Basement Waterproofing

Why is your Basement Leaking?

Do you have a wet basement? There’s a multitude of reasons why your basement could be leaking but to make it simple we will start with the obvious.  Water in the soil causes hydrostatic pressure to be exerted against foundation walls and underneath basement floors. This hydrostatic pressure can force water in through cracks and voids which in turn end up on your basement floor.  The water that enters has the ability to cause mold, decay, and other moisture-related problems so it’s best to take care of it in a timely manner.  If left for too long there’s also a chance that you can be faced with some major structural issues as well.

You Have A Wet Basement – What Do You Do Now?

For starters it’s best if you can identify the type of foundation you have and then start looking for the source of the leak.  If you have a poured concrete foundation they are by far the easiest foundation type to locate leaks.  Typical areas for leaking are pipe penetrations, vertical cracks, tie rod holes/snap ties or honeycombing in the foundation wall.  If the leak is focused in one area only the repair can be localized at a price that is very affordable. However if there are multiple areas that are leaking it may make sense to waterproof an entire wall or more.

If you have identified your foundation type to be a concrete block foundation finding the exact source of the leak is going to be more difficult.  Since the blocks are hollow on the inside and they have a mortar joint on all four sides the leak may appear at a totally different place than where it is actually getting in on the exterior side.  Because of this scenario the cost to repair the leak properly becomes a little more involved.  We can’t spot repair this type of foundation as there are just too many ways for the water to enter so a larger repair area is always recommended when dealing with this type of foundation.

Stone foundations present a totally different problem than both poured concrete and concrete block foundations. When a stone foundation starts leaking we can say that 90 percent of the time it is due to degraded mortar that surrounds the stone. Once the mortar has eroded to the point that it allows water to enter it will start degrading at a faster rate now that water is able to flow through.  If this is the case you will want to address the issue from the external side so you can stop the erosion factor all together.

Basement Waterproofing: Proper Diagnosis & Repair 

Diagnosing the problem properly is the first step to a successful foundation repair.  Knowing the foundation type and how it reacts under normal conditions is key.  Once you find the source of the water and understand how it is affecting the foundation, we can now recommend the right solution.  There is no “All in One” solution that will fix every type of foundation that leaks.  Be aware that there are many different solutions available to you, picking the right one should be your number one priority.

Here at H&N Basement Worx, we use time tested basement waterproofing solutions along with a variety of additional solutions that have been engineered for specific problems associated with faulty foundations.  Making sure we offer the right solution is our number one priority as we only want to repair it once!  If you aren’t faced with any major structural issues and want to learn more about proper foundation waterproofing solutions select from one of the two sections below.

 

Click either picture to learn more about the type of BASEMENT waterproofing you’re interested in

What is the Most Effective Solution For a Leaking Foundation?

Exterior basement waterproofing involves techniques and materials used to prevent water from penetrating the basement of your house Waterproofing a basement that is below ground level requires the application of sealant materials, the installation of drains and sump pumps, and more.

FACT: Waterproofing a structure from the exterior is the only method the IBC (International Building Code) recognizes as adequate to prevent structural damage caused by water intrusion.

In any industry there’s a solution available that is superior to anything else.  In our case it’s addressing the water issue at the source of the problem – the exterior of your foundation.  By stopping the water from coming into contact with your foundation you eliminate any moisture from entering into your home – PERIOD.  Although this procedure is invasive it is by far the most effective.

 

Eliminate Your Wet/Damp/Leaking Basement For Good!

To effectively waterproof an existing basement that has a leaking foundation takes many steps to complete. Below is a breakdown of our process.

A – Site survey is conducted to determine the following:
  • where to pile the dirt that comes out of the excavated trench we will make,
  • where we can pile necessary construction materials such as gravel
  • where we can safely park trailers, machinery, etc.

Sometimes we require permission from a neighbour to pile dirt on their property in order to conduct our work. We also decide how the site is to be protected, where we need to protect the ground with plywood, and how the site is to be managed during the course of the work.  We want to make sure you are still able to get into your home throughout the project.

B – Utility locates are ordered and a building permit is applied for (if required).

At this time we select a start date, apply for a building permit and order utility locates a few weeks before the digging begins.

C – Materials/Equipment are delivered & the digging begins…

Ground protection boards and shoring sections are dropped on site and the digging begins. Foundation walls/footings are exposed and pressure washed thoroughly.  If there are any cracks present we apply the first line of defense – hydraulic cement.

D – Sealing of the walls…

A rubber membrane is then applied to the area that has been cleaned which seals the foundation wall.  This membrane is environmentally safe, waterbased, non toxic product.  Once cured it leaves your foundation with a seamless coating that is unaffected by a range of acids, alkalis, waterborne salts, ultra violet rays and is resistant to biological deterioration!

E – Last line of defense!

A dimpled sheet air-gap membrane called Delta MS is installed over top of the rubber membrane and helps provide hydrostatic relief… which is what forced the water through your foundation in the first place.

F – New weeping tile is now ready to be installed.

Weeping tile is a 4″ corrugated plastic pipe with slits around the perimeter running the full length of the pipe and is also covered with a filter fabric.

G – Gravel is installed.

¾” clear gravel is installed over the weeping tile to meet with The Ontario building code. 

H – A Filter fabric is installed.

A heavy duty Filter fabric is installed over the gravel to prevent dirt from getting into the freshly laid gravel bed.  We do this as most of the water that enters the gravel layer comes from above which will only bring with it the dirt that we will be backfilling with once the job is complete. This will also keep the gravel from becoming plugged up in the future.

I – Inspections.

If a permit was obtained a building inspector will be called.  The inspector will ensure that the installation of our system is up to code.  Once he sees that everything is in order it is time for the next step.

J – Backfilling.

