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Foundation Crack Repair, Basement Waterproofing Blog

How Big of an Issue is a Hairline Crack in a Basement Wall?

- Monday, April 26, 2021

Adam Tracy, aka The CrackDaddy, aka The Engineer on staff, is here with us to share some more of his engineering wisdom with us.  In this episode, Adam discusses a case where a homeowner was prepping his house for sale. He noticed a hairline crack in the basement wall.  It was just a thin, tiny crack.  How big of an issue was it, Adam explains.

Narrator: The topic of today’s podcast: I have a hairline crack in my foundation wall, how big of an issue is it? So, Adam, a homeowner walks down of the basement one day and notices a hairline crack in their foundation wall. It’s just a thin tiny crack, nothing to worry about, right?

Adam: Well that is the common misconception that everyone has, that it’s just a tiny little issue. It’s been there for as long as they know and it’s never going to be an issue, it’s normal part of things. In a lot of ways, it’s concrete, it’s bound to crack at some point but hairline cracks can present the same issues as something that would be as wide as a quarter of an inch.

We often get phone calls from people saying, “I’ve lived in this house for 25 years and it’s never leaked once, and then, lo and behold, it leaked”. It hasn’t changed size, it hasn’t gotten worse, at least to their eyes, and all of a sudden it starts leaking. Well, what happens? Well, usually what happens is that water finds a way, water always does find a way. Because of that it eventually moves all the dirt and soil and mud, that’s stuck into that crack out of the way and so water can come in. But what happens when we have a house that doesn’t have that water issue, why would you want to preventatively repair it?

We start to get into the spring real estate market, we get these questions all the time from homeowners and real estate agents and prospective buyers for homes. Hairline cracks can present an issue beyond just water leaking. Here’s a couple of reasons why: as a homeowner, in looking at a small hairline crack, you may not realize that it does leak, it may dry by the time you get down there and that might be an issue because during a walk-through on the house, it may be a rainy day. And what would they see when they walk down? A nice little puddle right outside the crack, or right inside the crack that you may not recognize because you’re not down in the basement every day.

The other big issue that you have is most cracks will be flagged by a home inspector. Home inspectors are trained and they go through extensive training and education process to make sure that they pick issues out so that homeowners and prospective homeowners can make educated decisions based on what is the current state of the home. So, they’ll see these hairline cracks and they’ll note them as deficiencies in the foundation and they’ll probably tell you to consult a foundation expert, or, depending on the bedside manner of the home inspector they may tell you it’s a big deal or maybe they’ll tell you it’s not a big deal. But the reality is, is that they’ll note it, and once the home inspector does note it, it does become a negotiating point for the buyers. So, an issue that may have cost less than a thousand dollars to repair, can be a ten thousand dollar negotiating point because they have concerns about the structural safety of the home.

So as a homeowner, getting these things repaired before that happens, kind of squashes the fears of prospective buyers. Another thing that usually happens from a house sale perspective is that the bank gets involved, most people have to use their loan or get a loan to purchase a home and so the bank sends out an appraiser and they come through and inspect the home after the purchase and sale to see, well, what are they getting into as the underwriter for the loan. Are they going to basically give you a big fat loan for a house that is going to collapse at some point in time or that is not going to be worth the paper they’re writing it on? So, they’ll go through and look at the issues brought up by the home inspector and then they’ll also flag anything else that they believe has importance for their underwriting process. So, we get this especially with FHA loans and VA loans, they’re very scrutinous of all foundation issues and they will flag every single one.

Now what does this do as a person who’s buying or selling the home? With buying or selling a home, this delays the whole process, or in some cases, it can blow the whole process up. So you spent six weeks, eight weeks getting through the purchase and sale, the open houses, negotiating, you crossed all the T’s, you dotted all the I’s, the bank comes in in the eleventh hour and says, I’m not going to write a loan for this house because of this hairline crack. And even though it doesn’t seem like it’s an issue, they don’t care, they are the ones who’s giving the money out, so they want it fixed. So, to avoid this whole process, getting these hairline cracks fixed, even whether or not they leak, starts to get this process moving along a lot faster. It opens up your buyer pool to a lot more potential buyers, giving you the maximum value that you can return on the sale of your house.

Narrator: Well very informative, Adam. Thanks for clearing out why it’s important to fix those hairline cracks. Great information, Adam. It’s good to know that this can be done without spending tens of thousands of dollars on a new foundation.

