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2 Types of Basement Waterproofing: How to Pick the Right Type for Your Basement

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Owning a home with a basement can be a blessing and a challenge.

When things are going well, that extra basement space is a handy source of storage, a place to stash the kids for playtime and a boost to the eventual resale value of your home.

But when things start to go south down under, suddenly that same basement space is just one more source of stress in an already stressful life.

Remembering one key fact can help you navigate those first scary signs of a basement leak: given enough time, most basements will eventually leak.

You can prepare for that day by learning about the three types of basement waterproofing so you know who to call and what to ask for when the need arises.

Why Do Basements Leak?

There is something inherently different about having a room that sits below the ground surface of your home. Instead of air, this part of your home is surrounded by soil with its ever-shifting moisture content.

Environmental conditions below the ground floor of your home can also be quite different. It is typically both more humid and lower in temperature than the other rooms above the surface.

As well, while the portion of your home from the ground floor up may be made of drywall, brick, wood, vinyl or some combination thereof, the portion from the ground floor down is almost always made out of poured concrete or concrete bricks.

Concrete is naturally quite porous, which means it lets water through to a greater degree than most other materials used in home construction. Like it or not, know it or not, the concrete used to create your basement is always letting in the tiniest molecules of moisture here and there, although in most cases this is no cause for concern.

It is concerning when that moisture finds a wider fissure, gap, crack or crevice to seep through. Because your basement is built below ground level, moisture will often trickle in from the top down as well as seep up through the soil below.

While concrete is quite durable overall, over time and with continued exposure to shifting soil, pressure from tree roots, changing water table levels and other factors, it will start to degrade. That is when larger fissures or cracks can form in the concrete walls or flooring and let in moisture.

As well, over time, inbuilt window wells and weeping tiles can get clogged, damaged or broken and stop doing their job of routing water away from your basement.

Warning Signs of Basement Moisture

There are several early warning signs that moisture is beginning to invade your basement space.

Increasing humidity

There are certain seasons each year that bring more moisture and thus more humidity. But if you notice your basement feels consistently more humid than usual, this can be a sign that moisture is beginning to invade through micro-fissures and cracks in the concrete.

Efflorescence

Efflorescence is a white, powdery dust that forms when water evaporates and leaves its mineral salt passengers behind.

Persistent dampness

When the walls or floor start to take on a sheen, you see condensation on windows or the surfaces feel somewhat damp, this is another sign of a moisture invasion.

Standing water

Of course, any standing water is cause for concern, especially if your sump system never seems to fully shut off or you actually see moving water in your basement.

2 Types of Basement Waterproofing

There are two basic methods for waterproofing a basement.

Exterior basement waterproofing

Exterior basement waterproofing is typically cost-prohibitive as well as highly invasive for an existing home.

If you are in the process of constructing a new home, however, exterior basement waterproofing can be done as your basement is being built.

Interior basement waterproofing

Interior basement waterproofing is both affordable and much less invasive than exterior waterproofing. It is the method of choice for nearly all existing homes and can be done whether or not your basement is finished.

Interior basement waterproofing can involve a number of fixes depending on the cause of the basement leak.

For example, if you have a visible crack in the wall or floor, filling the crack is the first step towards preventing future moisture seepage.

Improving existing drainage systems is another key to the success of interior basement waterproofing. This can mean repairing blocked or damaged window wells, installing a French drain and a back-up sump pump system, improving gutters and downspout routing outside your home, and landscaping to guide moisture runoff away from your basement.

Sealants are another key element in interior basement waterproofing. Different types of sealants can be used depending on the moisture issue you are experiencing and its location.

In most cases, a full interior basement waterproofing job can be completed in just a day or two with minimal disruption to your daily life.

Affordable Basement Waterproofing Is Just a Call Away

Many homeowners are reluctant to contact a basement waterproofing professional for fear of hearing bad news, and this is totally understandable.

However, basement waterproofing issues do not generally resolve themselves. Rather, in our long experience, we have found they typically just get worse.

So if there is one ironclad guarantee we can offer you, it is this: Your basement waterproofing job will always be more affordable if you do it now rather than putting it off until there’s a worse problem.

The good news is that we won’t charge you a thing to come out, take a look, diagnose the problem and generate an estimate to waterproof your basement.

Once you know what is wrong, you can make plans to fix it, whether you decide to do it today, next week or next year.

Get in Touch

Contact us online or give us a call at 1-866-875-6664.

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Sagging, Cracking, Leaning Walls or Floors? Your Foundation May Be to Blame!

crack in brick wall

A firm foundation is fundamental for your home. After all, without it, every other structure that holds your house in place, from the crawl space or basement to the walls, ceilings and even the chimney, is at risk.

Yet it isn’t always intuitive to make the connection between structural problems you observe in walls, ceilings, doors, windows or floors and issues with your home’s foundation.

For instance, when a wall cracks, a chimney leans or a floor starts sagging, it can seem a world away from the foundation.

But these are exactly the kinds of common warning signs that arise to let you know your foundation needs some long-overdue attention!

Cracks in the Walls

Seeing a crack in the wall can be alarming. Instantly, the sense of security you felt evaporates. You start to wonder what’s causing it and then worry your home will fall down around you.

While most wall cracks appear to deliver a milder warning, if left unchecked, they certainly can cause a wall collapse as they widen and worsen.

Walls Bowing In or Out

If wall cracks are alarming, then the sight of a wall leaning inward or outward is downright horrifying. Most often, the cause is soil expansion.

Your soil type can also play its part in putting extra pressure on walls. Some soils are particularly absorbent and expansive (clay soil is an excellent example) and can trap moisture next to your basement walls.

If this moisture cannot dissipate naturally, or if it freezes (called “frost heaving”), it can expand in the soil further and cause more extreme wall movement.

Chimney Leaning

Perhaps the most terrifying sight of all is when you look at your chimney one day and notice it has started to lean. This is especially the case when the chimney leans away from (rather than toward) the rest of your house!

Without correction from the foundation up, a leaning chimney can actually separate completely from the house structure and cause a tear all the way down to the basement floor level.

Cracks in the Brick

The two most common types of cracks in bricking are bottom-up and top-down. Where it starts and the direction the crack moves has everything to do with how your foundation is moving.

Cracks in the Floor

Floor cracks may be hard to spot in the early stages, especially if you have overlay such as tile, wood or carpeting obscuring the concrete.

These types of cracks are easier to see if you have an unfinished basement with a concrete floor.

Floors Begin to Slope

A simpler way to detect foundation movement is if formerly even floorspace begins to slope downward in one direction.

