Foundation Crack Repair and More in Chicago
If your home in has a basement, chances are you have a crack in the foundation,
through which water will leak eventually. Even if an existing crack has
not yet leaked, over time, the likelihood that water will permeate the
crack increases greatly, thanks to the combined effects of thermal movement,
drying shrinkage, and other environmental stresses. Although a crack might
seem minor or small, it can grow much larger and cause water to leak inside
or even result in the loss of structural integrity of the foundation.
April 2017 Basement Crack Repair Specials
1 Foundation Crack Repair = Only
$380 ($200 Savings)
2 Foundation Crack Repairs = Only
$660 ($300 Savings)
3 Foundation Crack Repairs = Only
$940 ($400 Savings)
4 Foundation Crack Repairs = Only
$1220 ($500 Savings)
5 + Crack Repairs Call Today for Even Greater Savings
All crack repairs must be scheduled by April 30th
Reliable Basement Services has sucessfully repaired 1000's of basement
cracks over the years, with 100% success. Our skilled professionals can fix these cracks permanently using High-pressure
injection of epoxy or polyurethane foam repair materials, without the
need for disruptive excavation. Crack injection has been used successfully
to repair foundation cracks for many years.
Epoxy or Polyurethane Injection?
So which material is better for repairing concrete cracks: epoxy or polyurethane foam? The answer isn't always clear-cut. In many cases, either material can
accomplish the task. But here are some general guidelines: If the crack
needs to be structurally repaired and the area needs to be as strong or
stronger than the concrete around it, use an epoxy. If the crack needs
to be repaired only to prevent water leakage or the crack is actively
leaking, a polyurethane is the best choice. Here's a look at the advantages
and limitations of each material.
Epoxy Crack Injection
The main advantage of epoxies is their amazing compressive strength, which
at 12,000 psi or greater exceeds that of most concrete. That's why
epoxies are the only choice for
requiring structural repair. However, epoxies cure very slowly, generally taking hours to harden,
so it's possible for the epoxy to flow out of the backside of the
crack before it has hardened, mostly if the backfill outside the wall
has separated from the foundation.
Polyurethane Crack Injection
If the main concern is water leaking into the basement, polyurethane foams
should be used. These elastomeric, fast-setting foams are most effective
for applications involving only crack sealing (
waterproofing) and not
structural repair. It's expansion factor will allow the material into even the smallest
crevices. Because of their elastomeric nature, they are able to accommodate
slight concrete movement so the seal stays intact. They also begin to
harden and foam within minutes of injection. This reduces the chances
of the material flowing out of an injected crack while still in liquid
form, and even if some does leak out, the foam will fill the void. Urethanes
are great for basic foundation crack filling. They add almost zero compressive
strength, but in most residential applications, you do not need it.
Avoid Superficial Repairs
Many homeowners in Chicago may be tempted to use caulk or hydraulic cement
to patch concrete cracks. Caulk is superficial and will allow water to
continue seeping behind the patch material, resulting in efflorescence,
and eventually the caulk will peel off exposing an enlarged crack due
to freezing and erosion. Hydraulic cement does not bond well, also leading
to efflorescence. Eventually, the water seepage will dislodge the cement plug.
Reliable Basement Services has nearly a 100 percent success rate for crack
repair work, and offer a lifetime warranty for the injection repairs because
we are confident in the manufacturers dedication to improving the materials
and techniques offered, and the training of our staff.
Injection products create a win-win situation for Reliable Basement Services
and you the homeowner. We can reliably fix an inconvenience, while saving
you thousands of dollars for more extensive repair work and avoiding the
inconvenience of excavation.
Avoid DYI basement crack repair kits if possible, there are no money back
guarantees with foundation crack repair kits, if the repair doesn't
work you have thrown money away, also when selling the home new homowners
require warranties for the work that was done.
Cracks Fixed For Life
Trained & Skilled Professionals!
How to Evaluate and Diagnose Foundation Cracks
Shrinkage cracks are usually uniform in width or (less common) vee-shaped, wider at top
and diminishing or stopping before reaching the bottom of the foundation
wall (where attachment to footing may tend to hold foundation wall materials
in place). A wall crack which continues into the floor is likely to involve
the building footings and may be a settlement crack of more structural
Concrete shrinks as it cures. In poured concrete, shrinkage cracks may be non-uniform if
wall components are held by footings/framing; very often there are minor
shrinkage cracks which are hairline, random, intermittent, multiple, and
meandering in the concrete, forming discontinuous cracks in the wall.
Shrinkage cracks occur as concrete cures, appearing more frequently and
larger if the mix was improper and where control joints were omitted.
Omission or pattern of placement of steel reinforcement may also be a
factor in crack formation and location.
Poured concrete shrinkage cracks: usually shrinkage cracking is due to conditions at original construction:
poor mix, rapid curing, possibly other conditions. Shrinkage cracks are
less likely to require structural monitoring and repair in poured concrete
as they would be expected to continue after initial curing.