Narrator: If you have a basement water problem and think you need a professional, or, if you’d like more information on foundation crack repair and basement waterproofing topics, please visit A1FoundationCrackRepair.com or call Rich at (866) 929-3171. Or you can email Rich at info@a1foundationcrackrepair.com. Thanks for listening and keep that basement dry.        


What can be done about block foundations that bow inwards?

- Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Adam Tracy, aka The CrackDaddy, aka The Engineer on staff, is here with us to share some more of his engineering wisdom with us.  In this episode, Adam explains why foundations bow inward and what can be done about it?

Narrator: The topic of today’s podcast: What can be done about block foundations that bow inwards? Adam Tracy a.k.a. The CrackDaddy a.k.a. The Engineer on staff, is here with us today to share some more of his wonderful engineering wisdom. So, Adam, I understand you’re getting some calls about foundations that are bowing inward. What causes that and what can be done about it?

Adam: Yeah this is a unique situation that really primarily affects block foundation construction. So, when we talk about block foundation, we’re talking about cinder blocks, something that you might be familiar with going to the local big box hardware store, they’re usually scattered about there. So, these cinder block foundations, they’re usually constructed anytime after the 30s and it’s a relatively inexpensive material to construct the foundation. And they’re stacked one on top of each other in a staggered pattern, just like you would lay bricks, and mortared together. And most times they’re not filled, so they’re empty hollow blocks, and sometimes they are filled, but the vast majority of them in residential construction are hollow.

So, the challenge with a hollow construction wall that is held together by mortar is that they’re susceptible to a sideways push in or out of the foundation, and they’re also susceptible to leaning. A concrete foundation is a little bit stronger and it has less chance of, kind of, buckling under a sideways push. But because you have, basically, all these blocks that are staggered together and held together by a mortar, they do have the tendency to fail during a sideways push. So, what can cause this? Well in New England, we have a lot of varying soils and a lot of varying soil types.

On the Cape Cod area, the soil is very sandy, and a lot of the issues that we see in Cape Cod with block construction is due to the soil issue, not bearing a very strong soil so it is susceptible to that. A lot of times what we’ll see is during the wintertime, freezing and thawing and heating of the soil can cause outward pressure to push the foundations inward. Another area that can cause the foundations to go inward is having a large root structure, whether it’s plantings right next to the foundation or maybe it’s that big old oak tree that’s out in the front yard with a huge root system, and it tends to push on the walls. So what can we do about that?

Well, we can’t change the soil conditions, generally, and that would take a very big effort of digging out and replacing that. So, what can we do to a foundation to actually help resist this movement or improve the ability to hold the house up? When we start to see these foundations pushing inward, there’s kind of a point of no return, when it starts to go too far inward, you lose the ability for the house to stay stable above, and in those cases, you might have to replace the foundation. But prior to that, the telltale signs that we see are step cracking in block foundations where the crack will go down one over one, down one over one, almost like a staircase, or you’ll see a large horizontal crack that runs left to right across the wall, these are the early signs that you’ve lost the strength in that wall to resist the push of the soil from the outside. So is that it? We just throw our hands up and say, well, we got to move because we can’t deal with this now? No, we can still save these pretty easily before it gets too bad and before it gets to that replacement category.

There’s a process that we can use to evaluate how much bowing has occurred and whether or not we could keep it from bowing further. So providing that we can evaluate that and it’s still within the realm of being safe, which is the vast majority of them, what we use is a structural carbon fiber technology, and this structural carbon fiber was originally developed for commercial use and used in concrete overpasses, on highways, and what their uses there is it strengthens the concrete against heavy loads of trucks and even rail systems so that it doesn’t buckle and chunk out pieces of concrete down below to the roadways and any sort of passenger cars that might be underneath.

So these are extremely strong pieces of carbon fiber that can get attached to the foundation wall and add in a tremendous amount of strength to the block foundation. Every strap that we put on is the equivalent of bolting on a half inch stick steel plate that’s 12 inches wide from the top to the bottom. So if you’ll kind of put that in your mind of how strong that would be to resist any sort of movement inside, it’s almost like strapping on an I-beam every 4-5 feet across to the foundation. That’s a relatively non-invasive process, it can be done in, usually, less than a day for a wall, and then the beautiful thing about it is that you can paint right over it and you won’t even see that they’re there. So these old foundations or these block foundations can be easily maintained, if you start to see these horizontal or step cracking, then we have a process that’s non-invasive and can maintain that integrity of the wall for a long time.

