How Are Cracks Repaired in a Concrete Foundation?

Within the first year of a new construction, you can begin to notice foundation cracks, sometimes on the floors, corners of the walls, near windows, or in the longer areas of the foundation of the home. Mostly caused by foundation settling, these cracks come in different sizes and shapes, and are usually nothing to worry about.

However, when cracks are getting too wide, or allowing water to seep through, then you may be dealing with structural damage of a serious magnitude. When this happens, it is time to call a professional foundation repair contractor to find out what is happening. In this article, we discuss how cracks are repaired in a concrete foundation.

This article is presented by our team of professionals who offer foundation crack repair Cincinnati. Visit our website to learn more about your specific foundation repair needs.

Are Foundation Cracks a Big Deal?

Just by looking at the width and direction of a foundation crack, you can know whether you have something to worry about or not. Fortunately, a lot of the cracks don’t require anything other than a cosmetic touch, and that’s if you consider them to be an ugly sight.

Due to normal foundation settlement, you are likely to observe vertical cracks. These cracks are the least of your worries when it comes to foundation cracks. However, horizontal or diagonal cracks running through the wall are something to take seriously, especially if the cracks are wider than 1/8 inch. Such cracks will require extensive repair as they are indications of serious structural problems caused by soil pressure or differential settlement. 

Cracks and Leakage

Under the right conditions, there is a tendency for a crack to leak if it goes all the way through the foundation. In the case of many cracks, not all of them will have the same level of resistance to water; so, the ones with less resistance are likely to leak first.

There are a few measures that can be taken to protect the foundation from water intrusion including re-grading the soil to redirect rainwater away from it, and also by using downspout extensions. Until sealed, a crack that leaks once is likely to leak again.

How are foundation cracks repaired?

For a vertical wall crack, the most effective repair method is by injecting polyurethane or an epoxy sealant into the crack. This will seal the crack permanently and stop water intrusion from the exterior. The process is pretty the same for diagonal cracks. However, more material may be required to prevent its reoccurrence in the future.

Diagonal cracks are usually caused by differential settlement. Therefore, it is important to trace the point of the settlement and take preventive measures against future recurrence.


Underpinning is a foundation repair method that is used for a foundation with a differential settlement. With this method, the affected foundation is firmly anchored to a soil that can bear its weight after which hydraulic jacks are used to raise it back up. The cracks close up as the foundation is being lifted.

The most common underpinning technique for a settled foundation is the Push Piers. In this method, the piers are drilled down enough to reach the soil that is to bear the load of the foundation. With the piers in place, the building is then lifted with hydraulic jacks.

Homes built on slopes can develop issues as a result of soil creep. With drilled concrete piers, lateral movement in the foundation can be stopped, and the home will regain its stability.

Crawl space foundation walls

The concrete walls around the crawl space foundation can have cracks due to foundation settlement. The best way to fix this problem is to use foundation piers. The cracked concrete can be structurally reinforced by the application of carbon fiber patches. With this, the crack is sealed and prevented from getting worse over time.

Basement foundation walls

Serious problems can surface when the soil around a home has excess moisture. If there is no way for the excess water to drain off, hydrostatic pressure can increase and push against the wall. If this pressure is not controlled on time, the wall will start to bow inward, resulting in a crack.

To fix the cracks in the basement foundation walls, wall plate anchors, epoxy, carbon fiber wall straps, C-channel wall anchors, and I-beams will be required.

How much does it cost to fix foundation cracks?

How much a crack repair will cost you will depend on a few factors including how large the cracks are and the severity of the damage. It may not cost you more than a few hundred dollars if the repair involves the sealing of one or two cracks. A more extensive repair that involves structural remediation can cost you thousands of dollars. You will need to get multiple quotes from different foundation repair contractors to get exact figures. You can also get an idea of how much you can pay by checking out Home Advisor for their cost guide on foundation repairs.

Unfortunately, if the foundation crack is due to poor construction or the contraction and expansion of soil, the repair won’t be covered by most insurance policies. However, you should not ignore that problem because this may cause even more foundation damage and an unhealthy living condition, especially if the cracks are leaking.

You should also bear in mind that if left unfixed, foundation cracks will reduce the resale value of your home.

Repairing your foundation cracks by yourself

It is not recommended to attempt repairing a crack on your own except it is just for aesthetic purposes. When not fixed as soon as possible, a small crack in the foundation can become wider with time, causing more damage to the foundation. That is why it is important that you consult a professional foundation repair contractor to assess the issue and what has caused it.

Serious crack repairs should be left to professionals as they have the expertise and know the best procedures and materials to use to fix the problem.

Bottom Line

While not every crack on the wall is a sign of a serious structural problem, sometimes cosmetic repair won’t suffice. You should not ignore the fact that some cracks can be a pointer to the fact that the foundation of a home is failing.

To prevent cracks from worsening over time and to get a long-lasting solution to any other structural problem, it is important that you engage the service of a professional foundation repair contractor to trace the problem and get it fixed with their expertise, appropriate materials, and specialized equipment.