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Epoxy vs. Urethane: Sealing Cracks in Poured Concrete Foundation

The evolution of sealing cracks technology over the last decade has been astounding. Years ago, the common practice was to chunk out  both sides of the crack, essentially making it larger, then using  hydraulic cement to fill the void. This practice over time made things worse. The crack was larger, thereby reducing the structural integrity of the foundation. One practice was to make the crack  large enough to insert a pipe to drain the water into the ground.

This not only didn’t work, it made the foundation very weak. I had a client who bought a house where this practice was used and the wall had collapsed inward from where two cracks had been repaired using this technique. It was a very expensive mistake. Remember, Epoxy/Urethane can only be used on poured concrete foundations on cracks that aren’t a structural issue. Vertical cracks, not in corners, qualify for repair using this technique

A New Era of Sealing Cracks

Thankfully today we can utilize the advancement in technology to seal a crack permanently without disruption to the foundation or the homes inhabitants.  We use a combination of Urethane and Epoxy. You are probably aware of the technology if you use Gorilla Glue or Great Stuff expanding foam. Urethane is a two-part mixture that when combined expand up to 25 times its size when it meets water. Epoxy as well is a two-part mixture that cures rock hard and has the ability to hold on to concrete.

sealing cracks

Imagine a 1/8” crack that runs straight up and down on your poured concrete basement wall that is leaking in heavy rains. Midwest Waterproofing installers first apply “ports” that are strategically placed along the crack. Then an Epoxy is applied that seals the crack from the interior. This holds the ports in place and forces the urethane into the crack and does not allow it to expand back into the basement. The installer then uses a simple calk gun to inject the Urethane into the crack very carefully. The Urethane expands into the entire crack and actually expands to the outside helping to seal the crack and remain flexible for the duration of the Lifetime Warranty. No chiseling out of concrete, no odors, no noise, no disruption.

Professional Installation

It may seem like an easy process but it has to be done by professionals with years of experience.  An inexperienced installer can create huge problems if Epoxy/Urethane is misused. If an installer uses urethane around a pipe, such as a sewer line, and there is a crack or small opening in the pipe, the urethane will enter the pipe, find water and expand up to 25 times its size! This will clog the pipe and create an expensive disaster. All the drains in the house are immediately taken out of service. A plumbing company has to dig down several feet to repair the pipe. Thousands of dollars plus untold inconvenience for the home owners.  Midwest Waterproofing has 30+ years of construction experience and has repaired miles of foundation cracks.  

If you have a crack in your poured concrete foundation, leaking or not, call 815-245-6890 now or Book Online for a free in-home consultation.