Narrator: Great information, Adam. It’s good to know that this can be done without spending tens of thousands of dollars on a new foundation.

Narrator: If you have a basement water problem and think you need a professional, or, if you’d like more information on foundation crack repair and basement waterproofing topics, please visit A1FoundationCrackRepair.com or call Rich at (866) 929-3171. Or you can email Rich at info@a1foundationcrackrepair.com. Thanks for listening and keep that basement dry.        


Can I get a 2nd opinion on a Foundation Crack Repair?

- Wednesday, April 07, 2021

Holy moley! Imagine you're a homeowner with a basement water leak and you spend 10s of thousands of dollars to fix it and it still leaks! You would be scorching mad to have spent so much money on a failed fix action that could’ve been repaired properly for a fraction of the cost. Here’s why you should get a 2nd opinion.

Narrator: Today, the CrackDaddy, Adam Tracy is here to share some keen engineering insight into why it might be a good idea to get a second opinion before spending a ton of money on a foundation crack repair, or basement water leak. So, what do you have for us today, Adam?

Adam: Well we have a really interesting case study that came out of Lexington MA here. We had a call that came in from a homeowner who had two cold joints that were leaking in their foundation wall. Now, a cold joint is where an old section of foundation meets a new section of foundation. Typically it’s done with an expansion or an addition that’s put onto the foundation, and they tie the old foundation into the new foundation. So they went through the process and described to us what was going on, and of course we had a perfect solution for them to be able to repair the issues that they have here. It’s fairly common to see these cold joints leak over time because it’s an imperfect marriage between the old and the new.

So we get to the foundation, and usually we’re expecting to see a big addition that’s poured next to or adjacent to a house. But this is a little strange. So, it was actually a section of a wall of the existing house that had been re-poured. So, we asked the homeowner what happened and what was going on in this, because we wanted to understand why was there a need to have a new section poured. Is there a bad soil issue? Was there impact from an excavator or some other piece of heavy equipment that may have hit it and damaged the foundation? Do they have a fire and it compromised the foundation somehow? So, we wanted to kind of get some background history of it.

The homeowner was very kind, so they were able to kind of go through the story as to what happened. And they described they had a window in the basement, normal height just above the grade there, and they had a crack that came off the corner of the window then went down to the floor. It was probably about a quarter inch wide, and there was really no deflection where one side wasn’t pushed out farther than the other. And so they were concerned, as homeowners should be about seeing a foundation crack, and they called a structural engineer.

And the structural engineer came out and evaluated it, and told the homeowner in a report saying: There’s a crack in the foundation and based on my recommendations it should be cut out and replaced. So, for this homeowner who took the recommendations of this engineer, they had to physically lift and support the house, cut out 12 feet of the foundation, reform it and re-pour it, and then guess what? We had, instead of one foundation crack that was an issue that could have been easily resolved, they had two foundation cold seams that became a leaking issue.

So, for this very big project that cost the homeowner tens of thousands of dollars, it could’ve been resolved very quickly and easily in an afternoon by calling a second opinion and a foundation expert like us. It was just a standard wall crack, could’ve been either filled with a closed cell polymer resin or we could use a carbon fiber material to repair it. Both would have been less than three hours of work and the homeowner would’ve had a warranty in hand about any sort of issues that will come through there.

Narrator: Holy moley! If I was that homeowner, I would be scorching mad that I spent so much money on a failed fix action that could’ve been repaired properly for a fraction of the cost. Here’s your foot stomp, listener. Get a second opinion.

Narrator: If you have a basement water problem and think you need a professional, or, if you’d like more information on foundation crack repair and basement waterproofing topics, please visit A1FoundationCrackRepair.com or call Rich at (866) 929-3171. Or you can email Rich at info@a1foundationcrackrepair.com. Thanks for listening and keep that basement dry.


Help! I found an additional leak in my finished basement

- Thursday, March 11, 2021

Invariably, when maintenance workers are on a call, the customer has a “while you’re here” task for them. So, it's kind of an add-on to the original job. The Crackman is no different and in this episode, he shares a “while you’re here” story.

