Basement wall cracks also can widen. While a particular foundation crack may not necessarily be a problem at the time, that can change as soon as the next heavy rainstorm arrives. After a foundation crack forms, the prospect of water seepage (whether slight or major) is not a matter of if, but a matter of when. If water leakage from a foundation crack is minimal now, the potential exists for the concrete gap to widen, allowing further seepage into the basement.
These basement wall cracks, resulting from shrinkage, generally take place within the first 30 days after a foundation has been poured. As water within the concrete evaporates, the concrete shrinks. When extra water is added to the concrete, it makes it easier to install for the builder. Unfortunately, the wetter the concrete mix is, the more shrinkage will occur, which ultimately weakens the foundation. Also, the natural settling of the foundation can lead to concrete cracks. Most cracks in a foundation will happen in the first two years after the foundation has been poured in place. However, this does not mean they will leak immediately, and soil conditions can play a factor. Leaks may not occur for years after a flaw has developed.
For wet and leaking concrete foundation cracks, the preferred injection material is Polyurethane. Polyurethane foam is a flexible material that quickly injects into the crack. Upon contact with water or moisture within the wall break, Polyurethane foam reacts by expanding throughout the void, filling the crack and any void on the foundation's exterior.