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Should You DIY Your Concrete Foundation Repair

worker applies bitumen mastic on the foundation.

Do you think you have issues in your concrete foundation? You’re likely concerned about the expense of repairing such problems in your basement. It makes sense that you might consider DIY concrete foundation repair. So before you call a professional, what should you do?

It’s important to understand the causes of wall cracks and other foundation damage as well as what you can do about it. Let’s take a look. And if you decide it’s not a project you want to tackle, contact Basement Repair Specialists and get a free estimate on your work.

What Causes Concrete Foundation Problems?

Man Wearing Vest Standing in Unfinished Basement Inspecting Work on Wooden Staircase Inside New Home Construction Site

There are several potential causes of cracks in your foundation. In some instances, fixing the wall is only a band-aid approach; it doesn’t solve the more serious problem. In other cases, foundation crack repair requires regular maintenance—or it’s a one time fix. Causes include house settling, sump pump issues, water drainage system problems, or other issues causing moisture leakage.

How Can You Tell You Have Concrete Foundation Problems?

Wall crack near window seal.

Moisture in the walls, flaking paint, cracks, pest control issues, the presence of mold, and more are all indicative of concrete foundation problems. Some cracks aren’t detrimental to the integrity of the structure, but even so they can let in moisture, and that’s where problems can arise. Plus, over time, cracks do get worse and increase in number—and those could lead to structural issues down the road.

When you’re done, make sure you collect and seal all the refuse related to your wall repair in one bag. Depending on your local township and county, methods of disposal differ. (If you call in a professional, they should handle materials disposal for you.)

If you paint over the repaired wall, be aware that the paint may look uneven. This uneven appearance is often a concern in furnished basements and basement offices after basement and concrete foundation repair.

What Are The Dangers of Unrepaired Concrete Foundation Problems?

 

basement and foundations repair by insulating the basement concrete wall.

Once you’re aware of the issue, it’s vital to consider the risks to your home, business, family, friends, and customers if your concrete foundation remains unrepaired. You could experience effects from radon gas, pest infiltration and infestation, and leaking groundwater (which isn’t advisable for plugged-in appliances such as laundry machines).

How to Repair Cracks in Concrete Foundation Walls

calking wall

You can use several products to repair cracks in concrete foundation walls. They use cement and sealants as the primary methods of tackling trauma.

Before you begin, don’t forget to consider your family and pets and their safety. Do they regularly head into the basement? If so, the area will be unsafe for a certain amount of time. Impose boundaries with kids.

Hydraulic cement is one foundation repair option for cracks. It only lasts a couple of years, but if you need the job done fast and you have to DIY it, it’s the way to go. Eventually, you’ll need to chip it out and begin anew or call a professional to assist you.

If possible, you’ll want to use a multi-part epoxy product for concrete foundation crack repair if you’re using hydraulic cement.

To begin, ensure the area around the crack and the crack itself is dry. If there’s wetness, dry it with a blow dryer, wait 15 minutes, and repeat until dry. You’ll have to remove any debris from the crack (we recommend using a small wire brush) to ensure the best possible fit for the cement. You may also wish to use a handheld vacuum to remove dust and debris from the crack. As a safety tip, make sure to avoid standing water with any equipment that needs to be plugged in.

On a scrap board, mix the epoxy. It comes in two separate parts; you should use different brushes to avoid contamination. A clean putty knife spreads them best (use an old palette board). Look for a uniform grey color.  Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and safety precautions at all times.

If the crack is also visible on the other side of the wall (which is likely outside), check it and seal it up using the same methods. If you need to seal an outdoor wall, make sure the weather will cooperate. Snow and rain are the enemies of a proper seal.

Fix the Main Problem

Close-up Of A Shocked Woman Looking At Mold On Wall

The main problem isn’t the cracks themselves, but whatever is causing them. Make sure you determine what it is, because if you don’t fix that with the help of a structural engineer, it’s possible that your problems will worsen, you’ll have to repair those basement walls more often, and the integrity of your structure is in question.

Plus, if you have water damage—and coverage for it—your insurance company will want to know the details, whether you’re in a residence or business. The sooner you take action, the better; insurance companies prefer preventive action when it makes sense.

Unfortunately, the instructions and repair methods mentioned above are temporary at best. To complete the job, you need a professional examination and repair process.

When Should You Call a Professional?

Women standing in front of wall calling for help.

Even if you decide to go the DIY route, it’s wise to call a professional for an inspection. Professional basement repair technicians can identify multiple causes of concrete foundation cracks and other problems, and it is possible that there’s more than one culprit when it comes to your basement’s woes.

At Basement Repair Specialists, we’ll provide a complete inspection and estimate, free of charge. We believe in helping you find the right answers and solutions to your basement repair problems. Ready to have us inspect your home or business’ basement? Give us a call at 855-554-7246.