Foundation Crack Repair Myths

Having a leaking crack in your basement's foundation wall is stressful.  Even if the crack is "normal", it feels anything but normal to have a basement that is flooded, especially if the basement is finished.  Before you panic and sign an estimate that could be well into the five figures, let's take a look at some facts and myths regarding crack repair:

Myth #1: Crack Repair Makes Your Foundation Stronger

In general, this is an inaccurate statement.  There is no proof that typical crack repair for foundation walls makes the structure stronger.  The material could potentially have a higher compressive strength than the basement concrete.  But the bond between the waterproofing material, such as epoxy, and the concrete is still a weak link.  And if structural movement caused the crack, that same structural movement can damage the repair.  Crack repair should only be used and relied upon for waterproofing.  Structural movement should be addressed with proven stabilization and strengthening techniques.

Myth #2: Cracks That Don't Leak Are Fine

Homeowners will often make the statement "oh that crack is fine - it's never leaked!" While it's positive to not have a leaking crack, it doesn't mean that the crack is not concerning.  Some of the worst structural cracks that we see are ones that are bone-dry.  While waterproofing is not necessary if it's not leaking, it's important to realize that a structural movement crack is nothing to take lightly.

Myth #3: All Cracks Need to be Waterproofed

In general, only cracks that have actively leaked are recommended for waterproofing.  Here in the Saint Charles Missouri area, foundations can experience so many cracks that sealing them all precautiously can be incredibly expensive.  However, if a homeowner is finishing their basement and investing a lot of money into finishes that could be ruined by water - flooring, drywall, insulation, studs - then sealing the cracks before they start leaking is recommended.

Myth #4: Once a Crack is Sealed, You Never Have to Worry

When you have a crack waterproofed by a reputable and experienced company, then yes it should last a long as the foundation does not experience movement.  It is standard industry practice to provide a lifetime warranty on crack repair in this area.  However, structural movement can (and often will) damage the crack repair.  Structural movement such as vertical settlement, lateral deflection or street creep pressure will also void most crack repair warranties.

Myth #5: It Always Makes Sense to Waterproof a Crack

In an ideal world where money was not an issue, this would be a correct statement.  But given the cost of crack repair (usually about $40-70/ft), there are situations where crack repair becomes financially unfeasible.  In addition, cracks that are obviously from structural movement could potentially open back up if the structural movement is not stabilized. It's important for the estimator to listen to your concerns, as well as your future plans for your foundation and basement to determine the best course of action.

Contact a company that prioritizes the customer's needs.  Call Acculift Foundation Repair for a free evaluation and estimate if you have a crack that looks concerning or is leaking.  Our team of experts will help accurately diagnose your foundation issue, recommend the appropriate repair and provide a detailed estimate.  Click here to Contact Us.