At first, walking across a sloping floor can feel like your sense of balance playing tricks with you. But over time, this slope becomes more radical and you no longer doubt it is real.

Windows and Doors Stop Working

When the foundation becomes sufficiently compromised, secondary symptoms will start popping up inside your home.

Two of the most common of these symptoms are when windows or doors either start sticking and won’t open properly or when they refuse to stay closed.

Other similar symptoms include cabinets and countertops that begin to separate from the wall and cabinet drawers that won’t open or won’t stay shut.

White Residue on Walls or Floors

When your foundation becomes compromised through micro-fissures and cracks, this often allows moisture to seep through.

While you may not see the damp or standing water, this moisture will leave behind a calling card—a white powdery residue called “efflorescence.”

Efflorescence looks so much like dust that at first you may not realize what you are looking at. But when the dust appears in places that normally don’t get dusty and it keeps recurring, it is quite likely not dust at all but evaporated mineral salts the water carried in with it.

Affordable Foundation Solutions

It’s not fun to realize your formerly solid foundation is starting to develop problems. Yet foundation issues are incredibly common especially as a home ages.

As well, the vast majority of home foundation problems arise from changes to the surrounding soil—shifting or sinking soil, expanding (moisture-laden) soil, contracting soil due to erosion or drought, changes to the water table that then changes the home’s grading, blocked or broken drains, and more.

The most important thing to remember is that foundation issues do not ever correct themselves. Rather, they typically get worse over time. The longer a foundation problem goes unaddressed, the more challenging and expensive the solution tends to become.

The good news is, foundation repair technology has improved by leaps and bounds over the last decade. Today’s foundation repairs are quicker, cheaper and longer-lasting as well as much more aesthetically appealing.

The best news of all is that affordable foundation waterproofing solutions can prevent moisture seepage from returning to undo all the good work of past repairs.

By combining foundation waterproofing with crack repair and structural support, you protect your home in the present and enhance its future resale value as well.

Wall anchors, braces and reinforcers; pier and slab foundation support; crawl space jack support; moisture barrier; and waterproofing can be applied as needed, separately or in combination, to repair existing foundation problems and prevent their recurrence.

Get in Touch

Have you noticed any of the warning signs mentioned in this post happening to your home? Are you worried your foundation may not be as sturdy as you’d hoped? Complete this simple, secure online form for a free, no-obligation inspection and quote!

Contact us online or give us a call at 1-866-875-6664.

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Basement Waterproofing Doesn’t Have to Break Your Budget: Get a Free Inspection Now!

man with closed nose due to smell

Flooding. Paint flaking. Powdery white stuff on the walls or floor. Humidity. Smells. Mould.

The list of strange things that can occur inside the average basement goes on and on. But what does it all mean? Is it normal for your basement to smell a little bit...off? If you see paint flakes, is it just a sign of age or something else, something worse?

These are normal and natural questions that most homeowners with basements will ask themselves at some point during the course of home ownership. Unfortunately, not every homeowner will stop to do the research to find the correct answers to these questions.

When warning signs like standing water, paint flaking, efflorescence (white powdery residue), odours, humidity and similar signals are consistently ignored, what is likely a minor problem begins to get bigger. In time, the homeowner discovers they now have a major moisture problem on their hands, and that is when we get that first panicked call.

We don’t want this to happen with your basement space! The truth is, the vast majority of repairs and basement waterproofing jobs are actually quite affordable, provided you take action when you first spot an issue and seek to remedy it within a reasonable time frame.

7 Basement Warning Signs You Don’t Want to Downplay

Let’s take a look at seven of the most common warning signs that can arise to let you know your basement may need maintenance or repairs.

Remember, catching these warning signs in their early stages means you are likely facing a minor repair rather than a major budget-breaker!

Odd odours

If you are used to living in a home that has an older basement space, you may be rather acclimated to the chronic musty, stale or simply strange odour that arises when you enter your basement.

Most people who have grown up with a basement in their home don’t think much of these types of smells.

Unfortunately, just because your basement (and every basement you’ve ever lived with) has always smelled that way doesn’t mean it is normal or healthy.

More than likely, those strange odours indicate your basement air is stale and oxygen-poor, possibly overly humid and perhaps contaminated with mildew or mould spores that you can’t see but you certainly can smell.

Sump pump malfunction

A sump pump, like any major appliance, has a useful life. Timely maintenance and minor repairs can absolutely extend the useful life of your sump pump but can’t always make up for conditions that tax your sump system beyond what it was designed to handle.

If your sump system seems like it never shuts off, this could be because your basement is taking on extra water on a regular basis. Not only is this going to add wear and tear to your sump pump, but in time, a sump failure could lead to a major basement flood.

Persistent humidity

Persistent humidity is another one of those so-called “normal” situations that many people expect to find inside their basement. But it actually isn’t normal—or at least it shouldn’t be!

Along with humidity, you often find mildew, mould, insects and even small animals who are lured by the presence of consistent moisture. Each of these can conspire to make a mildly unpleasant situation a whole lot worse and much more expensive to fix.

Efflorescence

Efflorescence is the technical term for that white powdery residue left behind after water evaporates. Efflorescence is composed of mineral salts that get carried along in the water as it enters your basement. When the moisture dries up, the white powder gets left behind as a calling card.

For many people unfamiliar with efflorescence, it is easy to assume it is just dust.

But if your “dust” keeps appearing in very odd places, such as midway up the wall or in the middle of the floor, chances are good it is not actually dust at all but a sign you have water seeping into your basement.

Standing water

Standing water is easier to interpret than efflorescence. When you see a puddle or slick spot in your basement, you know what you are looking at.

Standing water indicates your basement has taken on water that isn’t getting routed back out again. This is a source of concern that requires immediate investigation.

Paint flaking

Flaking paint is sometimes due to simple old age, especially if the original paint wasn’t of the best quality or the basement area where the paint is has experienced a lot of wear and tear.

But paint flaking can also indicate unseen moisture, such as when mould or mildew, consistent humidity or seeping moisture causes the paint to flake off.

Mould and mildew

Mould and mildew are pretty much every homeowner’s nightmare. But what you need to remember is that mould and mildew are everywhere—in the air, soil and water—and not all of it is bad.

The important thing here is not to wait when you suspect a mould or mildew invasion because it can be dangerous to your health.

Have your basement evaluated promptly and find out what kind of mould you have and what you are dealing with. Then you can take the next steps before the issue gets worse.

Free Inspections & Affordable Basement Solutions You Can Trust

You can’t go wrong with a free inspection and quote, which is exactly what you get when you call us.

From there, we will work with you to identify the most affordable and appropriate repair for your basement.

