Dealing with a cracked foundation is often challenging for homeowners. Finding the best method to deal with the situation is crucial for long term benefits. However, this can be challenging with the many different methods and systems available in the market.
As you search for a resolution to the cracks in your foundation, it is important to distinguish between methods that are used for the repair of foundation cracks and those that are used only for the waterproofing of the cracks.
Foundation Crack Repair
Crack repair is undertaken for either of the following reasons:
- Crack repair is done to fill foundation cracks to improve their appearance and restore the foundation’s structural integrity.
- Crack repair may be done to prevent or stop a crack from leaking.
There are various methods available for repairing a cracked foundation. Foundations that are lacking in structural integrity may require additional support. This can be provided through the installation of piers, carbon fiber strips or steel frames.
One of the easiest methods of repairing cracks in foundation walls today is by applying epoxy crack injections. Epoxy fills the crack and binds to the concrete on either side of the crack. It forms a strong bond at the point of the crack. This bond has been shown to be even stronger than the bond that concrete forms by itself. The epoxy injection prevents the crack from widening any further. However, if reinforcement is required, carbon fiber staples may be installed.
Waterproofing a Cracked Foundation
Waterproofing of cracks is done with the sole purpose of preventing a crack from leaking. Waterproofing therefore does not delve further into improving structural integrity. The most popular methods of waterproofing cracked foundations today include the use of polyurethane crack injections as well as epoxy crack injections.
It is important to note that there are differences between epoxy and polyurethane crack injections. Polyurethane injections are used strictly for the waterproofing of a crack. Polyurethane forms a rigid seal. It also doesn’t bond to concrete as strongly as epoxy. It cannot therefore provide structural support to the wall.
Why You Shouldn’t Use Hydraulic Cement
Some homeowners believe that repairing cracks can be expensive. So, they resort to the use of hydraulic cement in an effort to save money. The problem with this is that hydraulic cement doesn’t form a strong bond with the concrete wall. The cement seal will have to be reapplied after some time. The seal will also be vulnerable to cracking and leaking.