Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
BCM
Member Login

Posted: 1/9/2021 8:11:55 PM EST
Back wall of walkout basement has always had a few hairline cracks since we built 8 years ago. One has opens up a bit over winter to the point you can see daylight. Online looks like there are many ways to fix this, epoxy, expanding patch, and variations of caulk. I saw an epoxy kit at amazon for abut a $130 billed as a radon kit. Is Epoxy the way to go? I have another window that's similar but not as bad. Theres doesnt appear to be any shifting in the wall out/in.  Whats the best course of action to seal it and stop the spread?


Attachment Attached File
Attachment Attached File
Attachment Attached File
Attachment Attached File
Link Posted: 1/10/2021 12:41:09 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/10/2021 12:41:34 AM EST by Jerret_S]
I'm at a loss for words. Theres so much wrong there it would take me a few paragraphs to type it out and I'm not even a professional.

I would sue whoever did that if you can.
Link Posted: 1/10/2021 1:32:42 AM EST
here you go OP.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjHKV2lCLQs
Link Posted: 1/10/2021 6:43:09 AM EST
I would buy a vacuum shroud for an angle grinder, remove mortar to an inch deep or so, then replace.

Watch it for a few years and hope it doesn't get worse.
Link Posted: 1/10/2021 7:52:40 AM EST
What the hell am I even looking at?   Is this one of those “ find 15 code violations “ pics?
Link Posted: 1/10/2021 10:21:44 AM EST
that looks like a pretty substantial problem. It might be best to call in the pros to figure out why your cracks are worsening all of a sudden. Get that fixed and then work on the cracks themselves.
Link Posted: 1/10/2021 10:24:59 AM EST
https://emecole.com

Link Posted: 1/10/2021 10:54:14 AM EST
You need a structural engineer, not a tube of epoxy!.  That is all bad!
Link Posted: 1/10/2021 11:32:16 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/10/2021 11:33:08 AM EST by H4ppyB34r]
As been said above, you need a professional to look at it, and not just a handyman or repair guy. A structural engineer

Hopefully there is a proper header burried in all that concrete somewhere

I see treated and untreated lumber touching concrete


Were a bit more relaxed down here in TX, but thats ALL wrong. I'm a builder/General Contractor

I would not have paid for that job until the subs fixed it
Link Posted: 1/10/2021 1:20:34 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/10/2021 1:25:08 PM EST by Trollslayer]
Ditto on what everyone else is saying, especially getting a structural engineer in.  Be sure to get a written report.  In the report, they should recommend a remedy.  The engineering firm should be independent - NOT be a contractor but a consultant.

To me, using my context, it looks like earthquake damage of the type that results in a building getting "red tagged" (condemned).  

Something has shifted.  It looks as if your foundation is splitting in two.
Link Posted: 1/10/2021 6:52:27 PM EST
Thanks for all the responses, sounds like an independent engineer is the next step. There doesnt seem to be any issues on the first or second floor yet, but I want to get this corrected asap.
Link Posted: 1/10/2021 6:57:36 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By JosephTurrisi:
here you go OP.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjHKV2lCLQs
View Quote


If Tommy can fix it, so can I !!! (after I have an expert take a peek)
Link Posted: 1/11/2021 12:19:08 PM EST
Engineer scheduled for tomorrow to take a look
Link Posted: 1/11/2021 12:39:20 PM EST
Please update with the findings. Hope you can throw the book at the builder
Link Posted: 1/11/2021 4:27:42 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By H4ppyB34r:
Please update with the findings. Hope you can throw the book at the builder
View Quote



This.  I had to do the same on my last house, so I would love to know how this works out for you.
Link Posted: 1/11/2021 5:15:42 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By H4ppyB34r:
Please update with the findings. Hope you can throw the book at the builder
View Quote


Will do. I'm not sure what recourse I have after 8 years. I thought that generally they give a 1 yr warranty on a new home and after that your on your own. I guess that may change if they were negligent in the construction or material.
Link Posted: 1/11/2021 10:02:25 PM EST
Texas has up to a 10 year limitation, so check what yours is, its different in every state
Link Posted: 1/12/2021 11:00:49 AM EST
Engineer came out and took a look. He wasn't overly concerned about the large vertical crack or cracks in the concrete header. He also found no in/out/leaning of the walls and no evidence of water or settling that would create an ongoing problem. The basement has been dry. There is no evidence in the house of settling such as dry wall joints separating or cracking and no issues with floors.  He suggested to have someone do the epoxy treatment and it will be stronger than new. He looked outside and viewed the entire basement walls and floor. He was mostly concerned about the "header area" over the windows that showed some downward bowing. We both wondered why they poured concrete above the windows when it would have been easier and cheaper to just frame it out. He also questioned why the PT lumber was set in the mold and not after. His solution was remarkably simple. While not ideal or pretty, just run 2 2x4s or similar vertical in the middle of window and trim out when/if I finish basement. So, epoxy the cracks and support the bow.

