All About Basement Crack Repair
Basement crack repair can be a minimal job or it can mean something bigger and more costly. When you speak to a contractor get an estimate of what he thinks the costs will be and get a couple of estimates. Labor will be much of the cost incurred. You may even need to get an engineer to look at your property if the cracking is really bad.
An estimate will be made up of many factors and is based on the square footage of your home. You may have a combination of skilled and unskilled labor doing the work. You will need to determine the cause of the crack and eliminate this first. This can also entail the expertise of a plumber if the cause is a leak. If you have any damage to floors you may also have to employ a floor installer.
The least expensive bid may not be the best one. Get references on the contractor before you make a decision. Make sure and check the licences of the contractors as well.
At the same time you might check for termites or other pests that could be in the area. If you live in an area prone to earthquakes you might also consider having your home earth-quake proofed. You can do this by installing seismic anchor bolts.
Cracks that are larger than 1/4 of an inch and are increasing in size or if you note that there is movement it should be evaluated by a professional. To repair a crack that is not a result of movement or structural problems or conditions you can use sealant or epoxy products to fill the area in. They can seal against water leakage and can be used to repair the cracks. Chip out the crack and apply the masonry compound to the surface or use sealants or epoxies. If you have leaks caused by water entering at the foundation a polyurethane foam sealant can be used to stop the water from entering.
A structural engineer may be necessary if the cause of the foundation problem needs to be identified and you are unable to do so. If you have a repair done that is not engineered properly it can cause stress points and they in turn can cause secondary structural issues at a later date. An engineer will develop a report that the contractor can follow. You should ask the engineer about your soil, you could have problems due to drought conditions that have caused shrinkage and have caused an area to sink. This can create stress in the foundation showing itself as a crack.
This problem can be repaired with a water injection method. It involves drilling six inch diameter holes approximately 4 to 5 feet in the ground and filling them with gravel to within an inch of the top. Only do this if your engineer feels that your soil is shrinking and swelling.
Some foundation problems can be fixed with the addition of steel to the concrete footers and foundation. Basement crack repair should be evaluated by a professional to make sure the job gets done right. It may be just a matter of filling the crack or you may have a structural problem that will require a bigger fix.