How to Fix a Crack in Basement Wall
The basement wall of a home can be under a lot of pressure. The soil outside expands and contracts based on heat and available moisture. Prolonged rainfall can also create added weight against the wall to cause it to crack. For most problems like this, knowing how to fix a crack in a basement wall basically means knowing how to use masonry patch products. Before you begin, it is incredibly important that you make sure the crack itself is dry. If it is wet, then take a hair dryer or other heating appliance and dry out the area. Wait at least 15 minutes before proceeding with the repair. If the crack has become wet again after you dried it out, then you can't proceed with the repair yet. The moisture seeping into the crack will need to dry out on its own first.
Scrub It Clean
The reason why most basement wall repairs fail is that the surface isn't clean enough. Take a wire brush and clean out all the dirt and debris from inside the crack and around the surrounding area. Use a shop vacuum to clean up the mess that the brush creates.
Expand the Crack
For an effective seal to take place, you will need to take some extra pressure off of the wall. You do this by driving some finishing nails into the crack. You'll want to start at the beginning of the crack and then have them spaced 12 inches apart from each other.
Inject Your Filler
Most cracks can be sealed with basic grout. You would simply pack in the grout as you would if you were building a brick, block, or stone wall. The key to making this a successful repair is to pack in the grout tightly without any air bubbles. If you don't completely seal the crack in this fashion, then you will need to chip out your repair in the future and start all over again.
A liquid sealant that can be injected into the wall is usually a better option. Epoxy has more strength and it is fluid enough to reach all areas of the wall that need to be sealed up so you're not left with exposed pockets that moisture can affect later on. Follow the instructions on your preferred liquid concrete repair product and you'll have a successful experience.
Is It Horizontal?
Horizontal basement wall cracks need more evaluation before being fixed. Vertical cracks typically come with expansion and contraction. Horizontal cracks in a wall appear because there is outside pressure that is forcing the wall to slowly buckle. You may need to reinforce the wall or even create a stronger support underneath your foundation before proceeding with the wall repair to make sure that your fix will last. Most basement wall cracks can be repaired over the course of a weekend with only an hour or two of labor involved. Make sure your crack is clean and dry before proceeding and then allow your repair materials to completely dry before checking on them. In doing so, you'll know how to fix a basement wall crack.
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