In this blog, we will discuss low cost repairs homeowners can make for foundation cracks and exposed post-tension cable ends.
Foundation Crack Repairs
Almost EVERY house in the Houston area with a concrete slab has them. Almost all of the cracks found at the corners of the foundation are NOT a concern for foundation failure. Almost all of these cracks can be treated easily by the home owner for under $5.
If these cracks are left untreated, water can enter the crack and cause the crack to increase in size. Eventually, the corner section may fall off completely. If this happens, the foundation is still not failing; however, minor repairs are required to repair the corner section in order to support the brick or framing that is no longer supported by the foundation.
In addition, cracks can create a conducive environment for wood destroying insects to enter the structure of the home.
Most exterior vertical cracks seen on a foundation are not a concern and can be treated the same manner as the foundation corner cracks.
Cracks Requiring Professional Assessment
Some cracks ARE an indication of foundation settling and may require foundation repair. These cracks are over ¼ inch wide as shown in the picture below. A crack like this would require further evaluation by a foundation company to determine whether the foundation needs repair.
How to Treat Foundation Cracks
Go to your local hardware store and purchase some gray silicone sealant. You want the gray color to blend in with the color of the concrete. The cost of these tubes are typically under $5. You may have to purchase a caulk gun, but the gray silicone is also available in plastic tubes where you cut the nipple off with a knife.
Apply the silicone sealant to the inside of the crack. Insert enough sealant so that it comes out of the crack. Scrape off excess with a straight edge, piece of cardboard, etc. “Trick of the trade” wiping the surface off with a damp sponge will remove excess silicone and leave a smooth finish”
Post-Tension Slab Cable Repairs
Cable ends protruding from post-tension slabs should be covered with a concrete patch to prevent the cable ends from rusting. When rusting occurs, the cables grow thicker and eventually cause other foundation issues.
To repair, purchase some concrete patch from the hardware store.
Using a putty knife or a hand trowel to apply the concrete patch to the exposed cable end. “Trick of the trade” wiping the surface off with a damp sponge will remove excess silicone and leave a smooth finish.
Inspect your foundation annually for cracks and exposed cable ends. Making low cost repairs now can prevent more costly repairs later. v
If you have any questions about whether the crack is causing foundation problems, contact a foundation repair company.