The Basement Wizard


Louisville Premier Plumbing Service
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Foundation Wall Crack Repair

Most people are confused about the cause of leaky wall cracks in their basement foundation. Common myths for leaky wall cracks include: dynamite or jack hammering nearby. Some also suspect standing water behind foundation walls may be weakening the concrete foundation causing it to crack. In fact, the truth is that every concrete foundation eventually will crack. Many people also worry their home is settling or “sinking” because they find leaky wall cracks and don’t understand what has caused them.

Concrete foundation walls, typically 10" thick and 8' tall, should naturally crack every 20-30 feet. Concrete should also naturally crack at the corners of windows and at most corners of foundation walls. These wall cracks are known as shrinkage cracks. Every foundation wall will get shrinkage cracks as it ages but especially when concrete is originally pored. When concrete goes from a liquid to a solid, this process is known as the curing process. As concrete is curing, it at a certain point is actually not able to support its own weight so it will develop hairline cracks or “fractures.” It takes about 30 days for concrete to cure out before it can fully support all of its weight before it doesn’t crack or “fracture” anymore; and even at 30 days the concrete is still only about 75-80% cured. It takes about 50-100+ years for concrete to completely cure out or gain 100% of its strength at which point it begins to lose it’s strength. Newly pored concrete that is only a week old can support a standard vehicle without cracking, but if the same vehicle was driven on top of concrete only a day old, it would likely cause additional cracks or “fractures” to the concrete.

Hairline shrinkage cracks typically do not leak during the first few years of the life of the foundation. This is because the original hairline shrinkage cracks from the curing process do not allow water to leak thru because these “fractures” are so small they are water tight. Over the course of time, the ground will naturally have some movement causing the concrete to wiggle which causes the shrinkage cracks to widen. When the shrinkage cracks widen, little grits of concrete are able to fall in between the cracks, which adds additional pressure to widen the shrinkage cracks even more causing the shrinkage cracks to eventually leak. The ground naturally moves over time which causes concrete foundations to settle with the natural movement of the land. Foundation problems can occur for various reasons other than just the natural settling of the ground and the curing process. If there is a large enough impact to a foundation wall, the concrete can crack and begin to leak. Foundation walls which have been built on back-filled land will often settle causing the foundation to crack creating water problems. As trees near foundations grow, their roots begin to grow as well creating a constant pressure on the foundation causing leaky foundation wall cracks.

At The Basement Wizard, we have worked for over 80 years repairing leaky foundation walls and leaky basement floors proving we have the technology and knowledge for "Making Your Water Problems Disappear!" Many waterproofing companies may suggest to seal basement foundation wall cracks or to install waterproofing paneling around basement foundation walls to prevent water from seeping onto basement floors. The Basement Wizard does not suggest installing waterproofing paneling as this waterproofing method can trap water or moisture between the paneling and the basement foundation walls creating unhealthy mold problems. Simply sealing leaky wall cracks can cause water to come thru other shrinkage cracks or imperfections in the foundation wall that may have never leaked before. If a crack is sealed without providing a place for the water to drain, it will find the next lowest and weakest point to drain into. So stopping the water flow at one point can create additional water problems for your basement. The Basement Wizard has developed and pioneered an “inside-the-wall drainage system.” This method allows water to properly drain off from behind foundation wall and directs it into the drainage system under your basement floor which leads to your sump pump directing water away from your home. For homes built without drainage systems or homes without proper working drainage systems, The Basement Wizard repairs and installs under-the-floor drainage and sump pump systems backed by our 100 year money-back guarantees.