Waterproofing New Concrete Foundations

Waterproofing may be the least exciting phase of construction, but it’s one of the most crucial. While there really isn’t any artistry involved, it’s easy to overlook the importance and just go through the motions. Many builders want to rush through things and get this phase of the job done quickly, but if you want to avoid any future problems in callbacks, leaks and so on, you must take the time to get this step right. Always remember that it only takes one hole in your drinking glass to ruin your shirt!

Other than a fire, probably the worst thing that can happen to a residential structure is a foundation problem. The foundation is literally what the house is built on, what keeps the building where it was built, transferring the dead loads and the live loads into the ground.

The source of the vast majority of foundation problems is water. Wet soil beneath a foundation can swell or lose strength. And that’s only the first reason to keep the foundation dry. Then there’s the potential that wet damp basements and crawl spaces could breed mold and make below-ground interior spaces generally unpleasant. The problem is that typical concrete is not waterproof. Although it may not be cracked (which is actually rare) it will typically keep out liquid water, water vapor can still penetrate quite easily. Keeping water drained away from concrete foundations and preventing it from moving through the concrete are essential to a successful structure.

Accomplishing our goal, then, of draining any water away and ensuring a dry interior space below grade can be relatively simple or fairly involved depending on geographic location, climate, topography, soil/water table conditions, and depth of the foundation. There are three components of any system designed to keep water out. These are, from the bottom up:

  • Drains to move water away from the bottom of the foundation
  • Wall treatment to prevent moisture from moving through the wall and to route water down to the drains
  • Ground surface treatment adjacent to the building to direct surface water away

And remember that since this will mostly be underground when the building is complete, doing it right the first time is critical, because coming back to fix it is an expensive undertaking. A leaky foundation in a residential building can damage finishes and furnishings, even the structure itself. In a commercial building, water can ruin expensive equipment and disrupt vital work. It all adds up to lost money, wasted time, upset customers and sometimes litigation.

RAINSTORM TIPS

Rainstorms during the spring and summer are a fact of life, and with them can come the threat of a flooded basement.
Your home is made up of many drainage components that work together to direct water where it is supposed to go – onto city streets and back lanes. Keeping water away from the foundation walls of your house is the most important action you can take to minimize your flood risk. Any of a number of improvements can help, but remember that it’s the whole system working together that gives you the best chance of avoiding a wet basement.
Before a Storm
1. Start on your roof. Eavestroughs (also called rain gutters) should be regularly cleaned and checked for leaks, poor connections or sagging. It’s important water from your roof flows easily and quickly to the downspouts. Anything that prevents this from happening should be repaired or replaced.
2. Downspouts should be checked regularly to make sure there are no leaves or other debris blocking the water’s path. Check also for leaks and poor connections where the downspout is attached to the eavestrough.
3. Downspout extensions take the water away from the house and the foundation walls. Extensions should be at least 6 feet (1. 8 metres) away from the house. If an extension is not possible, place a concrete splash pad at a sloped angle underneath the downspout. In all cases, directed the water to a street or back lane and not into a neighbour’s yard. In older neighbourhoods, some roof downspouts are connected directly to pipes underground. Seek the advice of a plumber or drainage expert before disconnecting.
4. Good eavestroughs, downspouts and extensions won’t help much if lot grading is poor. Walk around your home and measure the grade from the wall. This includes under steps and decks. The soil, lawn or other hard surface should slope downward at a continuous grade for a minimum of five feet. The soil at the wall should be at least 4-6 inches higher than the ground five feet away. This positive grade should be checked regularly as ground settles over time.
5. Window wells are an excellent way of adjusting the grade around basement windows that are low to the ground. Window wells have the added bonus of preventing dirt from rotting window sills. Once the window well is installed, backfill the outside of the well with dirt so the positive grade is the same as the rest of the house.
6. Concrete cracks on your driveway, sidewalk or patio can let surface water seep back to your foundation walls. These cracks or spaces should be sealed and waterproofed with silicone. As silicone wears down over time, this should be done every 3-5 years.
7. Look for any basement foundation cracks inside your house. If your basement is finished, check to see if there are any wet or damp areas along the walls or on the edges of the flooring after it rains. If there is, you may need to remove part of the wall or flooring to confirm the water source. Have any cracks you find sealed and waterproofed. that you find.
8. If you have a backwater valve on your sewer line it will help prevent sewer backup into your basement. Check it at least once a year to make sure the flap is free of debris and is moving freely. Lubricate the hinges of the valve if necessary. If you don’t have a valve in your home, consider having one installed.
9. Many homes have a sump pump that takes excess groundwater from the bottom of the foundation to the surface. A sump pump should be checked regularly to see if it is working properly. This includes cleaning the intake screen and checking for leaks. You can test a sump pump by taking off the floor cover and pouring water into the sump well. The pump that is working properly should automatically begin running.
10. The sump pump pipe runs to the surface outside the house. Like downspouts, water from this pipe should be channeled away from the house to a city street or back lane and not into your neighbor’s yard.
During A Storm. . .
1. Avoid using water. During a rainstorm, the pressure on your home and the municipal drainage system increases dramatically, sometimes pushing it to capacity. Washing clothes, taking a shower, running the dishwater and even flushing the toilet adds water to the system that may have nowhere to go but up your floor drain and into your basement. This is particularly true if you have a backwater valve as the valve is designed to close during extreme conditions and keep water from the outside getting in. When this happens, water from the inside also can’t get out.
2. Get your eavestrough extensions down. A long downspout extension is of no value when it’s propped up against the side of the house. Leave your extensions down all the time or put them down when rain is forecast.
3. Check the power to the sump pump. If you have a sump pump, double check to see that is plugged in and the breaker is on. More than one homeowner has searched for the cause of a flooded basement only to discover their sump pump lacked the power to perform.

