Don't Let Foundation Cracks Get You Down
The first step to any job is to properly prepare. Cracks appear in foundation due to the concrete moving and settling. In hot weather, concrete expands; in cold weather, it contracts. These changes are inevitable and will still occur when you fill in the crack so it’s important to buy a filler that has some elasticity to prevent the crack from reappearing. Try a vinyl concrete patch for cracks wider than 1/8 inch.
Now that you have your material, clean up the crack by getting rid of any loose chips. A small sledgehammer and a cold chisel can help you to chip away at the loose material. Use a shop vacuum to remove any remaining debris.
Use a bucket to mix the vinyl patch powder with latex versus water to add even more elasticity to the solution, and to increase adhesion to the surface. The vinyl patch powder can dry quickly so try mixing small batches of the paste at a time.
Fill in the Lines
With your materials now ready, mist the crack with water and use a trowel to fill in the crack with your paste. Misting the crack will enable the patch material to form a solid bond. Use your trowel to scrape away any excess material and to create a newly-smooth surface. If the surrounding surface is rough, sweep a broom over the new patch to mirror the existing surface. Clean up and wash your materials immediately to avoid the patch solution from drying and creating a bigger mess.
Photos courtesy of Foundation Supportworks, Anything Concrete and This Old House
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