Foundation cracks can allow water to intrude and create conditions necessary for black mold to grow rapidly in basements. In order for mold to grow, excessive water, moisture, or humidity is necessary. If you want no mold in your basement or crawl space, then preventing water and moisture from intruding through foundation walls is essential. Recently, we performed air sampling in a basement and discovered large quants of Black Mold, however no mold was visble until we removed the sheetrock on the walls. All the mold was growing behind the wall surfaces. In the fight against various types of vermin, mold, (including black mold), and dampness, cracked foundation walls often pay a role. Typically, black mold grows in environments where water is or has been present in excessive quantities. Black mold removal can be expensive. It’s cheaper to prevent mold problems from occurring then performing mold remediation afterwards. If you do not know if you have black mold, mold testing can provide conclusive answers.
Foundation Cracks – Different Types
Different types of foundation cracks require different repair strategies. In Atlanta Georgia, we see many foundation cracks. Most of the cracks we see do not require major structural reengineering or major structural repairs. Typically, we are able to prevent water intrusion or through foundation walls by applying waterproofing coatings. Other times we apply various types of epoxy crack repair solutions. In one fashion or another sealing, or filling in the voids or cracks in foundation walls is the objective. Each situation is unique and requires a site assessment. One of the objectives of a site assessment to determine what strategy is most cost effective.
Surface Drainage Issues
It is necessary to determine the stability of the soil around the foundation wall. If the soil surrounding the foundation wall is unstable, then measures to stabilize the soil are needed to prevent the foundation crack from worsening. Surface water drainage issues in many instances are contributing factor to foundation wall cracks. Frequently, correcting gutter system deficiencies will solve the instability of the soil problem. Other solutions may include installation of a French drain system to redirect surface rain water away from the foundation area. Installation of additional dirt to pitch the surface of the soil away from the structure can be helpful. On rare occasions, installation of helical piers to stabilize this soil surrounding the cracked foundation wall is necessary, but at Violet Frog, we rarely see situations that require such drastic measures.
Waterproofing Foundation Walls
Poured concrete foundation walls, cinderblock walls, are all subject to cracking. Applying a waterproofing coating to the foundation wall is one solution. The objective of the waterproofing coatings is to provide a barrier on the surface of the foundation wall to prevent water & moisture from passing through the barrier. Waterproofing coatings are not designed to provide structural repairs, they are simply designed to prevent moisture and water from penetrating the barrier passing through the foundation wall.
Repairing Cracked Foundations
Epoxy injection is a crack repair strategy that is very different then applying waterproofing coatings. The epoxy is injected into the cracked area of the foundation wall at numerous points along the crack. While one of the objectives is to fill the void created by the crack, there is also a measure of structural bonding of the separated walls to stabilize the wall surface. Typically, once a wall has been properly injection epoxied, the repair is permanent, providing the soil remains stable around the area. We perform this type of repair service frequently and have found it to be a very reliable means of repairing many of the more substantial foundation cracks.
I hope you found this article helpful.