LESLIE: Now we’re heading out to Arizona where Rich has a foundation question. What can we do for you today?
RICH: We pulled up some carpet in a back room and upon pulling up the carpet, we discovered that we have about a 1-inch crack that runs full width of the room. And it’s about a 15x15 room. And we were wondering why that one door that we have that goes off into a spare bathroom – why it stops shutting so clean. So when we pulled up the carpet, we discovered that, yes, we’ve got a crack problem. And it’s about 1-inch wide and I want to know – and it’s as deep as far as the foundation, I think, the slab goes. I want to know how I should fill that in or what would be the proper thing to do.
TOM: Well, first of all, we want to determine if it’s an active crack or not. And the fact that you had a door that seemed to work properly and then stopped working properly could indicate that it’s active. Do you get the sense that this crack is fresh or do you think it’s something that’s been there for a really long time?
RICH: I think that it started out small and I think over the last 10 years, it’s maybe – because I’ve been there just over 10 years and I believe that just within about the last, oh, maybe 3 years that the door started shutting kind of stiff.
But anyway, I don’t think it has been all that active but I do think that it’s definitely progressed a little bit since I’ve moved in.
TOM: So what you’re going to do is clean it out and then you’re going to repair it with – a flowable urethane material is good. And with the urethane, what you’ll put in there first is a material called “backer rod,” which is like a 1-inch – you would get like a 1- to 1½-inch-diameter foam tube. It’s called “backer rod.” And you press it in there to that crack and then you leave it about an inch below – not an inch – about a ¼-inch below the surface. Then you fill the top of it with a flowable urethane and that will expand and contract with the crack.
RICH: OK. That’s exactly what I was kind of hoping. Because I don’t think it’s going to be something I’ll be able to do from the outside of the house to maybe – to push the foundation up. Because on the outside, the house looks good.
TOM: No, it’s a one-way street of cracks.
RICH: Yeah. So we …
TOM: And you can’t patch it with more concrete, because it would just crack.
RICH: Yeah. So, now, when I do that, of course that’ll take care of the visibility of the crack. What can I do to relevel the floor? Because it is quite evident. When you’re off in the hallway and you look into this room, you can definitely see there is a – the floor isn’t level, from the crack over to the wall.
TOM: Well, you could – there’s a product called “leveling compound” that you can pour on top of the old floor. And you can work it and level the whole thing out. We use it a lot under tile, where you can’t have a tile floor that bends or twists or anything. But it’s a pretty big job and if you’re going to put carpet down, are you really going to see it?
RICH: Well, no. I’m thinking maybe I’ll put a different kind of flooring down.
TOM: Alright. Well, then maybe you’ll want to consider it. It’s just called “leveling compound” and you’ll find it in home centers, you’ll find it online. And it takes a little practice to get it to flow out properly. But follow the label directions, start in a small area until you’re good at it and you’ll find it should be able to level it out quite nicely.
RICH: Boy, I think I’ve got it. I sure appreciate you. Thank you for the advice.
TOM: You’re very welcome, Rich. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.