Water is the main culprit in a major portion of foundation problems. Whether the foundation is of poured concrete, block concrete or stone, continuous water seepage creates cracks which can often be disastrous if ignored.
Cracks due to water seepage are found in the corners of the walls, or where the bricks, stone or concrete slabs join together. If the ground water has enough hydrostatic pressure to allow the water to seep through the foundation, then cracks occur. These cracks begin as small hairline cracks and widen as time passes.
There are two basic methods to repairing foundation leaks at home or in the basement - the urethane injection and the drainage tile repair.
The urethane injection is a comparatively simple process. In this process, the crack is sealed first to prevent any water from oozing out. Holes are then made in the crack and an epoxy resin is injected into the crack. The repair is complete when resin fills the entire crack. Urethane injections cost only a few hundreds of dollars and the time taken for the entire work to the completed won’t stretch beyond a couple of hours. However, the urethane injections can only be applied to small cracks. Also there is the danger of the crack reopening and water seeping in once again.
The drainage tile repair is a lengthy process. First the floor tiles of the affected area are uprooted and a drain tile is fitted. This is then connected to a sump pump or any other legally allowed water removal system. Once this is done, the floor tiles are replaced. This process takes a few days and costs run to thousands of dollars. However, this is a much more permanent method than the injection. One problem may be the malfunctioning of the sump pump. This may cause flooding due to excessive leakage.
Urethane injections are okay if the crack is small, but if the crack has been ignored and has become large and gaping, it is better to repair it using a drainage tile. For larger leaks outside the house, a more extensive method is employed. A trench is dug at the affected place and the drainage tile is replaced if necessary. The trench is then filled – first with coarse gravel to make it more waterproof and then with the soil. This method is used even when dams spring a leak in their foundation.
Repairing foundation leaks is a costly business, but more than that it is a time-consuming and laborious process. However, it is one of those repair works which just cannot be ignored.