If you are a homeowner, you already know that houses age and need constant maintenance. Roofs leak, windows need fixing, flooring needs to be renewed, and over time more and more such hassles start showing up. However, there is one thing that ranks higher in severity than the other, and that is a cracked foundation. The house essentially lays on a foundation that is strong and secure. But over age, or because of construction errors, foundations might crack sometimes. And foundation repair is not an easy feat too. If you have recently faced a crack in your foundation and want to repair the same, read on because we come with all the steps of the process.
Step 1: Inspect and Prep
There are a variety of different reasons that foundation cracks can occur. Before you get to the repair, it is important to understand why the cracks are happening, and you will need to look into your home’s foundation. The earth near the foundation settles with time. The walls of the foundation may start to absorb water, and as the temperature changes, the concrete will expand and compress.
The strain of these elements weakens the concrete of the foundation, and once cracks appear, they frequently spread and, if left unattended, may become a serious issue. Hairline-thin cracks that result from the concrete of the foundation expanding and contracting are typically vertical or diagonal. Call an expert for an inspection if the crack appears to have caused a section of the wall to separate from the rest of the wall or if it appears to be too huge, as there may be a serious structural issue that cannot be fixed with a patch.
Step 2: Prep The Area
Before you start repairing the area, clean it well for it to be effectively repaired. For cracks that are wider than a hairline, chip away any loose or cracked bits and rinse the crack with water. You can use a blower of a power washer to wash away any chipped particles or debris. After rinsing the area, pat it dry. Only when it is thoroughly cleaned and dried is it ready for the next step.
Step 3: Repair The Crack
Some vinyl concrete patching solutions are typically effective in fixing small hairline fractures. As instructed by the manufacturer, apply a vinyl repairing compound in several layers using a putty knife or trowel. If thin cracks are large enough to accommodate sand, they can also be repaired with a cement mixture. Concrete caulk can be used to patch cracks bigger than a hairline. Push the caulk through into the crack all the way down by using a caulking gun. Cracks can also be filled with hydraulic cement and a putty knife. Keep the cement patch uniform and smooth well with the surface of the wall using a trowel.
Step 4: Seal the Foundation Walls
You can now cover the foundation walls using waterproof masonry sealant after the crack has been sealed and the repair has dried or set. This will stop any water from penetrating the concrete. Any water will be soaked up by the concrete and any existing paint or coatings must be taken off the surface. Apply the sealer directly on the patch with a brush for the best results. Use a masonry roller or a big brush to apply the second layer. To ensure a good seal, thoroughly apply a sealant to the patch and surround the area with it well.
Step 5: Take Preventive Measures
The most crucial thing you can do to maintain the durability of your foundation is to ensure that water is as far away from it as possible. It is also crucial to properly seal your foundation walls. You can also ensure that the functionality of your downspouts and gutters are in top condition. Avoid planting small trees or plants near your foundation. Moreover, to keep water from pooling in the soil near your foundation, make sure that your driveway and pathways slope away from it. By maintaining these basic preventative measures, you will be able to prevent further damage to the foundation.
The foundation of the house is its very backbone and it is important that the foundation is secure. A cracked foundation not only impacts the look of the house but also impacts the structural integrity of the house. It can prove to be dangerous at its worst and at its best, can attract groundwater, insects, and gas. Taking care of the cracked foundation is something that needs to be prioritized so that you know you are in the same and solid home.