5 Causes of Leaks in Your Basement & How to Find Them

A leaky basement can be a common problem that most households deal with at one time or another. Taking care of your basement is essential to ensure a healthy home, but many times we may not pay attention to that dingy area of our house. If basement problems are ignored, they could become things that could affect your home and ultimately result in costly repairs. High humidity promotes an environment in which mold and mildew could grow and cause allergic reactions in you and your family, and water damage could eventually result in damage and, therefore, greatly reduce your property’s value.

It is crucial for you and your family’s health to recognize water damage signs and determine what is causing them. For this reason, we will explain what the main causes of water-related problems are in basements, and provide a guideline in to effectively recognize them in a timely manner:

What Causes Leaky Basements?

A basement’s number one enemy is certainly water, since it is responsible for most problems found in them and could cause great havoc. The following are the main sources from which water could be making its way into your home causing leaks in your basement:

 

  • Rain and water pools around the foundation

 

Heavy rainfall can be deadly to a home that hasn’t been properly waterproofed. Problems due to rainfall accumulating near the foundations are more common in older homes, but even new houses can become flooded if there isn’t proper drainage that directs the water away from the structure. You should have a slope around your home that will help divert water away from the foundation, regularly clear out gutters and make sure downspouts are draining away water at a sufficient distance from the house.

 

  • Cracks in or around windows and doors

 

Sometimes the issue simply lies in small cracks and holes, or improper sealing of windows and stairwell doors. Take advantage of the next rainfall and inspect your windows and stairways for signs of leaks, and proceed to caulking and repairing whatever flaws you have found, sealing them properly and making sure outside drainage is adequately diverting water away from your home.

 

  • Leaky plumbing

 

The issue can also be inside your home, since leaky pipes are also very common problems and could be the source of dampness behind a wall. It is essential that you regularly inspect your pipes for leaks and cracks or blockages, and that you properly prepare them for cold weather by insulating them to prevent freezing and, ultimately, a burst pipe and a flooded basement.

 

  • Inadequate sump pump

 

Another important piece of equipment you should have in your basement is a sump pump. It will take care of the collection and drainage of groundwater under your house, which is essential since when the soil soaks up too much water and it builds up or expands, it could force its way into your floor and walls. If the sump pump is not regularly cleaned and adequately maintained, it could fail to divert water away and will most likely leak into your basement. Invest in a good sump pump and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to clean it and have it running year round.

 

  • Condensation

 

Sometimes the source of leaks is not external water seeping through, but simply high humidity levels inside your basement. This could be due to poor ventilation of the room, living near the ocean or simply due to warm temperatures during the summer. You can recognize condensation when you see the walls, pipes ceiling or furniture feel like they are “sweating”. This is a problem that can easily be solved by installing proper venting, especially for your dryer in case you have it in your basement, or by using a dehumidifier to condition the air.

Signs of Leaks in Your Basement

Identifying leaks in your basement in a timely manner will be crucial in order to prevent further water damage. The main objective should be to determine whether the source is from an external water source, such as rain, lot drainage or groundwater, or any other source, such as leaking plumbing or condensation.

