Leaky Basement Walls
Leaking basement walls can limit the way you use your basement space. The cracks create leaks that tend to transform your walls into ugly surfaces, stained by water, mold, and white, powdery efflorescence. The moisture coming through the wall crack encourages the growth of mold, mildew, and rot on your organic materials.
Over time, this may cause structural damage, as the problem continues to worsen into an increasingly more expensive and complicated issue. Catching the problem early on can save you money, time, and other considerable inconvenience.
What Causes the Leaks?
Shifting, settling or expanding soils tend to cause wall cracks. Water not only enters your home through foundation wall cracks but may also enter through cracks in floors, around pipes, and even through gaps around basement windows.
What Not to Do
Many homeowners will try to fix these problems by using caulk, hydraulic cement, or mortar. This is only a temporary solution to a long lasting problem.
* Caulk sealers will fail to fill the crack as they cannot flex, contract or expand with the basement walls as the temperature changes throughout the season. Similarly, urethane sealers can only expand to 10% of their volume, whereas a wall crack may expand to many times its width.
* Hydraulic cements may work to fix the original crack, but they are not a solution fro the pressure that caused the crack to form in the first place. This continued pressure can lead to a new crack forming nearby or elsewhere along the wall.
* Mortars are also inflexible, and tend to seep through the other side of the crack without solving the problem.
* Caulk needs to be applied to a clean dry surface to work properly. This is usually not the case if you have a foundation wall crack with seeping water!
It is also worth noting that a wall crack may be a sign of a potentially serious foundation issue. If your wall crack is wide enough to fit a dime into its opening, we recommend that you consult with a foundation repair expert.
The Best Solution
There are long-term solutions to these issues. Polyurethane is an amazing sealant that, in most cases, can stop the leak permanently. Here’s how it works:
A special polyurethane is injected into the crack. This high-viscosity polymer flows deep into the crack to form a durable, flexible seal. The seal is capable of expanding and contracting with the natural movement of your settling basement walls. The benefit of a polyurethane sealant is that is can stretch many times its size – without breaking or coming loose. It will not seep through the crack, and can even be applied to wet wall cracks. This step of the process should stop 95% of the leakage.
Next, a thin foam strip should placed over the crack to collect any seeping water and direct it into the dry well that is created below the floor. When possible, this water seepage could also be directed into a perimeter drain.
Last, the foam strip is coated with a polyurethane sealant to hold it tightly against the wall and to give it a professional-looking finish.
There are plenty of resources for foundation repair and tips, but it’s always best to contact your local expert. Make sure you trust who you work with and you’ve researched the company before committing. It’s always best to have the most trusted and capable contractor helping, especially when it comes to your home.
AquaGuard Basement Systems is an independently owned and operated company in Marietta, Georgia. They are your trusted foundation repair contractor in Atlanta, and also specialize in crawl space and basement waterproofing and repair. They proudly serve in and aroundAtlanta.