Cracked Joints? 3 Steps To Repair Basement Walls

If your basement walls are made of brick or cinderblocks, you may start to see small cracks developing along the joints. This is usually a normal part of the aging process. If you repair the small cracks as soon as you see them forming, you can avoid more extensive damage to your foundation. Here are some easy-to-follow instructions that will help you repair the damage.

Remove the Loose Mortar

The first step in repairing the cracks in your basement wall is removing the loose mortar. This step will ensure a stable foundation for your fresh mortar. You’ll need to remove as much of the loose mortar as possible.

Supplies You’ll Need

  • Heavy-duty gloves
  • Safety goggles
  • Slim concrete chisel
  • Hammer
  • Shop vacuum

Directions

  1. Put on your goggles and work gloves.
  2. Place the edge of the concrete chisel up against the mortar you’ll be working on.
  3. Carefully hit the end of the chisel with your hammer.
  4. Move the chisel along the joint as you continue to tap with your hammer.
  5. Use the shop vacuum to remove all the loose dust that’s left behind between the bricks.  

Prepare the New Mortar

Once the loose mortar has been removed, you’ll need to prepare the fresh mortar. Here’s a simple way to mix your own mortar.

Supplies You’ll Need

  • Masonry cement
  • Construction sand
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Small concrete trowel
  • Water

Directions

  1. Place 4-5 parts construction sand and 1 part cement in your wheelbarrow.
  2. Add water according to the directions on your cement package.
  3. Use your cement trowel to combine the cement, sand and water. 
  4. Continue mixing until the mortar is the consistency of thick mud.

Apply the Fresh Mortar

Now you’re ready to apply the fresh mortar. Since this part tends to get messy, you should wear clothes that you don’t mind ruining. This part of the project is going to get messy, so make sure you have some old clothes on.

Supplies You’ll Need

  • Fresh mortar
  • Gloves
  • Pie-edged concrete trowel

Directions

  1. Dip your trowel into the mortar and get a generous amount on the tip of the trowel.
  2. Beginning at the bottom edge, press the fresh mortar into all the vertical joints.
  3. Scrape the edge of the joint with your trowel to remove excess mortar and smooth the surface.
  4. Continue applying fresh mortar until all the vertical joints are filled.
  5. Repeat the process on your horizontal joints.
  6. Allow the mortar to dry for about a week.

Your basement is the main support system for your home. You can protect the structural ability of your home by repairing small cracks. Use the instructions provided above to keep your basement walls in tiptop shape. If you’ve discovered significant damage to your basement walls, you should contact a concrete contractor like one from Premo Concrete LTD concrete contractors as soon as possible.  

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