In order to determine the source and decide how to best repair it, you will have to carefully inspect your basement looking for signs that indicate leakage, which are:

 

  • Dampness or brown stains on walls and ceiling

 

If walls feel or look damp, or you have brown stains forming around your walls or ceiling, this can indicate water has been absorbed into them and is reacting with the clay outside your home by drawing the acid in it and filtering it through your walls. Water could be coming from leaky plumbing, groundwater seepage, or rainfall accumulation.

 

  • Mold and mildew

 

Two of the most common home invaders are mold and mildew, since they quickly appear in areas of high humidity or where water accumulates. They are the culprits of that awful musty smell in your basement, and have the power to rapidly spread. They release spores that can produce respiratory problems and allergies, especially for patients suffering from asthma.

 

  • Efflorescence

 

Is that chalky white mineral deposit you sometimes see on your walls, which occurs due to the chemical breakdown of its bonging agents that leach lime through masonry surfaces. This is a sign of an environment that has high humidity levels.

 

  • Rust stains

 

Rust stains are usually found on concrete floors and carpet due to corrosion metal objects such as nails on baseboards, electrical boxes, metal feet on furniture and others.

 

  • Stained carpets

 

Finding stains or a damp carpet could indicate water has been coming through. Try to identify in which areas this happens and if it is connected with heavy rainfalls.

 

  • Water bugs

 

Some small insects are attracted to areas where moisture accumulates and will go looking for water sources. Look for evidence of bugs behind furniture and appliances, around corners, and along baseboards and beams to come closer to the water seepage source.

 

  • Stained or warped wood

 

Darkened wood and stained or warped floorboards are clear signs of water damage in the area.

 

  • Cracked and damp floors

 

If you find cracks around your floors or walls, this could be a sign of water putting too much pressure on the structure and wanting to force its way in, thus resulting in the floor breaking and water seeping through.

Basements are highly vulnerable spaces to water problems since they are the lowest point in your house and have to hold down excessive amounts of weight, especially during the rainy months. Catching problems early will make a huge difference in determining the method that needs to be used to solve them, and therefore, probably the costs you will have to incur in too. Don’t neglect your basement it’s integrity is important to the value of your house; take matters into your own hands and take some time to inspect it and avoid worse problems in the future. It is always best to have such findings viewed and repaired by a reputable basement repair company.

 

 

Ignoring That Leak in Your Basement Because The Weather Has Been Dry?

moldy damp basementRemember that leak in your basement? So now with the dry weather, it’s not as bothersome, and you’re hanging onto your money and not giving it much thought.

Not a big deal, you may think.  After all, your basement isn’t finished, or maybe you only use part/ or all for storage and the occasional project.  The water will evaporate eventually, right?  Or, you can clean it up with a wet vacuum.

Why panic, right?  And why spend money fixing a leak that really isn’t hurting anything?

Well, not so fast, there, frugal homeowner.  By ignoring a leak in your basement you may be creating other problems in your home and you may be doing so based on an erroneous assumption that fixing the leak will be too costly.

Why Not to Ignore a Leak in Your Basement

Let’s step back and take a look at the consequences of ignoring a leak in your basement.

When seepage occurs in the basement of your home, the water (whether it’s a little or a lot) has nowhere to go except to accumulate in a puddle on the floor.  Along with being messy to step in, that puddle of water can create some real problems:

Increased Humidity – As stated correctly above, water that accumulates in the basement from seepage will eventually evaporate.  That does take care of the puddle on the floor but all that moisture ends up in the air in your home, which drives up the humidity in the atmosphere.  Home HVAC systems are designed to manage humidity in the house, true, but air-conditioning, for example, has to run that much harder and longer to remove all that added humidity from the air.

Ever hear that joke about the electric meter spinning fast enough to cut cheese?  Welcome to your future.

Mold – Mold is an unfortunately common occurrence in homes and it can be detrimental to the health of everyone that lives there.  Mold spores spread easily and are often conducted from the basement into aboveground living spaces, either by HVAC systems or the  “stack effect” that causes movement of air into, out of and through buildings.

Mold spores require three things to grow and spread, two of which – food and warmth — are always present in most basements.  (Food for mold is any organic material, including wood, paper and drywall.)   When the third factor, moisture, is introduced into the environment, even long-dormant mold spores can spring to life and begin causing havoc.

