Concrete and Basement Floor Cracks
There are many issues that can lead to cracks in concrete basement floors. While poured concrete is generally considered the best, it is still prone to cracking due to the curing process and settling that happens over time. During the curing process concrete generates a lot of heat which creates small cracks called shrinkage cracks. These cracks exist because concrete is “thirsty” during the curing process and requires constant water to prevent it from shrinking. Most concrete floors do not get the needed water thus they tend to crack.
Why repair cracks?
Moisture and Mold
Basement floor cracks are almost never structural issues but are a huge source of excessive moisture and humidity. Excessive moisture can ruin belongings being stored in the basement, not to mention the potential for mold growth.
Finishing your Basement
Basement floor cracks are usually repaired prior to basement finishing. Floor cracks are a source of excessive moisture, an enemy of a finished area. Moisture traveling up through the cracks increase humidity creating the moist, musty environment often associated with basements. Furthermore, moist carpets from non repaired floor cracks will feel wet and create odor as well.
Repair floor cracks to stop the infiltration of radon gas, the second leading cause of lung cancer in the USA. Radon gas is a silent odorless gas that creeps directly through basement floor cracks. Under extreme conditions a radon mitigation system may even be required. Sealing floor cracks fills the entire crack, bonding or welding the floor back together.
Insects and Rodents Intrusion
Some cracks are large enough to allow insects into the home potentially creating a future nightmare. Carpenter ants and termites like wet dark conditions, like basements. Again prior to finishing a basement all floor cracks should be sealed to prevent insect intrusion or even rodent intrusion, like snakes or mice.
Under some circumstances it is recommended to repair floor cracks that are allowing water to seep through. If there is minimal water gathering on the floor coming in through floor cracks then all of the above is possible. Providing a means for drainage is key to stopping the water coming through the floor cracks.