Our simple, quick solutions include interior waterproofing, crack repair, installation of backup sump protection, repair or installation of window wells and drains, adding insulation or downspout extensions, and doing drainage repairs or additions as needed. Most repairs only take one to two days!

Get in Touch

Contact us online or give us a call at 1-866-875-6664.

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Is Your Crawl Space Sloping, Smelly, Moist or Musty? We Can Fix It!

mold under floor

There are perks that come with having a crawl space in your home.

For example, it can be easier to get to components that may need maintenance or repair. This can help ease worries about damage from intense storms that may cause temporary flooding.

However, owning a home with a crawl space can come with certain drawbacks as well. These drawbacks often become more apparent with age, climate change or as the surrounding terrain changes.

Often, your crawl space will try to communicate with you to let you know something is wrong. Warning signs can include musty odours, standing water that persists, support beams that appear to be leaning or rotting in places, flooring changes and similar signals.

If you know that these types of warning signs indicate your crawl space may need maintenance or repair, you can nip crawl space problems in the bud before expenses skyrocket!

Why Tackle Crawl Space Repairs Now Instead of Waiting?

It is never fun to hear that your crawl space needs maintenance or repairs. But there is a bright side: once you repair and update your crawl space as needed, you may save up to 25 percent on home energy bills year-round!

In Ontario, the average homeowner spends around $2,358 per year on energy. Of that amount, an estimated 64 percent goes to heating and cooling the home.

A savings of just 25 percent translates to $377 back in your pocket annually, which means your crawl space repair is likely to pay for itself in just a year or two!

6 Warning Signs Your Crawl Space Needs Maintenance

These are six of the most common crawl space maintenance and repair issues that homeowners report.

Strange odours

Strange odours tend to be one of the most immediately noticeable warning signs that something may be amiss inside your crawl space.

The odour of lingering humidity, mould or mildew spores, dead animals, rotting wood and similar debris can smell like dirty gym socks, unwashed swimsuits, bagged grass clippings, decaying waste and, even worse, a combination of these.

When odours begin to accumulate, this means the cause has been present for some days or perhaps weeks or longer. So you don’t want to wait to get in there and investigate to find the cause!

Mould and mildew

Mould and mildew can be hard to spot initially unless there is a sufficient quantity to give off odours.

This is because mould and mildew can form in cracks and crevices and up inside the interior of the crawl space support structure, where it is hard to see even if you shine a flashlight on it.

Often, it is a scent that first alerts you to growing mould or mildew colonies. At other times, rotting support beams or sagging soft flooring can indicate that mould or mildew may be growing.

Unwelcome visitors

At certain times of year, it is natural to see more insects and small animals lurking in and around your crawl space. After all, to a small creature, the relative darkness and dampness of the crawl space can look like a great refuge from predators and a fine place to raise a family.

But if you start seeing a rise in the local insect or animal population, or if odours such as waste or decay alert you to their presence, this means the issue has become sufficiently problematic to warrant further investigation.

Insects and rodents, in particular, can wreak havoc by burrowing into wood, chewing electrical wires and creating a very dangerous situation for all involved.

Humidity

Humidity is one of the most common issues that crawl space owners face, especially if your crawl space is of an older vintage.

This is why crawl spaces are typically recommended only for homes built in drier climates, but even this doesn’t prevent seasonal moisture or climate change from allowing humidity or water to accumulate.

Humidity isn’t necessarily a problem in its own right—it is what humidity attracts that causes issues. Mould and mildew are naturally attracted to dark, cool, humid places. Insects and animals are attracted to a natural supply of water or moisture as well.

Rotting supports

As humidity, moisture, mould or mildew accumulates consistently, the organic materials used to build and support your crawl space can begin to degrade and, over time, flat-out rot.

Sometimes you can see this in the support beams as they begin to degrade on the surface, complete with soft spots and shedding particulate matter as proof. Other times, you may actually see the supports start to lean as they rot from beneath.

Sagging floors

Old, creaky, squeaky floors do lend some ambiance to older dwellings, but a well-built floor is really not supposed to sound like the rhythm section in a garage band!

If your floors are getting squeakier, creakier, saggier or bouncier, this is a potential sign that your crawl space is being invaded or degraded by any of the issues we just reviewed here.

Affordable Crawl Space Solutions That Really Work

Most crawl space solutions are really quite affordable, especially if you catch the problem early!

The most common solutions we recommend include adding dehumidification, ventilation and drainage, insulation and encapsulation.

Dehumidification, ventilation and drainage ensures that existing, lingering humidity, moisture and water are swiftly and permanently ushered out of your crawl space.

Insulation and encapsulation then damp-proofs your crawl space to prevent moisture, insects, animals and other issues from invading your crawl space in the future.

Get in Touch

Has your crawl space recently started smelling funny, collecting water, leaning or sagging or rotting, or is something else amiss and you can’t quite figure out what is going on? We can help!

Contact us online or give us a call at 1-866-875-6664.

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There Is Water on the Basement Floor But I Don’t See Any Cracks—Help!

deep basement flood

After so many decades in the foundation repair and waterproofing industry, we are no longer surprised by the many ways water can find its way into a basement.

“If there’s a will, there’s a way” pretty much sums up the ability water has to seep into any crack or crevice and, from there, make its way into your basement.

It certainly doesn’t help that most basements are crafted from either poured concrete or concrete blocks, and concrete is a naturally porous material from day one.

Depending on who you ask and the type of water damage, anywhere from 60 to 98 percent of all basements in North America will eventually develop some type of moisture damage.

This means it is likely not so much a case of if but rather when you finally make that call to ask for a repair estimate for basement waterproofing. In this post, we detail the common ways water enters a basement and what to do when you discover it.

Concrete Micro-Fissures

Concrete is not only naturally porous but it tends to settle and contract somewhat as it dries. This can be a particular issue in poured concrete basements, and especially so if the concrete was not mixed properly and develops “honeycombs,” or air pockets that create tiny pathways where water can seep in.

Basements constructed from concrete blocks are not immune, however. Over time, the mortar that holds the blocks together will start to break down. When this happens, the blocks will shift and often open up other small cracks where water can seep in from outside.

Wall or Floor Cracks

Wall or floor cracks can happen for a variety of reasons. Improperly set walls without sufficient support, settling concrete, shifting soils, extreme drought or flooding that places extra pressure on walls and other issues can cause larger visible cracks to appear and let water in.

Damaged or Blocked Window Wells or Drains

Window wells, weeping tiles and floor drains are all systems designed to keep water out of a newly constructed basement. They tend to do their jobs well at first and less well over time.

Debris and damage can create blockages or total collapse, causing the water that should be flowing out of your basement to flow back in.