OK, you say, but I’m hanging onto my money right now, and isn’t fixing a leak in a basement going to be expensive?

Not necessarily.  The most common style of basement is one made of poured concrete and the most common source of a leak in such a basement is a non-structural in the wall.

Fixing a crack in a poured concrete wall is a simple process of  injecting it with expanding polyurethane to fill and seal it against future leaks.  Done right by a basement waterproofing professional, the cost will be several hundred dollars, not the thousands you may be imaging.

Of course, if the problem originates with seepage through a masonry wall or is created by hydrostatic pressure under the foundation, the repairs will be more extensive and will cost more but will also eliminate the possibility of mold and humidity that may cause respiratory problems for your family and damage to your home.

So, remember, that leak in your basement, should not be ignored – call a basement waterproofing professional today for an assessment. Most times it’s a free estimate.

Water Damage to Your Home Could Be Very Costly

Aside from the obvious cost of repairs, which can escalate if the water source isn’t found and repaired, there’s also the cost to your family’s health from infections and respiratory ailments stemming from moulds. Water can seep into your home from many sources, inside and outside your walls.

If you have water leaking into your home, how do you tell from shutterstock_139231043where?

Basements

The most likely place you’ll find water is the basement, because it’s the lowest point of the house. Basement water can come from several sources: eavestroughs, foundations, sewers, pipes. Each has its own repairs.

Bathrooms

If you spot the ceiling under a bathroom starting to bubble and flake, chances are you’ve got a leak in your bathtub, shower, toilet or sink. Don’t wait! See if you can find the source of the leak! In some cases, it may be just a matter of re-caulking the area around the tub. Or making sure you put the curtain in place properly next time you have a shower.

To see where it is leaking behind the tile. You may be able to cut a hole in the drywall gently. Shine a flashlight in and watch as someone runs the water! If you see a lot of water, then it may mean the tiles and grout around the bathtub have failed and are allowing water in behind. This means you’ll probably be best off replacing wall and tiles all in one go. It’s an expensive renovation, but necessary before more serious damage occurs to floor joists and ceilings below.

Condensation

If you find water on the floor or dripping from your pipes, don’t panic! It may just be condensation. A quick fix is to insulate the cold water pipes with a foam cover, available at any hardware store.

Downspouts

Blocked downspouts can back up your eavestroughs and these can spill down the walls into the house. If you are having leaks and you suspect the downspouts, relieve the burden on the draining around your home by disconnecting the downspout and ensuring it ejects water at least a couple of metres from the house to a surface that slopes away from it. Remember, most cities require downspouts be disconnected from the storm sewer!

Eavestroughs

Generally, the one of the most likely culprits in the event of water leaking into through the basement walls is your eavestroughs and downspouts. Clogged downspouts cause eavestroughs to back up and spill rain water running off the roof down the side of the house where it can penetrate the siding or drain directly onto the foundation wall where tiny cracks will allow it to seep into the basement.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp says it’s a good plan to inspect your eavestroughs annually to ensure they are not clogged, and don’t have low spots where water can pool.

You check the water flow by running a hose into your eavestroughs and checking the water flows to the downspout and drains without backing up. Of course, you have to make sure they and not blocked with leaves and debris. It’s a fairly easy job to clean and inspect your eavestroughs, but many people are spooked working high off the ground. There are businesses that will do this for you.

Foundation Walls

Foundation walls crack, this is very common. Concrete spends a lifetime curing and moving with the freeze-thaw cycles. When a house settles and the concrete hardens, cracks appear. You may not see these cracks and sometimes they’re not a major issue, unless there’s water nearby. Then it’s an issue.

There are different ways to fix a leaky foundation wall. The outside fix is more expensive and disruptive. It involves digging a trench around the perimeter, sometimes reinstalling weeping tile (see below) and sealing the walls with a elastomeric membrane material.

The inside fix is faster and more reasonable. It could involve removing any drywall and studs to expose the crack, then injecting it with a flexible elastomeric resin which will seal the crack right through to the outside, and blocks the water out.

Grade

Ensure all landscaping around the perimeter of your house slopes away from the foundation.

Plumbing

Water pipes can and do leaks, seals in fixtures wear out. Sink drains can spring a leak and toilets can shift off their sealing gaskets. Generally, these are do-it-yourself fixes. If you’re not handy with copper, call a licensed plumber, but for the most part sink drains, toilets and tap fittings can be replaced or tightened with a wrench and screw driver.

