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Caulking will NOT work

Posted by David on January 16th, 2003 05:18 PM
In reply to cracked walls by michelle on January 16th, 2003 01:57 PM [Go to top of thread]

Michelle, sorry, but Theron has not judged your problem seriously enough, if as you say, it leaks all through the basement. This is not something you can fix with a paint or caulking; it will not hold.

These cracks mean that you've had some motion and shifting in your walls and possibly footings, and you may need to have some structural repair done in the long run. These can usually be achieved without digging up your yard and lifting the house, but they aren't cheap. If you find a cheap fix, it's likely to be just that, and will not solve your problem. It takes more than you might think to hold back a column of water outside your basement wall.

If you must proceed with this on a lowest-cost but most effective basis, without looking into what structural work might need to be done I would check into having the cracks:
Best- epoxy injected, or
Next best- filled with hydraulic cement
NOTE: Once you've done these things, it's much harder to come back later and try to do any structural straightening of these walls if they have moved laterally.

Equally important in preventing further damage and water in your basement, you must have GOOD drainage away from the home. Do everything you can to ensure that surface water and gutters are able to, and do, flow freely away from the house.

There's a lot of details needed here to fully assess how serious your problem is; I've just covered the bare basics. If you'd like to go further with this, post back with some added info about the crack sizes, if it's a poured concrete basement wall or block, if there's visibly been displacement of the walls, drainage, etc. I'll do what I can to help-

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