If you own an adobe home and have the unusual situation where you also have a basement, cracks in your basement walls or floors will present an additional challenge usually not encountered with other type of commonly constructed homes.
It is important at this point to determine the type of foundation walls that this home has. It is not probable that the adobe home’s basement walls will also be adobe because this would make little sense. The greatest enemy of adobe, as already noted in the other pages of this site, is moisture, and any adobes that are below grade (underground), making up the walls of the basement, would have been an extremely foolish building decision.
But foolish decisions are often made in building houses, particularly when there were no building codes in effect to mitigate the often unwise decisions that owner-builders often made in the past. If it is true that your adobe home has a basement whose walls are constructed out of adobe blocks, this is going to present some serious challenges, particularly if either the walls and/or the floors have serious cracking issues.
When you want to seal your adobe house, use a product formulated for adobe:
SILOX Premium Adobe Water Repellent
Basement walls support the structure of the floors above them. The old adage, “A home is only as strong as its foundation,” carries particular force when it comes to an adobe home that has adobe as its foundation/basement walls.
It will be helpful at this point to point out that I am referring to mud adobe blocks when I am speaking of adobe walls that might make up the walls of a basement. In the unlikely event that a basement’s walls would actually be constructed of adobe, I would strongly recommend you contact me through my email address at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call or text me at (520) 331-4004.
In the almost three decades that I have worked on adobe homes, I have yet to encounter one that used adobe for the construction of basement walls. If your home fits this description, I would be interested in learning about this and invite you to call, text or email me. Including any pictures with your correspondence would be helpful and I would like to use your situation as a case study for this particular page.