Roofing

A roof leak is a big issue, because, not only will it damage any fibreglass insulation in the walls and attic nearby, it’s also the most likely place to get mould. It will also weaken the home’s structure with rot. They’re also the hardest for homeowners to fix, not just because of they’re up high and you are working on a roof, but because of the skill required. Get it wrong and you could make it worse! Roof leaks are usually easy to spot, because the drywall will blister and flake.

See if you can inspect the roof in that area! If it is 20 years old or more, it’s probably time for a new one. If there are any missing, cracked or damaged shingles in the area and the rest of the roof is good, a repair could do the trick. If you can’t see anything, get up in the attic if you can and inspect the location above the leak. It may be there’s a leak around a roof or drain vent which is to blame. This will mean getting to the location and refitting the flange seal or replacing it.

If you can’t find it, then you may have to resort to some infra-red or thermal scanning technology to isolate the sources. Call local roofers and get estimates!

Sump pump

Some homes sit on top of underground waterways and have chronic issues with the water constantly flowing around or under their home which finds its way inside. Other houses are in low-lying areas which may not drain as quickly after a storm. In those cases, a sump pump is a solution. A sump pump is a self-contained system which sits in a pit in the basement floor. As water enters, a float-switch kicks on the motor which pumps the water out and away from the house.

Weeping Tile

Weeping tile is a system of small pebbles and perforated pipe laid along the perimeter of the house at the footings. Water drains down, through the small aggregate and into the pipe, where it drains away from the house. If your basement is constantly leaking from the bottom of the foundation, it may be the weeping tiles have failed, because they’re blocked with debris or have broken. Fixing it isn’t easy or cheap. It’ll require digging up the perimeter down to the footings and installing a new system of weeping tiles.

An easier, faster and less invasive way to repair this is by hiring a company that specializes in interior drain systems.

Windows

Basement windows can leak if they are old and rotten or if the caulking at grade has failed. More likely is dirt has piled up outside and caused water to drain back towards them or the slope of the yard is forcing water back to the house.

A common cause of basement leaking is window wells. These are for windows sunk below the grade in a basement and are half-oval depressions with gravel in them to allow water to drain. It’s a good idea to shovel out snow in the springtime from window wells to minimize the melt. There should be a drain under all those stones to collects the water. Dirt and debris collects in there over time and blocks the drain, so there’s no place for water to go but back into the foundation through the wall, that is. Keeping window wells clean and ensuring the drain is working will head off leaks and may fix that leak you already have.

Sewer backups

Sewer backups are the worst of all leaks. Flooding of this nature if usually caused by heavy rains which overwhelms sewer systems. If it’s not a storm, it’s usually a blockage emanating from the house. Where that blockage is — it can be caused by debris in the pipe or tree roots — will determine who pays to fix it. If it’s on your side of the property line, you’re on the hook. The municipality or city will fix it if it’s on their side. Whether it is storm water or a blocked pipe, the net effect is the same. Toxic sewage backs up into the basement, destroying flooring, drywall and furniture and pretty well anything it comes in contact with. Restoration is expensive and, even with insurance, the deductible is often around $1,000.

There is a solution if you’re in an area with chronic sewer back-up and that’s a backwater valve, which can be installed on your sewage system between your floor drain and exit pipe. It’s essentially a one-way valve. The sewage and waste water drains out, but the valve will swing back and stop liquid that wants to flow back into the house. It could be an expensive installation as the basement will have to be dug up in that location, the main drain cut and the valve installed. The price will vary according to where that location is and how accessible it is.

Many cities in Canada have programs which encourages single-family home owners to install a backwater valve. Often there are programs in place to offset some of the cost. In Toronto for example, it will pay up to 80 per cent of the cost of installation, to a maximum of $1, 250, if the City approves the application.

Summertime, when a dry basement is easy

SUMMERIn those lazy hazy days of summer, a leaky basement is probably the furthest thing from your mind. When you do go into the basement does it feel cool and comfortable – or damp and moldy? If damp and moldy, you could very easily just have condensation (sweating because warm humid air is meeting the cold concrete wall) or perhaps water seeping in through your foundation walls. Just because you don’t see water pouring into the basement in the middle of August, doesn’t mean you don’t need a foundation repair. It is however, the best time to prepare for the wet seasons ahead. If you’ve had water in the past, chances are it will happen again when the water table rises.

