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Do it yourself (DIY) Foundation Crack Repairs and stopping foundations cracks from leaking– Failures

Joseph Coupal - Friday, March 21, 2014

In business since 1993, we have been requested to repair foundation cracks that homeowners and contractor have unsuccessfully attempted to repair. These failed attempts are seen far and wide from throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and down to Connecticut. The allure can be a great TV ad, advice from a part time clerk or slick packaging. Some of the small print on the packaging may actually reveal how little water pressure, if any, the product can hold back water. These DIY remedies for repairing foundation cracks or foundation leaks can be a waste of money and create larger problems after the repair has been attempted.

The most common type of DIY repair we’ll discuss is hydraulic cement. These are packaged under names such as Water Stop, Water Plug or Water Be Gone. Hydraulic cement is a quick drying masonry material that has very little strength or flexibility. Since concrete expands and contracts with temperature changes and hydraulic cement does not, the repair is only temporary. Most packaging recommends that a reverse v is chiseled into the crack with the wide part of the v inside the crack and the narrow part of the v on the surface. Not an easy task to accomplish. We did a study about 8 years ago that revealed that 83% of the residential job that we were asked to repair were foundation cracks that was repaired using hydraulic cement by a homeowner or contractor that had flooded.

Furthermore, there are paints that tote that they are for waterproofing basements. If you think about it, how can a paint that is on the surface of the concrete stop water for penetrating a foundation or stop water from foundation crack from leaking? The instructions on the waterproofing paint recommends the walls to be wire brushed, then applying an etching or cleaning material to the walls and then paint the walls with two coats. With all this done we are still getting calls from homeowners to come out and repair there leaking foundation. We are often told that the paint peels after a few years. Then, the homeowner is left with quite a mess. If you do want to stop water vapors from coming through the foundation, I would recommend a quartz crystalized material that penetrates the concrete and when water hits the area the crystals will expand microscopy and stop water or water vapors from entering into the basement. Depending on the situation, a leaking foundation crack can be injected with an electric pump using a closed cell polymer resin or epoxy. On some leaking foundation cracks, weaved carbon process may be the best approach.

Furthermore, we have run into failed crack repairs with caulkings and the infamous FlexSeal Spray. There is no one solution that fits all repairs for foundation wall cracks or basement leaks. At A-1 Foundation Crack Repair Inc., our approach is to take each situation as its own and match the correct repair to the problem.


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A-1 Foundation Crack Repair, Inc. is a fully registered home improvement contractor. Contact us today to talk to a knowledgeable, master waterproofing professional.