Shifting Soil

Shifting soil can be more of a problem in some geographic areas than others. Over time, it is natural for topography to shift somewhat, and changing global weather patterns can worsen this effect.

As soil shifts, pressure against basement walls and flooring becomes uneven, causing cracks to form and widen over time and water to seep inside.

Rising Water Table

As weather patterns become more unpredictable and seasonal storms become more extreme, there is simply more water to deal with and not enough places to put it.

When the soil becomes saturated with moisture, this can cause a rise in the water table that existing drainage systems are not equipped to deal with.

Failing Sump Pump

Sump pumps, like all home maintenance systems, have a useful life. But increasing demands can also cause a sump pump to wear out faster than expected.

A failing sump pump is one of the most common causes of serious water issues in a basement.

Plumbing or Sewer Line Leaks

The network of hidden pipes that delivers water to your home are vulnerable to all kinds of equally hidden perils—from tree limbs to animals to rust and natural wear and tear. Leaking plumbing pipes can easily cause water to enter your basement.

Similarly, over time the seals that connect your home’s sewer pipes to the main sewer lines can wear out due to age and cause a backlog of dirty sewer water to flood into your basement space.

Excessive Water Runoff

Runoff from watering your lawn and garden and from rain storms is especially prone to entering your basement.

Inadequate Exterior Drainage or Grading

Over time, it is normal for an existing system of gutters and downspouts to start aging and develop clogs, leaks or cracks. Sometimes the topography changes and soil sinks or shifts in areas that were previously level.

When this occurs, water may begin to flow back toward your foundation instead of away from it and can then pool and begin to leak into your basement.

Diagnosing and Repairing a Leaking Basement

When you think of the words “basement” and “leak,” you probably think of the words “stressful” and “expensive.”

But in most cases, the repair expense is not going to be as pricey as you think. And what you can absolutely count on is that it will only get more expensive if you decide to ignore the moisture, wait and hope it will all just go away!

The best approach is to move forward to seek an accurate diagnosis so you know what is causing the humidity, efflorescence (white powder), sweating, dampness, strange odours or outright leaks in your basement.

 

Once you know what the problem is, then it becomes much easier to sit down and sort through the options to repair it. In some cases, it is possible to simply install a dehumidifier to control basement humidity for a time while you plan and budget for the necessary repairs.

But you won’t know until you ask and get the facts!

The most common basement repair needs include crack repair, installation of a new or back-up sump pump system, de-clogging and window well repair and drainage systems, gutter cleaning and downspout extensions, wall supports, additional insulation and interior basement waterproofing.

Get in Touch

Affordable basement waterproofing and repair options are just a phone call away. Don’t wait and let your basement moisture issue get worse!

Contact us online or give us a call at 1-866-875-6664.

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Moisture Barrier Versus Interior Waterproofing: Which Do You Need?

exterior basement waterproofing

The moment you notice a moisture or humidity issue with your basement, your learning curve begins.

First, there is a confusing set of new terms to learn. What is the difference between a barrier versus a membrane? Also, what is damp-proofing and is that the same as interior waterproofing?

Is there a better choice to address your specific issue with basement moisture, whether it is seepage or an outright raging leak?

One thing you do know, however: whatever you select, you want it to last. In this post, we discuss important differences between a moisture barrier versus interior waterproofing and the right time to use each.

Damp-Proofing, Vapor Barriers & Moisture Barriers

The best time to discuss protecting your basement space from moisture breaches is before it is even built.

Of course, in most cases this smart conversation doesn’t take place, either because the homeowner doesn’t know (and the contractor doesn’t say) or yours isn’t a new home and you are one in a succession of owners.

The terminology for protective, preventative treatments—often termed “damp-proofing”—can be confusing. Water-resistant membranes, moisture barriers, vapour barriers… they sound quite a bit alike but actually mean different things.

What is most important to know, however, is that none of these products can provide complete protection against basement moisture. If you want full waterproofing protection, you need to find out precisely what type of moisture the product blocks!

Moisture barrier

A water-resistant membrane (also called a moisture barrier) is a sheet of thick plastic that, as its name suggests, blocks moisture from entering through the foundation.

Membranes can be helpful to repel seepage, but they can’t withstand heavy pressure such as that generated by fast leaks and flooding. In this way, to say they are installed for waterproofing is actually inaccurate.

Vapour barrier

A vapour barrier is typically made of polyethylene, a type of plastic sheeting. It is often attached directly to wood or laminate flooring materials to block moisture created by overly humid air.

Unfortunately, this type of barrier is typically effective only until the moisture content in the surrounding air or soil reaches about 75 percent, which makes it ill-equipped for seasonal or storm-generated humidity spikes. And vapour barriers are not the right choice to actively repel water seepage or outright leaks.

Damp-Proofing Versus Interior Waterproofing

In the vast majority of cases, damp-proofing is installed as a preventative, protective measure during new construction or major home renovations. Here, the thought is to provide some type of minimal protection against minor settling or seepage, especially in an unfinished basement space.

In contrast, interior waterproofing is generally recommended as a way to fix an existing issue with moisture seepage or a leak, often with an older home where the basement structure itself is aging and has become compromised in some way.

This is not to say that interior basement waterproofing cannot be done as a preventative approach—and in actuality, this approach is ideal for homeowner peace of mind and for controlling future repair costs.

Interior Waterproofing Versus Exterior Waterproofing

There are two main approaches to basement waterproofing: interior and exterior.

As their names suggest, exterior waterproofing is a treatment applied around the outside of your basement space, while interior waterproofing is applied to the interior of the basement.

Many homeowners do not initially realize there are two different types of treatments—that is, until you start to gather quotes and some quotes are so much pricier than others!

Exterior basement waterproofing

Quotes into the tens of thousands of dollars are typical for exterior basement waterproofing.

This highly invasive treatment is generally only feasible or advisable to do at the same time a new basement is built, since it requires thoroughly displacing the surrounding soil and landscaping, which then creates additional costly repairs.

Interior basement waterproofing

Interior basement waterproofing is a treatment that can be applied to the inside of your basement—walls and flooring—whether your basement is unfinished or finished. If applied to an unfinished basement, the treatment will not prevent you from finishing the basement in the future.

This treatment can be used on its own to treat issues with humidity or slight seepage from micro-cracks. For larger cracks and leaks or standing water, interior waterproofing can be combined with other types of treatments depending on need.

Downspout and gutter repairs or re-routing, window well cleaning and repairs, sump pump backup systems, additional specialized insulation, crack repair, structural supports such as wall joints and braces, ventilation solutions and grading/landscaping can each do their part to provide a comprehensive approach to basement waterproofing.