Should you call a professional?

Hydrostatic water pressure pushing against your foundation walls can enter into your home if your drains are not functioning. Settling, plus seasonal freezing and thawing can contribute to or open up existing cracks in the foundation that could leak. If you have a finished basement, you may not be able to see any problem areas, but you’ll probably notice a musty smell or feel heavy or damp air as you walk down the stairs. You may also notice discoloration on concrete walls or floor where water may have entered. Even worse, you may notice extra ground water around the perimeter of your home or flooding inside. This could be a sign of blocked or broken weeping tiles, and a definite sign you should contact the experts.

Interior or exterior waterproofing ?

Simple interior cracks and gaps can be filled with a polyurethane resin. Interior or “negative side waterproofing” is generally done when water has already entered, and you have a wet basement. An interior drainage system may be required to redirect excess water through new pipes to a sump pump. While this work can be completed any time, handling this during a drier season will make the job go faster and more efficiently.

Exterior issues can sometimes be identified and corrected with simple re-grading, or some may require more extensive and disruptive work. Exterior repairs are generally more expensive than interior options though, because of landscaping and other costly expenses. Also, exterior options often do not carry any warranty.

Sump pump installation

One of the most effective and efficient way to help prevent basement leaking is through the installation of proper sump pump and pit. This appliance should be professionally installed in an approved pit in the basement floor. Water is directed through the drainage around the inside perimeter of your basement to the sump pump pit. When the water level rises, it activates the pump to safely move water to an outlet pipe and then outside the home. If your drains are clogged, plugged or non-existent, than this is the perfect time to have an interior drain system installed. It’s a good idea to add a battery back-up unit to protect against power outages during unexpected summer storms. They are well worth the protection they offer.

Preventative maintenance ?

Summertime provides the best opportunity to tackle yard work and exterior maintenance to your home. There’s no better time to clean out your gutters, add extensions if necessary, clean out window wells and ensure storm drains are free of debris. While you’re doing yard work, remember to take the time to observe and ensure that the ground is sloped away from the foundation and not toward it. A few hours of preventative maintenance now will save problems from occurring later. Now go ahead, and enjoy that little bit of summer we have left.

 

Spring Rains and Leaky Basements

There’s a simple reason why rain in the early new year months floods so many basements. There are a number of events that all come together likebasement wall leak a perfect storm. The conditions are as follows;

1/. The ground outside is frozen. Perhaps from 4-16 inches depending on how cold it’s been. Right now in HRM it’s at least 8 inches minimum and more in some areas.

2/. There’s existing snow on the ground.

3/. Then you get mild temperatures and rain along with it.

4/. At this point, you know what’s going to happen. None of the rain is going to penetrate into the ground because it’s frozen. So it just lays there and builds up, and because it will always take the ” path of least resistance”, it drains and runs to the lowest places, running right along your foundation.

5/. The heat in your basement warms up the concrete wall and transfers some of that heat to the exterior, just slightly and enough to keep the frost away ever so slightly by about an inch from your foundation.

6/.When you get rain, and melting snow, this water runs along the top of the frozen ground until it hits your foundation……where there’s an inch of unfrozen ground and will enter in through any cracks or deficiencies in your foundation, around lower level windows, even sometimes over the top of the actual foundation wall.

7/. The results of any leaking into your basement will not be good. Sometimes even relatively healthy exterior drains can be overloaded. It’s like having a small stream or river pouring next to your wall. Then water enters from under the floor or hydrostatically between your floor and the concrete wall.

So in a perfect world, you would have the ground running away from the foundation and all downspouts as well, and ensure this has been done prior to Old Man Winter making his visit.

What You Should Know about Foundation Crack Injection

Injection 9Typical Applications for Waterproofing Using Injection

Injection is commonly used in many waterproofing applications for poured concrete foundations and/or solid concrete structures. Examples are:

1. Crack repair and waterproofing of any poured concrete structure such as foundations, parking garages, concrete swimming pools, etc.;
2. Form ties, tie rod ends or snap rods;
3. Honeycombed areas in foundation walls;
4. Around pipes through poured concrete walls;
5. Waterproofing leaking I-beam pockets in basements;
6. Waterproofing seams between connected concrete structures;
7. Waterproofing voids between layered concrete structures;
8. Waterproofing subway tunnels; and
9. Water stopping in deep underground mining applications.
The Benefits of Injection for Fixing Foundation Cracks
Injecting basement leaks is not only effective; it also has other very interesting benefits:
1. It is done without the need for external excavation!
2. It is completed within a matter of hours!
3. It is, by far, the least expensive way to waterproof a basement or a parking garage;
4. Foundation cracks are repaired permanently;
5. The integrity of the foundation is completely restored; and
6. It is a highly reliable waterproofing method (when done properly).

