When Is The Best Time To Fix a Leaky Basement and With What System?

Leaking basements are a very common phenomenon is most homes. A leaking basement could be due to a number of factors including natural occurrences and faulty home structures, but no matter what the cause of your leaking basement is, simple pre-emptive leaky basement solutions can help to avoid major troubles. Leaky basements are mostly caused by water soil pressure around the home’s foundation. It could either be due to hydrostatic pressure or lateral pressure.

Lateral Pressure

Lateral pressure is when the surface soil around the foundation of a home absorbs water during normal weather conditions. Instead of the water to drain, it stays afloat due to the nature of the soil. This slow drainage causes sideways pressure against the foundation of the home. Then it creates problems such that you would need leaky basement solutions to fix it. Clay soil is especially prone to flooding.

Hydrostatic Pressure

Naturally, there’s always water in the ground no matter how dry it feels on the surface. However, some areas have low levels of water than other areas. This type of water that exists in the ground is known as the water table. The location of the water table in every area is however different. Proximity of the water table to large bodies of water like rivers and lakes sometimes determines the height of the water table.

Where there is heavy rain or snowmelt, the soil that is closer to the surface absorbs some water while the surface of the water is saturated because the water table rises and more water cannot be absorbed. This rise in the water table causes what is known as hydrostatic pressure against the foundation of the home so that water begins to leak into the basement.

Signs it’s Time to Fix Your Leaky Basement

It’s always best to opt for pre-emptive leaky basement solutions and fix your basement before it starts to leak. A few signs can help you know when it’s time to fix your basement.

Basement Dampness

One of the first tell-tale signs that your basement needs leaky basement solutions is basement dampness. If you discover that the walls and floors of your basement are sometimes wet or cold, then it is a sign that water is somehow getting into your foundation.

Efflorescence

If you notice some white powdery substances on the floors or walls of your basement, it is a sign that efflorescence has occurred. Efflorescence happens when water evaporates and leaves a crystallized substance behind. So sometimes, you may not see the water or wetness but efflorescence would be able to let you know that water was once in that area.

Other signs of a leaking basement include wet stains on the floor or walls of the basement, funny smells in the basement and basement stains.

 

You can fix a leaky basement in a number of ways but the most common methods include buying a sump pump, which is a machine that could be used to pump out excess water from the basement and leaky basement solutions offered by professionals. For more information see: How to Choose the Right Wet Basement Waterproofing Method

 

Aquatech Waterproofing is a Canadian based company that offers free consultation on leaky basement solutions. For a free consultation, visit here.

Exterior Basement: Waterproofing When Water Attacks

Exterior Basement: Waterproofing When Water Attacks

When the outside of your basement is attacked by flood, the smallest crack in your cellar’s defenses can even turn the battle into your foundation into a real problem. This is because some events are just too overwhelming to hope on a traditional interior basement waterproofing effort.

Let there be no doubt about exterior basement waterproofing, it is a huge undertaking. It’s going to begin with excavating the earth out from around your basement regardless of the techniques that will be used. Envisioning a huge backhoe in your yard scraping mud away from your foundation.

However, it’s a necessity for many homes as scary as it is. Cracks can be forced in your foundation that will get water into the cellar even though it’s been recently waterproofed on the inside if the hydrostatic pressure on the outside of your basement walls gets too high. With Exterior basement waterproofing, the strength is brought right to where the fight is actually taking place — the external wall of your basement.

Kinds of Exterior Waterproofing

Several different varieties of external basement waterproofing exist. In the simplest kind, some form of waterproofing agent is sprayed down the basement wall and then the dirt around the basement is changed. It’s the most common, least expensive, and least powerful way of protecting your cellar walls.

The next step is basically involves using plastic to wrap your entire basement wall. It adds extraordinary strength and water tightness to your basement walls, although it’s a huge undertaking. It’s also expensive — actually more than the next option, which many people prefer for their homes.

Installing footer drains all the way around the home is a common alternative to strengthen the basement walls. These footer drains act much like solid set of gutters by collecting the rain that pours down the outside wall of the home and gently directs it dozens of feet away, usually into a storm drain or a garden. Generally, footer drains will manage any problem with the exception of a rising water table or a water main breakage near the basement walls.

Don’t Wait Until The Damage is Done

Basements that require exterior waterproofing are already in danger – water is forcing its way even through the standard interior waterproofing job into the basement. That’s critical; the possibility for hazardous mold cannot be compared to the potential that the entire foundation of your home could split and crumble.

