Foundation crack - what do you do?

tuna

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Is this in the same area as your flower bed doorway to Hell?


Have you considered putting in a decorative water meter (looks like one but doesn't do anything but hide the crack) and sell the place? Angry wildlife complete with flinging poo, doorways to alternate dimensions, and now this - just saying.
 

Prepper

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Is this in the same area as your flower bed doorway to Hell?


Have you considered putting in a decorative water meter (looks like one but doesn't do anything but hide the crack) and sell the place? Angry wildlife complete with flinging poo, doorways to alternate dimensions, and now this - just saying.
No, other side of house. A water meter would be weird since I am on a well and government water doesn't run down this street.
 

pastera

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Pics on their site look pretty clear - they drill holes along the crack and use them as injection points.
Only need to drill for high pressure injection - probably not needed. If it is hacked up with hydraulic cement it will need to be high pressure injected to fix once the hydraulic cement fails.
 

erics506

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Prepper,

The cost of CrackX varies with the size and type of crack. They filled all my cracks from the inside of the basement. First they smeared a epoxy along the length of each crack and placed plastic nipples into the crack along the length of the crack. This outer epoxy dries very hard to prevent the expanding epoxy they fill the crack with from oozing out. Then they injected an expanding epoxy into the crack. If the crack went all the way through to the outside of the foundation, the epoxy oozed out the outside of the crack. So I know all the cracks were completely filled with epoxy. They clean off any excess. All dries in 12-24 hours.

Call them,describe the size of the crack(s) you have and they will provide an over the phone quote. They did a super job for me.
 

Prepper

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Thanks everyone I will try crack X once I'm ready. Meanwhile I probably want to make sure there is as little water as possible in the ground outside. Hopefully that trench will help. I still have to figure out how to make the second trench permanent, not sure what would be reasonable since this would be visible for everyone to see and have to mow over.
 

strangenh

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Thanks everyone I will try crack X once I'm ready. Meanwhile I probably want to make sure there is as little water as possible in the ground outside. Hopefully that trench will help. I still have to figure out how to make the second trench permanent, not sure what would be reasonable since this would be visible for everyone to see and have to mow over.
If it is deep enough, make sure it's graded the direction you want, bed with stone, put in 4" perforated pipe, cover with stone, and top cover with soil and grass. Something like this:

FLEX-Drain 4 in. x 50 ft. Polypropylene Perforated Pipe-52002 - The Home Depot
 

Dennis in MA

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Foundation crack - what do you do?

I have one word for you...

"Flying Buttresses"

Considering them. We got a crack in the foundation of my garage early on after it was built. Maybe a year after. We are talking a 1/4" shift.

Last winter, a tree came down in the back yard - right behind the garage.

1. New crack on teh back side - and it's a decent size.
2. The foundation to the FRONT of the side crack is now listing to the outside.

WHAT THE FRACK!?!?!?!?!?

It's going to take excavation to find out. Maybe a complete foundation replacement from just on teh other side of the second crack to the front of the house. One guy who looked at it said, "Did you have re-bar in there? This should never happen." I assume we did. A competent forms guy did it. Competent contractor oversaw the work. Gonna run me about $10K to fix, I suspect. IT's not going to fall - not any time in the next 20 years. But I'm moving in about 8 or so. Gotta get it fixed before I sell the place.

Anyone know a GOOD concrete repair guy on the South Shore. Taunton area??? This isn't Crack-X or Basement-Dry issue. Foundational problem. I need someone who knows what they are doing. The guy that looked at it SEEMS to know, but he's not a foundation guy by trade.
 

enbloc

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"Did you have re-bar in there? This should never happen." I assume we did. A competent forms guy did it. Competent contractor oversaw the work."
I wonder if you could check for re-bar with a metal detector?...
 

calsdad

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Thanks everyone I will try crack X once I'm ready. Meanwhile I probably want to make sure there is as little water as possible in the ground outside. Hopefully that trench will help. I still have to figure out how to make the second trench permanent, not sure what would be reasonable since this would be visible for everyone to see and have to mow over.
One method for draining water is to dig a trench - then fill it with sand. Then put topsoil back over the trench. The water flows thru sand easier than it will typically flows thru the surrounding soil - so you end with drainage but don't have to install a pipe.

There's a specific type of sand that is typically recommended for this - it's called "septic sand" or something like that. It's sand with a very low clay content.

The other thing to keep in mind is that when a hole is dug in the ground to put a foundation into it - when they backfill around the foundation after it's poured, the soil that is put back is "disturbed" . This means that the water will flow more easily thru it (down the side of your foundation) - than it will in the surrounding soil - which has been sitting there compacting for literally thousands of years. What this means is that water will take the path of least resistance - which is down the side of your foundation.

That's why they put in footer drains to get the water away from the foundation walls - because the water just sort of naturally wants to go down the footer anyway - so you might as well collect it there and direct it away from the foundation.

In your case though - that would mean a bunch of digging.

If you think that you're getting a lot of water collecting along the side of the house that is finding it's way towards the foundation - another method I've seen used is to bury a barrier along the edge of the foundation wall - that directs the water 3-4 feet out from the foundation so that it doesn't flow down along the wall. I don't remember the specifics of how to do this - but there articles online about it.