Tip:
A successful injection requires a technician to be trained, skilled and experienced. If you shop around for the cheapest price in town you run the risk of getting poor workmanship and materials. This should matter to you because the repair may not last long and you could end up with property damage down the road, far in excess of the money that you saved.
In addition to a technician’s qualifications, successful waterproofing injections require job appropriate resins (typically available only to specialized companies), equipment, and time tested procedures. If you demand excellent results you must select a waterproofing contractor that specializes in injection.

Re-directing downspouts on your home

We all know that downspouts from eavestrough should be re-directed away from our foundations. The volumes of water that come off a roof can be quite substantial during times of rain, when you consider it will be concentrated at the discharge point in two or more corners of the foundation. The main challenge with this is that if there are any defects in the foundation such as cracks, tie holes, honeycomb in the concrete etc., in this vicinity, water may enter through. It is important to have these defects repaired in your foundation. Once these items are repaired, then the next step is to re-direct the downspouts. This will keep as much water as you can away from the repaired areas which is very important, especially given that some defects could be below grade or so small they are almost hidden from view and can easily be missed. The large volume of water that comes from a downspout can seep through the ground forming paths or fissures. The long this goes on, the more the ground erodes causing them to be larger and wider. The problem with this is that the water makes its way down to the footing drains, and brings soil right along with it, speeding up the rate at which the drains will become silted up. If they are already silted up, the excess volume of water will only add to the hydrostatic pressure thus forcing the water between the wall and footing and up onto the floor inside the house.

                The little attachments and pieces of eavestrough or ABS often used by homeowners to redirect often look like a eight to ten foot section of pipe or eavestrough running away from the house. One way to eliminate unsightly sections of pipe and re-direct the flow away from the exterior wall is to direct the flow away by grading the soil away from the foundation and making sure it slopes away from the house.water

WET BASEMENT?

It’s been said that more than ninety eight percent of all houses have had or will have some form of basement leakage at some point.

306647_10150809323846690_517616689_12194771_744370063_nIDENTIFYING THE PROBLEM;

The presence of efflorescence, a white mineral deposit inside the foundation walls indicates moisture penetration. The severity of the problem, whether minimal or actively leaking, is not always indicated by the amount of efflorescence. Other than puddles of water that can accumulate on the basement floor, there are often other clues that a homeowner may notice; such as rusty nails in baseboards, rotted wood near floor level, rusted metal bottoms of household appliances, mold and mildew, lifting flooring or tiles, peeling paint, and a high humidity level. If looking to purchase a home look for signs of water problems like these mentioned. Other signs that the home has a water problem are; items being stored on skids in the basement, and any signs of water staining on walls, either bare concrete or finished wall board.

CORRECTIVE ACTION:

Poor surface drainage is one of the main causes of basement leaks. The ground should slope away from the house at a rate of one inch per foot, for at least the first six feet. As a preventative measure, any gaps between where the driveway and sidewalk meet the foundation walls should be sealed. Ensure that your gutters and downspout systems perform correctly and are connected properly, and are free from clogs and debris. They should be redirected to discharge above grade at least six feet away from the house.

These suggestions will not solve all water problems but will help minimize the amount of surface water coming in contact with the foundation wall.

ACTIVE PROBLEMS AND INVESTING IN PROFESSIONAL SOLUTIONS

In many cases basement leakage is not significant from a structural point of view and can be controlled relatively inexpensively, as outlined above. However, any presence of foundation cracks, damaged perimeter drain tile, a high water table, or even underground streams call for professional corrective measures.

There are many products which are marketed to the “Do It Yourself” market which claim that they have solved the secret of wet basement problems, some even “guarantee” professional results. Wise Cracks® has had it proven time and again that if such remedies worked we wouldn’t be in business! Many of the Company’s requests for repairs come from home owners who have tried these remedies and often more than once. Wise Cracks® offers cost effective solutions for wet basements, and are dedicated to offering their clients a warranty that really means something. Invest your money wisely and invest it once by having your wet basement repaired professionally. A Wise Cracks is a Dry One® – really!