You’re staring at a whole different level of expense when that occurs. Contractors will come out and lift your entire home off of its foundation, and fix the foundation in under it. The kind of expense that will be invoked by that adventure cannot be compare to any amount of basement waterproofing. Thus, it’s much better to reach the basement waterproofers while you still can.

Call a basement waterproofing crew immediately and get your home checked out if you know or even suspect that this might be happening to your home. If you don’t need them, great! But if you do, you’ll be glad you called them when you did.

How to Choose the Right Wet Basement Waterproofing Method

Every home owner sees a wet basement has trouble for. Whether it is an unfinished basement with damp walls or a wet finished basement, water is an enemy of your home. Mold and mildew are common problems that it causes. You can ruin your belongings as well as damage the stability of the foundation and weaken the structure when you expose them to water continuously.

You need the professional help of a basement waterproofing contractor if you are troubled by leaking cracks and damp walls in your basement.

How does a Basement Waterproofing Contractor take care of a wet basement?

Your basement as well as other areas of your home that require waterproofing would be reviewed by a basement waterproofing contractor. The contractor will identify the problem and give you some effective ways to handle it. The contractor will also suggest to you the best wet basement waterproofing method that suits your home.

What are the Different Wet Basement Waterproofing Methods?

  1. Sealants

The basement waterproofing contractor will seal the cracks if the water enters the basement through cracks and help you get rid of the problem. The cracks can be sealed with special sealant/waterproofing coatings to keep off the moisture and water.

It is worthy to bear in mind that sealants are not an ideal solution for a home with strong hydrostatic pressure even though it is an inexpensive way of addressing the water problem. The solution cannot work for a flooded basement but it is ideal for minor dampness.

  1. Crack Injection

These are perfect for foundation of poured concrete. If the contractor comes to a conclusion that the water seepage comes through the walls, epoxy or polyurethane injections are used to handle the cracks.

  1. Interior Waterproofing – Drainage System

This solution is often chosen by many home owners because of its low cost and it doesn’t involve exterior excavation. Another name for it is “water control” solution because it doesn’t stop the water from getting in through the walls of the basement. What it does is that it manages the water after it has entered the walls.

If you choose interior waterproofing, the basement waterproofing contractor will install weeping tiles to direct the water from the basement to a sump pump system.

The experience and the expertise of the basement waterproofing contractor should not be compromised. The structural integrity of the foundation can be damaged while installing weeping tiles and sump pump when you choose an inexperienced contractor.

  1. Exterior Waterproofing – Excavation

The basement waterproofing contractor will start by excavating the earth around your home. To take care of affected areas as well as install drainage tiles, the contractor will apply hydraulic cement. The contractor will build a window well for you for better waterproofing, if that is what you ask for.

“Positive side waterproofing” is another name for exterior waterproofing, and this is because it addresses the hydrostatic pressure and stops the water from getting into the basement.

Exterior waterproofing can be time-consuming and costly depending on the kind of water problem you have. If water infiltration is caused in multiple areas, excavation will be done around several foundation walls of your home. The cost of waterproofing the basement may be increased by it.

One Size doesn’t fit all

No best method exists for handling the dampness and flooding issues in the basement. No home is the same and it is important to address the problem by understanding the causal agent very well.

Sealants or crack injections will take care of the problem for a few home owners while exterior waterproofing services will be required by others. Thus, to get an experienced basement waterproofing contractor is very important. The contractor will suggest to you the right method for handling the wet basement.

Choose Pour Concrete, Toronto’s favorite wet basement waterproofing contractor if you are tired of leaky basement. The problem would be reviewed by the waterproofing expert and an exterior waterproofing and/or interior waterproofing service would be carried out to give you good results. Reach us online or call on 647-847-4009.

Proper Sump Pump Maintenance is Vital to Keep Your Basement Dry

Depending upon where you live, how your house is designed and the structural composition of your home – keeping your basement dry is a big undertaking. This is especially true if you live in an area which is prone to floods and you constantly find that water is seeping in and playing havoc with your basements walls, eventually it will sink in to the foundation level and then you’ll have a mess on your hands along with a bill which you won’t want to look at for reasons best not divulged into. Another thing to keep in mind is usage and practicality.