Which Solution to Choose: Damp-Proofing or Interior Waterproofing

Since no one enjoys spending money to keep moisture or water out of their basement, it can be tempting to just jump at the lowest bid you receive.

But it is important to take a step back and look into the long term—how will the solution you choose today protect you from the unknown in the future and perhaps even impact the resale value of your home?

According to a recent Home Advisor report, prices can range from $600 to $10,590, which is a really wide spread!

What is most important to know here is that whatever you spend now to fix minor issues with humidity or leaks will always be less expensive than what it will cost later if you end up with a major mould and mildew remediation or deep repair job on your hands!

Sometimes it is even possible to control moisture’s impact over the short term by simply installing additional ventilation and/or a dehumidifier to remove airborne moisture and dry out your basement air.

Get in Touch

Are you concerned about an overly humid or damp basement? We can help!

Contact us online or give us a call at 1-866-875-6664.

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Help! My Basement Wall Has a Crack! An Expert’s Take On What To Do First

basement crack what to do first

When you own a home, you never know when the day may come that you walk into your basement and notice one of your walls has developed a crack.

Even though finding a crack in your basement wall is always going to be stressful, it can help to know this is actually quite common.

This is especially the case in older homes and in those built on unstable terrain where soil has a high natural moisture content, such as near the beach. But any home can develop a crack in the basement wall given sufficient time and the right types of pressure.

What is important is not to panic, but to take a deep breath and follow the steps we outline in this post.

4 Types of Basement Walls

There are four basic types of basement walls used in residential construction today.

Poured concrete wall

The most common type is the poured concrete wall. As the name indicates, a poured concrete wall is created by pouring wet concrete into some type of wood or metal frame and allowing it to set.

Concrete block wall

The second most common type of wall is the concrete block wall, also sometimes called the cinder block wall or masonry block wall. The name gives its structure away—these are pre-made stacked blocks held together with mortar.

Solid concrete wall

Another relatively common wall type is the pre-made solid concrete wall. With this type of wall, the concrete is poured to set ahead of time and the drywall is then transported to the building site and set into place.

Brick, stone, clay wall

Brick, clay and stone walls are no longer common, but are still found in vintage and historic homes with basements.

3 Types of Basement Wall Cracks

Basement wall cracks can happen for a variety of reasons. However, there are three main categories of triggers for the majority of basement wall cracks.

Shrinkage

Shrinkage describes what happens when a poured concrete wall starts to dry. Some amount of shrinkage is to be expected as the poured concrete dries, even under optimal weather and “curing” (concrete drying) conditions.

However, a number of variables can interact to create less than optimal conditions for curing a newly poured concrete wall. Dramatic temperature shifts, sub-optimal concrete mixes, super-wet or dry conditions and other factors can impact how much shrinkage occurs and how that shrinkage affects your basement walls.

Settling

Settling is what happens when your basement walls begin to interact with the surrounding soil or water table.

This might happen over time as a result of shifting terrain or changing water table levels or soil composition. Or it could happen more rapidly after a severe weather event such as a major flood.

Movement

Movement can include settling. When the surrounding soil and terrain shifts, this can cause your basement walls and foundation to shift.

Poor drainage, blocked window wells or inadequate landscape grading can also cause hydrostatic pressure against one or more basement walls, causing them to bow inward or outward, lean, tilt or bulge.

3 Steps to Take After Noticing a Basement Wall Crack

First and foremost, what you need to know is that any crack in your basement wall always carries a message with it. Your job is to decode the message your basement is sending you and that will tell you what steps to take next.

1. Call in the pros

Unfortunately, most homeowners know little if anything about deciphering basement wall crack messages. For this, you will want to bring in an expert who can examine the crack in detail, figure out how it may have formed and what, if any, action needs to be taken next.

Some cracks are relatively normal, even unavoidable. Shrinkage-related cracks, for example, will nearly always happen when your basement walls are constructed from poured concrete. The goal here is to minimize the shrinkage, not eradicate it entirely.

But other cracks are more serious, even if they don’t always look serious. Some basement wall cracks are so slight they are almost impossible to see with the naked eye, and you can detect them only when a white material called “efflorescence” starts to form near the crack. Efflorescence is a build-up of mineral salts left behind when seeping moisture evaporates.

2. Evaluate your options

Basement experts have all kinds of wonderful technology that can help diagnose what is causing basement cracks, how serious those cracks may be and the best corrective options.

Many homeowners are quite reluctant to reach out to an expert, thinking it will lead to thousands of dollars in basement repair expenses. The important thing to remember here is that you simply need to know what is wrong. You don’t necessarily need to take action to fix it right away.

Some cracks are relatively minor and may only require the help of a dehumidifier to extract excess moisture to prevent mould and mildew growth. For cracks that do represent significant structural impact, the more you can learn about what has caused the crack, the better you can plan ahead and budget to fix it.

3. Create your corrective plan of action

All kinds of creative options are available today to fix foundation cracks.

Sometimes the simplest option is affordable basement waterproofing, which effectively seals up your basement walls and foundation from the inside against cracks and the resultant leaks.

Sometimes a two-step approach is required—first repairing cracks by installing supportive wall anchors, braces or reinforcers and then applying basement waterproofing to prevent additional moisture from entering your basement space.

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Are you concerned because you have recently found evidence of a basement wall crack or moisture seepage inside your basement? We can help!

Contact us online or give us a call at 1-866-875-6664.

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My Basement Is Always Humid: What Basement Humidity Means & How to Fix It

dehumidifier for humid basement

There are some times when adding humidity to your indoor air is a good thing. A bit of strategically managed humidity can improve your health, ease the signs of aging skin, fight off static and keep home furnishings in good repair.

But too much humidity or humidity in the wrong places can be damaging. Your basement is one of those places where you just don’t want to have overly humid air.

According to the Basement Health Association, overly humid air is the number one cause of mould, mildew and major basement repairs.

If your basement space always seems overly humid compared to your above-ground environment, it’s time to take action. In this post, we discuss what can cause basement humidity, what it means and how to fix it.

Aiming for the Ideal Humidity Range

Natural Resources Canada strongly recommends maintaining an indoor air humidity level of 30 to 50 percent year-round.

When humidity rises above 50 percent, this creates conditions ripe for mould and mildew to colonize and spread. Similarly, when humidity drops below 30 percent, the extreme dryness can cause respiratory distress for you and creaks and cracks for your wood furnishings.

Because outdoor air humidity levels can fluctuate outside of this range seasonally, sometimes it can be difficult at first to diagnose a problem with basement air humidity.

