Professional Advice: Can You Fix Foundation Cracks from the Inside?

October 29, 2022

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Have you been putting off needed foundation crack repair? If so, it’s vital that you contact a foundation repair contractor right away! Cracks, chips, spalling, and sinking all tend to get worse over time. In turn, what might start as minor fixes can end up becoming expensive issues around your property.

Additionally, foundation damage can affect property values and lead to secondary issues around the home. To prevent this, it’s vital that homeowners understand some basics about foundation crack repair. This includes the best way to address cracks! Check out the difference between interior and exterior crack fixes so you know what’s best for your property.

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Foundation Repair Methods - Fixing Foundation Cracks from the Inside

A contractor can perform interior foundation crack repair, depending on the damage and your home’s construction. On the other hand, they might recommend exterior repairs when needed. Check out a few added details about these repair methods so you know which is right for your home.

Bowing basement wall repair

A contractor can often fix bowing basement walls from the inside. They will usually attach thick carbon fiber straps to those walls. Then, they tighten the straps as needed. In turn, the straps keep walls from bowing further while offering added support.

Most foundation repair companies charge between $300 and $1000 or more per strap installation. Consequently, your basement wall repair costs depend on how many straps they need for repairs. Also, your contractor might recommend waterproofing or other services as well, which add to your cost.

Minor basement leak repair

A homeowner might address minor basement leaks from inside the house. First, clean and dry the affected area thoroughly. Second, mix basement wall patching material, available at any hardware store. Third, apply this mixture as directed, usually with a trowel or other simple tool.

Once completed, you might add a waterproof coating over the basement walls. You can also find these at any hardware store and apply them with paint rollers. These coatings help fill in small cracks and then repel water, protecting basement walls. Some coatings even come with tint or color, for a pop of personality in the space!

Interior concrete slab repair

In some cases, a contractor might offer interior foundation crack repair. He or she will typically remove the flooring and then bore small holes around the cracks or damaged areas. Next, the contractor injects polyurethane or epoxy fillers into those holes and cracks. Also, he or she might use self-leveling compounds, to “float” a sunken foundation back into place.

Once dry, the team will usually sand or otherwise skim that concrete, for a level surface. Lastly, the contractor replaces that disturbed flooring. While this offers efficient repairs for some cracks, it’s not always as effective as exterior fixes.

Exterior foundation repair

For exterior foundation repair, a contractor usually starts by excavating around damaged areas. This gives him or her access to those cracks and other issues. Next, they clean those cracks and might even enlarge them as needed, to make room for patching injections. Also, they might create small openings around the cracks, just like they do with interior patching.

After injecting patching materials, contractors might apply waterproof membranes around a foundation. These membranes keep that concrete dry and strong, protecting that patching from future damage. Also, since they’ve already created excavations, they might recommend installing a French drain or similar system. A French drain collects moisture in the soil and directs it away from the foundation as needed.

Crawl space repair

Crawl space or pier and beam foundation repair is almost always performed outside a home. A contractor might add shimming to brace up damaged piers. A contractor pounds these wedge-shaped pieces between piers and beams, to lift a home and provide support. In some cases, they might outright replace piers and beams.

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Which is Better, Interior or Exterior Foundation Crack Repair?

Interior crack repair requires a contractor to remove flooring. However, this is often less disruptive and easier to repair than outside excavations. On the other hand, exterior repairs allow a contractor to add needed waterproofing. Additionally, they can evaluate a property’s soil and then recommend French drains, sump pumps, better grading, and other fixes.

Neither process is somehow “better” than the other, as both offer pros and cons. In turn, it’s best to let a contractor recommend the right process for your home. He or she can evaluate the damage and note needed fixes. Also, a contractor can discern if waterproofing is necessary for protecting those repairs over time.

How do you fix internal cracks?

There are a few ways to fix internal foundation cracks, but the most common is to inject them with a crack filler. This will help to seal the crack and prevent water from seeping in and damaging the foundation further.

A professional will use epoxy or polyurethane to fill the crack, which will then need to be left to cure for a few hours before being sanded down and painted over. If the cracks are more serious, then it may be necessary to underpin the foundation or carry out some other form of structural repair. Cracks in the foundation of your home can be a serious issue, so it is always best to get them assessed by a professional before trying to fix them yourself.

Should You Fill in Cracks in the Foundation?

If the crack is small (1/4 inch or less), you may not need to fill it at all. A small crack is unlikely to affect the strength or performance of your foundation.

If the crack is bigger than 1/4 inch, you should probably fill it. Bigger cracks can let in water, which can lead to bigger problems like mold, rot, and structural damage.

You can fill cracks in your foundation with hydraulic cement, epoxy, or polyurethane. Make sure to consult a professional before doing any work on your foundation.

How Do You Know When It’s Time for Foundation Crack Repair?

Moisture seeping into a home through those cracks is a sure sign of needed foundation repair! You might notice damp concrete floors or mildew underneath carpeting. Also, don’t overlook musty odors in basements or other interior spaces.

Cracked foundations also let a home settle and sink, which then risks damage to solid surfaces. Consequently, wall and ceiling cracks or buckled floors often mean that it’s time for foundation fixes. These cracks can also appear along the home’s roof, porches, and other exterior areas connected to the home.

Additionally, a settling and sinking home can mean structural framing damage, especially along the floors. As a result, you might notice soft or spongy flooring under foot, or squeaks and other noises when you walk on the floors. Tiles might pull out of place or away from their underlying grout as well.

Above all, regular foundation inspections can spot signs of needed repairs. A contractor can check basement walls or exposed concrete and note if framing is level and even. They can also look for cracks and other signs that it’s time for foundation fixes under your home!

Kansas City Foundation Repair Specialists is happy to provide this information about foundation crack repair to our readers. We hope you'll call us when you need to fix foundation cracks from the inside. If you think it’s time for expert services on your property, call our Kansas City foundation repair contractors. We offer FREE inspections and price quotes, and full-scale fixes. To find out more or to get your property started, use our contact form or just give us a call.


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