Narrator: It’s time once again for the “Crack Man Podcast” hosted by A1 Foundation Crack Repair. I’m Darren Kincaid here with the Crack Man himself, Rich Comeras. Rich has 30 years’ experience in the construction industry and over 25 years as the president and founder of A1 Foundation Crack Repair. This podcasts provides expert basement waterproofing, concrete repair, and preventative maintenance tips for homeowners and businesses. A1 Foundation’s valuable insight will help avert a disastrous flood within the basement, health problems associated with water infiltration, and protect your biggest investment….your home. The topic of today’s podcast: Help! I found an additional leak in my finished basement.

Narrator:This is a case study in Worcester MA. So Rich, back in my military days I was a maintenance guy fixing radios and things like that. And invariably, while I was out on a call, the customer had a “while you’re here” task for me. So, it was kind of an add-on to the original job, if you get my meaning. I bet you get stuff like that all the time, no?

Rich:Yeah, this woman in Worcester called us to set appointment to fix a couple cracks in her unfinished foundation walls that were leaking. And then she called us up just yesterday and said, I have water coming in in my finished basement now that wasn’t coming in before. Can you fix it?

What I told her to do is to look outside. I said, we have to find out where it’s coming from first. So, she looked outside, and she called me up, and as I told her there was likely a crack outside. So, she opened up the wall on the inside as I told her, to expose it. And she emailed me back and said, you were right, there was a crack outside. We opened the wall where we saw the crack and it was leaking on the inside. So she asked, could you do it while you’re there? I said, of course we can.

So, the lesson to be learned is, if you have a finished basement and there’s water coming in, it’s usually near a wall or sometimes it runs a little bit away from the wall because the floor isn’t level where the water runs. And you look outside, see if there’s a crack above grade, above the soil that’s usually six inches to a foot of concrete, and you’ll see it. And there it was, sometimes you can’t see it but it’s near a window, and it’s usually the corner of a window, and you can either dig down a little bit to see the crack or open up the sheetrock or paneling and then you should see it right there. Well, we are able to solve this lady’s problem.

Narrator: Well thanks, Rich for sharing this interesting “while you’re here” story and I guess it’s a similar experience for all of us maintenance guys, right?

Rich: Sure it is.

Narrator: If you have a basement water problem and think you need a professional, or, if you’d like more information on foundation crack repair and basement waterproofing topics, please visit A1FoundationCrackRepair.com or call Rich at (866) 929-3171. Or you can email Rich at info@a1foundationcrackrepair.com. Thanks for listening and keep that basement dry.


Nor'easter devastates foundation of home in Sandwich MA

- Wednesday, March 03, 2021

This episode comes with a picture on the blog post atA1 Foundation Crack Repair Blog.  It shows a home that was devastated by a Nor'easter.  The foundation was ripped from the bottom of the house.  The damage is massive!  The Crackman explains.


Narrator: It’s time once again for the “Crack Man Podcast” hosted by A1 Foundation Crack Repair. I’m Darren Kincaid here with the Crack Man himself, Rich Comeras. Rich has 30 years’ experience in the construction industry and over 25 years as the president and founder of A1 Foundation Crack Repair. This podcasts provides expert basement waterproofing, concrete repair, and preventative maintenance tips for homeowners and businesses. A1 Foundation’s valuable insight will help avert a disastrous flood within the basement, health problems associated with water infiltration, and protect your biggest investment….your home. The topic of today’s podcast: Nor’easter devastates foundation of home in Sandwich MA.

Narrator:  So Rich, The Crackdaddy sent me a picture of a house that has to be condemned. I mean, it’s amazing. It looks like the foundation was ripped from the bottom of the house. The devastation is massive. What happened here?

Rich: Well, we had a Nor’easter and this happens every once in a while on houses that are right on the coast. This happened, as you said, in Sandwich MA. And water came in, Mother Nature took that foundation out, which is a poured concrete foundation. And what’s interesting is if you look carefully at the picture you can see there’s a crack right where the window is. Off of the corner of the window, it is sheared there. There are some solutions to this problem. If you have that inkling to buy a house on the water, you might want to hold off and the solution would be to rent one. You don’t have to worry about this sad situation. Also, the other solution that people do if they want to buy one on the water, what they do is they put helical piers into the ground, and they build on top of those.

Though concrete is strong, Mother Nature is stronger. This happens down at Cape Cod all the time where we have these issues. I’ve seen some real devastation also in Scituate, where actual boulders that came in from the ocean took out some houses. Boulders were sitting in the middle of the road.

