When it comes to fixing cracks, skip the DIY repair kits and go with epoxy foundation crack repair or polyurethane foam injection. Epoxy and polyurethane injection resins are much more effective at sealing cracks and eliminating water and air leaks from basement walls.

Epoxy vs. polyurethane foundation crack repair

Epoxy foundation crack repair
Epoxy foundation crack repair is used to fuse cracked concrete walls back together, restoring the wall’s structural integrity. This epoxy permanently repairs cracks and creates a bond that becomes stronger than the original wall. Epoxy foundation crack repair is done from the inside of the basement and is completed in just a few hours.

Polyurethane foam injection
Polyurethane foam injection is ideal for filling wider cracks. The polyurethane foams are great for filling voids and sealing gaps around pipes. Polyurethane foam injection is the best way to stop an active foundation wall leak. The expanding foam fills the crack and prevents future water leaks. The water will remain outside the foundation wall and will not be able to get into your home’s basement.

Epoxy foundation crack repair and polyurethane injection are better than DIY crack repair kits

Epoxy foundation crack repair and polyurethane foam injection performed by an experienced foundation repair contractor are the most effective solutions for repairing certain types of wall cracks. They beat -hands down – DIY crack repair kits any day. Epoxy foundation crack repair and polyurethane foam injection are designed to be used by professionals to permanently repair foundation cracks.

Getting your foundation crack repair done right the first time will save you money in the long run. You don’t want to spend money and time fussing around with a DIY crack repair kit only to have your “fix” fail within a few years and possibly make the problem even worse. It’s better to call a professional foundation repair contractor and do the repair correctly the first time.

Read also: Common Foundation Types

What causes foundation cracks?

Foundation cracks are mainly caused by differential settlement. So, what’s differential settlement?

Differential settlement
While a certain amount of uniform settlement is normal, differential settlement is what happens when a foundation settles unevenly into the soil.

differential settlement epp

Foundations weigh a lot, and because of this, they cause the soil under them to compact. This causes settlement. A small amount of uniform settlement – we’re talking fractions of an inch – is normal and to be expected. The amount of uniform settlement depends on various factors, including soil conditions and foundation type.

The problem is differential settlement. Differential settlement occurs when a structure is settling into the soil, but not at the same rate. This uneven settlement stresses the foundation, distorts the frame, and can lead to severe structural damage if it isn’t promptly corrected.

For more information see Structural or Non-Structural? Understanding Foundation Cracks.

Causes of differential settlement
The causes of differential settlement include,

  • Weak soil – Not all soils are strong enough to support something heavy like a foundation. If your home is built atop weak soil, you’ll eventually start to see problems.
  • Soil that wasn’t compacted enough before construction began – Soil needs to be adequately tamped down before anything is built on top of it. If it isn’t properly compacted, the structure could settle unevenly into the soil.
  • Expansive soil – Expansive soils are those that swell as they absorb moisture and shrink when they dry out. Over time, this swelling-shrinking process – which is usually seasonal – causes movement under the foundation, which can lead to differential settlement and structural damage. For more information see How Does A Drain Tile System Work?
  • Weather changes – Let’s say you build a house atop expansive soil during the dry season. When the wet season comes around again, the ground will swell, creating movement under the foundation. When the dry season returns, the soil shrinks, creating movement again. Over time, this can cause foundation damage.
  • Extensive excavation next to the foundation – If your neighbor starts doing heavy excavation, it could destabilize your foundation enough to cause damage.

What if epoxy foundation crack repair or polyurethane foam injection isn’t enough?

If there’s extensive structural damage to your home’s foundation, epoxy foundation crack repair or polyurethane might not be the best repair solution. Other repair solutions include,

Steel resistance piers (also known as push piers)
Steel push piers are the most popular repair technique for homes with severe structural damage. The piers are driven deep down into the load-bearing soil using hydraulic pressure and the building’s weight. Once they’re in place, synchronized hydraulic jacks lift the building back up.

Helical piers
While helical piers are usually used for new construction projects, they’re sometimes used to lift and level an existing home experiencing differential settlement. The piers look something like giant corkscrews and are turned into the soil until they reach the required torque. Synchronized hydraulic jacks then raise the building.

If you have one or more suspicious cracks that might require epoxy foundation crack repair or polyurethane foam injection, and you’re in our service area in Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, and Missouri contact us today for a free inspection and repair estimate.