Due to the fact the soil in Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois is primarily clay, which expands and contracts with the changes in the moisture levels and temperatures, many foundations will be weakened by this and crack. This crack then becomes an aggravating leak. How do we fix this?
Crack in Cinder Block Foundation
This foundation type typically was used from the World War 2 era into the 1980’s. Once the basement is waterproofed and relief/weep holes are drilled at the base of the wall, there will be no more pressure, so water should not leak through the cracks. Cinder block walls are hollow, thus they cannot hold water if it is drained out of them! However, if the customer prefers, we can use mortar repair to fill these cracks in for aesthetic purposes. Some customers also have us apply a heavy duty moisture sealant to keep the block completely dry after the waterproofing work is completed.
Unstable cinder block walls will often continue to crack if not reinforced. If you have cracked cinder block walls, this is often a symptom of bowed walls which can require a specific bowed walls solution.
Crack in a Poured Concrete Foundation
High Pressure Urethane Crack Injection Repair
This foundation type became more popular in the mid 20th century. It usually cracks vertically and a hairline type crack appears. These cannot be repaired using any type of hydraulic cement, caulk, or waterproof paint on the inside because there is too much pressure for these materials to hold, and eventually the leak will reappear. However, a successful high pressure urethane injection can solve this issue. On the inside of the basement wall a 2-part epoxy material is used to cover the crack. Injection ports are set approximately every 8″-12″ next to the crack at a 45 degree angle. Once the patching material hardens, urethane is injected through the ports. Urethane, when injected expands with the presence of moisture filling up the entire area. Urethane is injected at a very high pressure to force it into the entire crack. The earth on the exterior keeps the urethane from escaping on the outside, and the epoxy contains the material from coming out on the inside. The urethane sets up very quickly and it is sealed from the inside out. No more water! Lastly, once urethane is set up it has elasticity which will ensure the repair will last for a long time, even through expansion- contraction cycles of the changing temperatures.
Exterior Crack Sealing
If the wall is not accessible from the inside, or demo and put back is not desired. A crack can be sealed from the outside using 2 coats of HLM 5000. Sealing from the outside ensures water pressure cannot penetrate the crack. This process is the same as the process outlined in the exterior waterproofing section.
Epoxy Crack Injection Repair
Epoxy is used to repair cracks which are structural. Epoxy injections are most often done in conjunction with Fortress Grid Stitches for added reinforcement. By installing these strips of carbon fiber every 1 foot on a crack; expansion-contraction cycles can’t put strain on the crack anymore. As mentioned above, urethane is used to repair cracks which are not structural cracks.
Used in conjunction with our interior draintile system. If the foundation has several cracks we can install a waterproof paneling, which is more cost effective than injecting all the cracks. This material is mold and mildew resistant. The paneling ensures water goes down the wall through the floor wall seam, down into the waterproofing system.
Fortress Stabilization Systems Grid Stitches
In cracked foundations that are not primarily vertical, a more advanced repair system than urethane injection needs to be implemented. We use Fortress Stabilization’s Carbon Fiber Grid Stitches to repair these more complex foundation issues.
- Patented, unique, carbon fiber grid stitches will stabilize the wall in all six directions of movement, including:
- Carbon fiber has a tensile strength 10X stronger than steel and has proved to be a safer and more effective material for structural reinforcement.
- Slots are cut across the cracks, and the stitches are epoxied in place.
- Will not rust or deteriorate.