Foundation Problem - Posted by Tim

Posted by Killer Joe on October 24, 2005 at 23:59:25:

Hi Tim,

If the crack has the ability to pass water all the way to it’s lowest point, sealing off the upper half will still lead to a wet basment. The pressure is greatest at the bottom. Your foundation guy is aware of this.

As a side note, a vertical crack is usually less indicative of major foundation damage than a horizontal one. Horizontal cracks can be caused by pressure from the surrounding earth, coupled with water, that allows the hydraulic effect to make the wall creep over time. This can cause major headaches, not just water damage.

Is this a block foundation or poured concrete? If the wall is poured concrete there are expanding foams that are designed to correct the problem, if the wall is block you have a different problem. The best way to seal a block wall is to fix the problem from the exterior side. Sorry.

You are correct in addressing the drainage slope near the building. However, the water will need to drain to an area that is far enough away from the walls such that the ‘new’ pooling spot, if there is one, will not become a source for continued leaks. Distance is your friend. A lot depends on the soil type. Clay is your friend, sand can be a sieve.

As far as the tarring goes, tar becomes rigid over time. If the underlying crack is not filled a similar crack will soon form in the tar as well. Some fiberglass mesh imbedded in the tar will help greatly. If you can clean out the crack, and the foundation is stable, ie not spreading (unlikely), and you can pack the crack with tar the fix should last for years. HTH


Foundation Problem - Posted by Tim

Posted by Tim on October 24, 2005 at 22:53:52:

I have a property will a full basement that tends to leak. The tenants don’t use the basement at all, but they’re not crazy about having to clean up water after a heavy rain. They’re really good tenants, and I want to keep them happy.

I had a foundation repair guy look at, and he told me that he couldn’t guarantee his work because he doesn’t have full access to the crack.

It’s a small vertical crack, and it only leaks a little bit during heavy rains. I was planning to add some dirt around the foundation to help with drainage. I was thinking about digging down a couple of feet where the crack is, and coating it with some tar to keep out the water. I’d let it dry before filling the dirt back in.

It seems like this technique may work. Does anybody have any experience with this? Thanks.

Re: Foundation Problem - Posted by Rob

Posted by Rob on October 25, 2005 at 15:53:50:

In addition to the great comments, check your gutters as well and make sure they are clean and flowing properly. Clean gutters are your friend also.

Re: Foundation Problem - Posted by pboone

Posted by pboone on October 25, 2005 at 07:10:17:

Depending on how long you intend to hold the property will determine the repair.
Long hold - Repair crack and waterproof
short hold - waterproof w/ a xypex type product