Common Problem: Foundation Wall Leaks

crack repair

In many homes, one of the first times that we notice waterproofing issues is when we have water coming in from the walls. This seepage or foundation wall leak can be due to many different things, but the main reason is usually because of foundation cracks. However, how are these cracks caused? How can they be resolved? Let’s find out!

Crack RepairHow are Foundation Wall Leaks Caused?

Usually, foundation wall leaks are caused by cracks in the foundation. This can be due to a multitude of issues. One of the most common is from hydrostatic pressure. Hydrostatic pressure is when soil becomes saturated with water and pushes against the foundation walls. The weight of the soil can cause unnatural pressure on the walls which then causes cracks. These cracks can let in anything from water to pests. Plus, a leaking basement can lead to even worse issues like mold and mildew which can affect your health. Another way cracks can be caused is by tree roots invading the structure. Cracked walls can even be caused by old age or poor initial construction. In any case, cracks are a serious foundation and waterproofing issue that may even lead to bowing walls which are threatening to the stability of your home.

Crack RepairHow are Foundation Wall Leaks Resolved?

One of the best ways to resolve a foundation wall leak is first to clean up the mess. The water, mold, or mildew needs to be cleaned up before any work can be done on the foundation. We don’t want to trap that mold or mildew behind any encapsulation or inside the walls. So first clean up will be done and any mold will be removed. Next, we will start on the foundation repair. A urethane crack injection is the preferred method of repair. This is because of its lower cost and no need to excavate the foundation wall. Another advantage of the urethane material is that is expands to fill the entire crack, effectively stopping the water on the exterior of the building. However, this material is also flexible so it allows for changes in the seasons. If you have a finished basement, you may want to choose an outside option. There are two typical options for exterior foundation leak repair, a waterproof membrane or a sodium bentonite clay application.

What’s the Next Step?

If you have a foundation wall leak and are experiencing a leaking basement, it’s time to call the professionals at Midwest Waterproofing. We’re happy to come out and give you an estimate of what it might take to resolve issues with the foundation. Contact us today for more information.

The Solution for Unsightly Crack Repairs

crack repair

A frequent comment I hear from clients is the way crack repairs look after completion. They see the smeared on epoxy bonder with unsightly injection ports leave the repair looking messy. We see it too! While the products we use offer a Lifetime Warranty and we know they work, I agree that the final product is often less that attractive for crack repairs. This can also cause concern for potential home buyers who see this as a foundation issue and not a simple crack that was repaired and the lifetime warrantee transfers to them. That’s where we step in.

 

 

 

crack repairs

                                               Seal and Peel

Midwest Waterproofing has a solution for crack repairs. It’s a removable top coat that holds the product being injected in the crack but can be removed along with the injection ports within a few days. Ground smooth with the surface of the foundation, when painted, the crack repairs virtually disappears.

Being small, flexible and experienced, we address any homeowners concern. We create a unique solution that meets all your criteria and concerns. The big waterproofers only offer solutions to fit their profit model. Going the extra step is what makes Midwest Waterproofing the ONLY choice. Contact us at 815-245-6890 or Book Online

Floor Cracks Can Be Repaired

floor staples cut

Basement and garage floor cracks: a lot of companies say they are cosmetic in nature and should be left alone. Since we all know concrete cracks can be quite the problem, sometimes just leaving them alone is not good enough.  There are plenty of solutions available to reliably and professionally repair cracks.

In the case of finishing the basement or installing a decorative floor coating, we typically recommend using carbon fiber to “stitch” the crack and stabilize it. This is very effective in reducing concrete cracking when overlaying a decorative coating or epoxy surface.

The process is can be completed in a few hours. However, only a trained installer should “stitch” a crack. Midwest Waterproofing works with Rhino Carbon Fiber to ensure the installation is completed correctly.

We “stitched” the floor in preparation of the basement being finished. The homeowner wanted a decorative, durable finish on the floor but did not want crack forming and ruining the seamless look.

It’s important not to confuse floor crack and wall cracks. Vertical cracks in foundation walls require a different type of solution.  If you have concrete floor cracks that need to be evaluated, please contact Midwest Waterproofing at 815-245-6890 or Book Online.

