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Vertical Foundation cracks are the most common cause of leaks in your basement. They are generally a result of structural shifting or something done after the fact causing pressure on the wall from the exterior like a tree (or simply improper rebar installation, bad concrete mix, bad weather when pouring etc.). A crack in your foundation can be from a number of reasons, that’s why it’s important to have it properly inspected by a trained professional. If your foundation has a horizontal crack, it could signify something structurally wrong and may need proper attention from a structural professional.
Cracks are most common on the bottom corner of basement windows formed into the concrete or on new homes (under 2 years when all the settlement happens). Of all the types of walls; concrete walls are the only type of wall that can be injected to stop the water. However there are many drawbacks to installing this type of system and after many years in the business, we have seen plenty of failed injections.
When it comes to injecting your foundation with any sort of resin/epoxy/urethane type kit you should understand a few things:
- You cannot inject any other type of wall other than a concrete wall limiting you if you have a stone, block or brick wall (you cannot inject these types of walls)
- Injections without proper protective masks and personal protection can be harmful to you, most installers may not take proper precautions (mixing resins or using products on the interior of your home to form an expanding compound can produce harmful fumes)
- Epoxy is a mix between a resin and a hardener this can lead to a few issues like:
- This liquid, if not hardened fast enough, can seep into surrounding areas and leave voids in the crack being repaired (especially at the top of a crack as like anything, gravity will play its course)
- This may lead to an irregular application causing your problem to recur even though it looks perfect from the inside
- Re-injecting a previously injected crack is borderline impossible as the voids, gaps cracks and pockets in the previous resin may not be filled properly and we cannot see them
- If the crack is actively leaking, the water entering may not allow the product to work properly (just like we cannot apply waterproofing materials to wet walls)
- The foundation shift causing the crack may move further, more often than not creating a crack in the crack injection (the most common reason for it to fail)
- Most products can only handle a gap no greater than 1/16th of an inch
- If the crack expands once injected, only a proper exterior solution will stay flexible and move with the wall shift keeping a seamless membrane in tact (ie. The Aqublock and Yellow-Jacket process we use)
Even with the best polyurethane polymer compounds that promise to stay flexible and work with the shift, they cannot guarantee 100% success. Most injection companies will up sell a secondary barrier channeling water under the floor “in-case” the injection fails (that shows true confidence in the product!)
WE LIVE IN CANADA, IT SNOWS AND FROST DESTROYS EVERYTHING, WITHOUT FROST PROTECTION THE PRODUCTS ARE BOUND TO FAIL, EVERYTHING IN YOUR HOME ENVELOPE NEEDS FROST PROTECTION!
Everything in construction is frost protected, Yes, even the exterior waterproofing has a drainage board giving the ground something to freeze to protect the wall, tar, and mesh system in place!
What is important with foundation cracks is to determine if it is a major structural issue. Is there already an injection there that has failed? What type of product are they injecting? Most exterior solutions and products applied are not that much more costly than an interior injection and come with a proven track record and warranty. To speak with a representative about injecting versus any other method we would be happy to explain this to you in a free consultation. Contact us here to set an appointment.
Posted in: Waterproofing