We’ve done work to save some foundations that were there a few years back. So, it’s something that happens in New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, in Massachusetts for sure.

Narrator: Wow, thanks Rich for sharing this amazing case study. Nor ’easterners are incredibly destructive, especially when you look at all the erosion that happens when one comes in.

If you have a basement water problem and think you need a professional, or, if you’d like more information on foundation crack repair and basement waterproofing topics, please visit A1FoundationCrackRepair.com or call Rich at (866) 929-3171. Or you can email Rich at info@a1foundationcrackrepair.com. Thanks for listening and keep that basement dry.


My beautiful foundation--why is it starting to crack?

- Wednesday, February 24, 2021

One can imagine a homeowner’s chagrin when they go down to their beautiful, flawless basement and suddenly find cracks in their basement walls and foundation. In this episode, The Crackman explains why a pristine foundation would suddenly start to crack.

Narrator: It’s time once again for the “Crack Man Podcast” hosted by A1 Foundation Crack Repair. I’m Darren Kincaid here with the Crack Man himself, Rich Comeras. Rich has 30 years’ experience in the construction industry and over 25 years as the president and founder of A1 Foundation Crack Repair. This podcasts provides expert basement waterproofing, concrete repair, and preventative maintenance tips for homeowners and businesses. A1 Foundation’s valuable insight will help avert a disastrous flood within the basement, health problems associated with water infiltration, and protect your biggest investment….your home. The topic of today’s podcast: My beautiful foundation, why is it starting to crack?

Narrator: So Rich, I can imagine a homeowner’s chagrin when they go down to their beautiful, flawless basement and suddenly find cracks in the basement walls and foundation. What can be going on there?

Rich: I’ve been getting these calls. Got one this morning from Providence RI, got another one from Oxford MA. Now, people have been in the house 20 years, 30 years and they never saw these cracks. All of a sudden with this cold snap they’re seeing cracks. I can tell you that it happens, and the reason that happens is if you go back to your elementary Science class and you look at the changes between ice and water.

Ice expands, water expands when it turns to ice and it pushes up against the foundation wall. And so if there’s a little tiny hairline crack or less, and you have this soil that’s been saturated with water. We know that soil has some water in it, it freezes, it expands, pushes up against the concrete, and can cause that crack. That’s one of the reasons why during the winter I always hear, “I don’t remember seeing that crack”.

And we know what happens with a crack, that there ar two kinds of cracks: ones that are foundation wall cracks that leak, and ones that are going to leak. And I say that because the water gets into the crack freezes and opens it up more and more. They can be repaired with a warranty. Or you can take the homeowner special, people go down to Home Depot, buy some hydraulic cement, throw it in there, and they’re calling me back. They’re calling me and saying, “Jeez, I tried to fix it and I couldn’t”, and they have tried hydraulic cement. We fix it by an injection process using electric pumps and pumping the material into the crack, and it’ll be warrantied.

Narrator: Thanks Rich for explaining why a pristine foundation will suddenly start to crack.

If you have a basement water problem and think you need a professional, or, if you’d like more information on foundation crack repair and basement waterproofing topics, please visit A1FoundationCrackRepair.com or call Rich at (866) 929-3171. Or you can email Rich at info@a1foundationcrackrepair.com. Thanks for listening and keep that basement dry.


Perimeter drains vs crack repair: which one do I need?

- Thursday, February 18, 2021

Installing a perimeter drain in the basement is not an inexpensive venture, so if you have a basement water problem, when do you know it’s time to install a perimeter drain versus just fixing the water leak? The Crack Daddy, Adam Tracy, explains.

Narrator: It’s time once again for the “Crack Man Podcast” hosted by A1 Foundation Crack Repair. I’m Darren Kincaid here with the Crack Daddy, Adam Tracy. Together, Adam and the Crack Man Rich Comeras have over 30 years’ experience in the construction industry and over 25 years as the core of A1 Foundation Crack Repair. This podcasts provides expert basement waterproofing, concrete repair, and preventative maintenance tips for homeowners and businesses. A1 Foundation’s valuable insight will help avert a disastrous flood within the basement, health problems associated with water infiltration, and protect your biggest investment….your home. The topic of today’s podcast: The topic of today’s podcast: Perimeter drains vs. crack repair - which one do I need?

