Repairing Basement Floor Cracks

Repairing basement floor cracks is a job that can be done by yourself without having to hire an expensive professional. Cracks in concrete flooring are a natural occurrence. They can appear as the concrete starts to dry and are considered a normal part of the drying process.

The concrete starts to shrink as it dries. This shrinking produces stress that is released by cracking. Contractors know this and place steel reinforced bars throughout to insure the strength of the concrete. If extra water was added to the concrete mix to make spreading easier, more cracks are likely to appear. The proper preparation of the ground underneath the concrete is an important step to minimize cracking when pouring the foundation.

Water can enter the basement once cracks appear. Even if water is not leaking through the crack, it will, given time, so you should repair all of them. This will also help maintain the integrity of the basement floor. The area around the crack and the crack itself should first be cleared of all dirt, debris and oil. For hairline cracks, cleaning in this manner should be sufficient.

For larger cracks you should chisel out all loose concrete and then use a circular saw with a diamond blade and cut a dove tail groove on either side of the crack. Then follow with cleaning.

You may need to insert a foam backer rod, available in home improvement stores, to fill a large crack which contains a void. A layer of concrete sealer can be applied before the application of crack filler. In cases of tiny, hairline cracks several applications of concrete sealer may be sufficient to permanently fix the crack.

Polyurethane Foam

Polyurethane foam injection is done from the inside of your basement. The polyurethane foam enters the cracks in a liquid form. When it meets water that is in the basement cracks, the liquid polyurethane reacts and starts to foam inside the cracks. The foaming action greatly increases the volume of the polyurethane.

When applied to the length of the crack, the polyurethane foam will fill the foundation cracks from top to bottom and end to end. Polyurethane foam can be used for any size crack that is big enough to hold water.

Once hardened, it can be painted to match the rest of the floor. It can also be purchased in many colors and shades.

Hydraulic Cement

Hydraulic cement comes in a dry powder form. You simply add water according to the manufacturer’s directions, mix it up, and apply it to the crack. Hydraulic cement expands when it dries. This is the opposite of foundation cement.

As we know concrete shrinks as it dries. The expansion of the hydraulic cement does not produce further stress on the cement crack. Instead it expands to fill the crack helps to waterproof it. It is quick setting. Only mix as much as you can use in about 10 minutes at a time. Remember that hydraulic cement is not a permanent fix and will need to be replaced as it wears.

Water Leakage

Even if the cracks in your basement flooring are not creating any visible moisture problems yet, they will. It is important to treat leaking cracks right away but also important to treat the cracks that appear dry.

In actuality those dry looking cracks allow excessive moisture into your basement increasing mold and mildew growth. To maintain the structural soundness of you basement floor and house’s foundation you should fix those cracks as soon as you can.