Cracks in Home Foundation

Repair a crack in a concrete
house foundation.

House Foundation
Crack Repair

Cement foundations of houses
will eventually develop cracks
in one area or another.

The soil settles differently in
different locations under
the footing, this causes
tremendous pressures which
causing cracks in the

These cracks will allow water
to come into a basement if
excessive water is allowed
to gather on the outside of
the house from over watering,
downspout to close to house
or just the lay of the land
allowing water to collect at
the house.

Small ants and insects can
also pass through these

If these cracks are not
repaired they can lead to
bigger problems, such as
more cracks and chunks of
cement following out of
the wall.

City work on the road can
amplify the problem of
cracks with their vibration
tamping machines.

This machine can do as
much damage at one time,
as many years of normal
wear and tear.

In many cases it is not
viable to replace the
foundation, so the next
best thing is to repair
the existing cracks in
the foundation.

The repaired foundation will
never be like new again,
but you can repair these
cracks to prevent further

It is important to clean the
concrete thoroughly before
applying a patch.

Concrete is formed by a
chemical reaction between
the Portland cement and

This hydration creates tiny
crystals that interlock
everything together.

If there is any dirt or grime
on the cement the crystals
will bond to the dirt, instead
of the old concrete, resulting
in a poor bond and flaking
will be the result.

The next step is to prepare
the cracks for treatment.

Use goggles or safety glasses,
take a hammer, metal chisel
or an old screwdriver and
tap out a Vee groove about
3/4 inch across and about
1/2 inch deep along the
entire crack.

Then drive in a few galvanized
drywall nails into the crack,
spacing them three or four
inches apart, the entire length
of the crack.

Drive the head of the nails a
little lower than the surface
of the wall.

These nails will help hold the
cement from falling out and
make a good bond between
the new patch cement and
existing wall.

If the crack is very wide you
need to use longer nails, one
inch nails works for most jobs.

Next mix up a mixture of
white glue, the kind of glue
recommended for cement
work with a ratio of 5 parts
of water to 1 part of glue.

Mix it thoroughly and paint it
into and around the crack;
this will help the patch
cement bond.

Then what you will need is
some Portland cement,
a mixing bucket, water,
cement finishing trowel or
putty knife, sand and
some sort of screen to filter
out the larger pebbles out
of the sand.

You want a fine smooth

Mix the water, sand and
cement with a 2-1/2 or
3 ratios, one part cement
and 2-1/2 parts sand.

Mix the dry mix thoroughly
before adding water and
the glue mixture.

Add some of the water/glue
mixture to the cement and
mix it together.

Repaint the crack again just
before applying the patch

If you buy premixed cement,
a patching compound that
contains latex, epoxy, or
other polymers; you just
add water and mix.

Mix thoroughly and let stand
for about ten minutes before

When the mix is right you
should be able to form a
raised portion in the center
of your mixing bucket and
it should remain standing.

If it flattens, then the mix
is too watery; just add a
little more sand and cement
until you get it right.

It is a good idea to try and
match the hardness of
the existing cement.
If the house is very old
you might want to go with
a 3.5 to one mix which
makes for a little softer
cement, for a better match
to the existing cement.

Clean out any loose pieces
of cement and wet down the
cement with a spray of water,
this will help make a good
bond between the existing
cement and the patch cement.

Trowel the cement into the Vee
groove, then with a back and
forth motion, force the cement
as deep as possible and scrape
off the excess.

Allow to set up, and spray with
water a couple of times
throughout the day, this helps
temper the cement and
prevents it from drying too
fast, which can produce
hairline cracks within the
patch cement.

If the crack is patched on the
outside of the house, provide
a cover from the sun, use
cardboard or plywood, this
will also help slow down
the drying time and prevent

If the area to be filled is
very large, fill the area in
steps, allowing each layer to
dry before Appling the
next layer.
This helps prevent hairline
cracks from developing.

These same techniques can
also be used to repair
cracks in sidewalks and other
concrete crack problems.

Synthetic Repair

There are synthetic patching
compounds available such as
concrete-repair caulks and
vinyl-repair materials, which
are malleable and just about
as strong as cement when

The plus side of these compounds,
is they penetrate deeper into
tight cracks, than a cement
based repair compound.

Stonemason concrete repair
caulk comes in a cartridge
that fits into caulking guns.

A bead can be delivered under
pressure to the exact area
of the crack.

Working Concrete

Avoid over-working any poured
concrete, as this will weaken
the concrete.

Concrete must be used within
a short time of mixing
depending on temperature.

The sooner the better.

Best time to work concrete is
early morning or late
afternoon, but be aware
there is a waiting time for
surface water to evaporate
before finishing.

This could end up late in
the evening when you will
be toweling the concrete.

It takes about 7 days for
concrete to fully cure.

Concrete that cures too fast
will crack, scale, and flake,
and lack strength and

If the weather is windy or
very hot, cover the concrete
to prevent the quick


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