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Stopping Water Leaks in a Concrete Basement Crack

December 24, 2012

Many owners of homes wish to finish their basements. This allows them to increase the home's living space and increase resale value. Unfortunately, many basements have cracks that allow water to enter the living space. Before you remodel your home's basement, you must ensure that no water gets through a foundation crack and gets the insulation, studs and carpet wet. This is best done by polyurethane concrete crack repair.

Why Cracks Happen

Concrete foundations crack. In fact, it is very rare in modern homes to find a foundation that does not have cracks in it. Cracking is a normal process of the concrete curing. As the concrete cures it shrinks. This shrinkage causes stresses that must be relieved by the concrete cracking. Your contractor knows this and places steel reinforcing bars (rebar) inside the wall to maintain the strength of the concrete foundation.

Stopping the Basement Water Leak from the Inside

Once a crack occurs in a concrete foundation, water can enter the basement. Homeowner's can repair the basement crack from the inside of the basement using a polyurethane foam injection system. The Do-IT-Yourselfer does not have to rent heavy excavating equipment in order to remove the soil on the outside of the foundation to make a repair from the outside.

Polyurethane foam injection is done from the interior of a basement. The polyurethane foam enters the foundation crack in a liquid form. Upon meeting water that is in the basement crack, the liquid polyurethane reacts and begins to foam inside the crack. The foaming action greatly increases the volume of the polyurethane. The polyurethane foam will fill the foundation crack from the bottom to the top and the entire width of the foundation.

Many people are curious as to how wide the crack has to be for the polyurethane to get into it. The polyurethane is in a liquid form during the injection process. If water can get into the basement through the crack, the polyurethane can also get into the crack.

Better Than Hydraulic Cement

Polyurethane foam injection is better than hydraulic cement for several reasons.

First, the foam fills the crack entirely. Water will remain on the exterior of the foundation and not enter the crack. Hydraulic cement repairs only get about as deep as 1/3 of the width of the foundation wall. This allows water to continue to enter the crack.

Secondly, eventually salts form from the water entering a crack that has been repaired using hydraulic cement. These salts cause the bond between the hydraulic cement and the concrete of the foundation to fail. After a period of time, the hydraulic cement will begin to leak again. Eventually completely failing and crumbling.

Third, polyurethane foam injection is easier, faster and cleaner than traditional hydraulic cement. The homeowner does not have to drill or chisel out any concrete. Polyurethane foam is injected through ports that are easily attached to the foundation surface.

A Dry Basement

Once the foundation crack is repaired using polyurethane injection, the crack is sealed. Water will no longer be able to penetrate into the basement area of a home. Now the homeowner can remodel the basement any way they wish.

 

Here is more information about basement cracks and how to fix them.

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