Friday, November 13, 2009

How to Repair Foundation Cracks

One of the tasks you should perform each fall is to inspect your exterior walls and foundation for cracks and then fill any noticeable cracks. This not only prevents critters or insects from entering your home but it also protects against water seepage. I noticed some moisture in the basement on the Southeast wall of my home. Upon closer inspection outside I noticed some cracks from where the foundation shifted that needed to be addressed. Don't be too alarmed - foundations in the Midwest where the ground experiences extreme freezing and thawing are prone to shifting, causing small cracks. If you notice large cracks, however, you should have an expert (such as a structural engineer) take a closer look.

This weekend was perfect for the project since it was going to be in the low 60s and rain wasn't in the forecast until the following weekend.
  1. I made a trip to Home Depot where I bought a tube of DAP Concrete and Mortar Filler and Sealant for driveways, sidewalks, foundations, and patios after speaking with their experts. This is flexible, watertight, paintable and cleans up with water so it seemed like a logical choice. The tube says it is ideal for sealing above-ground foundations and it adheres to cinder block so I'm hopeful that it works.
  2. I removed loose, damaged concrete from the surface before washing the foundation and letting it dry.
  3. I then trimmed the nozzle of the sealant and loaded the cartridge in the caulking gun.
  4. The fun step is to fill the cracks with the sealant. I found that even after I stopped squeezing the gun's trigger, sealant still came out so I had to guess when to stop squeezing before I got to the end of the next crack.
  5. You don't have to do this step but I wanted to make sure the sealant was in all the nooks of the crack since the surface is textured, so I used a paper towel to lightly spread the sealant around the crack.
  6. The final step would be to paint the foundation before my plants come up in the spring. Unless we happen to have another week of warm weather, in which case I can paint the foundation sooner but who am I kidding, I live in Michigan.
That's all there is to it. I went around the house and filled any other cracks I came upon since I seem to have an insect problem in the basement; meaning, I vacuum the spider webs and they still come back so they must be coming in from outside. I think the stoop by the side door is the main culprit!
Have you used this (or another) product to seal cracks around your home? Who else loves using the caulk gun?

1 comment:

  1. J did this at our house this weekend.
    I was jealous that he got to use the caulk gun :)


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