Home Improvement

Is this as serious as i’m told it is?

By May 8, 2019 17 Comments
Is this as serious as i'm told it is?

Backstory: Had a major storm where i live (Wisconsin) in early march. Rained like absolute crazy. we had just bought the house (we actually had our gutters scheduled to be replaced the week after this storm), and the gutters were terrible and had no downspouts. The basement leaked water (i wouldn’t say flooded, but a considerable amount of water came through my finished basement). We had the carpet scheduled to be replaced with LVP the next week as well; we ripped up the carpet and have halted anything to do with our basement.


So, we had several companies come out to actually to look. This wall has a considerable crack (pictures below). The image showing the crack, the water was coming out right where the crack splinters off. We tore all the drywall down on that wall and plan to replace it once we decide what to do. My question is, should I pay to have this fixed? We had the front completely re-graded, new gutters with downspouts that extend 10 feet away from our house, and have not had a drop of water come in through that crack in the last two months. The quotes i got to fix the wall (basically, use either beams or geolock anchors to hold the wall up/straigten it out) were over $7500. The wall is apparently 1 1/2 inches bowed in at it’s worst point. Should i spend the money to get this wall fixed? Or should i do my plan of:

1. Remove the studwork
2. Fix the cracks
3. Do waterproof paint on the entire wall
4. Apply the proper insulation to the wall, re frame with studs (not against the concrete) and put drywall back on



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  • 87880917 says:

    Cracks like this on poured concrete foundations are pretty typical. I’m not a foundation expert but I don’t think it’s about to crumble out from beneath your home or anything like that. Tell the guy who quoted you $7.5k for those anchors no thanks and use that money for something else.

    All of the exterior water management you did should solve 99% on the problem. For the last 1%, and just for the peace of mind, there are guys out there who can repair these types of cracks basically by drilling a hole every few inches and injecting the crack with some kind of epoxy. My in-laws has this done about 5 or 6 years ago and it cost around $300 or so. If it were my house, I would do this, then repair the wall and flooring over the winter, just to give enough time to be sure it will remain dry.

  • jimsmithkka says:

    get a crack gauge and check if the crack is getting worse, or moving at all, that would be a good first step. If its not moving, probably OK to just seal it and move on.

    If it IS moving, get it fixed.

    Amazon and Home Depot should have gauges you can buy. Not an issue I personally have dealt with, but that’s the advice I see posted here a bunch.

  • TheTimeIsChow says:

    Horizontal cracks in poured concrete do signify serious issues. And you have these in areas. They do not happen due to shifting top to bottom. Only pressure out to in.

    Your plan, to be blunt, will not work. If anything, it may make things worst if you live in a climate that sees a freeze/thaw.

    The good news – Most horizontal cracks are an effect of hydro-static pressure. The water coming in through the cracks proves this likely was, at least part, of the issue. And you have regraded the property / addressed part of the concern with the gutters.

    The bad news – horizontal cracks are not always due to hydro-static pressure. It can be improper compaction of soil, simply too much soil, and more.

    So your options are to either take the massive gamble of letting it go and hoping the re-grade and gutters will prevent it from getting worst. Or, you can take measures to fix the current damage and prevent further damage from occurring.

    To be completely blunt – $7,500 now is peanuts compared to what it would cost if this were to get worst or fail completely. But, as always, the more opinions the better.

  • jehovahs_waitress says:

    [TheTimeIsChow](https://www.reddit.com/user/TheTimeIsChow) has the best advice, you cannot patch this over. A deflection of 1/12″ is significant. Your actions in regrading and fixing gutters is great, but that will only help with future problems, not the present. The traditional interior and exterior beam system works, but makes quite the mess inside and out and is costly.


    Injecting epoxy alone, another treatment, won’t work for you with that much deflection and bowing of the wall.


    You might consider carbon fiber strapping. It is cheaper, and there is no outside foundation excavation.Here is one supplier, there are no doubt local contractors for you. [https://www.emecole.com/categories/Carbon-Fiber-Stabilization-Products/](https://www.emecole.com/categories/Carbon-Fiber-Stabilization-Products/)


    I did this about 10 years ago on a house with a very similar situation. It has stood the test of time and has not had any further movement or leaks. You have to also epoxy the cracks, often the same contractor does it all.

