Foundation Repairs

Foundation Repair

The need for basement waterproofing can sometimes be caused by a crack in a basement wall that is leaking and needs to be plugged to stop it. A foundation repair is fixed the same way. The difference is that the foundation repair crack runs on a large diagonal almost flat horizontally surface. With a basement waterproofing repair, the crack usually runs almost perfectly straight up and down, vertically. In a basement waterproofing repair the size of the vertical crack is usually no more than one eighth of an inch. In the foundation repair the crack is usually large enough to put your fingers into. All these cracks are in concrete poured basements. Foundation repairs on cinder block basements are usually large bows, in the horizontal plane that run from end to end in a basement wall and are usually bowed in about 1 ½ inches the whole length. You have to check this with a straight edge, of course. The crack itself can be open 3/8 of an inch wide. In this cinderblock wall there can be more than one crack going in the horizontal direction. This as technical explanation is about as close as I can get.

Soil Conditions

Basement waterproofing cracks are usually caused by shrinkage of the basement wall, which is made out of poured concrete, and it keeps shrinking forever. That is why the cracks are vertical. In my own experience, most foundation repair problems are caused by the exterior soil having some sort of a soil problem. You can tell this because much of the time these cracks are twisted. In other words, around the bottom of the crack where it meets the footing and the floor, the 2 halves of the wall come together evenly on their face. At the top of the wall the crack is different, and uneven on the face, sometimes by as much as an inch. The soil conditions that bring this about are usually something where the soil is unable to carry the weight of the house properly. This condition is usually aggravated by some sort of vibration. Perhaps some sort of heavy truck traffic, or bulldozers working in the street. I’ve also seen it caused by building a house too close to a lake or stream, or by a pond or puddle, where water would be running downhill into it. Building too close to underground water can also cause problems. Sinking in these extra moist areas is what causes these foundation repairs to be needed.

The Two Types of Foundation Repair

There are two main types of foundation repair. The lighter one, which can be done inside the basement, usually consists either by installing aircraft-grade carbon fiber stitches and larger patches. The two pieces of wall are bonded together with the aid of some extra sticky epoxy in the crack. The second type of foundation repair would be on the outside requiring front end loaders with two-foot drill bits that are used to drill out the dirt around the corner of the basement, and then drill down past the basement and sets the house on top of steel or concrete, while the drill runs backwards and jacks the house up. The most I have seen a house lifted like that was a 4-inch lift.

The Most Needed Type of Foundation Repair

The foundation repair requiring the Carbon Fiber stitches and patches are the types that Oakbridge Waterproofing does. To do the big ones on the outside requires a huge investment in machinery and tools which we do not have. We refer these out to a specialist. Either way, you can call us, and we will come out and take a look at it, as a service call, even if we have to tear some interior finish off to get a better look at things.