Concrete block foundation walls shrink as they cure. They rarely expand much on exposure to moisture and
temperature variations. In concrete block walls shrinkage cracks are likely
to be uniform in width and usually occur towards the center of a concrete
masonry unit (CMU) wall. The wall is stronger at the building corners.
Brick walls do not normally shrink, but rather, grow indefinitely. Bricks are not
often used for below-grade foundations but were often used above-grade
supporting the first floor of older buildings, and of course entire buildings
may be constructed using structural brick walls (look for the bond courses).
If you see a crack in a brick wall it's more likely due to movement
in the structure, a support problem, or due to thermal expansion. Cracks
in structural brick walls may be very serious if the bond courses are
broken as there is then a risk of sudden catastrophic wall collapse. Cracks
and especially bulged cracked brick walls need immediate expert investigation.
Stone foundation walls do not normally crack through individual stones, but the interlaced stone
layout of the wall may be bulged and cracked due to damage from frost,
loading from driving vehicles near the wall, or by the removal of stones
to pass piping or make doorways. As with other cases of foundation movement,
a diagnosis of the cause, amount of movement, and effects on structure
are needed to decide what repair may be needed.
Clues to help diagnose the probable cause of diagonal foundation cracks
in buildings: From corner towards adjacent opening, wider at top than bottom - often
due to foundation settlement, expansive clay soil, frost damage, or damage
from a shrub/tree close to the wall. Under a ground floor window, from
sill to ground, sill bowed up - often due to foundation heave, clay soil,
frost, shallow or absent footings In the foundation wall anywhere, wider
at bottom than top - settlement under building At building corners in
cold climates - frost heave, frost lensing, shallow footings, water problem,
or insufficient backfill. In a typical raised ranch with a garage located
in part of the basement, and with the garage entering at one end of a
home, we often find step cracks in the front and rear foundation walls
only on the garage-end of the home. These cracks may correspond to some
related observations: (1) there may be less backfill against the front
and rear foundation walls where a garage entry is located between them;
(2) the reduction in backfill combined with an un-heated garage may expose
these building corners to more frost damage; (3) if a building downspout
or gutter defect spills roof drainage against the building wall, these
forces will often combine to make more severe frost cracks appear on the
garage-entry end of the home. Vertical or diagonal crack which over a
short time - settlement over sink holes- serious, open suddenly after
rain; or ravines, mulch, fill, organic debris (later rots and settles).
Over window/door, straight or diagonal - loading/header defect - may appear
as horizontal along top or bottom of header, vertical at ends of header
(possibly due to differences in thermal expansion of different materials
of header vs. wall) or vertical/diagonal at center of header (loading
failure) or at corners (possible point-load failure) Cracks in a poured
concrete foundation which are diagonal or vertical and which are generally
uniform in width,
or which taper to an irregular hairline form, usually in fact a discontinuous
crack in the hairline area, are usually shrinkage cracks and should not
be ongoing nor of structural significance, though they may invite water
entry through the wall.
Horizontal Foundation Cracks Located High on a Foundation Wall Horizontal cracks located in the upper third of a concrete block
wall (presuming most of the wall is below grade) are most likely to have
been caused by vehicle loading or in freezing climates, by surface and
subsurface water combined with frost. In northern climates if we see cracked
mortar joints in the top third of a block wall, at about the same depth
as the frost line in that area the damage is almost certainly due to frost.
Often outside we'll find corroborating evidence such as drip lines
below the building eaves confirming a history of roof spillage against
the building, and back inside we may see that the foundation damage is
occurring only at the building walls below roof eaves and not at the gable
ends of the home.Cold climates- frost, possible displacement inwards Possible
vehicle loading, displacement inwards.
Horizontal Foundation Cracks
Located at Mid-wall Height on a Foundation Masonry block or stone walls which are cracked and/or bulging inwards
at mid height on the wall are likely to have been damaged by vehicle traffic
or earth loading.Possible vehicle loading (look for a driveway near the
wall or site history involving movement of heavy equipment near the wall)
Backfill damage - excessive height or premature backfill before the first-floor
framing was in place. Hillsides - earth loading or earth loading exacerbated
by water or frost Areas of wet soils - likely to be earth loading or earth
loading exacerbated by water or frost.
Horizontal Foundation Cracks Located Low on a Foundation Wall The forces exerted by soils against a foundation wall increase geometrically
as we move from surface level of the soil against the wall to the areas
near the bottom of the wall. In other words, earth pressure is greatest
at the bottom of the wall. This fact helps us distinguish between frost
or water-related cracking and simple earth loading in some cases since
a wall which has become dislocated laterally only at or near its bottom
is likely to have been damaged by earth loading.Earth Loading, especially
if in an area of dense or wet soils Horizontal dislocation of a masonry
block or brick wall may appear first as a crack and then later as horizontal
movement as a wall is pushed inwards by earth or wet soil pressure.
Cracks in a poured concrete foundation which are diagonal or vertical and
which are generally uniform in width,
or which taper to an irregular hairline form and stop entirely, which are
usually discontinuous in the crack's finest or hairline area (the
crack "stops and starts" in the same area), are usually shrinkage
cracks and should not be ongoing nor of structural significance, though
they may invite water entry through the wall.