Frequently Asked Questions about Foundation Repair in AB & SK
Q: Can the crack in our foundation be repaired from the inside?
A: Interior repairs can be successful on tight, vertical cracks in concrete foundations that have rebar in the concrete. Homes built after 1970 usually have rebar; it is hit and miss prior to that. We have performed thousands of feet of cracks using the Kryton® Krystol® Waterproofing System on foundations meeting the above criteria with excellent results. Larger cracks and any cracks in very old foundations should be repaired from the exterior and include a membrane as part of the repair. Concrete without rebar will eventually shift with frost and moisture cycles and no crack repair method will withstand it. We have been factory trained in both injection and grout repair systems and we now exclusively use the Kryton grout system for residential repairs due to the superior results we have seen with this product. We still recommend exterior repairs as your first choice.
Q: I’ve heard horizontal cracks are more severe than vertical ones, why is that?
A: Horizontal cracks are considered a structural failure. The weight of the soil against the wall, compounded by excessive moisture and frost, can force the wall to buckle at the crack. This tends to be a slow but inevitable process where the wall moves in slightly every frost cycle. Horizontal cracks, when caught soon enough, need to be waterproofed from the exterior and structurally supported from the interior. If left too long, total wall replacement may be the only option.
Q: Water is coming up through cracks in my basement floor and along the outside walls, how is this repaired?
A: This problem is caused by a failed or non-existent weeping tile system. The first choice to repair this is usually an exterior weeping tile system, which we do in conjunction with a foundation membrane system. This problem can often be solved with an interior weeping tile system (also known as a French drain), which we also do in conjunction with an interior membrane system. This option is typically considered where outside access is limited or impractical. Not every basement is suitable for this method; we can let you know what your options are. We offer the same warranty on both systems.
Q: Can’t I just put a sump in my basement to fix this?
A: Sumps are limited to how much area they can drain by the soil conditions. Water always follows the easiest path and it is usually easier for it to come through a crack or joint than to work its way through our very dense Alberta clay. Weeping tile is used to drain the soil around the house and direct the water to the sump. We have seen basements with up to five sumps installed that still have water coming in.
Q: Won’t lengthening my eavestrough downspouts and regrading my yard solve the problem?
A: Controlling surface water is extremely important and can go a long way in keeping water out of your basement. However during periods of extended rain over days or weeks at a time or during heavy downpours, water may still get into your basement. Once the ground becomes saturated, moving the surface water ten feet away may not be enough. The question is whether or not you want to risk the cost of your basement development and belongings on something that won’t work all of the time.
Q: Do you repair wood or concrete block basements?
A: We repair all types of basement construction including wood, block, brick, stone and ICF (insulated concrete forms).
Q: Can I hold off on the repairs until I’m ready to refinish my basement?
A: Delaying foundation waterproofing or structural repairs can lead to health problems and escalating costs down the road. Moisture seepage can lead to mold and mildew growth which can cause serious health issues. Allowing the soil around and under your home to become saturated with water can lead to heaving and cracking of the floor and foundation. Structural concerns, when left unattended can progressively get worse, potentially costing much more to repair. Repairs to your foundation are not a luxury and need to be attended to as soon as possible to protect your investment.
Q: I have an old house with a six foot high basement and we need more living space, can we lift up the house?
A: While we can lift your house, we typically solve this problem by leaving the house in place and lowering the floor height. This work can often be done completely from the interior, including the waterproofing with little disruption to the main living area.
Q: My basement walls are cracked and leaning in, is replacement my only option?
A: A new wood basement can be built inside the old one, with the void between the two filled with grout. This is definitely a compromise as you can lose four to six inches of space on each wall, but this method provides significant savings over replacement and is often the best option on properties with limited access and where cost is of primary concern.