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Ginette 09-06-2010 12:48 AM

Cement cracks in foundation after water damage
I had a major water damage in my basement a few years back when a copper water pipe broke under the cement floor of a 2 story basement. The house is built on a slope and the foundation has two levels, a bit like stairs. the pipe broke under the top level. The water started seeping into the basement between the wall and the floor from all around. Basically the house was floating over water for a while.

Repairs were done and insurance covered the cost. But I have noticed since then a few new cracks in the foundation wall and some water did seep through once. The cracks are vertical, very very narrow.

I read about ways to seal these. My questions are:
1) Can you seal the cracks from the inside only or do you have to dig outside and seal them from the outside too?
2) How dangerous are these cracks to the structure?


Ron6519 09-06-2010 07:38 AM

What sort of foundation do you have? How old is the house? What sort of soil do you have outside? Some soils, like clay, can cause foundation issues.

Ginette 09-06-2010 11:32 AM

It is poured concrete and the house is 30 years old. The soil in this area has a lot of clay indeed although I know that there is a crushed stone under the foundation because I saw if when they had to dig through the slab to replace the leaky pipe. That pipe was the city water entry. According to the guys how came to check the drains, the pipe was leaking for a long time before the water started seeping through.

I worry about the cracks I see in the part of the basement that is not finished - there are 2. But I mostly worry about the cracks that I don't see behind the walls of the finished area - which is about 75% of the basement...

Do cracks in the slab floor have to be repaired? Part of the slab cracked after they broke the slab to repair the pipe.


AllanJ 09-06-2010 03:23 PM

I would say you do not have to repair the cracks either on the floor or on the wall.

If water seeps through the cracks into the basement and not from water ponding up against your house outside, that means that the ground water level (water table) is higher than your basement floor. You would need a drainage system such as a French drain whether or not you seal the cracks.

If you do excavate just outside the foundation for any reason, you might as well put waterproofing on the outside.

Ginette 09-06-2010 06:14 PM

How expensive is it to redo a french drain?
Thanks guys, you reassure me...

The house is built on a slope ( I see the roof of the house that is below me) and there is a french drain all around but I wonder if the drain works well. The soil tends to remain moist a long time after rains and we had two very rainy summers last year and the year before.

Plus the shape of the house does not help. The part of the house that is on the down side of the slope (the back) is wider than the front. It looks nice but it creates areas on each side of the house where water takes longer to drain. The clay soil is a big part of the problem.

How expensive is it to redo a french drain?


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