What to do if your basement wall cracks?

Wall cracks can be of great concern to homeowners and their builders.  Often minor cracks (less than 3 mm) can appear due to shrinkage and may be considered acceptable.  However if they exceed this size and/or are leaking moisture through the concrete, they need to be repaired.  Such a repair is covered under Alberta New Home Warranty’s one-year workmanship and materials warranty.

It is important before attempting a repair to ensure that exterior drainage of the home and grading is in proper order.  Improper water movement around the foundation can cause undue water penetration.  ANHWP has a brochure ‘Surface Water Management’ that has additional information on this issue.

In the past we have had occasion to repair foundation wall leaks.  Although uncommon, they do require immediate and thorough attention.  We have an excellent trade partner (Crack Master) that has helped us out over the years to successfully repair any issues.  The repair can usually be conducted from inside the basement, (avoiding excavation of the yard) and is fairly inexpensive and completed in a short period of time.

After the repair has been conducted, the area should be thoroughly dried with fans, new insulation batts should be installed if the old ones are damp, and the CGSB poly should be repaired with a new piece that overlaps the repair area and sealed with acoustic sealant at the stud/poly interfaces and stapled in place.  The repair area may be left open for a few days to observe the effectiveness of the repair.

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