Narrator: Today we are blessed with the sage wisdom of the Crack Daddy, Adam Tracy. So Adam, I can’t imagine installing a perimeter drain in the basement would be an inexpensive venture. So, if you have a basement water problem, when do you know it’s time to install a perimeter drain versus just fixing the water leak?

Adam: You’re absolutely correct. It is not an insignificant investment into your home, installing the perimeter drain. And for those that are not 100% sure what a perimeter drain is, there’s full perimeter and then there’s partial perimeter, but for purposes of what we’re going to talk about they’re basically the same here.

You’ll have a sump pump that gets installed into a foundation floor, and around the interior perimeter of the floor. The contractor will break that floor, dig down to the footing or potentially below it and install a pipe system that acts as a runway or highway to collect water and then route it to the sump pump. They then cover that with crushed stone and concrete. You’re not actually going to see the pipes, but you’ll see the cut on the floor when they do that.

So, if you think of your entire basement, it might be 50x30 or much larger, or maybe smaller. It’s a pretty significant project, takes a lot of work, takes a lot of labor, and it can be a big investment in your home. We do see these things pop-up in terms of questions quite often, and because of the nature of what it is, it is the biggest water-proofing project that you can do on an existing home. So, people tend to look at that and gravitate towards it as, “Is this the best option?” And while perimeter drain systems have their place, it doesn’t always solve every water issue that can happen in a basement.

Perimeter drain systems are designed and primarily used in areas where you have a higher water table. When you are investigating a house that has a water issue, it’s important to understand where the water is coming in from. When you see water coming in around the perimeter of the home, hence perimeter drains, it’s a good indication that you have a higher water table. Especially when you’re dealing with concrete foundations, concrete is very good at keeping water out.

The Hoover Dam is made of concrete, all the dams are made of concrete now, so it’s inherently good at keeping water out. Water comes into foundations when there’s a flaw in the concrete typically, and that flaw can be a crack, it can be tie rod pipe penetrations, it can be cracks in the floor, it can also be a gap or a deficiency where the floor and the wall meet, and that’s where we see perimeter drains tending to be most successful in their application. So, if you think that there’s water coming around in multiple spots everywhere around the foundation where the floor and the wall meet, that is a very good indication that you have a high water table. Now, an intermediary step to going for the full perimeter drain system is to look at installing a sump pump. A sump pump is a much lower cost investment into the house and what that would do is that would take the pressure off of the floor and that may solve your problem. Now when it comes to crack repair, a perimeter drain does not solve a leaking foundation crack.

With a leaking foundation crack, you have water coming above the floor generally, so typically, you’ll see the crack that goes from the bottom to the top, you may see a pipe penetration that’s leaking, you may see the dimples that are water coming through the walls. If you have an older stone foundation, you’ll have water coming through between stones as well, blocks, same deal, you’ll have water that may come through blocks, it may come through cracks in blocks. With a perimeter drain, a perimeter drain is not going to solve this problem. A perimeter drain is a highway for water to go to a sump pump and then be ejected outside safely in an area where it’s not going to come back in.

So, when do you need a crack repair and when do you need a perimeter drain? If your problem is just coming through a pointed area like a crack, a pipe penetration, maybe if it’s mold stone foundation you have a couple areas in the walls that have water coming through, this is when you need to spot treat those areas. We like the joke saying that, “we prefer to do surgery with a scalpel, not a sledgehammer”. The perimeter drain is a full system around the whole house. You may only have one spot in your entire foundation that has a problem, so a foundation crack repair will kill that issue right away and be able to not have to invest in a major, major system upgrade in terms of putting in a whole perimeter drain. So, it’s really about identifying where the water is coming in and understanding what options are really on the table for that. We like to try to fix the problem “that is the problem” versus trying to create and understand problems that aren’t there.

Narrator: Thanks Adam for explaining the difference between a perimeter drain and a standard crack repair for fixing a basement water problem. So, it’s a good idea to get a second opinion before installing a perimeter drain.

If you have a basement water problem and think you need a professional, or, if you’d like more information on foundation crack repair and basement waterproofing topics, please visit A1FoundationCrackRepair.com or call Rich at (866) 929-3171. Or you can email Rich at info@a1foundationcrackrepair.com. Thanks for listening and keep that basement dry.


Multiple basement cracks but only one is leaking--should I fix them all?

