Wet floor cracks
While floor cracks typically do not pose a problem for the structural integrity of a home, it is still important for them to be properly filled and sealed so that moisture can't seep inside and cause problems. Often times, a crack in the floor of a basement is caused from the natural shrinking and curing process of the concrete used to pour the floor itself. Also, these cracks can be created from an excessive amount of hydrostatic pressure below the home. Whenever a foundation is built in soil that is very absorbent, such as in clay soil, it will swell up significantly whenever it rains, or when there is a lot of melting snow on the lawn. The earth quickly absorbs this moisture and expands. This will put a lot of pressure (hydrostatic pressure) on the bottom of the foundation. Eventually, the pressure could cause the floor to crack.
These cracks can be of any size, shape, or depth. In times past, homeowners did not need to worry about floor cracks since their basements had dirt as a "floor." But for convenience these days, a concrete base is poured. It can be finished over with special waterproof tiles, subfloors, underlayment materials, and so on. However, before any kind of finishing work can be done in a basement, it's important to take care of all leaks and moisture problems, and this includes getting cracks in the floor properly repaired.
Warning Signs of a Floor Crack
- Noticeable hairline cracks start to form in the middle of the floor, or on the sides next to the walls.
- Water can be seen seeping in through the cracks themselves.
- Puddles of water lay stagnant on the floor in the area where the cracks exist.
- Boxes or anything stored under the home have water damage on their underside.
Problems Associated to a Wet and Leaky Basement
When these floor cracks start to let moisture inside, it can lead to many different problems within the home. Take a look at the list below to learn more.
- Mold, mildew, bacteria, and dust mites. All of these things thrive in areas where there is at least 50% humidity, and this is usually the situation if you have leaks in the basement.
- High electrical bill. A wet, humid basement costs a lot more money to condition since it is moving up through your home. This can make your home feel very muggy, hot, and uncomfortable unless you turn the AC up. This will cause you to have skyrocketing energy bills during the warmer months of the year.
- Uncomfortable living space. Increased moisture and humidity can make your home feel very uncomfortable and un-inviting.
- Decreased property value. A home with a wet basement will not sell for as much with one that already has a waterproofing system installed. Water in the basement can actually decrease a home's value by 10-15%.
Repairing Floor Cracks in the Basement
To take care of the problem, the cracks are going to need to be filled with an epoxy or urethane injection. The surface of the crack will first be washed off so that debris can't get inside during the repair process. Next, the injection material will be placed inside of the crack and it will fill it up from the earth to the surface of the floor. This will seal the crack off and prevent any seepage from getting inside in the future.
It is also recommended that you get an interior drainage system installed to help protect this area of your home against all types of leaks. The drainage system will be installed around the perimeter of the basement, and it will collect water from the walls and floors. Water will be directed into a sump pump where it will eventually be sent out and away from the home.