It's an everyday event -- even though builders and contractors who make cellars and basements generally reinforce the concrete in your basement walls with steel, the concrete still cracks, and before you know it, you need a basement wall repair job done quick. The cracks in your basement wall won't generally weaken the structure of your foundation, but they will cause other problems -- specifically, water problems.
The Water in Basement Walls
When it rains outside, especially if you don't have clean and functional gutters, a lot of that water builds up against the outside of your basement wall. Unless you get regular basement wall repair to keep those cracks closed, some of that water will get inside your basement through those cracks. Even if your basement has a waterproofing membrane on all of the outside walls, a significant enough crack can tear or even shred the membrane and then you're in trouble all over again.
Of course, if water gets into your basement, you've got a mess of problems, not the least of which is excess humidity. You can get mold growing under your carpet or behind your paneling, and that can cause a variety of nasty health effects. You can get shorts in your electrical outlets. You can even get warped wood in your walls or furniture!
Get Rid of the Crack with Basement Wall Repair
Most homeowners should immediately call a professional when they realize that there are traces of water leaking into the basement. Most such cracks can be repaired from the inside in a cost-effective and timely manner that doesn't disturb the soil or what remains of the waterproof membrane on the outside. Particularly handy homeowners can even attempt it themselves, but it's not recommended unless you already know exactly what you're doing.
The best way to perform the basement wall repair is by injecting an expanding liquid urethane foam into the crack. When the liquid foam encounters water, it expands dramatically, forcing the foam up and down, inward and outward along the entire length and depth of the crack. It dries and becomes waterproof in moments, sealing the crack perfectly. Because it starts as a liquid of about the same viscosity as water, it will go anywhere that the water goes. Because it ends up a foam, it's relatively easy to cut away and, if necessary, sand down any of the foam that expands inward -- though usually that's not a big issue.
If the crack happens to be dry when the basement wall repair man comes, that's not going to stop him -- a simple spritz of water into the crack from a spray bottle will catalyze the urethane liquid into it's foam state just as effectively as ambient moisture would.
Job Well Done
With the crack filled and the basement dehumidified, the danger from the water leak is past. The basement will remain safe and dry for as long as it take for a new crack to form -- usually several years -- just keep in mind that basement wall repair is never truly complete.
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