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How do I fix foundation cracks in my home

A real homeowner’s nightmare, foundation cracks are sneaky and can become active at any time, bringing with them financial costs as well as significant damage. The foundation being the base of your house, the essential element on which it sits and which supports all its weight, it’s important to equip it with a waterproof membrane that will protect your house from water infiltration, mold and other serious issues. Often, when building a home, the option of a tar membrane is chosen because it represents the least expensive solution, but also the least durable. Tar loses its physical waterproofing properties quickly, meaning it is not an adequate solution to protect cracks over the long term.

Keep in mind that since concrete is a very inflexible material, it will always break from top to bottom and edge to edge, regardless of the direction of the crack, whether horizontal or vertical.

Very often, it is necessary to quickly fix the foundation cracks as soon as they become apparent. To know if it is an emergency and if it is necessary to proceed as soon as possible, you will need to identify the type of cracks. This will allow you to determine the best way to carry out the repair and to know the various stages needed in order to fix the foundation of your home optimally and efficiently. If you are unsure of the degree of urgency of the repair or how to proceed, the specialists at Groupe Durasec will be happy to come and set up a personalized quote based on the condition of your foundation and the repairs required.    

The types of cracks to watch out for

Active cracks

When you notice active cracks, it’s a sign that you need to consult quickly. The active crack is a crack that you have observed degrading over time. This is a good indication you may need to repair the foundation of your home. The longer you wait, the bigger the problem will become. The most common causes of this type of crack include freezing and thawing, subsidence of the ground as well as inefficient drainage. If you believe that your foundation has active cracks, consult us quickly to develop a repair plan based on expertise and specialized knowledge.

Passive cracks

People generally think that so-called passive cracks do not require any particular intervention since they are very thin. They normally represent either less than 1/16 of an inch in the concrete or they are superficial in the concrete coating (plaster).

THIS IS NOT ENTIRELY TRUE! A crack, whether thin or wide, should always be waterproofed. The only time this does not require any intervention is when only the plaster is cracked.  

Here is a quick and easy do-it-yourself trick: Take a hammer and break the plaster at ground level to check if the crack is only in the plaster or if it extends into the foundation wall. This way, you will know if you need to intervene and place a call with Groupe Durasec.

It is important to remember that a crack is a gateway for water infiltration. A crack is said to be passive if it does not grow and remains in the same state over time. Either way, sooner or later you will have to think about fixing the foundation of your house. What is certain is that sealing the cracks present in the ground will offer you peace of mind and can only prevent the aggravation of a simple problem right from the start. If in doubt, intervene by asking for information.

Horizontal or vertical cracks

They are given the adjectives of horizontal or vertical because of their orientation. A horizontal crack can suggest, among other things, the existence of structural problems. As for the so-called vertical crack, it is probably due to the phenomenon of water withdrawal and it is possible that it is only superficial (plaster), which is clearly preferable to the horizontal crack.

If you are unsure of the type of cracks you are facing, do not try to solve the problem yourself, you could make the situation worse. Understanding the causes of the crack will also determine what will be the best treatment, depending on the environment in which the foundation is located. The evaluation of an expert in this field remains the best option in order to seal the crack quickly and durably. They remain the reference to determine if you will need to fix the foundation cracks of your house or simply act on the surface.

Should I perform the work myself or call on a specialized company? 

It is essential to let an expert take care of the repair of your foundation since several elements can interfere in the choice of the technique that will be used. For example, the type of foundation (rubble stone, cement block, insulating formwork or the most common, concrete), the accessibility and stability of the cracks as well as the quality of the concrete must be taken into consideration when the time comes to proceed with the repairs. Doing the work yourself will not save you time, since the work will need to be done again in a few months.

It is possible to fix foundation cracks from inside the building or from the outside. However, if water infiltration has occurred, it would be wiser to act from the outside. After sealing the crack, the installation of a Rub-R-Wall type membrane will preserve your foundation for many years, while remaining waterproof with the ground and the building that work with the seasons. Our experts prefer this solution because it has several advantages, in addition to acting as a real barrier to protect your property.

Groupe Durasec experts can assess the extent of the repair to be carried out, depending on the costs related to the excavation process and the materials.

How can I fix the foundation of my home? 

However, some repairs can be undertaken by yourself to seal the crack and prevent its size from increasing. At first, it will be necessary to clean the crack, then proceed to sealing it. Then, it is necessary to plan the injection of a product that will repair the crack – it can be epoxy, polyurethane or other – which will seal the crack. Adding a membrane may be necessary later. Even if these steps seem simple to you, they are jobs that are complex and require in-depth examination as well as advanced expertise in the repair of foundation cracks.

There are certain advantages to doing the work yourself. For example, you will probably save costs by carrying out these repairs, in addition to being able to do them when it suits you best.

There are also significant drawbacks to doing the work on your own:

  • You will have no idea of the lifespan of the work carried out
  • If you are not sure of the procedure to follow, you could quickly get lost in the many expenses to be expected
  • If the work is done incorrectly, there is a risk of suffering major damage which could affect not only the foundation, but also the basement as well as your insurance
  • In the event of work being carried out incorrectly, there is no recourse available to you since you are solely responsible for the work

A property often represents the investment of a lifetime, which is why it is necessary to take care of it and repair problems quickly when they arise. Calling on us means ensuring the quality of a job well done, a long-term warranty as well as materials that are safe for the waterproofing of your foundations. Give yourself peace of mind by having the real feeling that the crack is well repaired.

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