He took pictures and was going back to the office and share his findings with his team and if they had any other comments/suggestions he would share.

For those said to sue, he said that he believes NY has a 7 year statute of Limitations, but he doesnt see a significant issue and he thought the builder would argue it was inspected, approved, etc and its been 8 years, etc

I know it looks ugly, but he was pretty confident its not a significant concern as long as we tackle now.
Link Posted: 1/12/2021 12:01:27 PM EST
Not a structural engineer and know little about foundations... Old boy once told me; "There are two types of concrete, one that is cracked, and one that is going to crack".
Link Posted: 1/12/2021 4:18:12 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By fishstix:
Engineer came out and took a look. He wasn't overly concerned about the large vertical crack or cracks in the concrete header. He also found no in/out/leaning of the walls and no evidence of water or settling that would create an ongoing problem. The basement has been dry. There is no evidence in the house of settling such as dry wall joints separating or cracking and no issues with floors.  He suggested to have someone do the epoxy treatment and it will be stronger than new. He looked outside and viewed the entire basement walls and floor. He was mostly concerned about the "header area" over the windows that showed some downward bowing. We both wondered why they poured concrete above the windows when it would have been easier and cheaper to just frame it out. He also questioned why the PT lumber was set in the mold and not after. His solution was remarkably simple. While not ideal or pretty, just run 2 2x4s or similar vertical in the middle of window and trim out when/if I finish basement. So, epoxy the cracks and support the bow.

He took pictures and was going back to the office and share his findings with his team and if they had any other comments/suggestions he would share.

For those said to sue, he said that he believes NY has a 7 year statute of Limitations, but he doesnt see a significant issue and he thought the builder would argue it was inspected, approved, etc and its been 8 years, etc

I know it looks ugly, but he was pretty confident its not a significant concern as long as we tackle now.
View Quote

I'm not a structural engineer, but it sounds like you dodged a bullet. You should go buy a lottery ticket tonight since the jackpot is over $500 million.

That said, I'm still a little skeptical. Concrete shouldn't shrink enough to leave a gap clean through.

For fixing it, you can either DIY with epoxy, or look at basement waterproofing contractors. They fix cracks in poured walls all the time.
Link Posted: 1/12/2021 6:50:12 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By rjbergen:

I'm not a structural engineer, but it sounds like you dodged a bullet. You should go buy a lottery ticket tonight since the jackpot is over $500 million.

That said, I'm still a little skeptical. Concrete shouldn't shrink enough to leave a gap clean through.

For fixing it, you can either DIY with epoxy, or look at basement waterproofing contractors. They fix cracks in poured walls all the time.
View Quote


Im a pretty handy guy, and I think I could do the epoxy, but I think Im going to try and hire it out. I think that gives me an added level of confidence, it wont get worse and it cant hurt to get another set of expert eyes on the concerns
Link Posted: 1/13/2021 12:44:34 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By H4ppyB34r:
As been said above, you need a professional to look at it, and not just a handyman or repair guy. A structural engineer

Hopefully there is a proper header burried in all that concrete somewhere

I see treated and untreated lumber touching concrete

This. And it is probably to close to grade.


Were a bit more relaxed down here in TX, but thats ALL wrong. I'm a builder/General Contractor

I would not have paid for that job until the subs fixed it
View Quote

Link Posted: 1/14/2021 3:33:29 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By fishstix:

Im a pretty handy guy, and I think I could do the epoxy, but I think Im going to try and hire it out. I think that gives me an added level of confidence, it wont get worse and it cant hurt to get another set of expert eyes on the concerns
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By fishstix:
Originally Posted By rjbergen:

I'm not a structural engineer, but it sounds like you dodged a bullet. You should go buy a lottery ticket tonight since the jackpot is over $500 million.