Why Basements Become Chronically Humid

How does a basement become too humid? The most obvious reason is the presence of a water leak. When moisture seeps into your basement, this naturally raises the moisture content inside the space.

Micro-fissures

But what many homeowners don’t realize is that often basement leaks are too small to be easily seen. Most basements are made from poured concrete or concrete blocks. Concrete is a naturally porous material that will continue to settle over time.

With shifting soil, storms, changing water table levels and other natural factors, micro-fissures and tiny cracks can begin to form and let in water.

If you never see standing water in your basement but the air is continually humid, you may have one or several of these tiny micro-fissures allowing water to slowly infiltrate your basement space.

Cracks

Of course, leaks can get much bigger, and sometimes outright cracks will form and you can see water coming in.

Clogs or drainage blocks

Clogged gutters, blocked window wells, malfunctioning downspouts or shifting landscaping can compound the issue and create a situation where water enters with increasing ease.

Sump problems

Another way water come in is when the sump pump system begins to wear out. This can happen due to old age or increasing demand that the sump system was never designed to handle.

What Happens When Your Basement Is Chronically Humid

Why be concerned about a chronically humid basement?

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) cites a number of concerning health and structural issues that can arise when your basement is overly humid or damp.

Over time, a chronically humid basement may cause warped, bowed or sagging walls and floors, mould and mildew, bacteria growth, damage and destruction of stored materials or basement furnishings, windows and doors that won’t open or close and similar structural issues.

Similarly, basement humidity can cause issues with your above-ground structure as well, especially once mould and mildew take hold and begin to spread, leading to extensive and costly remediation work.

How to Fix a Humid Basement

Having a basement can increase your resale value by adding useable space. But it can also become a headache when maintenance needs arise.

There are two ways to approach fixing a chronically humid or damp basement space.

Put a band-aid on it

The first is what we call a “band-aid” approach. You can install a portable dehumidifier to pull moisture out of the air. For minor issues with basement humidity, sometimes this is all that’s needed for a time.

But this isn’t what we recommend for a long-term solution. You can be pretty sure that your basement humidity issues are not going to resolve on their own!

Even if you don’t have any desire to sell your home right now, not properly fixing the issue can be a liability when you do want to put your home on the market. More importantly, ignoring or band-aiding chronic basement moisture issues can cause structural issues with your whole home over time.

Waterproof your basement

Affordable basement waterproofing is one of the hands-down best ways to fix a humid basement permanently. There are two methods for how to fix a leaky basement: exterior waterproofing and interior waterproofing.

From a basement waterproofing cost perspective, we typically recommend the latter.

In fact, waterproofing your basement from the outside is typically financially feasible only as a preventative approach to protect new basement construction. For existing homes with humid or leaking basements, interior basement waterproofing works just as well and is vastly more affordable!

For micro-fissures that are permitting a bit of extra moisture to seep in, interior basement waterproofing alone is often sufficient to solve the problem permanently.

If your basement has developed a larger crack that is letting in more water, or if you have blocked window wells or issues with your above-ground drainage or landscaping, we may recommend a combination approach that includes repairs and interior basement waterproofing to protect your home and basement from humidity over the long term.

The good news is, interior waterproofing can be done on a finished or an unfinished basement space. If your basement is unfinished, the interior waterproofing treatment will not impact the option for finishing your basement at a later date.

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Are you concerned because your basement always seems uncomfortably humid? We can help!

Contact us online or give us a call at 1-866-875-6664.

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I Found White Flaky Stuff on My Basement Walls: What Should I Do?

Efflorescence

That white flaky stuff you see is called “efflorescence.” It’s mineral salt residue that gets left behind when water evaporates. Sometimes it looks like white dust at first, but then you realize it’s in the middle of the wall or in another odd spot where dust normally doesn’t collect.

So what is efflorescence? How does it get there? What does it mean and what should you do? That is what we will discuss in this post!

Efflorescence: What Is It & Where Does It Come From?

At its most fundamental, water is a molecule made up of atoms. The water molecule contains precisely three atoms: two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom (or H2O, as you probably know). But water can also have lots of other things in it, too!

Water is what chemists call a solvent—a substance that has the power to dissolve other substances. In fact, water is a universal solvent, which means it can dissolve more different types of substances than any other solvent on the planet.

As well, the way water is constructed, with two positively charged hydrogen atoms and one negatively charged oxygen atom, lots of substances that need dissolving are naturally attracted to it. Salts, minerals, chemicals and other substances are drawn to water, so water picks these substances up as it flows toward wherever it’s going.

Then it gets to your basement—from a recent storm or a rising water table, or from sprinkler system runoff or some other route—and it is carrying all these other substances with it. What happens next?

How Efflorescence Gets Into Your Basement

“Efflorescence” comes from a French word that means “to flower out.” This is exactly what efflorescence does! That dusty white matter you see is composed of the mineral salts “flowering out” as the water that carried them inside your basement evaporates, leaving them high and dry (so to speak) and in plain sight.

What is interesting about the building blocks of the typical basement structure—concrete blocks, poured concrete, masonry bricking—is that this material is naturally somewhat porous. Basically, this means that water can and does regularly penetrate the material.

In past centuries, when basements were installed directly over cellars as a point of access to food supplies stored beneath, no one much cared if the basement area took on a bit of water or became seasonally humid. But today, people live, work and play in basements, which are viewed as an extension of the home’s useful space.

So today, when a new basement is being constructed, some type of initial damp-proofing protection is typically applied. But this initial application has a shelf life, which can be shortened further by shifting soil, changing water table levels, ground settling and other factors.

As the initial damp-proofing wears off, porous concrete begins to take on moisture in a number of ways. This moisture makes its way through tiny capillaries and pores in the concrete and seeps into your basement, where it slowly evaporates and leaves behind its calling card—dried mineral salts, or efflorescence.

What Efflorescence Is Trying to Tell You

As you may have figured out by now, efflorescence is carrying a message from your basement to you to let you know moisture is getting inside somehow.

Its primary routes may be micro-fissures or capillaries—tiny channels so small they can be nearly impossible to perceive with the unaided eye. Water can also enter through larger fissures or cracks that are visible.

Another way water routinely gets in is through windows when window well drains get backed up or simply degrade and stop working. Water can also seep up from the ground through your foundation and cause dampness on the basement floor.

If this seepage is quite slow, efflorescence may be the only warning sign to alert you that your basement has a leak.

Here, it can help to do an initial walk-through and note the areas where you see efflorescence. Next, clean the white powder away from those areas and wait a few days and do another walk-through. Notice if you see efflorescence everywhere or just in one specific area. This will give you information about where and how moisture may be entering.