Backfilling of the trench is now ready to take place and the native soil that was removed is now placed back along side your foundation.

K – Final clean up.

Final clean up is completed and all materials and equipment is removed from the site.

*NOTE* The above is an example of a typical exterior project but this is not always the case. Sometimes we do not have access for a machine to do the digging or we cannot pile the dirt directly beside the hole so the need for hand digging and dirt relocation must be performed. This will be discussed during our initial consultation so you are informed before committing to anything we decide to do together.

Exterior Basement Waterproofing & Your Foundation Type

Foundation Type plays a big part in the overall price you’re going to pay to get everything sealed up so it doesn’t leak anymore.  The description noted above is fairly typical when you apply it to a poured concrete foundation and in most cases a concrete block foundation.  It’s quite common to find additional issues with Block Foundations that we cover in the Block Foundation Repair section of our website.  Sometimes these issues are hidden because the basement is finished and are undetected until the exterior has been excavated.

Stone or rubble foundations usually require additional work before they can be successfully waterproofed from the exterior side.  Most times the extra work involved is well worth it as it restores the integrity of the foundation and ensures the structure remains sound for another lifetime when done properly. To learn more about this scenario you can visit our Stone Foundation Repair page.

 

Interior Drainage System
also referred to as Interior Basement Waterproofing

Interior Basement Waterproofing or Interior Drainage is simply the management or diversion of water that passes through a foundation down into a weeping system located under the concrete floor.  This method is not “waterproofing” as some may suggest, true waterproofing stops water from passing through your foundation.

Interior Drainage systems are used when traditional waterproofing from the external side of the foundation cannot be accomplished due to obstructions, other structures being too close or sometimes due to economical reasons.

The system installation requires the removal of concrete at the slab edge directly beside the foundation wall.  Once removed a trench is excavated beside the footing deep enough to install a 4” drain pipe (weeping tile) which is then surrounded with clear gravel.  This drain pipe will drain the area into a sump pump system that comes with an airtight, childproof cover. The sump pump then pumps the water through an abs pipe that is drained outside onto your lawn or garden area.

The system installation requires the removal of concrete at the slab edge directly beside the foundation wall.  Once removed a trench is excavated beside the footing deep enough to install a 4” drain pipe (weeping tile) which is then surrounded with clear gravel.  This drain pipe will drain the area into a sump pump system that comes with an airtight, childproof cover. The sump pump then pumps the water through an abs pipe that is drained outside onto your lawn or garden area.

A critical component of this approach is the dimpled plastic sheeting (Delta MS) placed at the base of the wall and beneath the slab edge. Dimpled sheeting is similar to a small egg crate and permits free drainage of water from the foundation wall into the drain pipe.

The beauty of this type of system is that it also alleviates under floor pressure along the cold joint of the basement (which is the area where the concrete floor meets the foundation) Sometimes under floor hydrostatic pressure can appear as foundation leakage particularly when the foundation is constructed with blocks.

Proper diagnosis is always important when deciding what type of waterproofing method is actually required for your basement and is the reason you want to choose someone who has “hands on” experience.  There are a lot of sales people running around who haven’t worked in the trenches leaning first hand how water actually get inside your basement.

That’s where we can help alleviate this problem as you will be dealing directly with the business owner who has over 10 years “hands on” experience repairing foundations.  The things he’s seen during this time are invaluable when dealing with the issues you are faced with in your basement.

To book an inspection contact us today and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

A critical component of this approach is the dimpled plastic sheeting (Delta MS) placed at the base of the wall and beneath the slab edge. Dimpled sheeting is similar to a small egg crate and permits free drainage of water from the foundation wall into the drain pipe.

The beauty of this type of system is that it also alleviates under floor pressure along the cold joint of the basement (which is the area where the concrete floor meets the foundation) Sometimes under floor hydrostatic pressure can appear as foundation leakage particularly when the foundation is constructed with blocks.

Proper diagnosis is always important when deciding what type of waterproofing method is actually required for your basement and is the reason you want to choose someone who has “hands on” experience.  There are a lot of sales people running around who haven’t worked in the trenches leaning first hand how water actually get inside your basement.

That’s where we can help alleviate this problem as you will be dealing directly with the business owner who has over 10 years “hands on” experience repairing foundations.  The things he’s seen during this time are invaluable when dealing with the issues you are faced with in your basement.

To book an inspection contact us today and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Additional Facts You Should Know

Sump Pump Systems
If you live in the city there’s a good chance you do not have a sump pump system in your basement. If this is the case your weeping tile system will be connected to the city sewer or storm drain system. Once in a while we find that the weeping tile system does not drain properly due to a plugged or damaged line. If this is the case we may have no other alternative but to install a new sump pump system into your basement and connect the weeping tile system directly into it. This will in turn remove the water that fills up your weeping tile system so it does not overflow and show up as seepage in your basement.

Old Septic Tanks, Cisterns & Wells
Once in a while we uncover old septic tanks, water cisterns and water wells that are still connected to the house. In these cases we will advise you of the situation so we can decide what the best course of action to take.

Private Electrical & Gas Lines
Although we order utility locates they do not mark out private electrical or gas lines that were installed privately. If you are unsure about such lines we can arrange to have them located for an additional fee. If you are certain where these lines come out of the house we can work together to identify them and use extra caution while excavating.

Removal & Disposal of Concrete/Asphalt or the Like
Sometimes we need to cut away concrete driveways, walkways or patios in order to access the foundation for excavation. In these instances it is best to consider replacement be done at least a year or so after the completion of your waterproofing project. Unless you replace the original soil with a special compaction type material the original soil will still settle some. This means if you install concrete, asphalt or hardscaping too soon you will not be happy when it shifts, sinks and settles on you.

Guaranteed Basement Waterproofing and Foundation Repair Solutions

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