If you have concrete foundation and you’re noticing cracks, don’t assume that this is simply how concrete behaves. Cracks don’t have to be indicative of a huge problem, but they can be, and you’ll want to know for sure so you aren’t ignoring your home when it is in jeopardy. There are many causes and many solutions to foundation cracks and damage–read on to figure out what you should be doing to diagnose and fix these problems.
First, search for the cause.
You should always look for the cause of the foundation damage first, so you can repair it and prevent future damage from happening. This step should almost always be done by a professional. They’ll be able to attribute the problem to structural issues, water damage, movement, or something else entirely. If the crack is big enough to fit a pencil, you’ll want to call a professional immediately.
Seal the crack against water and moisture.
Regardless of the cause, cracks need to be sealed so that water doesn’t drip into them and cause further foundation damage. You can use something like a masonry compound to seal it, or use some polyurethane foam. Both of these should be relatively cheap at your hardware store, and the process of filling them is simple enough so that it won’t cost you a fortune.
Try your best to reinforce the structure.
One of the most common ways to fix a bulging or cracked foundation wall is to reinforce the wall with steel pins. These can be pinned into the earth and create a better anchor for the foundation concrete, preventing further movement. There are other types of anchors like steel cables which function in much the same way. If the damage is too great and reinforcement won’t work, you may have to completely excavate and redo the foundation. Although a professional should be helping you through this whole process, you should invest in paying someone to complete this type of work for you. It can be dangerous and will cost you more in the long run if you do it incorrectly.
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