- Monday, February 15, 2021

Let’s say I have a crack leaking in my basement but a neighboring crack is not. If I only fix the leaking crack, would the other one start to leak? Kinda like the boy and the dike story...would I start to run out of fingers after a while?

Narrator: It’s time once again for the “Crack Man Podcast” hosted by A1 Foundation Crack Repair. I’m Darren Kincaid here with the Crack Man himself, Rich Comeras. Rich has 30 years’ experience in the construction industry and over 25 years as the president and founder of A1 Foundation Crack Repair. This podcasts provides expert basement waterproofing, concrete repair, and preventative maintenance tips for homeowners and businesses. A1 Foundation’s valuable insight will help avert a disastrous flood within the basement, health problems associated with water infiltration, and protect your biggest investment….your home. The topic of today’s podcast: Multiple basement cracks but only one is leaking -- should I fix them all?

Narrator: So Rich, let’s say I have a crack leaking in my basement but a neighboring crack is not, if I only fix the leaking crack will the other one start to leak? Kind of like The Boy and the Dike story, would I start to run out of fingers after a while? Rich: Well it’s funny, I got a call from a gentleman over at Shrewsbury, well, quite a while ago and he told me that there’s two cracks. I priced it out for him to repair them with a warranty to do both of them. You never can say a hundred percent what’s going to happen. But this was a poured concrete foundation crack, went from the top to the bottom, it was leaking, and I gave him a price to fix that. We fix that with a polymer resin and with an injection with the electric pump. We have other methods at our disposal too depending on what we see. So my technician went over and repaired that. He saw the other crack, and as we always say, especially if it’s on the same wall or near it, you got a better chance that the pressure is going to build up outside with the water because that one crack was repaired. The water is looking for a place to come in, another area.

So this client was settled in his house and we got that heavy rain around Christmas time, and he called me up in a panic. He said “I should’ve fixed the other crack like you guys said.” So we had to go back and fix the other crack for him as he wanted done. I know he’s wishing that he would’ve done it the first time because it would’ve saved him money, saved us another trip out there for him. But, human nature, what it is, and in you selling the house, you want to spend as little as you can. We told him there will be a good chance that it could leak, being so close to it. So to answer your question there, it’s smart while we’re there to repair that additional crack. If you don’t, keep an eye on it because there’s a good chance that it could leak sometime in the future. You can’t tell when.

Narrator: Well, thanks Rich for explaining why it’s a good idea to fix all those cracks even before they start leaking. If you have a basement water problem and think you need a professional, or, if you’d like more information on foundation crack repair and basement waterproofing topics, please visit A1FoundationCrackRepair.com or call Rich at (866) 929-3171. Or you can email Rich at info@a1foundationcrackrepair.com. Thanks for listening and keep that basement dry.


Why is my foundation leaking when it never leaked before?

- Monday, January 18, 2021

Modern homes are pretty well built and one can imagine how disconcerting it is to suddenly find a leak in the basement after never having had a leak before. The homeowner goes through a wide range of emotions and questions...the biggest one being, why is my foundation leaking?

Narrator: It’s time once again for the “Crack Man Podcast” hosted by A1 Foundation Crack Repair. I’m Darren Kincaid here with the Crack Man himself, Rich Comeras. Rich has 30 years’ experience in the construction industry and over 25 years as the president and founder of A1 Foundation Crack Repair. This podcasts provides expert basement waterproofing, concrete repair, and preventative maintenance tips for homeowners and businesses. A1 Foundation’s valuable insight will help avert a disastrous flood within the basement, health problems associated with water infiltration, and protect your biggest investment….your home. The topic of today’s podcast: Why is my foundation leaking when it never leaked before? A case study in Waltham, MA.

Narrator: So, Rich, modern homes are pretty well built and I can imagine how disconcerting it is to suddenly find a leak in the basement after never having had a leak before. I’m sure the homeowner goes through a wide range of emotions and questions, the biggest one being, why is my foundation leaking?

Rich: I’ve been getting this call all the time with all the rain that we’ve had. I was just on the phone before I was talking to you. A person in Waltham called me and asked me just that question. She’s been in the house 26 years and never had any water, and all of a sudden she’s having water, and she said that there’s been a crack in the foundation (the poured concrete foundation wall) for all those years and she never has had any water. Why is it coming in?

