Your house is your refuge; therefore, keeping its structural integrity is essential. One common issue homeowners face, especially in older houses, is cracks in the basement foundation walls. Water can enter your basement through these cracks, potentially causing significant damage. In this, we’ll explore how to fix a crack in your basement foundation wall in Toronto, with a focus on basement waterproofing. We’ll also discuss the importance of hiring a basement waterproofing contractor for the job.
Understanding Basement Foundation Cracks
Before we dive into the repair process, it’s crucial to understand the types of cracks that can occur in your basement foundation wall. These cracks can be broadly categorized into two main types:
Non-Structural Cracks: These cracks typically don’t pose a threat to the structural integrity of your home. They are usually caused by minor settlement or shrinkage of the concrete over time.
Structural Cracks: These cracks are more serious and may suggest a broader issue with the structural integrity of the foundation. They are frequently caused by excessive foundation pressure, such as soil expansion or hydrostatic pressure from water in the soil.
Determining the type of crack you’re dealing with is essential, as it will influence the repair approach you should take. Structural cracks require more extensive repairs and may involve professional assistance, while non-structural cracks can often be repaired by homeowners.
Basement Foundation Crack Repair Process
Step 1: Safety First
Before you start any repair work, ensure your safety gear is on. This includes safety glasses, gloves, and a dust mask, as working with cement and epoxy can create fine dust particles that can irritate your eyes and lungs.
Step 2: Scrub the Crack
Clean the fracture thoroughly with a wire brush. Clear away any loose debris, dirt, or dust. If the fracture is deep, use a chisel to gently expand it, forming a V-shaped groove. This will aid in the adhesion of the repair material.
Step 3: Dampen the Crack Step And Apply Hydraulic Cement
Using a paintbrush, dampen the crack with water. This will prevent the concrete from absorbing too much moisture from the repair materials, which can weaken the bond. For non-structural cracks, hydraulic cement is an excellent choice for sealing. Mix the hydraulic cement following the manufacturer’s directions and put it to the crack via a trowel or putty knife. Make sure to pack the cement into the crack tightly and smooth the surface.
Step 5: Allow for Curing
Wrap plastic sheeting around the repaired area and attach it with duct tape. This creates a barrier that helps the cement cure properly. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for curing time, which typically ranges from 24 to 48 hours.
Step 6: Check for Additional Cracks
While waiting for the repair to cure, take this opportunity to inspect the rest of your basement foundation for any additional cracks. Early detection and resolution of these issues can help to avoid further water intrusion and harm.
Importance of Hiring a Basement Waterproofing Contractor
While DIY solutions can work for minor cracks, hiring a professional basement waterproofing contractor in Toronto is crucial for several reasons:
Expertise and Experience: Basement waterproofing contractors have extensive knowledge and experience in identifying and addressing foundation issues. They can accurately assess the severity of cracks and recommend the most suitable solutions.
Specialized Equipment And Comprehensive Solutions: Contractors have access to specialized tools and equipment, such as hydraulic pumps and waterproofing membranes, to ensure a long-lasting and effective repair. Contractors not only fix the visible cracks but also address underlying issues, such as poor drainage or excessive groundwater pressure, which can prevent future problems.
Warranty and Guarantees: Reputable basement waterproofing contractors often provide warranties and guarantees for their work, giving you peace of mind that the repairs will last.
Local Knowledge: Contractors in Toronto are familiar with the region’s unique climate and soil conditions, allowing them to customize solutions to your exact requirements.
Some Commonly Asked Questions Regarding Foundation Crack Repair
How can I tell if a crack is a structural issue?
Consult a professional if the crack is wider than 1/8 inch or shows signs of structural damage.
Is it OK to have cracks in a basement wall?
It depends on the size and severity of the crack, but it’s generally a concern that should be inspected by a professional.
How do you fix cracks in internal concrete walls?
Use epoxy injection or hydraulic cement for smaller cracks; consult a professional for larger ones.
What is the most excellent basement wall crack sealant?
Polyurethane or epoxy sealants are commonly used for basement wall cracks.
How do you fix a cracked basement wall from the outside?
Basement crack repair wall from the outside typically involves excavation and waterproofing methods like sealants and drainage systems.