Concrete wall cracks occur for different reasons. The cracks can be caused by aging materials, erosion, or contraction and expansion due to temperature changes and humidity. Most cracks are normal and only require a quick fix to look as good as new. However, these cracks can become catastrophic with time if you don’t repair them immediately. Repairing concrete wall cracks is an easy process. You just need to understand how to repair it and the tools needed. You can also hire professionals like the masonry Albuquerque NM to take the hassle off your plate.
That said, here’s a comprehensive guide on how to repair concrete wall cracks:
1. Get Required Materials
The concrete wall repair process is straightforward. However, there are certain materials and tools you need before you get started with the repair. You should know the best materials you could use. This includes the following:
- Carbon Fiber Reinforcing Strips: Carbon fibers are the best reinforcing strips used by many professionals. There are composite materials you can use to take the pressure off the walls and increase the strength and durability of the building. Depending on the crack shape and size, you can cut and shape the strips and apply them using epoxy or an adhesive resin.
- Injector System and Products: Wall crack repairs require more than a surface treatment. You also need to fill the whole depth of the crack, and this is where the injection system comes in. It injects a liquid polymer through the injection ports that hardens and seals the crack with time.
- Surface Prep Paste: You need to prepare surfaces for adhesives, coatings, and other finishes. Therefore, you need a surface prep paste for this job.
Besides these materials, you’ll also need specific tools for the work, such as:
- Mansory brush
- Wire brush
- Dusk mask
- Ear and ear protection
- Rubber gloves
Ensure you have most, if not all, of these tools and materials to repair your concrete wall cracks.
2. Identify Cracks
When you first notice a crack in your concrete wall. Identifying the type of crack on your wall can help you decide the next cause of action. Here are three common types of cracks in concrete:
- Plastic Shrinkage Concrete Cracks: They’re popular among concrete walls before hardening. Remember, concrete in its plastic state contains water. As it dries, the water escapes leaving airspaces that weaken the concrete and make it prone to cracking.
- Expansion Concrete Cracks: If your concrete wall is too heated, it can expand and push against anything blocking its way. Use compressible materials like rubber or asphalt as shock absorbers to reduce the expansion effect. They act as isolation points hence containing concrete expansion.
- Premature Drying: Two types of cracks that result from premature drying are crusting and crazing cracks. The first occurs during stamping, while a fast moisture loss causes the latter.
3. Explore The Methods For Repair
Once you identify the types of cracks that your wall has, it’ll be easier to know what methods to apply. Here are some suitable repair methods for concrete wall cracks:
- Epoxy Injection: It’s suitable to use on cracks as narrow as 0.002 inches. It establishes the entry and venting points. They should be at close intervals to tightly seal the crack through the injection. For this method to hold, you should identify the cause. Otherwise, the crack might recur in the future.
- Routing and Sealing: It’s appropriate for situations where structural repair isn’t necessary. The technique involves enlarging the crack along its exposed face and filling it with a joint sealant. Routing and sealing can be applied to vertical services with the help of a non-sag sealant.
- Stitching: This technique involves drilling holes on both sides of the crack. It’s appropriate for brick wall structures.
- Grouting: Grouting could be appropriate to stop water leaks if a crack develops on thick concrete walls.
- Dry Packing: It’s among the most straightforward and quickest methods of repairing concrete cracks. The method relies on applying a sealant after creating a groove in the concrete. For this method, it’s best to use non-shrink construction grout.
The type of crack on your wall can determine the most appropriate methods for sealing it. Evaluate the crack thoroughly and consult a professional on the type of repair to seal the crack.
4. Seal The Crack
After identifying the type of crack and choosing the repair method, you can start sealing the crack. Use the injection system to inject the surface prep paste along the entire crack length, ensuring it fills the crack and extends beyond the wall surface. Fill the injection ports with polyurethane and seal them with an injection cap to prevent leakage. Allow the polyurethane for about 12 hours to harden and seal the crack, then break off all the injection ports with your hammer. Remove the surface prep paste and sand the repair until it smoothens. Apply the epoxy across the crack, ensuring it covers about 10 inches of the area around it. Reapply the epoxy again to ensure you’ve established a thick layer. Add a reinforcing fabric to cover the epoxy-covered area. Then, press it until the epoxy squeezes through the fabric. Add another layer of epoxy and spread to cover the entire crack for a quality repair.
Remember the saying; if you don’t fill up a crack, you’ll build a wall. As such, it’s best to check and repair the cracks immediately. Consider calling a professional to give you the way forward on what method would be appropriate for use.
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