Fixing a Structural Crack

When a foundation crack is severe enough that it compromises the ability of the wall to carry its load, we call it a structural crack. Left unattended to the integrity of the foundation will continue to degrade but there are remedies. This article describes one example of the repair of a structural crack in a poured concrete foundation wall.

Structural crack discovery Structural crack revealed

Initially the crack may not look too serious, but once it is chipped out for repair it is obvious that it extends all the way to the footing. The chipping opens the crack to accept concrete and allows the to bond with the wall. Next an adhesive rubber membrane seals the repair from any water. Steel plate straps are bolted into anchors drilled into the wall. In this case the straps go around the corner but the technique works just as well on straight section of wall. The excess thread on the bolts is cut off and a dimpled plastic membrane called Platon is attached and sealed to the wall. The purpose of the Platon is to sheet water down to the footing weeping tile and away from the crack. A porous fill like gravel is used for backfill to make sure any surface water can drain rapidly.

Structural crack patch Structural crack platon

Obviously there is some hard work to make this repair happen and the cost can be considerable. However if the crack is structural a repair really isn’t optional. This is work for a foundation repair specialist. General contractors may be able to come up with a solution, but time is money and a specialist is going to do it right the first time. And nobody wants to pay for a second time.

Photos courtesy of AboveWater Foundation Waterproofing & Restoration Services Inc.


Author: Rob Cornish is a Home Inspector in Ottawa, Canada. © 2013 HomeXam Inc.
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  1. […] There are obviously ‘bad’ cracks that we refer to as ‘structural’. In inspector language, we might write, “the structural integrity of the foundation wall has been compromised”. What we mean is that the foundation wall is not doing its job of holding up the house properly. The damage is potentially significant and the cost of repair usually is too. The other thing to remember about a structural defect is that we are saying that the damage is going to get worse if you don’t get things corrected. If the foundation is not holding up the house in its original position, the weight of the house above will cause further stress cracks and movement. Don’t lose hope. Just because a crack is significant doesn’t mean that it can’t be properly repaired. […]

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