How To Fix A Cracked Foundation In 4 Easy Steps

Because concrete foundations are so rigid, they're especially susceptible to cracks. Though they possess several advantages over foundations constructed with other materials, ignoring the cracks that do exist can lead to major problems. Luckily, fixing the cracks in a cement foundation is a fairly simple and inexpensive process. The average homeowner can fix even larger foundation cracks in a matter of hours. Take a look below at four easy steps you can follow to fix a cracked foundation easily and cheaply.

Step 1: Cleaning the Crack

The first thing you'll need to do is clean the crack. For narrower cracks, this means first removing large pieces of dirt and debris with a wire brush, and then smaller bits with a shop vacuum. Although it might seem contrary to common sense, wider cracks should be cleaned with a small chisel to ensure that large debris is completely cleared out of the crack.

Step 2: Mixing the Sealer

When the crack is clean and dry, begin mixing epoxy crack sealer with a putty knife on a small, clean board (or other smooth surface) until the shade of the mixture matches that of the foundation--usually a light grey color. Instead of water, you'll want to use latex to mix the sealing material. This will give it additional elastic and adhesive properties. However, avoid mixing too much sealer at any given time, as most sealers dry fairly quickly after mixing. Mix a small amount, apply the amount already mixed to the crack, and repeat. 

Step 3: Applying the Sealer

Next, use a caulk gun to inject epoxy sealer directly into the crack. Once the crack has been completely sealed, use a small trowel to apply the mixed sealer to the entire length of the crack. Make sure that you apply the sealer evenly, and that the crack is thoroughly covered. You'll also want to apply a small amount of sealant along each side of the crack for reinforcement.

Step 4: Curing and Smoothing

After you've applied sealant into and around the crack in the foundation, you'll need to let it cure, or dry, for a full day. If you notice that the concrete surrounding the crack is now much rougher, you can smooth it out before it dries using a standard household broom. Sweep firmly against the length of the crack to create a smooth, sanded effect that matches the rest of your foundation.