What to Do About Efflorescence in Your Basement

Learning how to control damp, moisture and water leaks inside basements is an ongoing science. As homes get older, new problems are discovered and new solutions are created to solve those problems.

The best step after discovering basement efflorescence and doing your basement walk-through to find as many affected areas as you can is to contact a professional to inspect and evaluate your basement’s risk level for water damage.

In some cases, the risk may be low and a dehumidifier can handle the moisture removal to buy you some time to budget and plan. In other cases, the moisture may point to a bigger structural issue that needs resolution before it worsens and turns into a major repair.

Affordable basement waterproofing options exist to prevent moisture damage in your basement, provide peace of mind and improve the future resale value of your home. Best of all, waterproofing basement walls from inside will not impact the usability of your basement space.

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Are you concerned by the presence of efflorescence inside your basement? We can help!

Contact us online or give us a call at 1-866-875-6664.

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Basement Waterproofing Cost: It Is More Affordable Than You Think!

portable basement dehumidifier

Spend enough time in the company of people who own older homes with older basements and you might begin to dread the day your basement finally springs a leak.

Statistically speaking, you have a 60 percent chance of this happening to you.

Moisture in the basement is quite common for any number of reasons, only some of which you can control.

Luckily, there is a way to control basement waterproofing cost. When you learn the early warning signs your basement sends out to alert you to a moisture problem, you can act before the problem becomes a major repair and expense.

Prevention Is Cost-Effective!

If you are in the process of building a new home that will have a basement, you can build in eternal peace of mind by including full exterior or interior basement waterproofing as part of the job.

Taking a preventative approach may cost you a bit more now, but it can save you a bundle later and increase the potential resale value of your home when you are ready to sell.

Common Basement Moisture Issues and Their Causes

Here is a brief overview of the most commonly reported basement moisture issues and their likely causes.

Changing topography

This is particularly problematic with older homes. The basement is no spring chicken, and chances are good it has formed micro-fissures or cracks over the years.

Topography changes can worsen any structural degradation as the years pass. Changing water table levels, shifting soil, surrounding construction that re-routes or overburdens drainage systems and similar issues can also change how easily water finds its way into your basement.

When the ground shifts, this can wreak havoc with your home’s grading, causing water to flow back toward your foundation instead of away from it.

Failing sump pump

Sump systems, like all major equipment, have a time-sensitive useful life. Over time, your sump pump may struggle to keep up with the demands of its job.

Climate change

We have all seen how global warming and climate change is also changing our weather patterns, often intensifying storms and increasing rainfall.

This in turn can create more water pressure (hydrostatic pressure) on your basement walls and foundation as water fights to find a way in, causing dampness, then seepage, then outright leaks and standing water.

Structural wear and tear

Whether you have a poured concrete foundation or a concrete brick foundation, natural settling and mortar degradation are two common reasons moisture or water finds its way inside your basement.

Drainage clogs

Window well drains that clog up or become compromised can cause nearly as much damage as an outright flood—those wells can hold a surprising amount of water that has nowhere else to go once the drain becomes blocked.

Frozen drainage lines are another common reason why window wells, sump pumps and other protective systems can’t do their job of keeping water out of your basement space.

Control What You Can To Keep Water Out

Here are some things you can do to prevent moisture and water leaks in your basement.

Maintain your gutters, downspouts and drainage system

A well-maintained drainage system with effective downspouts and clean, clear gutters is better able to do its job of routing water away from your basement.

This includes maintaining window wells as best you can, access permitting.

Evaluate your landscaping and grading

Choosing the right landscaping and ensuring your grading is appropriately lower than your home’s foundation can prevent further basement moisture and lessen existing issues.

Install a backup sump pump

Whether your sump pump is brand-new, middle-aged or nearing its golden years, giving it a little extra support in the form of a back-up sump pump system can potentially save you thousands of dollars in basement flooding and mould clean-up and repair.

Adding dehumidification

Installing a portable dehumidifier in your basement can extract excess moisture and prevent mould and mildew from forming. Installing exhaust vents where appropriate (especially if you do laundry in your basement) can also be a cost-effective preventative measure.

Insulating and sealing your basement

Adding insulation and sealing your basement floor, walls and ceiling can keep excess moisture out and aid in humidity and temperature balancing year-round.

Controlling Basement Waterproofing Cost

Basement waterproofing can be accomplished in a number of ways. There are both exterior and interior treatments.

Some treatments are permanent and preventative, while others are more like Band-Aids or stop-gap measures.

These variances can mean that gathering quotes from contractors quickly becomes an exercise in confusion and frustration.

When you get two or three quotes with vastly different pricing, chances are good this is because each contractor is recommending a different type of waterproofing treatment. This is when you want to sit down with someone knowledgeable and trustworthy who can help you sort through your options and select the best, most cost-effective treatment.

Exterior basement waterproofing is typically reserved for new construction or major structural issues that likely will also require other invasive repairs. When the recommended basement treatment comes with a major price tag (in the tens of thousands of dollars), you are likely looking at a quote for exterior waterproofing.

Interior basement waterproofing is generally recommended for an existing basement with ongoing issues with humidity, moisture, odour and minor leaks.

This service can often be done for as little as a third of the price of an exterior treatment, with the average nationwide fee ranging from $2,000 and up.

Higher quotes often include recommended repairs, such as repairing cracks, sealing leaks and improving drainage and downspouts.

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Are you concerned about moisture in your basement? We can help!

Contact us online or give us a call at 1-866-875-6664.

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Waterproofing Basement Walls From Inside

smiling basement repairman

If you have a basement or are planning new construction including a basement, chances are good you are already thinking about basement waterproofing.

Perhaps you are wondering if waterproofing basement walls from inside can protect your new basement from moisture and leaks later on.

Or maybe your question is about whether waterproofing basement walls from inside could be a potential fix for leaks or dampness in your existing basement.

Read on to learn the answers to these and other basement waterproofing questions!

Hydrostatic Pressure: What It Is & How It Causes Leaks

If you had to take a guess, how much do you think a single cubic inch of rainwater weighs as it presses against your basement walls?

According to range scientists, one cubic inch of rainwater can weigh 60 pounds or more as it presses against your basement walls. This is called “hydrostatic pressure” and it is a major cause for basement leaks.

With continual hydrostatic pressure from sprinkler runoff, storm water, underground springs or even your local water table, your walls will be hard-pressed to keep that water out forever.

What happens when there is more than one cubic inch of water in the soil surrounding your basement walls?

Imagine hundreds or even thousands of pounds of water pressing against your basement structure. How long will the integrity of the walls and floors, seams and joints withstand this kind of force?

