By Aaron Kuertz
Concrete foundations can develop cracks over time. These cracks can then let in water and damage the interior contents of the basement. In severe cases, cracks in a concrete basement wall can signify that there is a structural defect with the wall. Whether it is to stop water or to structurally reinforce the concrete crack, epoxies can be injected into it.
Causes of Concrete Cracks
The most common is that the concrete actually shrinks as it cures. This curing process reduces the amount of water in the concrete and it shrinks in volume. This shrinkage causes stresses to occur and to relieve this stress, the concrete cracks. This is a normal process and it is not to be a cause of concern. However, they can still let in water and damage the interior contents of a basement. Shrinkage cracks usually are less than 1/16″ in width and remain a constant width throughout the life of a foundation.
A more serious concern is when the concrete has been structurally damaged. This could be occurring for a number of reasons. One of which is that the house is settling into the ground. Or the house may be sliding down a hillside. A very common reason, especially in older homes is the lateral force exerted by the soil onto the foundation. This will be evident by a bowing in of the concrete wall.
How to Determine if a Crack is Structural
There are a few easy ways to determine if a concrete crack is the result of a structural compromise in the foundation.
- The crack runs on a severe diagonal
- Horizontal cracks in a foundation wall indicate a serious problem
- Crack widths that increase over time.
- Cracks with widths in excess of 3/4″
If you are not sure or are concerned, you should contact a professional to determine if the crack is structural in nature and how to fix it.
Whether it is a shrinkage crack or a structural crack, epoxies can be injected to make the repair. Epoxy injection is done from the interior of the basement, so no excavation on the outside needs to be done. The epoxies hardened in the crack and reinforce the concrete. They will fill the crack entirely from the bottom to the top and from front to back. In many cases, the epoxies are stronger than the concrete itself. The concrete crack will no longer be able to allow water to enter the basement.
This article is written by Aaron Kuertz with Applied Technologies. Aaron has been in the waterproofing industry since 1998. Applied Technologies is a manufacturer and supplier to professional waterproofing contractors and homeowners in the United States. To learn more about epoxy concrete crack repair visit Applied Technologies on the web.
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