Friday, May 15th, 2020 by Corey Hatcher
An unfortunately common part of owning a home cracks in your concrete! It is quite typical for poured concrete slabs to crack, here is what NOT to do if you run into this issue. Something to mention is that the walls of your home are not going to cave in due to a crack. The bigger issue here is not structural, but that the crack has created a perfect passageway for water vapor and groundwater. To identify if you have a leak and what kind it might be, click here!
When homeowners find cracks in their foundation walls they are quick to turn to quick patch jobs. The issue with patch jobs or trying to inject epoxy in the crack is that they do not account for the movement of the earth. The earth moves and breathes, soils changes and shifts as do seasons and the weather that comes with them, and an internal patch job will not do the trick. If you are thinking about going the epoxy route, think again, epoxy often increases the size and severity of a crack. By filling a crack with an inflexible material you are assuming that the wall will never move, but when it does, that inflexible material will create new cracks or worsen existing ones by resisting the natural movement with the concrete wall.
Since common DIY interior solutions are being advised against, what about the exterior? An exterior patch job may be more effective in stopping the water from coming through the crack, but it is still not a great option. Digging up the ground around where the crack in the foundation is can be more expensive than anticipated and it is always a colossal mess and there is no guarantee that it will even work. Water is really good at finding a way inside even if you go through the trouble of doing exterior patching so we do not recommend exterior moisture mitigation solutions.
There are various solutions to protect your basement or crawl space from moisture which you can read about here. As for dealing with pesky cracks in your concrete before moisture is a concern, we recommend FlexiSpan. This is a foam patch-like solution that uses a flexible caulk sealant so that the crack is sealed off from moisture, but with a flexible material.
This is a photo of FlexiSpan in action!
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