That said, I'm still a little skeptical. Concrete shouldn't shrink enough to leave a gap clean through.

For fixing it, you can either DIY with epoxy, or look at basement waterproofing contractors. They fix cracks in poured walls all the time.

Im a pretty handy guy, and I think I could do the epoxy, but I think Im going to try and hire it out. I think that gives me an added level of confidence, it wont get worse and it cant hurt to get another set of expert eyes on the concerns

I'm in MI and you're in NY, but many of the basement waterproofing companies around here provide "lifetime guarantees" on their work. Might be something to look at and ask about when you get quotes.
Link Posted: 1/15/2021 2:25:21 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By fishstix:


Im a pretty handy guy, and I think I could do the epoxy, but I think Im going to try and hire it out. I think that gives me an added level of confidence, it wont get worse and it cant hurt to get another set of expert eyes on the concerns
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By fishstix:
Originally Posted By rjbergen:

I'm not a structural engineer, but it sounds like you dodged a bullet. You should go buy a lottery ticket tonight since the jackpot is over $500 million.

That said, I'm still a little skeptical. Concrete shouldn't shrink enough to leave a gap clean through.

For fixing it, you can either DIY with epoxy, or look at basement waterproofing contractors. They fix cracks in poured walls all the time.


Im a pretty handy guy, and I think I could do the epoxy, but I think Im going to try and hire it out. I think that gives me an added level of confidence, it wont get worse and it cant hurt to get another set of expert eyes on the concerns


The epoxy is going to need some fiber in it for reinforcement.
At this point it looks like an unloaded failure.
The forces acting on the structure did not cause the failure,
the wood buried in the concrete caused the failure.

Is there a below grade stair case on the outside of the foundation in that spot?
That may have saved you from a lot of water intrusion.

The drain at the bottom of the staircase channeled most of the water away.
Make sure that line stays clean.
Link Posted: 1/15/2021 6:48:11 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By brickeyee:


The epoxy is going to need some fiber in it for reinforcement.
At this point it looks like an unloaded failure.
The forces acting on the structure did not cause the failure,
the wood buried in the concrete caused the failure.

Is there a below grade stair case on the outside of the foundation in that spot?
That may have saved you from a lot of water intrusion.

The drain at the bottom of the staircase channeled most of the water away.
Make sure that line stays clean.
View Quote


That is actually the basement/lowest grade. Its a walkout so nothing below grade. Area outside on other side has some plants and mulch and is pretty dry with no drains nearby and generally slopes away from the house. I think your probably right about the PT wood contributing. I called 3 companies to come out and only one has called me back so far.
Link Posted: 1/16/2021 9:15:32 AM EST
The last place we bought turned into a bit of a nightmare.  The rear basement wall which was below grade had a "hairline" horizontal crack that was probably 15' long if I remember right.  It had been caulked and painted over (probably right before we looked at the house.  Summer time, so it was plenty dry.  The home inspector also missed the cover-up on the opposite wall. Occasionally the crack would open up a bit then close.  

One of the downspouts had also been diverted from the footer drains and run illegally, out into the yard. Probably to hide the fact that when it rained the basement would flood? They did a really good job hiding that one.

Long story short the house had serious water/structural issues.  Wound up having the basement "waterproofed" via inside drains to the tune of $14K, and had to have the read wall reinforced after an engineer decided it could collapse at any minute.  A steel I beam and several carbon fiber reinforcing rods, a ton of epoxy, and another large bill later, we were "fixed".

Talked to two attorneys, as it was clear the previous owner knew about these issues as they had been covered up, and she had paid people to do the cover-up work.  Both felt we had a strong case, but due to the fact that she had moved well away from Ohio, and several years had passed, neither wanted to take action because there wasn't enough money in it for them.....


OP - Glad your problem doesn't seem to be as bad as it looks!
Link Posted: 1/16/2021 7:08:49 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By 3BP:
The last place we bought turned into a bit of a nightmare.  The rear basement wall which was below grade had a "hairline" horizontal crack that was probably 15' long if I remember right.  It had been caulked and painted over (probably right before we looked at the house.  Summer time, so it was plenty dry.  The home inspector also missed the cover-up on the opposite wall. Occasionally the crack would open up a bit then close.  

