When it comes to concrete, fractures are inevitable. Even when you did everything well, many factors affect the appearance of cracks on concrete surfaces. Primarily, they occur due to soil movement, high loads, temperature changes, and so on.
The appearance of cracks on the walls is not just an aesthetic problem. If these gaps appear on the concrete surfaces within the basement, they can put the whole house at risk. Basement, given the location within your home, is part of its foundation. If things are not right down there, the entire structure of the house will be unstable.
The rule that experienced contractors adhere to is that any cracks should be repaired. Whether it is a cosmetic issue or one that causes more troubles, you must have a specific budget to fix them. You’ll need professional help to determine the type of bursts and suggest the repair method.
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Any hole in the wall will become a problem at some point. If not fixed in time, these gaps can only spread. Over time, the water will enter the construction of your home. Since these deep bursts endanger the structure, leave the repair to professionals.
The most severe gaps in the walls are caused by a load that exceeds the strength of the material. They are the result of a structural error and are recognizable by their great length (they can extend along with the entire building). These gaps are usually horizontal. Also, they include fissures wider than one-quarter of an inch.
Result of Ground Movements
Severe cracks in the basement occur due to subsidence of the building. This phenomenon occurs in houses built on underwater soil, where groundwater causes landslides. Also, it’s common in older houses and buildings. The water softens the ground, and the foundations begin to sink. The results are diagonal and stepped cracks on the walls.
Repairing the basement wall, in this case, is critical. But before you start, check if wall bursts are expanding. If not, begin sealing the gaps. One of the most widely used materials to treat these gaps is epoxy. How to use the sealant, find out .
If the gaps are getting bigger, the foundation and the surrounding terrain must be strengthened. Since ground movements cannot be stopped, you will need reinforced sealant. Experts usually recommend the use of carbon fibre straps. These will prevent the cracks from expanding.
These spots can be especially problematic if water leaks out of them. The water leakage problem is not something you can solve with an extra layer of concrete. Experts suggest urgent repair of these cracks using caulk compatible with concrete.
If there is a problem with water leakage in the basement or anywhere in the house, it is necessary to solve it first and then start sealing the gaps. Materials for the prevention of freezing or the appearance of mould and mildew in the treated areas are often necessary.
The second problem that can occur on the wall of your basement is not as problematic as structural gaps. Cosmetic cracks can be solved in an easier way. They do not have too much impact on the construction of the building itself. But they might become a problem if you don’t react on time.
These surface bursts occur due to moisture inside the concrete, temperature changes, age, and even due to vegetation. Temperature swings affect the change in humidity of concrete. This material needs moisture due to ‘ripening’ and gradual hardening.
The funny thing is that wetting the concrete should prevent cracks. But, due to too much water within the concrete or significant temperature changes in the short term, these cracks occur. They are easy to spot – you can see them near doors and windows.
Non-structural bursts appear on the surface of the wall. They are usually vertical and much narrower and shallower than structural cracks. Sometimes they look like a spider web. You may notice traces of moisture around them.
Solving This Issue
The solution for non-structural gaps is the use of a sealant like the urethane. If you don’t have this sealant, try the DIY method, as a first-aid – mix water with caulk compatible with concrete, and seal the cracks. Apply this mixture with the injection method. Keep in mind that it’s just a temporary solution until you hire foundation experts.
While cosmetic cracks don’t pose a threat to your home, you need to address them as soon as they arise. Over time, moisture can begin to penetrate your basement. That will contribute to the formation of mould and further deterioration of the walls.
The appearance of superficial burst on concrete can be prevented in several ways. One of them is basement waterproofing but only if the cracks are not already there. Installing quality insulation will spare you moisture. It will also maintain the temperature in the room approximately all year round, and mitigate external influences.
Regular maintenance and timely repair of all faults will enable you a quality life in a comfortable home. Cracks on the basemen’s wall can make a big problem, so big that it can jeopardize the structural integrity of your living place. Although it is possible to fix them yourself, it is not a long-term solution. To solve these problems for real, you need professionals.