Cracks and Leaking

Why it happens, What's Normal, and When to Worry

Regardless of the type or method of building a concrete foundation, the most common problem facing homeowners and contractors is a structural crack in the foundation. Not to worry. A concrete foundation crack is perfectly normal as 66% of all concrete foundations crack within the first year. The major reason for cracks is concrete shrinkage and a settling concrete foundation. Concrete shrinks as a natural process of it curing. This shrinkage causes the concrete to develop stresses and to relieve it, the basement wall cracks. This is a normal condition in a concrete foundation. Shrinkage cracks are typically less than 1/16th” in width and will eventually run the entire length of the concrete wall, from top to bottom. Common areas for a shrinkage concrete crack to develop are under a basement window, in the middle of a long wall or where the foundation “steps down.”

Once the concrete cracks, it is possible for water to leak into a basement through the fissure or crack. However, with a durable waterproofing system in place, such as a product from Tremco Barrier Solutions, the protective membrane will withstand the crack and prevent moisture or water from passing through the crack.