How to Repair Cracks in a Concrete Basement Wall
LESLIE: Clarence in Nebraska is on the line with a basement that’s cracking up and he wants to fix it. What can we do for you today?
CLARENCE: Yeah. I had a contractor come in and pull my basement walls back. And I’ve got these cracks in the mortar. Some are pretty big; other ones are hairline. What can I do to fix that? Do you have to (inaudible at 0:07:56) that out or is there a tool you can chip it out and then re-tuckpoint that or what do you think?
TOM: The common mistake is kind of what you just explained. When you say “tuckpoint,” you’re assuming that you’re going to put more concrete or mortar mix into that crack. And that’s not going to work, because the patch in the wall surrounding it are going to have different expansion and contraction rates.
So, concrete-product manufacturers have products designed specifically for crack repair, because they’re flexible and designed to stick to the old concrete surface. So, for example, you could go to QUIKRETE.com – Q-U-I-K-R-E-T-E. They have a concrete-repair product that comes in a tube; it looks like a caulk tube.
And you apply it with a caulk gun and it’s like a sanded acrylic latex formula and it’s designed specifically for crack repair. You can buy it in a 10-ounce size or a 5½-ounce sort of squeeze-tube size. And you can fill the cracks in with that. You know it’s going to dry solid and it’s not going to open up again. And it’s good for either vertical or horizontal applications.
So you want to use a product like that that’s designed specifically for crack repair because if you don’t, Clarence, it’s just going to fall out and you’ll be doing the same thing over and over again.
CLARENCE: Hmm. Try to re-crack. I don’t know if it would fall out, would it?
TOM: Well, it may and very often, it does, especially if you get any moisture in there, as well. If it’s a basement wall and it gets cold, you get some frost heave, it can pop out. So, I would use the product that’s designed for it and that’s just one by QUIKRETE. And I’m sure that that will work out for you, OK?
CLARENCE: Thank you very much.