonded back together somehow. If this Crack-X place can inject epoxy into the crack and they've got good recommendations then it sounds like a good option. It's probably something you could do yourself if you could track down the correct epoxy to use - AND the right method to use to get the epoxy into the crack. It's probably going to entail drilling a bunch of holes into the crack and injecting the epoxy into the holes.

Drilling small holes in concrete is pretty easy to do with a nice hammer drill BTW. Don't let people tell you it's a nightmare - it's really a "use the right tool" problem.

As far as the water seepage goes - that looks to me like you've got some very saturated soil there that isn't draining. I've got cracks in my foundation and I don't recall seeing water seepage like that except maybe in the spring when the ground is fully saturated and we've gotten a few days of drenching rain.

If you're worried about water seepage - you need waterproofing on the exterior of the foundation. I've waterproofed my foundation using a combination of Grace Bituthane waterproofing membrane (similar to Grace Ice & Water shield but made specifically for foundations) - and a drainage mat applied to the exterior. It COMPLETELY solved the water leakage problems I had on my rear foundation wall.

The hardest part is digging the foundation down - and that's relatively easily solved by renting an excavator. It's even doable by hand if you don't mind putting your back into it.
 

W.E.C

NES Member
Rating - 100%
1   0   0
Joined
Jul 29, 2012
Messages
8,289
Likes
4,468
Location
Boston
Get a cold chisel and a bag of hydraulic cement. $ 20.
Read the directions on the bag.
V out the crack line and pack in the mix with a trowel.

See what happens.

You can always call the pros in after if it don’t hold.
 
Top Bottom