How To Repair Foundation Cracks From The Outside?
Owning a home in Houston, Texas is different than living in another part of the country because of this state’s seasonal cycles and climates.
One year, Houston residents will receive extremely cold winters followed by the hottest of summers, while the next year they may be welcomed by a cool and wet Summer season. As a foundation repair company in Houston, TX we know these cycles very well.
This inconsistency leads to the soil’s moisture content to change drastically, and this can greatly impact the foundation as your home settles. The soil will expand and contract, leading to damage in home foundations that can be expensive to repair. Consider a wire that has been bent too many times – this is how it works.
Of course, engineers have worked toward developing foundations that consider this large problem, but this doesn’t mean your home won’t experience foundation issues such as:
- Jammed doors/windows
- Sloping floors
- Protruding nail heads from walls
- Drainage or plumbing problems
Prior to moving into a house, you probably will take these factors into consideration. However, sometimes these damages cannot be foreseen and may creep up over the years. Issues may also arise from unanticipated factors, such as shifting soil pressure.
There are many variables that can lead to foundation failure. In this post, we want to cover how to repair foundation cracks from outside the home, including some that you may be able to handle yourself as well as others that are best handled with professional assistance.
Fixing Foundation Cracks From the Outside: How to Patch Minor Cracks
Not only can these issues be stressful, but they may lead to larger problems when left untreated. Your home is most likely your biggest asset, so it’s important to protect your investment as best you can.
Wondering how to repair foundation cracks from outside? For small cracks, you can patch them yourself by gathering the right tools and following these steps:
1. Inspect the area.
2. Prepare the crack for repair.
3. Begin by repairing hairline cracks
4. Repair larger cracks
5. Seal the foundation walls
Narrow shrinkage cracks may also be visible due to changes in the moisture. You may spot a hairline crack that doesn’t seem to be a threat to structural integrity. However, in the long term, these tend to worsen. It’s important to pay attention to foundation wall cracks over time, to see how quickly they widen. Vertical cracks or a long horizontal crack may cause long-term issues in your foundation wall, so be sure to keep an eye out for them. This goes for a diagonal crack that begins at a corner but proceeds across the plane of your home, as well.
Structural foundation cracks also form where they can cause a basement leak. This may cause greater liability of serious damage in neighborhoods that are susceptible to flooding. So basement cracks should be addressed as well.
What Are The Supplies You’ll Need to Repair Cracked Foundation Outside?
This process does take some learning, and it’s something you want to research thoroughly if you’ve never done it. Begin by acquiring all needed supplies – even for the smallest of cracks, supply lists can be extensive, but many of these tools will come in handy for other DIY projects as well.
A few items you need to gather include but are not limited to:
- Dust mask
- Air compressor
- Patching compound
- Putty knife
- Cement mix
- Caulking gun
The repair of small cracks makes for a great DIY project. This generally involves less serious issues, like hairline cracks in mortar joints. You can use some of these materials to repair drywall cracks as well.
However, for larger issues signaling damage such as doors or windows sticking from house settling, you may need to get in touch with a structural engineer to assess a more serious structural problem. Leaving this matter unattended can lead to bigger, costlier foundation issues down the road.
Outside Foundation Crack Repair
What about how to repair cracks in concrete foundation walls? For these projects, you’ll mainly just need cement, gravel, sand, and water.
The only downfall of completing these repairs yourself is that when the water evaporates, the other ingredients in the mix will cure into a hard concrete slab.
The curing process sometimes results in hairline cracks. Note, additional materials will be required if you are dealing with cracks during stucco maintenance.
When to Repair Foundation Cracks Yourself-And When to Call in the Pros
So, you know how to fix foundation cracks by yourself, but should you? There is a fine line between what can be turned into a DIY project and what requires the need for a structural engineer when leveling your home is necessary.
In some cases, a hairline stair step crack may be a DIY project. However, If you have larger cracks, you’ll want some professional advice as these could indicate far more serious foundational problems.
Anything requiring a team or heavy equipment, like the installation of foundation piers, generally warrants professional guidance. Often, a differential settlement can require heavy-duty equipment to fix.
Even using exopy crack injection equipment can also be a headache without having seen and learned the process in person.
Now, if you decide to go with a repair service such as A-Best Foundation Repair, we can help you with any of the following types of repairs:
- Friction pilings for slabs requiring pier and beam repairs
- House lifting
- House leveling cost estimates
- Repairing foundation damage, crack injections
- Any other related projects
If you’re not sure what your home needs, allow our team of experts to inspect and identify the foundation problem at absolutely no cost. We offer a free inspection to determine the right solution for you.
At A-Best Foundation Repair, we take pride in being a leading provider in the Houston area, bringing forward the best foundation crack repair methods for your home. With over 17 years of experience, our clients can have peace of mind that their property is in the best of hands.
We strive to live up to our values of integrity, honesty, and service each day to give residents pleasant, stress-free experiences. For help assessing your foundation, give us a call at (713) 714-5656.