If you’re a typical homeowner in the Chicago area, your home has a basement and its walls are formed of poured concrete. Poured concrete foundations are very common in the city and suburbs, preferred by many homebuilders for their strength and ability to withstand pressure.
Poured foundations are great but they are subject to a problem that can cause basement seepage and that’s cracking. We’re not talking about structural cracking; that’s a whole different story and requires structural foundation repair. These are minor cracks that don’t endanger your foundation but can lead to water in your basement.
Back in the early days of the basement waterproofing business, seeping wall cracks were repaired from the outside by digging a hole at the site of the crack and filling it with material that hardened against the wall and sealed the crack.
These were pretty good methods of crack repair and some versions of them are still used today when interior repair is just not possible. However, technology has marched on and there is now a better method, interior crack injection.
Whenever possible, a modern basement waterproofing company seals seeping foundation cracks by injecting them from inside the basement or crawl space. For a long time, the material of choice for these injections was epoxy, a two-part filler that dried rock hard. Although it is still a good material when cracks are being injected as part of structural foundation repair, epoxy has largely been replaced by expanding polyurethane.
Polyurethane has several advantages over epoxy – it expands to fill the entire crack all the way to the outside of the wall, can be used when water is present and remains flexible when set so it doesn’t crack when minor wall movement occurs. Filling the crack all the way to the outside soil is particularly important because when the urethane expands outside the foundation wall it creates the same type of “positive side” seal on the crack that used to be available only from the old exterior method described earlier.
To inject a crack, the basement waterproofing technician first cleans the crack of any loose materials and sets a number of injection ports into the crack at intervals. He then applies a surface sealer to the wall to hold the urethane sealant inside the crack until it sets. He then injects the urethane sealant through each port until the crack is completely filled.
Most basement waterproofing companies offer a lifetime warranty on crack repair done with expanding polyurethane.
So, if you notice water seeping through cracks in your basement walls it sounds like crack injection is in your future. At U.S. Waterproofing, we pioneered the use of polyurethane in the Chicago area and many thousands of our 300,000 satisfied customers have taken advantage of our expertise in crack repair to enjoy dry basements. Why not ask for a free consultation?
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