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Identifying and Addressing Cracked Basement Foundations. Pricing and Solutions

A Guide by Karma Construction Group

Cracked basement foundations are a common concern for homeowners in the DMV (DC, Maryland, Virginia) area. These cracks can lead to serious issues, including water penetration, which can cause extensive damage and lead to costly repairs. At Karma Construction Group, we aim to provide you with essential information on what to look for in cracked foundations, the different levels of severity, and the costs associated with waterproofing foundations in our region.

Types of Foundation Cracks

1. Hairline Cracks:

- Description: Thin, superficial cracks often caused by the natural settling of the foundation.

- Severity: Low

- Signs of Concern: If they remain stable and don’t widen over time, they are typically not a major issue. However, any sign of water seepage should be monitored.

2. Vertical Cracks:

- Description: Cracks running up and down the wall, often due to settling or soil pressure.

- Severity: Moderate to high

- Signs of Concern: Can allow water to penetrate, especially during heavy rains. Monitor for widening and any signs of water entry.

3. Diagonal Cracks:

- Description: Cracks that run at an angle, often due to differential settling or soil movement.

- Severity: Moderate to high

- Signs of Concern: Indicative of uneven settling, which can lead to structural issues. Water penetration is a common problem.

4. Horizontal Cracks:

- Description: Cracks running horizontally, typically due to soil pressure or hydrostatic pressure.

- Severity: High

- Signs of Concern: These are serious and can indicate a potential for wall failure. Immediate professional assessment is recommended.

5. Stair-Step Cracks:

- Description: Cracks that follow the mortar lines in a step-like pattern, often seen in brick or block foundations.

- Severity: Moderate to high

- Signs of Concern: Often due to differential settling. Water penetration and structural damage are common concerns.

Assessing the Severity of Foundation Cracks

1. Monitoring Progression:

- Keep an eye on the width and length of the cracks. If they continue to grow, this is a sign of an underlying issue that needs addressing.

2. Water Penetration:

- Look for signs of dampness, mold, or efflorescence (white, chalky deposits) around the cracks. These indicate water is entering through the foundation.

3. Structural Movement:

- Check for doors and windows that stick or don't open/close properly. This can be a sign of significant foundation movement.

Cost of Waterproofing Foundations in the DMV Area

The cost of waterproofing a basement foundation can vary widely based on the severity of the issue and the chosen method. Here’s a breakdown of the common waterproofing solutions and their costs per square foot:

1. Crack Injection:

- Description: Epoxy or polyurethane is injected into cracks to seal them.

- Cost: $5 to $10 per linear foot

- Best For: Hairline and small cracks

2. Interior Sealants:

- Description: Application of sealants on the interior walls to prevent moisture penetration.

- Cost: $3 to $6 per square foot

- Best For: Minor seepage issues

3. Exterior Excavation and Waterproofing:

- Description: Excavating around the foundation and applying waterproof membranes and drainage systems.

- Cost: $50 to $100 per square foot

- Best For: Severe water penetration and long-term solutions

4. Interior Drainage Systems:

- Description: Installing drainage systems like French drains and sump pumps inside the basement.

- Cost: $25 to $50 per linear foot

- Best For: Moderate to severe water issues, especially where exterior excavation is not feasible

5. Bentonite Clay Injection:

- Description: Injecting bentonite clay around the exterior of the foundation to create a waterproof barrier.

- Cost: $30 to $60 per linear foot

- Best For: Areas with high water tables or severe hydrostatic pressure


Addressing foundation cracks promptly can prevent minor issues from becoming major problems. By understanding the types of cracks and their severity, you can take appropriate action to protect your home. At Karma Construction Group, we offer expert assessments and waterproofing solutions tailored to your specific needs. Contact us today to ensure your basement foundation is secure and dry, providing peace of mind and protection for your property.

For a consultation or more information, reach out to Karma Construction Group. We are here to help you safeguard your home against the challenges of foundation cracks and water penetration.

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