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Repairing Shrinkage Cracks In A Poured Concrete Foundation Wall

concrete repair epoxy
concrete repair epoxy
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ByMariel McClung
Table of Contents

Are you searching for information on what to do about shrinkage cracks in your home’s poured concrete foundation wall? If so, this article has what you need. You’ll learn what shrinkage cracks are, what causes them, repair options, how you can help prevent them, and more.

What Are Concrete Shrinkage Cracks?

Concrete shrinkage cracks are a common issue observed in poured concrete foundation walls.

Concrete shrinkage cracks are a common issue observed in poured concrete foundation walls. When concrete is poured, it undergoes a process of hydration and curing, which leads to the hardening and setting of the concrete. During this process, water evaporates from the concrete, leading to a reduction in volume, also known as shrinkage. The shrinkage of the concrete may cause the concrete to crack, resulting in the formation of concrete shrinkage cracks. We’ll talk more about the causes of shrinkage cracks in just a bit.

Concrete shrinkage cracks generally appear within the first few days or weeks after pouring the concrete and are typically smaller than other types of cracks that may occur in a concrete foundation. While they aren’t structurally significant, they can allow water to infiltrate through a foundation wall.

The most effective way to prevent concrete shrinkage cracks is to ensure the concrete is properly cured. This involves keeping the concrete moist during the curing process and controlling the ambient temperature and humidity.

Additionally, the use of shrinkage-reducing admixtures or reinforcing agents can help mitigate the effects of shrinkage and reduce the likelihood of cracking.

What Causes Shrinkage Cracks In A Concrete Foundation Wall?

As concrete dries and cures (i.e., hardens), it undergoes a natural shrinkage process due to moisture loss. This shrinkage can lead to the formation of cracks in the concrete, which can be exacerbated by various factors, including the quality of the concrete mix, the ambient temperature and humidity, and the curing conditions.

In particular, poor-quality concrete mixtures with insufficient cement or too much water are more prone to shrinkage cracks. High temperatures and low humidity can also accelerate the drying process, leading to more significant shrinkage and cracking. Finally, improper curing conditions, such as inadequate moisture levels or insufficient curing time, can also contribute to the development of shrinkage cracks.

Why It’s Good To Seal Concrete Shrinkage Cracks

As noted above, while concrete shrinkage cracks aren’t a threat to your home’s structural integrity, they can lead to water intrusion through a foundation wall and into a crawl space or basement. Therefore, they should be sealed so moisture can’t seep into your property, creating an ideal environment for mold growth.

Sealing shrinkage cracks can also enhance the longevity and durability of the foundation wall. By preventing moisture from entering through the wall, you reduce the risk of corrosion and degradation of internal components, such as steel reinforcement bars, which can weaken the load-bearing capacity of the wall.

Using Epoxy To Repair A Shrinkage Crack In A Concrete Foundation Wall

Epoxy crack injection is a common technique used to repair shrinkage cracks in poured concrete foundation walls.

Epoxy crack injection is a common technique used to repair shrinkage cracks in poured concrete foundation walls. This process involves injecting an epoxy resin into the cracks, which then hardens and fills the cracks, providing a seamless surface that is both strong and durable.

The process involves drilling small holes along the crack and injecting the epoxy resin into the crack with a special injection gun. The epoxy resin then fills the crack and hardens, creating a strong, seamless repair.

The benefits of using epoxy crack injection for repairing shrinkage cracks in poured concrete foundation walls are numerous. This technique is:

  • Cost-effective
  • Long-lasting
  • It can be completed quickly, minimizing the disruption to the building’s occupants.

Additionally, epoxy is resistant to moisture, chemicals, and abrasion, so that it can withstand the harsh conditions often accompanying foundation walls.

Importance Of Good Drainage To Prevent Leaks And Foundation Damage

While shrinkage cracks in a poured concrete foundation wall should be sealed to prevent water intrusion, there are some other things you should do to ensure the ground around the foundation isn’t saturated with water. These include the following:

Importance Of Good Drainage To Prevent Leaks And Foundation Damage

  • If necessary, regrade your yard so it slopes away from the house. A yard that slopes toward the house can lead to excess moisture accumulation around the foundation.
  • Use downspout extensions to channel water away from the foundation before release.
  • Clean your gutters regularly to ensure they’re not clogged with debris. This will ensure runoff flows into the downspouts and away from the foundation.
  • Installing a drain tile system is another effective solution to help prevent foundation problems. Drain tile systems work by diverting excess groundwater away from the foundation. As a result, this reduces the moisture level in the ground and water pressure on the foundation, thereby minimizing the risk of foundation problems.
  • Keeping trees far away from the foundation is another preventive measure to undertake. Tree roots can penetrate the ground under the foundation and cause a lot of damage.

If you’re concerned about a crack in your concrete foundation wall, contact AMC911 today to schedule a free inspection and receive a repair estimate.

WRITTEN BY

Mariel McClung

Mariel McClung is AMC911’s Vice President and full-time mother. Mariel studied Marketing at The College of William & Mary and is the operational brain behind AMC911.
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