How to Fix Crack in Foundation

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    Crack in a cinder block building foundation. earthquake
  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Kamar in Delaware, you’ve got The Money Pit. What can we do for you today?

    KAMAR: I have a brand-new home, just three months old. And I see a crack from outside, in the foundation. And when it rains, I’m seeing, in the basement, some water leaking, also.

    TOM: It’s two separate problems, Kamar, or is this the same? Is the leaking coming through the crack?

    KAMAR: It’s the same. It’s a yes. Looks like it’s from the – just below that, only I can see the water in the basement.

    TOM: OK. And what kind of foundation is it? Poured concrete? Concrete block? What?

    KAMAR: It’s a concrete.

    TOM: Poured concrete? OK.

    KAMAR: Mm-hmm.

    TOM: So, cracks are not unusual in new foundations. There’s a lot of settlement that goes on in the first few years of a home. And very often, cracks will form. And so, I wouldn’t be too worried about the fact that you had a crack. I would seal it. I would use a concrete caulk: in other words, caulk that’s specifically designed for concrete. QUIKRETE makes a number of these products. It’s going to adhere well and keep the water out. Now, you could do this inside or outside. I’d probably do both sides of the crack. And you could choose a clear or a color that matches the concrete so it won’t be too obvious. But I would simply seal that up. When you get water that comes through a crack after a rainfall, it’s a very simple fix. And just as it is, if you have water that comes in other places in the basement, it’s really an issue of managing the water. But in your case, if you’ve got a crack that’s open like that, I would simply seal it. I don’t think that crack is surprising or indicative of a major structural problem, in and of itself. If it got worse, then it could be an issue. But if it’s a small crack, for right now in the wall, usually that’s something that’s caused by concrete shrinkage. And it’s not likely to repeat itself.

    KAMAR: Even though it’s required some work to fix it, do you think that because of that, the property value will go down when, let’s say …?

    TOM: As long as it’s what I think is a normal crack and it’s not a serious foundation problem, I think it’ll have no effect on it. You would like to have it inspected by a structural engineer and certify that it’s within normal tolerances or it’s not going to get any worse or whatever. But I mean you want it certified by an independent structural engineer. They kind of have to live by the report that they provide you, OK? They’re not going to just try to assuage the homeowner; they’re going to make sure that they document the condition. And if there’s anything that has to be done, they’ll let you know, OK?

    KAMAR: OK. Hey, thank you. Thanks for (inaudible).

    TOM: Alright. Good luck, Kamar. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

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