Most residential basements are built using concrete and are partially to fully below grade. As the soil around and under the basement begins to shift and settle, the concrete walls can crack. These cracks can simply be cosmetic or they can be the start of a larger problem. Large cracks that run vertical along a basement wall can indicate problems with the entire wall and will require more than a simple patch. If the crack is smaller and runs horizontal or is stair-step, then a simple do it yourself patch can be applied.
Basement Wall Crack Repair Procedure
The basement wall cracks can be fixed by following some simple steps. The steps are described briefly below.
Step 1: Choosing the Product
There are several products on the market that are great for patching concrete and masonry walls. It is suggested to use an epoxy injection system for basement wall crack repair called a Liquid Concrete Repair Kit which costs about $60.
Step 2: Clean the Crack
Make sure the crack is dry. Then scrub the crack with a wire brush to remove any dirt and grime. Make sure any loose paint or materials are removed.
Step 3: Put Injection Ports in the Wall
Using three inch finishing nails, tap them partway into the crack spacing them 12 inches apart. These will be used to align the injection ports within the crack.
Step 4: Mix the Sealer
Following the directions on the container, mix the sealer. Generally, you will mix small batches so that the patch does not dry before if can be used.
Step 5: Insert the InjectionPort
On the base of the injection port, spread some sealer making sure to not stop up the hole. Slide the ports over the nails and press into the wall.
Step 6: Spread the Sealer
Using a putty knife or a trowel, spread the sealer about 1/8 inch thick and about 1 inch on either side of the crack. Cover the entire flange of the injection port so that only the neck portion is showing. Smooth the sealer and then feather the edges with a paintbrush dipped in mineral spirits to ensure a fine seal.
Step 7: Insert Epoxy
After the crack sealer has dried for six to ten hours, mix the epoxy. Place the epoxy cartridge into a caulk gun and starting at the lowest part inject the epoxy into the crack. Fill the port until epoxy begins to come out of the port directly above it.
Step 8 Seal and CutInjectionPorts
Remember to seal the port after injecting the epoxy. Once the epoxy has cured for five days, cut the necks of the ports with a hacksaw and then patch the ports with crack sealer.