One of the downspouts had also been diverted from the footer drains and run illegally, out into the yard. Probably to hide the fact that when it rained the basement would flood? They did a really good job hiding that one.

Long story short the house had serious water/structural issues.  Wound up having the basement "waterproofed" via inside drains to the tune of $14K, and had to have the read wall reinforced after an engineer decided it could collapse at any minute.  A steel I beam and several carbon fiber reinforcing rods, a ton of epoxy, and another large bill later, we were "fixed".

Talked to two attorneys, as it was clear the previous owner knew about these issues as they had been covered up, and she had paid people to do the cover-up work.  Both felt we had a strong case, but due to the fact that she had moved well away from Ohio, and several years had passed, neither wanted to take action because there wasn't enough money in it for them.....


OP - Glad your problem doesn't seem to be as bad as it looks!
View Quote


That sucks. Inspectors are a great idea, but they definitely dont catch everything, especially if the sellers are crafty. Every house I have ever lived i has had a basement, but I swear after I hear all the horrors that my next house will be a ranch. No  basement, no stairs, lol.
Link Posted: 1/20/2021 10:56:32 AM EST
1st estimate is in...Wow. They want 2k to fix 2 48" cracks under the window, no need to do anything on the other minor cracks (guy actually recommended flex seal, lol). They would grind out the crack, apply some sort of special epoxy that grows into the concrete via crystals and then a concrete seal/patch over the crack, grind flat to finish. 10 year warranty of some sort.

Next estimate is next Thursday, although they didn't even want to come because its not leaking.

Still too early to tell, but DIY is looking better and better.

Trying to find a 3rd company to get an estimate but its challenging.
Link Posted: 1/20/2021 1:47:01 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/20/2021 1:47:49 PM EST by Jerret_S]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By fishstix:
1st estimate is in...Wow. They want 2k to fix 2 48" cracks under the window, no need to do anything on the other minor cracks (guy actually recommended flex seal, lol). They would grind out the crack, apply some sort of special epoxy that grows into the concrete via crystals and then a concrete seal/patch over the crack, grind flat to finish. 10 year warranty of some sort.

Next estimate is next Thursday, although they didn't even want to come because its not leaking.

Still too early to tell, but DIY is looking better and better.

Trying to find a 3rd company to get an estimate but its challenging.
View Quote


I will say if you go DIY you can try on smaller defects hydraulic cement or cover your epoxy repairs with it also. You can buy it in a small bucket from Home Depot. I have done some aesthetic work and filled one above grade crack with it and it all has held really well so far
Link Posted: 1/20/2021 3:03:47 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/22/2021 12:21:02 PM EST by brickeyee]
The fact that the sides are still in flat and correct alignment would
tend to indicate there is no force on the panels of concrete.

It really sounds like blocking water entry is the biggest issue.

Most of NY gets freezing weather,every winter, with multiple freeze thaw cycles.

Rigidly attaching the sides is not likely to be all that effective.

Concrete that is wet and then freezes will develop spalling problems.

A truly weatherproof covering may actually be the best thing.
And then monitor the crack for movement.

Link Posted: 1/20/2021 6:11:30 PM EST
If i'm understanding you correctly all the cracking is above grade right? So you can easily patch and seal with some method from both inside and outside? Being as how the engineer wasn't concerned I would certainly be looking at the DIY route if the other quote comes in similar.
Link Posted: 1/20/2021 7:14:34 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/20/2021 7:20:43 PM EST by ydididothis]
Those cracks are a bit to wide for epoxy crack injection, I'd use polyurethane injection and epoxy paste. 2k is to much, it would be $900 from my company, limited lifetime transferable warranty.

ETA: @fishstix I can tell you how to diy, and point you where to order materials. It's not to difficult. A lot of youtube videos on it.
Link Posted: 1/21/2021 1:02:06 PM EST
Its above grade, just a bit of mulch on the exterior that I will pull back. Ill look into the polyurethane option. I was looking at the Crack Pac from Strong Tie. Open to other products if there are better options. It seems to get good reviews and not too difficult to execute. May need 2 kits. Still waiting to get 1-2 more estimates though. I'll update after I get another estimate.
Link Posted: 1/21/2021 4:55:20 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ydididothis:
Those cracks are a bit to wide for epoxy crack injection, I'd use polyurethane injection and epoxy paste. 2k is to much, it would be $900 from my company, limited lifetime transferable warranty.