  • Duck_Giblets says:

    Op, before you pay anything check with your insurance company. This is what they are for. Will cost you significantly less than $7500 even with increase in premiums and they’ll likely cover other aspects that you may not have realised.

  • EntireOrchid says:

    1-1/2″ is a lot of bowing. You should get it fixed properly, not simply ignore the problem by filling the cracks.

  • seg274 says:

    Like others have said. Better to reinforce now than live under fear of further movement.

    $7500 seems alittle steep, depending on what they were including in the quote.

    Since you already have a stud wall, you could reinforce with vertical steel channels every 6ft. The important part is proper attachment to the floor joists at top, and basement slab at bottom. I assume the price would be less than $7500 for supply and install of only the steel channels.

    See here for context: https://m.imgur.com/a/DXYxnwE

  • rollingintheshallow says:

    If I were you I would give it some time exposed to studs and with proper water management to see what happens.

    Monitor and document with pictures if anything changes.

  • jewishforthejokes says:

    Are you sure the bowing isn’t from the forms flexing out when it was poured? Your cracks do not seem large enough to allow that much bowing. Does the studwork seem like it was built with the wall where it is or has it been shifted? (might not be able to tell).

    Don’t do anything to the cracks or paint it. If your several-inch-thick concrete can’t keep the wall out, do you think .01″ of paint can?

    Provided the wall doesn’t need geolock anchors, put xps foam on the wall with vertical strips of foamboard liquid nails; in the event of any seepage, it will run down the back of the foam to the floor. Using fiberglass would be bad.

  • allonsyyy says:

    I keep hearing something on the radio about a program my state has to help homeowners whose houses have foundation problems that were caused by bad concrete? It doesn’t sound like yours is as bad, idk anything about foundations, but it might be worth looking into it to see if there’s anything similar going on in your area. People around here are looking at 6-figure repair bills and the insurance companies are of course being absolute dickheads about it. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/08/nyregion/with-connecticut-foundations-crumbling-your-home-is-now-worthless.html

  • InflatedScentsofSelf says:

    I 3rd the Carbon Fiber strap method, every 4 feet. It’s an inexpensive DIY project, and don’t think that there’s only one supplier- look around. You can purchase the individual components much cheaper than the “kit” sold on the big snake site. The most important aspect (from what I’ve read) appears to be anchoring the lower portion of the strap to a point below the floor, which involves minor concrete work.

    As for the existing crack, their are superior epoxy products that will do the job.

  • Ritzyb says:

    We have wall cracks like this everywhere in my home town, the soil is awful.

    Find a company to steel brace the wall, it’s not as expensive as it sounds.

  • KrombopulosJacob says:

    I suggest having a qualified structural engineer take a look. Horizontal cracks in a foundation are a serious issue and the bowing will get worse over time. Similar to installing carbon fiber straps, a slightly more cost effective solution I’ve seen involves having a contractor install steel flat bars with epoxy anchors to prevent further bowing and then fill the cracks with low pressure epoxy to prevent further leaking. Expect to pay around $5k or more but certainly get at least 3 quotes.

  • Machino_C says:

    My old house had this problem. Thick-wall steel tubing was anchored into the basement floor and an additional wall was poured inside the original wall. Seemed to work for about 10 years I know of.

  • secretsquirrel517 says:

    Yes, there’s no nail plates on the studs. Only a structural engineer can determine if the foundation crack is serious, bring in an expert.

  • Juniorreb says:

    Basements are stupid

  • NWOhioHomeInspector says:

    Was the moisture intrusion noted in the seller’s disclosure? Did you get an inspection & if so, there was no evidence of moisture noted?

    Those cracks really don’t look that bad. Who determined the 1 1/2″ of “apparent” bowing? I would see about having them injected [with a waterproofing sealant](https://www.appliedtechnologies.com/products/concrete-crack-foundation/concrete-crack-repair-methods/) from the inside. Your waterproof paint theory is a complete waste of time and money.

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