Crack in the basement wall

In our concrete basement wall the crack runs from the top of the wall where it is widest - about 1/8", to a hairline crack 6' down.
My local hardware store sells a SikaFix kit for $Cdn 60. The kit includes polyurethane mix which is to be injected through included plastic ports using a caulking gun. I think I understand the principle, however the concern is: will the pressure from the caulking gun be enough to drive the polyurethane deep enough to properly seal the crack (I know it expands, but still...). My local contractor is asking $350 for this job with a 10 year warranty.
- Would you advise for or against hiring a contractor? - Does contractor use high pressure injection that would result in a better seal? - Did anyone try the SikaFix or similar product, and how were the results?
Thanks.
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You need to be concerned about your overall foundation. If the crack is not properly filled you may have more shifting and more cracks.
I would contact an equipment rental company and tell them what you want to do. Likely they have a special tool you can rent and do it yourself.
I would search the internet for assistance. On our website we talk about home inspections and have a section that deals with cracks in the basement. You may want to check it out.
Steve @ www.buyingahouseandsavingmoney.com
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Uh, care to explain how filling a 1/8" to hairline crack is supposed to magically stop a foundation from shifting? You must have some of that new-fangled Space Warp polyurethane.
1/8" cracks are generally considered to be normal, as long as they don't start increasing in width. Now, it makes sense to fill it to prevent moisture and insect ingress, but there's no way in heck that any crack filling material is going to hold a shifting foundation together.
<snip advertisement from the clueless guy promoting his website>
In short, fill the crack to keep things clean inside, and then monitor it for changes. Otherwise, don't worry about it.
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Exactly right. If nothing is coming in leave it alone.


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Student wrote:

I had 3 cracks in my concrete basement wall, fixed by 3 different contractors within 4 years under builder's warranty.
They are all fixed by injection of epoxy. They first drill holes along the cracks, and then insert in some nails that are empty in center (kind like tubes). Then they toast along the crack and clean it. Then epoxy were injected through the nails.
They all provide with 10 year warranty. The oldest fix is 5 years now. So far so good. I would prefer an outside fix. But builder would only pay for the epoxy fixes ($300/crack).
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Do you recall if they used a caulking gun or some other device for injection?

Thanks for sharing this. I wouldn't worry about a 1/8" crack, however, the water is seeping in through that crack whenever it rains heavily, so I need to fix this. Got a decision to make...
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Student wrote:

No. Not caulking gun. It was a special gun. The tip is a needle that can insert into the nails.

We had water near the first crack the 2nd year (2001) we moved into the new house. Builder sent a contractor for epoxy fix. We got water again on the 3rd year. The contractor sent by the builder told us to look along the perimeter of the top of the concrete wall, as cracks always go from top down (walls are covered by insulation so all cracks are covered).
So we checked that before we finished the basement, and found another crack, which was fixed by the 3rd contractor sent by the builder.
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8Fill crack, once completely dry epoxy a piece of glass across the crack and add some reference marks so you know if its still moving
make certain outside drains like downspouts all slope awy from house, gutters are clean, and overall ground slopes away from home.
water is a major cause of things moving
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wrote:

I had a house where water was seeping in through one particular wall, and I learned that the gutter downspout drain (underground and beneath the house foundation) was clogged. Once we got that rooted out, the water drained properly and didn't seep into the house. Could that be your problem, too?
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I don't have any underground gutters, however, the soil in our area is mostly clay so the water does not drain very well. We have a drench drain, but the water from it drains into the sump in our basement, so when it rains heavily, the sump pump works all the time. Funny thing is, despite the clay, most of the neighbors around me don't have this problem. As for the crack, I'll have to fix it. I am leaning towards hiring a pro and getting advice from him on overall solution.
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... We have a drench drain,
Should read "french drain".
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I don't have any underground gutters, however, the soil in our area is mostly clay so the water does not drain very well. We have a drench drain, but the water from it drains into the sump in our basement, so when it rains heavily, the sump pump works all the time. Funny thing is, despite the clay, most of the neighbors around me don't have this problem. As for the crack, I'll have to fix it. I am leaning towards hiring a pro and getting advice from him on overall solution
If the gutters go to downspouts that dump the water at the bottom of the house....VERY BAD.
You need lines carrying the water well away from your home, either to a low area or a dry well.
downspouts should never dump water near house.
fix that and your sump pump will run less.
the moving water can wash things out, on way to sump and cause settling
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Thanks for your advice. One of the three downspouts dumps water on the driveway, another one in front which has a 8-10 degree slope, and the last one in the back of the house. I will definitely install extensions on the latter two, however, I believe that this is not the only reason our sump pump works more than I'd like. As I said, my neighbors have similar gutter configuration and yet their sump isn't filling as much.
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wrote:

In order of preference,
Fix from outside.
Hire the contractor. His system is more likelly to work.
Ken
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wrote:

$350 buck for a professional job with 10 years warranty sounds like a good deal to me! How much do reckon he will charge to clean out all your crappy caulking gun stuff and do the job properly in 3 months time?
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If water is coming in you need a french drain outside at worse or fix your gutters and slope of the lot. Your problem is water, not the crack.

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On Thu, 19 Jan 2006 23:44:37 GMT, "Art"

Well said ... make sure downspouts take water well away from house. Make sure no water is pooling near the house.
Ken
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says...

He can do that ( prob. already has) and still have the problem, since he has clay soil.
although, of course, if the downspouts are too close to his house, he should fix that. But in that kind of terrain it isn't necessarily the be-all and end-all.
Banty
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