Basement Wall Cracks:Break Out the Caulk Right?

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014 by Mark Ferrell

Basements walls crack and settle. Cracks in mortar joints are normal and usually stop on their own, right? Wrong!!

A common basement myth goes something like this: All basement walls crack and settle, just fill the cracks with caulk and paint it!!!

If that was really the case, then there wouldn’t be anything wrong with filling the cracks with your favorite brand and color of caulk? The truth is, there are many different reasons that basement walls crack and settle. Some of the most common reason are: Soil pressures on the wall, thermal changes in the soil and concrete, settling of the footing, uneven loading of the structure, drying and shrinkage and soil shrinkage in the dry season.

With all of the different forces working against a basement foundation, you can probably imagine that there are many options available to help stabilize and prevent further movement. One of the longest and ongoing debates in the concrete repair industry is which type of material should be used to repair cracks in basement walls.

Understanding the type of cracking is crucial in a successful repair of a basement wall. For instance: If a control joint is designed, you must honor the control joint as such. In this case you would choose an elongation material. One common misconception is that all cracks are moving, so we should allow for this movement, so let’s fill it with caulk!! WRONG!!!

What are my real options? Epoxy crack injection became less expensive with the introduction of some easier to use systems such as dual cartridges, dual dispensing guns, etc. Every contractor around began starting to use some type of epoxy to fill the cracks. Very few crack repairs fail immediately, most are long term creep and fatigue of the material over time. This allows for the contractor to safely offer a 2 or 3 year warranty.

The Fortress Carbon Fiber Countersunk Staples, epoxies alone cannot guarantee that further movement of a basement wall is arrested. The crack may reoccur in the same area without further stabilization. By installing the Fortress carbon fiber countersunk staples across the face of the crack along with epoxy crack injection, the load is distributed away from the glue line to the portion of the substrate that is not cracked, thus preventing fatigue and re-cracking at the injection glue line. With Fortress carbon fiber countersunk staples installed you can be confident the crack will not reoccur and the repair will last the life of your home. Carbon fiber has a tensile strength 10 times stronger than steel and has proven to be safer and more effective in structural repairs. Alford Home Solutions offers a fully transferable lifetime warranty on the Fortress Carbon Fiber Countersunk Staple system. That is only one out of many cutting edge foundation repair solutions that we can offer.

Put away the caulk gun and give us a call today. We provide a complete inspection and written repair design at no charge. Alford Home Solution’s Solution Specialists will provide you with the education and best suited repair solutions available for your individual needs. Give us a call today!!!!


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Alford Home Solutions
6316 MacCorkle Ave SW
St. Albans, WV 25177