As a homeowner, you will find yourself managing all sorts of problems around your home. While issues involving electrical systems, plumbing systems, and leaky roofs are troublesome, they usually aren’t as concerning as a cracked foundation.
A crack in your foundation wall doesn't exactly mean there's a problem with the structural integrity of your home but these cracks can often lead to things like water, gas, or nature creeping their way through.
Luckily repairing a foundation crack is pretty easy to do. With the right tools and the right knowledge, you can turn it into a DIY project done over the weekend.
What Causes Foundations To Crack?
One common cause of this is an imbalance of moisture. During a drought or in scorching weather, for instance, the soil around your home shrinks by a lot. The dried-out soil will pull away from your home, leaving a gap for your home's foundation to move more than usual.
At the same time, extreme heat from that weather can also cause the concrete in your house to expand more than usual. Your home's foundation might move too much and cause cracks to appear on your walls as a result.
Having too much moisture can also cause cracks. Excessive moisture in the soil around your home will cause it to expand and apply pressure against your foundation. Storms and heavy rain are often a common cause of cause excessive moisture.
You should be aware that excess moisture doesn't always come from the outside. You might have a leaking pipe in your basement that you're not aware of. Over time, that could cause excess moisture leading to cracks in your foundation wall.
Top 4 Foundation Crack Repair Kits
Now that we've discussed the basics of foundation cracks, it's time to talk about the product kits you can use to get the job done.
What Is Usually Included? Typically, foundation crack repair kits consist of a few essential items. They'll have the material that you'll fill the cracks with, typically consisting of polyurethane foam or epoxy. Then they'll also include a sealant to be used once the cracks are filled.
Other than that, these kits also tend to provide a dozen or so plastic injection ports and rubber tubing to help you get the materials deep into those cracks. Some might include extra goodies like gloves and safety goggles for you to use as well.
1. RadonSeal Concrete Urethane Foundation Crack Repair Kit
RandonSeal's crack repair kit has everything you need to get started. With this kit alone, you can repair up to 10 feet worth of cracks without any special tools (you'll need a standard caulk gun, though!). The kit provides low-viscosity urethane as the crack filler. That material keeps moisture out and doesn't shrink over time.
2. Emecole Metro LLC Wall - Polyurethane Crack Repair Kit
Emecole Metro LLC is a pioneer in the crack repair business. Their basement wall crack repair kit is also enough to fix 10 feet of cracks in your foundation walls. The kit comes with a low viscosity polyurethane material that's suitable for cracks up to 3/16" wide. It also includes a sealant for you to apply once the cracks are filled.
3. Simpson Strong-Tie Crack-Pac
Simpson Strong-Tie's Crack-Pac Injection Kit is useful for fine and medium hairline cracks in concrete. Not only does the epoxy material provided in the kit resistant to moisture, but it'll also keep out oils, salts, and even mild chemicals!
4. Flexomeric DIY Concrete Foundation Crack Repair Kit
Last but not least, we have Flexomeric's professional-grade repair kit. This one is enough to fill up to 8 feet of cracks. It's an ideal product for your usual concrete structures like basement foundations, garage walls, driveways, and more. Just like other kits, this one uses a polyurethane resin as its crack filler material.
Types of Foundation Cracks
Usually, you'll notice that foundation wall cracks tend to appear in weaker parts of the wall, like near window frames or corners. Typically, the cracks will only go in one direction, either vertically or horizontally. In some cases, they might appear to go in a 'staircase' pattern or diagonally.
Vertical or Diagonal Cracks
These are typically known as 'shrinkage' cracks. That's because they happen as a result of shrinking or settling of the concrete foundation under the house. Quite often, you'll find these kinds of cracks in block foundations, especially in newer homes.
Cracks that run horizontally (from one side towards another) are usually caused by outside pressure, usually from the soil or water.
To help a concrete foundation last longer, read our guide on indoor concrete sealers here.
Do's and Don'ts of Sealing Foundation Cracks
Before you start your DIY crack sealing project, there are a few things you need to know first. Here are a few do's and don'ts to keep in mind.
- Keep an eye on hairline cracks - Tiny hairline cracks are normal, and they're not a concern. Still you should keep an eye on them to make sure they don't expand into a big crack. Here's a trick you can use: apply a bit of duct tape across the crack. If you find the tape comes loose, it might be a sign that crack is slowly getting bigger!
- Fix the crack immediately - The longer you wait, the worse the problem gets. Water, not to mention insects and roots as well, may eventually find their way into those cracks.
- Do your research - Before buying a foundation crack repair kit, make sure you're choosing the right one for your problem.
- Skip the waterproof seal - Some people fill their foundation cracks and then leave it be. That's only half the job done! You'll need to also seal it with a waterproof masonry sealer, so moisture doesn't seep through.
- Skip the follow-up checks in the weeks after - Have you finished repairing the crack? Good. Now, don't forget to check it from time to time. That way, if you made any mistakes, or if any other cracks appear, you'll catch it early.