A majority of houses will have a basement, this is especially true if you live in the suburbs and make your way to the metropolitan. You need the space and it’s practical to have one built while you’re at it rather than realizing later on that not having one is an even bigger problem. From the furnaces to the water systems and laundry – it’s the space where you can install, plan and execute most of the things which keep you house running.

But maintaining your basement is another thing completely – this is especially true when considering that if you don’t keep stuff to hand and keep up with what is required and when it is. You’ll end up damaging your home and won’t be the wiser. A part of this is keeping your basement dry, a sump pump installed at the right junction ensures just that. Before you have one installed its important to know that without one you’ll probably we running buckets up and down when it’s that time of the year.

Considering that having one installed is probably the simplest thing, you should seriously consider it! All home owners should have one – and that to regardless of the fact that which area you live in.

Any home with an underground level should have one and more over make good use of it as well, these will include basements, crawlspaces, cellars and the like as well. It is estimated that around 60% of homes have moisture problems – something to keep in mind and to act upon as well.

On the outset you might be hesitant, that is natural – it is a big investment. So the very first step is to compare and contrast the cost of having one installed and do a price and service comparison. After that it is pretty easy to decide which one and when to have someone come over and install one for you.

COVID-19 Update By Aquatech Waterproofing

As an essential business we remain open and operating to help those in need. Our team of consultants, technicians, licensed plumbers, and customer service staff are working every day to help keep your homes dry and healthy. We are taking extra precautions daily to be sure that our team is healthy and prepared to help make your home safer and healthier.


We now offer remote video estimating to allow you to speak to a consultant over video to explain the situation

COVID-19 Update: As deemed by the Province of Ontario Aquatech Waterproofing is an essential business outlined on the official list of essential workplaces under section 13: https://www.ontario.ca/page/list-essential-workplaces#section-13

Our office and sites remain open as we continue to monitor the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and our team has taken proactive and appropriate steps to ensure your safety is first and foremost.

Aquatech Waterproofing can be contacted:

New safety protocols:

  • All crews will be provided with hand soap, clean water, and hand sanitizer and gloves.
  • Employees are always encouraged to keep a minimum distance of 6 ft from clients and co-workers
  • If an employee starts to feel any symptoms related to COVID-19 they are instructed to go home immediately and contact public health

Staying safe, well and informed

We’re taking extra precautions to protect our clients and staff which includes encouraging our staff to stay home if they are unwell, providing extra prevention practices as well as following all government recommendations.

We’re committed to doing our part to help slow the spread of this new virus. When possible we encourage social distancing, as recommended by the Public Health Agency of Canada, and suggest that contacting us via phone, remote video viewing, email or online.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Be healthy and stay safe!
From your team at Aquatech Waterproofing

The Basement Waterproofing Techniques

Specific basement waterproofing measures are necessary to fully protect basements and homes. There is no easy way to best waterproof your basement. Therefore, various types of products and techniques have been developed to waterproof basements, along with foundation walls. The best approach to waterproofing a basement normally involves a combination of techniques, which have been broken down below.

Exterior waterproofing treatments are designed to stop moisture but not water leaks, when a home is being built. That is when the basement walls are usually accessible and clean, which creates an ideal condition for applying a waterproof coating. The asphalt-based compound is a traditional exterior coating that is applied by brush or spray equipment for a new foundation. It is important to point out that this treatment is damp proofing and not waterproofing, but the fact is that no liquid can enter the basement through gaps, cracks and holes left by form ties.

Waterproofing Requirements and Protection

It is a code requirement to apply a damp proofing treatment in many Canadian provinces to the exterior of basements. The builder is also required to install perforated plastic drain pipe near the footing to carry water away from the foundation, but these are not always effective. The drain line can be crushed during the back fill process, plus they can clog quickly with silt, water, and roots.

For a wet basement, exterior coating is used as a defense instead of a waterproof coating.

The paints and films are used to increase hydrostatic pressure and decrease the potential for leaks. The advancements in technology associated with paints has significant implications. In recent years, paints, sealers, and waterproof coatings are better than ever before. Some foundation waterproofing compounds are designed to be applied on the exterior of the foundation wall, while others are meant for interior applications, but with the same goal of establishing an impermeable barrier to water.

Technique Problems and Solutions

Unfortunately, these basement waterproofing techniques have their own challenges which can hinders their levels of success. By holding water back, there is a major buildup of hydrostatic pressure that occurs against the basement wall, as well as the thin membrane or coating. This water, under high pressure, can lead to bowing or buckling of the foundation walls. This can cause cracks that become the initial leakage points.

