Cracks in a House
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 house foundation.

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 cracks.

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
damage.

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

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

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
mixture.

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 cement.

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 applying.

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
cracking.

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
Compounds



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
hardened.

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 durability.

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

Index



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How to repair cracks
in concrete house
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