 

Crack Repair using Sodium Bentonite in Crystal Lake

crack repair sodium bentonite crystal lake

Part of the process for diagnosing seepage in a client’s home is walking the perimeter of the home with the homeowner noting the location of cracks in the foundation. Look very closely at the picture to the left. Notice the vertical crack directly above the work area? These can be difficult to spot but our Waterproofing Experts have a very keen eye.  Many times, these cracks correspond with the area of seepage in the basement. Your Midwest Waterproofing Expert may also run a hose to determine if the crack is the source of the seepage.

In some situations, such as with a block foundation, Sodium Bentonite is not an option. Your Waterproofing Expert will explain the reasons and offer alternatives.

If the crack is clearly visible like in the photo above and is free of obstructions, The Midwest Waterproofing Expert may recommend a process called a “post hole dig” repair using Sodium Bentonite as an alternative to an epoxy/urethane injection from the inside

Sodium Bentonite is an effective, low-cost methods of sealing foundation cracks from the exterior.  Also, it is environmentally friendly because it contains no toxins. Perfect for clients with pets and children

Crystal Lake and the surrounding area has a particularly good soil for using Sodium Bentonite called Crystal Lake silt loam.

How Do Sodium Bentonite Repairs Work?

To repair a foundation wall crack using sodium bentonite, the installer digs a small hole against the foundation using a post hole digger. He digs down to the bottom of the foundation to the footing, exposing the entire crack. The hole is then filled nearly to the top with Sodium Bentonite and is covered with soil and whatever landscaping was removed so there is virtually no sign of the repair.  The installer may use a small amount of membrane material or epoxy to seal the crack that is exposed above ground. 

The dry sodium bentonite absorbs water from the  ground which causes it to expand dramatically.  This causes the expanding Bentonite to ooze into the crack from top to bottom causing a seal that is warrantied for a lifetime. If the soil is extremely dry, the installer may add a little water to start the process. 

Because sodium bentonite is applied from the exterior of the foundation, it is an ideal choice when the crack is not accessible from the inside because the basement has been finished or there are other obstructions such as utilities.

Sodium Bentonite cannot be used on cracks in corners or when there is a permanent obstruction such as a cement porch,  blocking access to the crack. However, if a patio, sidewalk or driveway covers the ground next to the foundation, we can cut out the paving material and replace it afterward. We can also dismantle decks or porches to gain access then rebuild it afterwards. 

If you are experiencing seepage call Midwest Waterproofing at 815-245-6890 or click here to Book Online

Concrete Foundation Wall Cracks and How to Repair Them

Foundation Crack

Poured foundation foundations are one of the most common and durable types of foundations used to support buildings. They are used because they are durable, easy to construct and take less time to build than a masonry foundation wall. While a poured concrete foundation is very strong and durable, it can have many issues as well. The most common issue is with cracks that can leak water into a crawlspace or basement.

These cracks can occur due to conditions when the concrete is poured, soil conditions around the foundation as well the shape of the foundation itself. Typical foundation cracks, under 1/8” in thickness are expected, considered normal and not a major cause for structural repair. They can, however, be a source for water intrusion into the basement or crawlspace and should be fixed, whether actively leaking or not. It is our experience that an existing foundation crack will eventually leak at some point.

Diagnosing foundation cracks is pretty straightforward. In the case of an unfinished basement or crawlspace, they are easily seen because the foundation wall is exposed. In the case of a finished basement, cracks can be identified by finding the first point of entry into the basement and looking at the exterior of the building. Foundation cracks are predictable in that they almost always follow a relatively vertical path from the bottom of the foundation wall to the top and can be seen from the exterior where the foundation wall is visible above grade.

How to Repair Concrete Foundation Wall Cracks

If the basement or crawlspace foundation walls are accessible, a urethane crack injection is the preferred method of repair due to its high success rate and relatively low cost. Another advantage of the urethane material is that is expands to fill the entire crack, effectively stopping the water on the exterior of the building. Urethane crack repairs, once cured, remain slightly flexible as well so seasonal movement of the foundation wall caused by expanding soil conditions and frost do not compromise the repair.

If the basement space is finished, an exterior option may be preferred if you do not want to cut open the wall to expose the crack or if mechanical equipment like furnaces and water heaters are in the way. There are two typical options for exterior crack repair, a waterproof membrane or a sodium bentonite clay application. Both work exceptionally well, which one is best for you situation depends on a few factors.

Our staff, with their years of experience, can help determine which crack repair method is right for your situation. If you think you have a foundation crack, contact Midwest Waterproofing for a free consultation.