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Here is where you'll find the most commonly asked questions we get. If you don't find the answer to your specific question, please call us.
Question: How do I know what construction type my foundation is?
Answer: If your home is very old or a centurion home, chances are the foundation will be constructed with mortar and fieldstones. The next style would be built with concrete blocks that measure 8 inch high by 16 inch long with block depths of either 8 inch or 10 inch deep.
The most current design or updated style of foundation would be the poured concrete type which is most common in newer homes built today. You can tell as they will look similar to the poured basement floor finish.
Question: Why does my basement leak?
Answer: There can be several reasons that can cause a leaky basement, listed below are the main causes:
- Hydrostatic pressure of water coming up from under the floor
- Window well or wells not draining properly
- Sump pump failure
- Cracks in the concrete poured wall or walls
- Weeping tiles not working or flowing properly
- Tree roots clogging weeping tiles/blockage present
Whether you live in a new home or an older home, a leaky foundation will cause damage to your basement walls. It is better to repair now rather than later, the longer you wait the more costly it will be to the homeowner! In most cases when the basement was excavated, the soil that has been in place around the new foundation at the time is loose soil than the current soil or undisturbed earth around it. This loose earth collects water quickly compared to undisturbed soil. This soil that surrounds the foundation will collect water and keep that moisture up on the foundation walls. The accumulation of water will enter into the foundation walls as the walls will deteriorate quietly over time.
Question: Can basement leaks be repaired from the inside?
Answer: Yes they can as they will be injected from the interior. Another method when dealing with block foundations is to install an internal weeping system. In all honesty for best results, external digging and waterproofing is the best way to repair the situation.
Question: What is the time frame to repair a foundation crack?
Answer: An exposed crack or unfinished basement can take 1 ½ - 2 hours per crack. If dry walled or a finished basement add a minimum of ½ hour to one hour more.
Question: What are the main causes for foundation cracks?
Answer: Listed below are the main causes:
- Tree roots from old trees
- Uneven soil base
- Improper foundation construction
- Pressure from earth below
- Plumbing or drainage leaks
Question: My basement is unfinished and I notice a crack or cracks should I be concerned about repairing?
Answer: ABSOLUTELY! This will lead to more serious repairs later on; it can also heave on your walls and floors. If your basement at this point shows signs of dampness or has a musty smell, then the basement environment has extra moisture that will trigger allergies, lung issues due to mold and mildew present. This problem must be addressed immediately before it gets worse and more expensive to fix.
Question: What is the best solution to fix foundation cracks, should they be repaired from the inside or outside?
Answer: Some contactors shy away from this question, because internal repair is less costly but to properly repair this problem it should be fixed from the outside. The initial cost may be higher but the end result is that it will be repaired right the first time.
Question: What are the signs of a basement leak?
Answer: Please see below:
- A chalky substance on basement walls
- Surface rust visible on appliances
- Bubbles on wallpaper or peeling paint
- A sudden increase or presence of mold and mildew in washrooms, kitchen and basement area
- Musty odours and dampness on floor and walls
- Signs of wood trim or wood panels warping
- Wood rotting in your home
Question: What are the causes of saturated insulation on basement walls?
Answer: Damp or soaked insulation will occur when the vapor barrier and the waterproof membrane will not let moisture evaporate properly; therefore this area will turn into a mold state and will spread quickly over time. This can cause respiratory health issues.
Question: What can I do to stop my basement from leaking?
Answer: Some of the best methods for waterproofing your basement and keeping it dry are to have a series of protective layers and sealers that keep water from entering your foundation walls. A wall membrane will protect the wall from damage and aid in keeping the waterproof system in place for a lifetime. Proper installation of weeping tiles will transfer water away from the foundation and also prevent basement flooding in extreme weather conditions. The best fix is the exterior fix!
Another important function homeowners overlook; keeping your eaves troughs and downspouts clean from debris and blockages as this will divert water away from your foundation during heavy rain falls and the spring thaw.
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