"Understanding Your Home" by Building Inspector Mark Visser
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Cracks in concrete walls
Small cracks near corners are often stress related and are very common. Mid wall hairline cracks are most likely caused be premature backfilling. These cracks can turn into major cracks as the foundation settles during the first few years after construction.

Active leaks can be treated from the interior by EPOXY INJECTIONS. Liquid epoxy is injected and fills the crack.
Improperly sealed TIE-ROD openings are also a source of water seepage into the basement. The round holes can be treated from the interior using quick or hydraulic cement.










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Cracks in Foundation Walls
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Crack repair. Epoxy injection. Water seepage. Hydrolic cement. Underpinning.

Foundation walls can be made of concrete block, poured concrete, rubble, brick and treated wood. The most common used materials today are concrete blocks and poured concrete.
Cracks in block walls. Concrete blocks will shrink after being made. Blocks should always be stored dry. Wet blocks will expand and when dried too fast, will shrink, causing hairline cracks along the mortar joints.
Step cracks are often located near corners and the usual cause is settlement. In severe cases repair work may involve underpinning.
This is a job that should be carried out by a qualified contractor.
Horizontal cracks, usually a few courses below the exterior grade, are caused by hydrostatic lateral pressure. Poor exterior drainage to the weeping tiles results in saturated soil which will freeze and expand. These cracks are sometimes called freeze cracks.
In most cases adjusting the exterior drainage will be sufficient. In severe cases repairs include excavations, replacing the foundation wall or installing wing walls. Wing walls are walls installed in the basement, perpendicular to the foundation walls.

Cracks in poured concrete foundation walls can be repaired from the interior as well as from the exterior side. If the basement is finished it may be less expensive to make repairs from the exterior. If there is not enough room for machinery excavations have to be made by hand. For unfinished basements it is more practical to make repairs from the interior. See also photo and text to the left.




Poured concrete foundation wall.
Crack and honeycomb repairs by epoxy injection
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