Repairing Concrete Foundation Cracks Repairing Concrete Foundation Cracks
Foundation cracks are a common problem in older homes. Many of these foundations are constructed of concrete. It is the responsibility of the homeowner to repair and maintain this vital part of the house regardless of the costs involved. Thankfully, there are methods to repair these cracks with little cost if the homeowner can perform the job.
Don’t panic! Repairing concrete is a much simpler task than what it appears. With a little know-how, even a novice can perform the repair with excellent results. Your results will be even better if you catch the crack early and repair it without delay. All concrete cracks will grow with time. Small foundation cracks can become big ones if ignored at their onset.
Step 1: Get Rid of the Chips
Using your screwdriver, chip away any loose concrete.
Step 2: Scour
Use a wire brush to scour the crack. This will remove any dirt and remaining debris. Rinse the crack with the garden hose after scouring thoroughly.
Step 3: Mix the Concrete
Mix a small batch of concrete according to package directions. If you add a latex additive, the compound will allow for the natural expansion of concrete during normal weather changes.
Step 4: Trowel
Trowel the concrete mixture into the crack with your putty knife. Make sure to smooth the surface while the concrete is still wet. Allow the concrete to dry before touching the surface again.
Repairing Larger Cracks
If you happen to find a large foundation crack that is more than 1/4 inch in width, you will want to address them a little more aggressively. Larger cracks cannot be fixed as easily as small cracks because they are often deeper. The deeper a crack is the more damage it can do to your foundation.
Step 5: Chip, Scour, and Scrub
For larger cracks, begin by chipping away any loose concrete with the screwdriver. Then scour the concrete to remove dirt and debris. After scouring, use the garden hose to thoroughly rinse the crack. Because larger cracks are deeper, you may have to flush the crack several times with the hose before all dirt and debris is removed.
Step 6: Caulking
A simple concrete compound won’t work well for large cracks. Instead, you will need to use a caulking gun with silicone latex concrete caulk. Use the caulking gun to force the compound deep into the crack. Make sure to fill the crack along the length and the breadth of the foundation crack. Move slowly and take the time to allow the caulk to expand into the crack as filling too quickly can cause an excess of product use and waste.
Step 7: Wait
For larger cracks, it is not uncommon to have to repeat the repair multiple times. This is because the caulking will settle further into the crack during natural expansion. This is why it is not necessary to smooth the caulking upon completion of the initial repair.
A foundation crack is easiest to repair when small. Frequent examination of your foundation can keep you from having to worry about large cracks or lasting damage.