Either way - the only way to really fix water problems along the foundation is to do some digging.
 
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TLB

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One method for draining water is to dig a trench - then fill it with sand. Then put topsoil back over the trench. The water flows thru sand easier than it will typically flows thru the surrounding soil - so you end with drainage but don't have to install a pipe.

There's a specific type of sand that is typically recommended for this - it's called "septic sand" or something like that. It's sand with a very low clay content.

The other thing to keep in mind is that when a hole is dug in the ground to put a foundation into it - when they backfill around the foundation after it's poured, the soil that is put back is "disturbed" . This means that the water will flow more easily thru it (down the side of your foundation) - than it will in the surrounding soil - which has been sitting there compacting for literally thousands of years. What this means is that water will take the path of least resistance - which is down the side of your foundation.

That's why they put in footer drains to get the water away from the foundation walls - because the water just sort of naturally wants to go down the footer anyway - so you might as well collect it there and direct it away from the foundation.

In your case though - that would mean a bunch of digging.

If you think that you're getting a lot of water collecting along the side of the house that is finding it's way towards the foundation - another method I've seen used is to bury a barrier along the edge of the foundation wall - that directs the water 3-4 feet out from the foundation so that it doesn't flow down along the wall. I don't remember the specifics of how to do this - but there articles online about it.

Either way - the only way to really fix water problems along the foundation is to do some digging.
Good post. But, I would add that doing some digging comes after making sure the roof collection/gutter/downspout situation is directing water away from the foundation and making sure the surface grading also slopes away from the foundation.
 
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Get Sani Tred. Stopped a leak in my basement 14 years ago and going strong. You mix what’s called LRB and TAV to make the crack filler. You also need a small can of sani tred. It works and is designed to work from the inside. Let it dry, clean the wall real good and follow directions. You’ll be all set. sanitred.com
 

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Good post. But, I would add that doing some digging comes after making sure the roof collection/gutter/downspout situation is directing water away from the foundation and making sure the surface grading also slopes away from the foundation.
Gutters cause ice dams so the one gutter there was back there, I removed. Grading away is going to be a problem since the top soil would then be gone and the septic pipe would also be exposed since it starts out at 1inch below ground level.
 

Prepper

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Gutters don’t cause icedams. My shop has no gutters and if snow doesn’t get removed there will be ice
These did. Or, they made them much worse. I remove all the snow but ice builds up against that gutter really well. Since I pulled that gutter out, it has been much easier to deal with. Plus, the gutter was useless because it just froze up and spilled over, not directing water away from house in the winter.
 

Dennis in MA

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SOME Gutter guards (like Guttah-helmet) CAUSE ice dams. They are aluminum. They are not insulated. So melting snow hits the metal and BAM, freeze! I never had gutter problems BEFORE I had these things. Pulled them last year - no problems.
 

M1911

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Control the water:

- make sure gutters are working and have extensions away from the foundation.
- grade the area so that it drains away from the house.
- consider adding a french drain that drains away from the house.

Yes, you need to get the crack fixed, but you also need to control the water. If there is water up against the foundation, it will find a way in.
 
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andrew1220

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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.
This. I just paid a friend of mine to do one wall of my foundation as I was getting a fair amount of water at the corners. I don't have a poured concrete foundation, I have granite block footer then cinderblock on top. House was built in 1935 and had some significant cracks due to settling and years of freeze/thaw, along with 0 downspout extensions...

Best money I've spent in awhile. I've had 0 moisture during the last few heavy rain events.

He first dug down by hand, filled in/repointed the cracks, covered the whole wall with a nonfibered foundation coating, then a 5-mil plastic barrier on top.
IMG_1447.jpg IMG_1714.png

@calsdad We were talking via PM about my foundation not too long ago. Well my buddy finally got around to fixing it. I've got one more small section on another wall that gets a wetspot during heavy rains. That will be next years project...

He then applied a new stucco finish/layer around the entire foundation. Looks fantastic.
IMG_1458.jpg
IMG_1459.jpg

Now I just need to finish my paver walkway before winter arrives...
IMG_1678.jpg
IMG_1679-1.jpg
 
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Polygem. Not cheap but it works. I used it a couple of months ago before the rains came and no more water/leaks.

LCR - Liquid Concrete Repair Basement Foundation Crack Repair Complete Kit - **Free Shipping!!** | Polygem Epoxy
^^ This. I had one crack in my basement that leaked and was not accessible from the outside as it too was under my deck. I used this stuff and just followed the directions and it never leaked again. The only thing was that the crack I had extended from the floor up to almost the top of the foundation as this stuff has you start at the bottom and work your way up the injection ports. A lot cheaper than some of the companies out there, but then again no warranty as it's a DIY fix.
 
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Here is a pick of my rack repair. It hasn't leaked and considering I don't have gutters on the house and with all this rain it's held up real well. I used West Systems epoxy and thickened it with 404 for the crack, then injected it using empty caulking tubes:
basement crack repair.jpg
 
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