First, let’s start with the obligatory disclaimer: Some cracks in the basement wall are no big deal, and others are a sign of a serious problem with the foundation of the house. It’s virtually impossible for a layperson to tell the difference.
Before you attempt any repairs on your own, make sure you contact a qualified foundation specialist for an evaluation. If your cracks are caused by a serious problem, any of the measures to fix those cracks will be temporary at best. In fact, failure to address the underlying cause can make things much worse down the line.
Great, now that we have that out of the way, let’s talk about some steps to address cracks in basement walls. This hurdle could be the last thing keeping you from the Man Cave of your dreams!
Try to Identify the Source
Sometimes the cause of the crack in your basement will be obvious, like a big nasty tree root that has grown through the wall. While this is unfortunate, it’s actually kind of a lucky break. At least you know exactly where the problem originated!
The bad news is that the kinds of heavy duty trees roots that bust through foundation walls are very likely to require excavation to take care of them properly.
Small DIY Repairs May Hold
If you fancy yourself the handy type, and you have already had a consultation with a foundation specialist, you might consider a DIY kit from a home improvement store.
Forewarned is forearmed, this stuff can be really messy and hard to apply if you’re not used to working with these prepared solutions. You may wish to save yourself some hassle and call in home improvement professionals to help address the problem instead.
Parging Basement Walls
We often think of parging as a way to protect the foundation from the outside. While it’s true that an exterior application is a typical use for parging, you can also parge basement walls to cover up unsightly cracks.
In fact, many of the benefits of parging like pest control and extra insulation are the same when it’s applied on the inside. The bonus is that if you don’t get around to parging the exterior before poor weather conditions are a fact of life, you don’t have to wait until the spring.
Don’t Wait Too Long
No matter what caused the crack in your basement walls, it’s not likely to get better with the passage of time. A little crack can turn into a big one pretty quickly. As soon as you notice a crack in the basement, even if there’s no leak (yet!), contact an expert to find out what’s going on. Armed with the facts, then you can decide what to do next.