Help! I Found Cracks In My Foundation!

foundation crack repairs
Spotting a crack in the foundation of your basement is never a fun discovery.

Reality is, as a home settles, especially new construction, and the concrete shrinks after it cures, cracks are a real possibility. Not every foundation crack looks the same, they will vary in size and shape.

The good news is that not all cracks are problematic! However, those that are going to cause greater issues need to be addressed early and properly in order to prevent future problems. Quick-fixes will only cause the water creating the problem to shift to a different area of the foundation, not an ideal situation or an effective solution. For this reason, it is important to monitor the growth of the cracks as they begin to form. Understanding the type of crack you are dealing with will better help you determine how to correct the issue to prevent further damage.


Vertical Cracks
Vertical cracks are the most common and least severe cracks your foundation will experience; often a result of the structure settling. These cracks can be found in most homes going straight up and down or at a slight 30-degree angle. Additionally, these cracks are easier and the least expensive to correct. Typically, urethane or epoxy will be injected into the cracks to prevent further damage and growth as the home continues to settle.

cracks in my foundationDiagonal Cracks
This thin, hairline crack may widen at the end and is also commonly found in homes along the foundation or basement walls. This type of settling is typically caused by what is known as differential settling. This tension happens when one side of the foundation settles unevenly due to the house having been built on a hill or slope, or the soil having contracted under one side of the foundation and not the other. Unfortunately, this type of crack may be more extensive and expensive to repair because the differential settling will also need to be addressed and corrected after the crack is sealed.

Horizontal Cracks
Cracks along the foundation that run horizontally are the most significant cracks to identify and are a symptom of a more serious structural problem. These cracks are a result of the hydrostatic pressure forming around the structure. While the foundation was built to withstand a certain amount of pressure when the load becomes too great the water can cause damage to the integrity of the foundation. In this case, an exterior drain tile would be a necessary step to channel the water away from the home and alleviate the pressure on the structure.

While every crack, whether it be vertical, diagonal, or horizontal, is different, it is always helpful to have a professional assess where the damage is originating from and how to eliminate further issues.

If you have found cracks in your basement and would like them looked at Midwest Waterproofing would be glad to provide a FREE consultation. Contact us at or call 815-245-6890.

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

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