Drainage systems stop leaks by lowering hydrostatic pressure. This is one of the techniques which have proven effective in keeping basements dry in an interior drain system that is connected to a sump pump (Read: What is a Sump Pump?). This technique actually harnesses the power of hydrostatic pressure instead of fighting it. Unlike an exterior drainage system where the water and soil could cause issues, an interior French drain system is developed inside basement systems, meaning they cannot clog with plant roots or silt because of the location.


Watch Video: 4 Major Waterproofing Techniques

The bottom line: damp-proof the exterior of your foundation, and install an interior drain and sump pump system. It is extremely important to have two lines of defense instead of one. A well installed damp proof coating on the exterior of the foundation help to prevent moisture from seeping through the foundation walls.

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A Rainy Summer May Mean House Repairs This Fall

wet basement solutionsThis summer brought a particularly bad set of rain storms with it, and people from the East Coast to the Midwest experienced the damage and destruction that often accompanies these torrential downpours. As the last few days of summer come to an end, many are focused on the home repairs this summer has left them with.

Common Fixes for Heavy Rain Flooding

If your house was a victim of heavy rains and flooding, it may be in need of the following fixes:

Wet Basement Solutions

Water damage will affect some 90% of basements, according to experts, and if you experienced major rain storms this summer, your basement is probably one of them. A wet basement can cause extensive damage to furniture, carpets and floorboards and can also lead to expensive repairs. Therefore, it is essential to clear the water out and prevent it from coming back in. Some wet basement solutions include installing a basement sump pump, basement window well covers and waterproofing interior basement walls.

Landscaping

Heavy rains can cause major flooding in your yard, especially if your yard doesn’t drain well. Not only does this mean you have a pond in the back of your house all summer, but it can also mean expensive damage to your home’s foundation. There are a few things you can do to ensure your yard keeps water away from your house. Your yard should slope away from your house so that water does not sit around the foundation. If it doesn’t, you should consider having someone come to look at and fix your lot grading. You can also install a French drain system, which diverts water away from your yard through a series of underground pipes.

Gutter Repairs

Gutters are meant to clear water away from your home, but when they become clogged with sticks and leaves, they can’t perform this essential task. What’s worse, this sitting water can leak into your home and cause all sorts of water damage. It is important to make sure your gutters are cleared of any debris. You should also ensure that there is no structural damage to your gutters. If gutters have holes or they are not leading water a safe distance from your foundation, make sure to fix them right away.

If you were a victim of torrential downpours this summer, it is a good idea to look around both the inside and outside of your house for potential damage. You may need to think about wet basement solutions, fixing your yard and repairing damaged gutters.
Fixing problems sooner rather than later can save you from bigger, more expensive issues down the road.

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Could the Summer Prove Even More Harmful for Permafrost-Ridden Climates?

concrete foundation repairIt may seem like all the recent warm weather is a blessing, given the harsh winter that just passed, but a new study is showing that the heat and humidity could cause some severe problems in parts of Russia.

According to a United Nations Environment Program report, almost a quarter of the Northern Hemisphere is covered with permafrost.

Permafrost is soil that has a below-zero temperature, and is therefore completely frozen. Recent studies are showing that permafrost thaw is increasing at a rapid rate, leading to several concerns for Russia’s urban infrastructure.

Not only does permafrost release methane and carbon dioxide as it thaws, but it begins to cause a shift in the foundation of buildings within a city. The problem with this is that the ground begins to soften and move beneath the surface of large structures, and these buildings are not designed to handle these shifts.

How a Water Thawing Can Affect Your Home

Foundation shifts are known to cause potentially serious water damage. Even with a basement sump pump, a battery backup sump pump, a French drain system, or interior basement waterproofing, water can still seep in through cracks in the foundation. Without immediate concrete foundation repair, the shifted building could face increasing devastation.

In addition, Gunnar Bjørnnson, a student from Norway who is studying the effect of rapid permafrost thaw, explained that water damage is not the only problem.

“When you have an unstable foundation that starts to crack, it can break and destroy pipelines, sanitation, sewage, water access. It can cause a lot of complications, repair costs, and maintenance costs,” he said.