ETA: @fishstix I can tell you how to diy, and point you where to order materials. It's not to difficult. A lot of youtube videos on it.
View Quote
I'd jump all over this free advice! Cool man.
Link Posted: 1/21/2021 6:12:29 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ydididothis:
Those cracks are a bit to wide for epoxy crack injection, I'd use polyurethane injection and epoxy paste. 2k is to much, it would be $900 from my company, limited lifetime transferable warranty.

ETA: @fishstix I can tell you how to diy, and point you where to order materials. It's not to difficult. A lot of youtube videos on it.
View Quote


@ydididothis

Thanks for the offer. Appreciate it. Is it true the polyurethane is more flexible and the epoxy is more rigid? Can you grind the poly flat on the wall or no? I'm gonna try and get a few quotes, but if it comes down to it, I will do myself. Someone posted a this old house video here that looks similar to what I was expecting. For $900 I would hire it out, but it seems like I could do it myself for a few hundred
Link Posted: 1/22/2021 12:25:35 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By fishstix:


@ydididothis

Thanks for the offer. Appreciate it. Is it true the polyurethane is more flexible and the epoxy is more rigid? Can you grind the poly flat on the wall or no? I'm gonna try and get a few quotes, but if it comes down to it, I will do myself. Someone posted a this old house video here that looks similar to what I was expecting. For $900 I would hire it out, but it seems like I could do it myself for a few hundred
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By fishstix:
Originally Posted By ydididothis:
Those cracks are a bit to wide for epoxy crack injection, I'd use polyurethane injection and epoxy paste. 2k is to much, it would be $900 from my company, limited lifetime transferable warranty.

ETA: @fishstix I can tell you how to diy, and point you where to order materials. It's not to difficult. A lot of youtube videos on it.


@ydididothis

Thanks for the offer. Appreciate it. Is it true the polyurethane is more flexible and the epoxy is more rigid? Can you grind the poly flat on the wall or no? I'm gonna try and get a few quotes, but if it comes down to it, I will do myself. Someone posted a this old house video here that looks similar to what I was expecting. For $900 I would hire it out, but it seems like I could do it myself for a few hundred


Polyurethane remains flexible.
Sort of like a stiff rubber composition.

Since you do not need structural reinforcement just weather sealing polyurethane caulk would probably do very well.

I use poly caulk to seal around exterior plumbing lines like water spigots.
It anchors nicely and holds a seal for many years.
Link Posted: 1/22/2021 2:52:18 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/22/2021 3:04:12 PM EST by ydididothis]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By fishstix:


@ydididothis

Thanks for the offer. Appreciate it. Is it true the polyurethane is more flexible and the epoxy is more rigid? Can you grind the poly flat on the wall or no? I'm gonna try and get a few quotes, but if it comes down to it, I will do myself. Someone posted a this old house video here that looks similar to what I was expecting. For $900 I would hire it out, but it seems like I could do it myself for a few hundred
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By fishstix:
Originally Posted By ydididothis:
Those cracks are a bit to wide for epoxy crack injection, I'd use polyurethane injection and epoxy paste. 2k is to much, it would be $900 from my company, limited lifetime transferable warranty.

ETA: @fishstix I can tell you how to diy, and point you where to order materials. It's not to difficult. A lot of youtube videos on it.


@ydididothis

Thanks for the offer. Appreciate it. Is it true the polyurethane is more flexible and the epoxy is more rigid? Can you grind the poly flat on the wall or no? I'm gonna try and get a few quotes, but if it comes down to it, I will do myself. Someone posted a this old house video here that looks similar to what I was expecting. For $900 I would hire it out, but it seems like I could do it myself for a few hundred

Poly injection is definitely more flexible, like expanding foam. It's 2 part closed cell, the reason for the poly is those cracks are pretty opened up, the poly will expand and fill the entire thickness of the crack. Epoxy paste is applied to the face of the crack before injecting and can be ground back after the poly cures. @fishstix

ETA: If you have any questions,
give these guys a shout. They are very helpful.  https://www.midwestfoundationsupply.com/mfs-products-crack-epoxy.html
Link Posted: 1/22/2021 6:59:41 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By 3BP:
You need a structural engineer, not a tube of epoxy!.  That is all bad!
View Quote


Do this, hire a structural engineer.
I'm not really sure what I am looking at.
Top Top