Protect Yourselves from the Different Types of Foundation Wall Damages

Cracks found on a foundation wall

As you know, a home’s foundation is what keeps the building from sinking and/or crumbling to the ground. However, like most structures – be it residential or commercial – a building’s foundation will eventually wear out. Now, what causes this area to weaken can be triggered by its age, natural disasters – such as floods and earthquakes – and improper installation methods, and if their damages were not promptly taken care of, chances are that its condition will worsen and everything it is holding up will come crashing down. Thankfully, you can protect yourselves and your property from these events, by repairing these damages immediately.

Types of Damages and How to Repair Them

There are some types of damages that can be resolved through do it yourself methods, but before you resort to this option you will need to be prepared. Each type demands a certain set of tools and follows a very specific process, so do not stray away from their steps.

Safety First

Before you begin any kind of repairs, it always pays to be prepared. You will need the following gear, to make your task not only successful but safe as well.

  • Gloves
  • Protective glasses
  • Safety mask
  • Helmet (optional)
  • Cracks

One of the most common types of damages you will see on the walls of your foundations is cracks. Do not belittle these crevices because they are the sources of water and air leaks. To repair these damages you will first need to determine the size of the cracks.

Tools you’ll need:

  • Chisel (slim)
  • Sledgehammer (small)
  • Concrete patch
  • Trowel (pointed)
  • Caulk and caulking gun (if the gaps are greater than ¼ of an inch and are not structural)

Step 1: If the crack is wider than 1/8 of an inch, use the sledgehammer and a cold chisel to chip away the excess material surrounding. If it is bigger than 1/4 of an inch and are not structural however, pump a latex caulk that contains silicone or polyurethane. If you chose the latter method, remember to slightly spray the area twice a week for a week to help it cure and prevent it from developing more cracks.

Step 2: Mix the dry patch powder with latex. Using latex will give the product an added elasticity and adhesion. It is also good to remember to mix only a small amount of paint at a time because this product is known to dry pretty quickly.

Step 3: Wet the damaged area with water before adding the mixed patch on its surface.

Step 4: Remove the excess paste and create a smooth and uniform finish by using the trowel.

Pro tip: Once you are don patching up the crack, immediately clean up your tools and buckets so that the patching material won’t dry and harden on them.

Loose Bricks/Blocks

The most cited upon cause of a loose brick or block is a cracked mortar. Over time, this material deteriorates and if it is not repaired correctly, it will weaken your foundation’s structure and encourage to enter.

Tools You’ll Need

  • Chisel (slim)
  • Hammer
  • Mortar: premixed or homemade (one part masonry cement to three parts fine sand)
  • Brush
  • Acrylic or silicone masonry sealer

Step 1: Use the hammer and the cold chisel and begin to chip away the cracked and lose mortar. You then remove the existing material to a depth of ½ inch (approximately).

Step 2: Prepare your mortar by adding enough water to create a paste-like substance that shares the same consistency of oatmeal. Make it set for about five minutes before using it. It is always best to keep it in the dry side because if it is too wet, it will run down that wall – making it difficult to use.

Step 3: Remove the remaining particles by brushing the joints with fresh water. This will allow the mortar mixture to set correctly and prevents the old mortar from drawing out all the moisture from the new one.

Step 4: You may now apply the mortar by using the trowel. Remember to force the mortar into the vertical joints first and remove the excess. This will create a smoother and more uniformed finish.

Step 5: After the new mortar has set, wait for a week or two before you apply a coat of high quality acrylic or silicone masonry sealer, to prevent the cracks from expanding during the colder seasons of the year.

Leaks

Leaks – most especially water leaks – can bring an unforeseen danger that does not only affect your foundation’s structure, but to your health as well. Moisture protruding through the walls can lead to mold and mildew buildup which, in the future, can cause some of the most hazardous respiratory and skin related diseases and illnesses. To begin repairing the leaks of your foundation, you have to look for the cracks that are showing a bit of moisture.

Tools You’ll Need

  • Epoxy resin/ Concrete
  • Air pump
  • Shovel
  • Outdoor Adhesive
  • Plastic sheets
  • Wire brush

Step 1: With the shovel, dig 30cm around your foundation and shovel some soil against it to create a slope. Dot be afraid to create shaper slopes because the sharper it is the better.

Step 2: Begin laying the plastic sheets from your foundation outwards. Attach these sheets to the foundation with an outdoor adhesive and then let it dry. After this, it is recommended to place soil with a high clay content over the plastic sheets, to prevent the water from reaching the foundation. Do not worry, the slopes you have created earlier will divert the water away from your foundation.

Step 3: Water infiltration will show you the location of the cracks that leads to leaks. Once they have been exposed, use the wire brush and air pump to have them cleaned. This is an important step because if the crack still has obstructions within its space, the filing will not hold. If the size of the crack is small us the epoxy resin; but if the cracks are larger, use concrete. Always follow the instructions of your chosen product, to get the perfect ratio.

If you are facing an impossible situation that needs to be mended by a professional hand, contact Foundation Rescue Team, today! Our team of independently owned foundation and structural repair contractors are certified and dedicated to repair all types of structural damages, which includes:

Interested? Call us at: 844-338-5311 or visit our contact page here.