A report by Barents Observer shows that concrete foundation repair can cost from $5,000 to $7,000 for major issues, and about $2,000 for some minor cracks. But for entire cities in Russia, this could mean hundreds of thousands of dollars in concrete foundation repair.

This month, George Washington University, Moscow State University, and the Barents Institute joined forces to work on a project that analyzes these trends. Students from these institutions found that permafrost thaw is also impacting Arctic climates in Canada and Alaska.

Consequently, even if building owners remove excess ice, snow, or water from around a foundation, there is no guarantee that permafrost won’t affect the concrete and soil surrounding the structure.

Ultimately, the aim of these studies is to ensure that builders are able to work with the rapidly evolving soil.

“We look at engineering aspects, but we don’t tell an engineer how to build a house. Instead, we can teach them what are the methods to adapt this city, region, or even a particular building to natural and climatic conditions as they change,” said Dmitry Streletskiy, a field school instructor. “It helps to know how to consider climate and local natural conditions when they build on permafrost.”

How to Prevent Basement Flooding Fast and Easy

Now we all look forward to spring and there are certain characteristics about this time of the year which brings out the best in us, birds chirping, flowers blooming all over, the sun shining right at us, overall increased day light – Yes! We couldn’t be happier! But then there are those things which we do not look forward to, a less happy characteristic of spring is a flooding basement, full of water – you stand there thinking what to do?

Although the weather has its perks, spring bring along with it the sorrow of flawed grading and weakened foundations. Now if you are facing this issue for the very first time around – there are remedies you can take in order to avoid these instances in the future, ensure that it never repeats and get things back in order.

The first thing to do is of course to get rid of all that water! Now if you follow us regularly, a couple of articles ago we recommended that home owners should invest in a sump pump. But don’t despair if you don’t have one as of yet – you can always rent one from your local home improvement store. And if you have more than just a few inches of water to get rid of it might be worth your while to call in a professional. They know what they’re doing and have the equipment to match.

So with that done, the next thing is to get rid of all the moisture left behind. Dry things out, make sure the area is properly ventilated so as to decrease the chances of molds forming at all the wrong places. Increase air circulation and open up all the windows and doors leading to your basement.

And since spring is here, it might be good to do some post spring cleaning. Get rid of anything and everything which is wet or of a porous nature. These will includes old newspapers and card board boxes – you can always restack once done with drying of your basement area. If you have carpeting, which can be dried of quickly, so be it – otherwise clear it out.

It can be a cumbersome task to clear out and dry your basement properly. Now that you know what needs to be done, it might be useful to follow these steps and avoid unnecessary damage to the interior of your basement.

How Serious Are Cracks In The Basement Wall?

Cracks in the basement walls are usually due to leaks around the foundations or are a first sign of structural problems with the house or the property you currently reside in. If you don’t nip this problem in the bud earlier on you’ll probably find yourself in a long line of home owners who eventually have to dish out thousands of dollars to get their property fixed.

Now the first thing you might want to take note of is the fact that your basement walls have considerable earth pressure pushing down on them constantly, this pressure is inward especially when considering the exterior grade and its positioning. In the olden day’s basement walls were made out of concrete and did not have any vertical refinements, thus they were capable of resisting pressure due to their borderline strength.

However if in case you are in a position where your basement wall seems to have cracks in and around it, note that for each kind there is a different kind of remedy.

A rule of thumb when considering basement cracks is that they are mostly due structural problems, your contractor either didn’t put in enough concrete or otherwise they didn’t bother leveling it out with the ground your house now stands at from the foundation and upwards. If you note a horizontal crack in your basement right in the middle of the wall you will need specialist intervention and sooner rather than later. However if the crack is bowing you might just get away with pasting a whole lot of concrete in and around it. But be careful you still want to call someone in to ensure that the concrete or cement your applying doesn’t latter on cause other problems.

Similarly in a concrete basement cracks will normally appear about six to eight inches from the top of the wall. And in most cases these will be a hairline crack which are a result of the reinforcing bars at the top not being placed properly. Now these cracks can cause a number of problems, the most common of which are:

  • They weaken the wall structure in itself

  • They allow moisture to seep in and penetrate through the wall

Now repairing this problem will involve you breaking out all of the spilling concrete, clearing the rust caused due to the moisture and water and eventually replacing the spilled concrete with repair mortar grade concrete. In each of the cases mentioned above you might just want to take on an expert opinion before you get to work. However basement cracks will appear either due to a weak structure or moisture making its way in from the foundations.