Since you’re reading this article, I can assume you have leaks in your basement walls and you need useful information on how to fix the problem.
Not to worry, I’ll be giving you all the information you need on how to repair cracked and leaking basement walls.
Stay with me.
How To Repair Leaky, Cracked, And Collapsed Basement Wall
The approach you employ in repairing a basement wall depends on the severity of the damage.
There are some fixes you can do yourself, while more serious issues are best left for the pros to handle.
Is Crack In Basement Floor A Problem?
I know we’re talking about leaking basement walls, but too many people have asked if a crack in the basement floor is a problem.
The simple answer is yes – Cracks on the basement floor are a problem, and for several reasons.
First of all, the cracks will open up the spaces needed by soil water to pass through and soak your basement. The water can damage your property (clothes, furniture, woodwork, electronics), and this will cost you huge sums to replace.
Secondly, the water that trickles in through the cracks will create a perfect breeding ground for mold. And as we all know, mold can cause irritations and complications in a person’s respiratory system.
How To Fix Basement Wall Cracks
You will find that most basement floors are laid with concrete. And while this is a very durable material, it isn’t immune to damage.
Over the years, wear and tear will definitely set in, and it will manifest in the form of cracks. The good news is, patching cracks in basement floors is something you can do all by yourself.
Follow these steps to fix basement floor cracks.
Step one: Identify all the cracks
It will be a shame if you fix some cracks, and leave others unattended. This means the problem of leakages will persist, and it will mean going over the whole repair process again.
This is why it is important to identify all the cracks in the floor so you can fix them once and for all.
For a better visibility, you should take out the furniture and any other item that blocks your view of the floor.
It is easy to miss small cracks, but groundwater leakage in that area is a clear pointer.
Step 2: Clean off the debris
It is important to have a smooth undisturbed wall surface when attempting to seal a basement wall crack. Particles such as tiny chips or dust can mess up your finish, as they won’t allow your sealants to adhere the right way.
Use a broom to sweep in-between and over the wall cracks to remove the debris. This will create the best possible surface for the sealant to do its job.
You can also use a wire brush to clean the cracks.
Step 3: Apply a concrete patch
Concrete patches can be bought from pretty much any home improvement store near you. Applying it is also very easy so you can do it all by yourself.
Scoop up the adequate amounts with a putty knife and apply to the cracks. Ensure there are no unfilled gaps as you patch up. Also ensure that the fillings are even, just so you have a better-looking finish.
Step 4: Smoothen the patches
Your putty knife can also be used to accomplish this task. Simply go across the patch with the knife in a gentle manner until the surfaces are leveled.
Step 5: Apply a second patch
This step is not mandatory if the first patch you applied is sufficient. But if it’s not, then give the first patch some time to dry, then apply another patch.
The patch has to be thick enough per crack, to ensure that the spaces are properly filled up.
Step 6: Seal the patch and leave it to dry
You can use an extra waterproofing sealant over the cracks to ensure that water doesn’t pass through. If the wall has a particular color, then you can buy a sealant that comes in a matching color.
After this has been applied, give it about 2 days to completely cure before you bring your belongings back inside.
Keep in mind that some basement wall cracks are a result of more severe factors. If the cracks appear too big, then something major must have caused it.
In this case, you should hire a basement expert to come and inspect the cracks. After the inspection, the experts will be able to ascertain what the cause of the crack is, and propose a solution to the problem.
Cracks In Basement Wall Leaking Water: Causes
Cracks are just as common in basement walls as they are on the floor.
And mainly for the same reason too – Hydrostatic pressure.
When the ground near the foundation soaks up water, the liquid pushes against the basement walls. At this point, the wall has to resist the pressure for as long as it can.
The volume of the water in the ground will determine the amount of pressure being placed on the walls, and sooner or later, cracks will start to form.
Just like hydrostatic pressure, soil movement can also cause cracks in your basement walls. And with these cracks come water seepage.
But it isn’t just flowing water that can cause your basement walls to crack, frozen water can do the damage too.
Freezing and thawing during temperature changes also push against the basement wall with the same aggression as water. And will eventually burst open a crack if nothing is done to prevent it.
Water leaking through the cracks in your basement walls is characterized by drip marks below the cracks. They form straight lines that flow all the way down and may lead to flooding if nothing is done to remedy the problem.
This is in no way good for your basement, as leakages via cracks can promote mold and mildew growth. Let’s not forget that mold is dangerous to humans since it can cause allergic reactions and spike breathing problems.
How To Fix A Leaking Crack In Basement Wall
If the cracks in your basement are walls seem manageable, then that’s great news, as you can patch them up yourself.
But if they seem too large, then they may have been caused by a more severe or prolonged issue and may require the attention of a foundation contractor.
Follow these steps to fix the leaking crack in your basement wall.
Step 1: Expose the cracks
Not all leaking cracks in your basement walls are visible. Some may be hiding behind a painting or the 3-seater couch.
You would want to identify all the cracks in your walls before you begin patching. This would spare you the agony of missing a few cracks when patching.
Pull the chairs, tables, and any other obstruction away from the wall so you can clearly see what you are dealing with.
Step 2: Brush off the debris
You can use a paintbrush to work in-between the cracks until they are free of dust particles and other forms of debris.
The sealant won’t adhere properly into the spaces if they are filled with dust, so ensure they are cleaned first.
Step 3: Use your caulking gun and an epoxy-based resin
A caulking gun is probably the best tool to have as far as sealing wall cracks is concerned. And things can only get better when you use epoxy alongside it.
All you have to do is insert the tip of the tube into the cracks and squeeze the trigger to release the sealant into the targeted spaces.
If you find that the first squeeze didn’t do the trick, then you can apply a second epoxy coat. Just make sure that the first layer is totally dry before you apply again.
There are several DIY kits in the market for basement wall crack repairs. The best part is, these kits usually contain everything you will ever need to fix the cracks.
You will also find a complete user instruction manual that will guide you on how to use the kit on both poured concrete walls and cinder block walls.
Step 4: Repaint the wall
Give the epoxy as long as it needs to dry, then get some paint sealant and go over the wall. You can stick with the old color, or seize the opportunity to change the entire color of your basement wall to a new one.
A Word Of Caution
If you notice that the wall crack runs horizontally, or in line with a crack in the floor, then you might have a bigger structural problem on your hands.
Do not hesitate to call a seasoned professional to come and inspect the crack. Doing this will spare you some serious structural damage in the future, and thousands of dollars in repair.
In the end, you may be left with no other option but to replace such a basement wall.
There you have it guys, that’s how you repair cracks in basement walls and floors. I hope the information provided here has been helpful.
Thanks for reading!