Well there’s a few reasons why. One, is the aquifer underneath the house and in the area changes. Each time they build a house there’s less place for the water to percolate to, so there’s more pressure. Also, that crack that is there, water gets into it, it freezes over the years, it opens it up wider, and wider, and wider. So eventually it will leak. I’m getting this call in Waltham, Lexington MA, all over New Hampshire, Providence, all over Rhode Island. This comes up all the time.

People have been in houses for 40 years and they’re calling me and saying, “how come it’s leaking now and it never leaked before”? Been getting calls from people telling me this, and it’s even worse when the house is flooding. People that are selling their houses, they’re having showings and the water’s coming in.

So, we can take care of them, we can stop that water from coming in, we can take care of it with a warranty that transfers to new owners. We do it with multiple methods, and I’d be more than happy to explain how these methods work in the situation that you may have.

Narrator: Thanks Rich for explaining why a foundation could suddenly start leaking when it has never leaked before.

If you have a basement water problem and think you need a professional, or, if you’d like more information on foundation crack repair and basement waterproofing topics, please visit A1FoundationCrackRepair.com or call Rich at (866) 929-3171. Or you can email Rich at info@a1foundationcrackrepair.com. Thanks for listening and keep that basement dry.


What Can I Use To Stop A Floor Wall Seam Water Leak

- Monday, January 11, 2021

The Crackman receives a lot of interesting pics of basement problems. In this episode, Rich explains a picture that shows a pair of pants that are spread across the seam between the floor and wall and they’re wet.

Narrator: It’s time once again for the “Crack Man Podcast” hosted by A1 Foundation Crack Repair. I’m Darren Kincaid here with the Crack Man himself, Rich Comeras. Rich has 30 years’ experience in the construction industry and over 25 years as the president and founder of A1 Foundation Crack Repair. This podcasts provides expert basement waterproofing, concrete repair, and preventative maintenance tips for homeowners and businesses. A1 Foundation’s valuable insight will help avert a disastrous flood within the basement, health problems associated with water infiltration, and protect your biggest investment….your home. The topic of today’s podcast: What can I use to stop a floor/wall seam water leak in my basement? A case study in Wellesley, MA

Narrator: So Rich, you’ve sent a lot of interesting pics of basement water problems but this one needs explaining, I think I’m looking at a pair of pants that are spread across the seam between the floor and the wall, and they’re wet. What’s going on here?

Rich: Well I had a call from a gentleman in Wellesley, MA, and he asked me if I could help him because he’s got water coming in where the cement floor and the cement wall meet. And he was afraid it was going to move to his finished basement, he said, what can I do right now? I said, if you have towels or kitty litter or a blanket or even rags or anything, put it down in front of it. Send me a picture of what you have so I can clearly identify what’s going on.

One of the pictures he sent me was of this pair of pants with the legs spread apart and they’re wet. Humorous photo, but I got his point. This happens quite often where the floor and the wall meet, it leaks. Why does it happen and what we can do is what we’re going to talk about.

Why it happens is because it’s a footing, a white piece of concrete that’s poured going all the way around your house where they’re going to put the walls. They let that concrete set up, then they come and they put the walls up there - the concrete walls. They pour those walls between two pieces of wood and those set up, and they pull those, the wood, so you see the concrete walls. Then what happens, you have the people coming and they pour the floor, and all these concrete pieces, they don’t bond together quite the way you would like it.

And with the floor, what happens is the floor has water in it and the water evaporates, and it shrinks, and there’s a gap where the floor and the wall meet. And what happens is water sometimes, if you don’t have great drainage or they didn’t clean the soil off of the footing, water will seep in underneath that floor and then pressure will bring it up between the floor and the wall.

So, what we do is put our ports in and then inject (using an electric pump) a closed cell polymer resin material. Or, we can use a crystallized quartz based material. We can repair that with a warranty. We did that job for that gentleman in Wellesley, MA and he was very happy, take a look at the picture and I think you’ll get a kick out of it.

Narrator: Very cool, Rich. Thanks for explaining how to deal with a basement water leak between a floor and a wall seam. And I guess it goes without saying, a pair of pants is not the best method for stopping that leak.

If you have a basement water problem and think you need a professional, or, if you’d like more information on foundation crack repair and basement waterproofing topics, please visit A1FoundationCrackRepair.com or call Rich at (866) 929-3171. Or you can email Rich at info@a1foundationcrackrepair.com. Thanks for listening and keep that basement dry.




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