At a rental house we own, our tenant informed us that he found some wet in the basement. Of course those are dreaded words to any homeowner especially if you have a finished basement.
After inspection of the area, it was decided we needed to get everything off the wall and floor that could go mouldy. We removed the wallboard and some framing to discover that there was in fact, a long vertical crack in the poured basement foundation wall. This house was built in the 70s, so not sure when this occurred.
This was causing a leak when it rained or thawed that would travel down and along the bottom of the wall creating a mess.
So after much research we discovered a few products on the market that would fill the crack rather than just sit on the surface. We needed something strong as it would be almost impossible to dig up the front yard in the middle of a nasty cold winter and it would the front yard.
You can repair this yourself if you can spare a few hours. We felt it was worth a try before calling in the professionals. It worked well and saved us a bundle of money.
Amazon Price: $135.00 Buy Now
(price as of Feb 12, 2014)
Step 1 – Purchase a kit for injecting basement wall cracks. Make sure you purchase enough product for the size of crack you are filling. Quickly measure it and then head to the hardware store or purchase online. There are a few different companies that produce these kits, so it all depends on what your local store carries, or purchase online ahead of time.
You will need a good caulking gun that can take a little bit of pressure as well as lots of disposable gloves as you don’t want any of this on your skin and a spray bottle to fill with clean water.
Step 2 – Clean the area. We used a wire brush to get rid of loose bits of flaking concrete and dirt and dust. We then took an industrial vacuum to the crack to get out loose debris. The surface product will not stick if there is a lot of dirt, dust and debris.
Step 3 – Follow instructions for installing the “ports” I thought this was a really cool way to deliver the product right into the crack. Basically you will temporarily seal the surface to create an area for the product to get into and stay in. This way it doesn’t simply pour back out into the basement.
Step 4 – Once you have your removable surface product on the wall with all the ports in place (usually about every 8 – 10 inches.) let it sit for a good hour or two. Go and have a coffee or something!
One note here, make sure you don’t use too much product to attach these ports to the wall or you may block them. The idea is to have these ports right over the crack so that the material will go straight in, so make sure you center it over the area to be injected.
Step 5 – Following the instructions, you will need to get some water into the ports to wet the basement wall crack on the inside and the ports making it easier for the material to get inside.
Once you have done that, then attach the included little hose to the bottom port. I remember thinking this was a weird place to start, as my own inclination would be to start at the top maybe? But by starting at the bottom and slowing pumping the material through that first port it will fill in the crack to the floor then work its way back up and past where you are to the next port up filling in all crevices along the way. So the first one may take a little longer to fill.
Step 6 – Be ready with the caps for these little ports or nozzles. As soon as you see the material coming out of the nozzle directly above the one you are working on, then take a cap and cap off that first one, then quickly go to that next one and start pumping again.
You do this all the way up the wall until you get to that very top port. You need to be patient with this step and it would be good if you could have a helper to monitor when the product has filled the space and is coming out the port. They could also be responsible for capping off each nozzle.
The video below will help to describe how to do this is more detail.
Step 7 – Once set you can simply remove the temporary surface and nozzles and your basement wall crack repair will be complete.
This product works well for any part of the basement that is under ground. If there is a crack right up to the next floor, it would be wise to seal any part above grade on the outside with sealer designed for outside. You can get sprays that work well for this.
Our basement crack was below grade and had been seeping water for a while but no one had noticed until we had a bit of a thaw. As hard as it can be to throw things away, the most important step here is to remove any wet building materials so that mold does not develop.
The crack seals best when things are dry.
We have found this to be an effective way to repair the basement wall crack so that it is strong and will resist any more water by actually filling in the gap with strong materials instead of just pasting something on the surface.
It is well worth the time it will take to do this. In the video they show a perfect repair, but don’t be afraid if some of the urethane oozes out as it can be hard to make sure the surface material doesn’t have any little holes.
But this type of system of getting the product right into the basement crack, worked well in our basement. We wanted to be ready for that big spring thaw that will be here soon.