Yes, concrete cracks are indeed common problems in just about any basement you would find all over the world. Of course, this is a problem that is expected from concrete walls. Even construction workers and contractors have developed plans for the inevitable cracking of concrete walls. What they do here is they place steel inside the concrete walls, for reinforcement purposes. So, even if the concrete wall starts to crack, the steel inside the wall would still maintain the wall’s strength. The foundation of the home or whatever structure would not be a problem at all.
However, concrete cracks do pose another problem for basement walls. You see, these very cracks allow water to enter whatever basement. The older homes are more vulnerable to these water problems because they are not built with waterproofing membrane, unlike the modern houses built today. This waterproofing membrane is actually installed on the outside of the foundation of the structure. The membrane then controls water, keeping it from entering the interior of the basement. Still, the existence of just one crack can lead to water problems, even in modern houses.
The crack in itself can become bigger as time goes by, especially if it is not tended to soon enough. When the crack becomes too large for the waterproofing membrane to handle, then the crack would then tear the membrane apart. There are also times when the grading is installed incorrectly; thereby sloping towards the house, then water would be a problem here as well. Rainwater would then be collected above the waterproofing level. Pretty soon, the collected rainwater would then enter the concrete crack and start flowing into the interior of the basement.
There is also that off chance that the landscaping of your property would be above the waterproofing of your structure. When this happens, water would still be allowed to enter the concrete crack and jeopardize the quality of your waterproofing membrane.
The most cost-effective method of repairing concrete cracks in your basement would be injecting liquid urethane foam. This can be done from the inside of the basement so as not to disturb your property’s landscaping right on the outside. But how does liquid urethane foam injection exactly work?
Upon injection, the urethane would actually enter the crack in liquid form, as expected. Upon encountering water, the urethane would then change from its liquid form into its foam form, and then start to expand. The process of expansion here actually forces the foam to fill the concrete crack. What’s great about the filling process here is that it happens not just from its bottom to the top, but also from its front to the back! The crack’s width does not really matter, so you can use this foam for whatever size of crack whenever you need to.
What is important here is to make sure that the urethane is injected under low pressure. This process should then be used with a standard caulk gun. Professionals prefer to use a special dual cartridge gun. But for do-it-yourselfers, the standard caulk gun is pretty efficient already. Water is needed as a catalyst to complete the whole process. An easy way to do this would then be to inject half a cup of water into the crack. An ordinary spray bottle can be used for this. This way, when liquid urethane is injected, it would then be easier for the foam to expand and fill the crack.
A dry basement is that easy to achieve. Do not wait for concrete cracks to become bigger before injecting them with liquid urethane. You would not want the foundation of your structure to degrade any-time sooner, would you?