Wrap It To Protect It: How Waterproofing Works

When you are about to head outside and see that it has started to rain, what do you do before you leave? If you are like many, you probably grab an umbrella or, better yet, a raincoat!

With the right accessories, you can stay dry even while standing in pouring water. This is the same basic concept that helped invent today’s basement waterproofing treatments.

There are two basic methods for waterproofing a basement: exterior and interior.

Exterior waterproofing is really only financially feasible when you are waterproofing a new basement-in-progress as part of a preventative measure or when you only need to treat a single wall that has been noticeably impacted from the outside by something like a tree root.

Otherwise, the cost to excavate fully around your basement walls, apply the treatment and restore the soil and landscaping is typically prohibitive.

Waterproofing basement walls from inside is the first-choice treatment for homeowners who need to address an issue with seepage, standing water or moisture in an existing basement structure.

Different Types of Inside Basement Waterproofing

The type of inside basement waterproofing treatment you choose will depend on what type of water problem you are facing.

Some issues can be fully resolved by simply applying the basement waterproofing treatment to seal your basement interior and prevent further moisture from entering.

However, some issues need preparatory repair treatments before the waterproofing treatment can be applied.

Once larger cracks or leaks have formed, this two-phase approach to inside basement waterproofing is necessary to both preserve the structural integrity of your basement and prevent further moisture from entering.

How to Know Your Basement Needs Waterproofing

Your basement has its own way to communicate with you that something is wrong. These warning signs are each indications you may need to consider waterproofing basement walls from inside.

Humidity and dampness

Humid basement air and damp walls let you know that somehow, somewhere, moisture is seeping into your basement.

A dehumidifier can offer a band-aid solution, but the only sure way to prevent mould and mildew from forming is to seal up micro-fissures and cracks with an inside waterproofing treatment.

Sump pump running

When your sump pump never seems to fully shut off, this can be a sign that water is continually seeping into your basement from somewhere.

Water may be entering from walls or flooring. In these types of situations, often basement waterproofing is combined with the installation of a backup sump pump for peace of mind.

Strange odours

Do you dread going down into your basement because it always smells...off? Musty, damp, grassy—these are some ways homeowners describe the unmistakable aroma of “dirty gym socks” that often arises once mould and mildew has begun to form.

Mould and mildew of any strain can be particularly concerning because spores can colonize in micro-fissures where no human eye can ever detect them. Over time as the colony grows, you may begin to see discolouration on the interior walls, but odour is definitely going to be your first warning sign.

Once mould has formed, it will be necessary to get an evaluation for remediation work before it is safe to proceed with interior basement waterproofing.

White powder on walls

Efflorescence is the technical term for the white powdery residue that remains once water has evaporated. The white powder is from the salt present in the water.

Seeing efflorescence anywhere inside your basement is a clear indication that water has been there. This residue must be cleaned off before your basement can be waterproofed.

Obvious leaks or standing water

The sign most likely to trigger outright alarm in homeowners is the sight of water leaking into or pooling on the floor.

Here, the first order of business is always to seal the leak before proceeding to seal the basement with inside waterproofing.

Inside Basement Waterproofing Solutions

The science of structural waterproofing has come a long way over the last decade. Today, we have so many treatments for waterproofing basement walls from inside.

Crack and fissure repair, drainage and downspout upgrades, mould-repellent insulation, sump system backups, well and window drains, damp-proofing and both exterior and interior waterproofing can give you present-day peace of mind and enhance the potential resale value of your home in the future!

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How to Fix a Foundation Leak from the Inside

basement foundation repair

Discovering water or moisture inside your basement can be stressful. For starters, the source of the water may not be obvious.

Even if it is clear where the moisture is coming in from, there is still the issue of figuring out the best type of permanent fix.

Plus, where there is one basement leak, it is very likely there are more, and these may not be so easy to spot!

What should you do when you discover moisture or water in your basement? What type of treatment will make sure the problem doesn’t reappear again or show up in another location later on?

We will answer these and other important questions about how to fix a foundation leak from the inside—for good!

The Good News & the Bad News About Foundation Leaks

Every day, a homeowner in Canada will wander down to the basement to discover moisture. It might come in the form of general dampness, a lingering humidity in the air or a slight sheen on the walls and floors.

It might show up first as window condensation or mildew that starts to colonize a neglected chilly corner.

Or it might appear as a drip, a trickle or, worst of all, a gush of water coming into the basement from somewhere else in or around your foundation.

Here, there is good news and bad news. The good news is that you have discovered the leak. This means you can fix it before it gets even worse.

The bad news is that, just as with roof leaks, where there is one foundation leak you can see, there is likely to be another you can’t see, and that leak may continue to get worse until it finally makes its presence known with disastrous consequences.

Is Patching Up a Foundation Leak Enough?

Here, it nearly goes without saying that your newly discovered foundation leak hasn’t arrived at a convenient moment.

You probably don’t have wads of extra cash languishing about in your savings account for just such a homeowner’s repair need as this.

Even if you do have stacks of cash saved up, chances are good you weren’t planning to spend it on patching up a leaky foundation!

So if you are like most homeowners, you are keen to spend as little as possible to take care of the leak and move on to other, greener (and drier) pastures.

But will a patch do it? How can you know for sure? The answer is that opting for a simple, single-leak patch is always going to be a gamble.

When patching the leak makes sense

The argument for patching the single leak and calling it a day is when it seems fairly clear the leak is caused by a single structural issue that is unlikely to be found elsewhere.

For example, let’s say that with a bit of exterior excavation, your technician discovers a massive tree root pressing in on your foundation wall that is allowing stormwater and runoff from your lawn watering system to seep inside your home.

This is a great example of a situation you are unlikely to find elsewhere, and thus applying a single patch to the leak you’ve found may be enough to resolve the issue.

When patching a leak does not make sense

Over time, even the sturdiest foundation can begin to experience age-related wear and tear. And if the original foundation was not so sturdy or well-constructed, this is going to intensify the degradation once it begins.

A foundation that is settling incrementally due to age, wear and tear, changing soil conditions or other comprehensive factors will probably need more than a band-aid leak patch to resolve the issue.

What to Do When You Discover a Foundation Leak

If the word “panic” springs to mind here, you are definitely not alone! It is only natural to panic when you discover the underlying structure you rely on to support the rest of your home is no longer in perfect working order!

What you really need is to know the extent of the issue so you can make some decisions about what to do now, what to do later and how to budget for the essential repairs.

So the best first step is to contact a professional to do a leak assessment. With today’s modern moisture detection tools, we can identify the scope of the moisture issue and assess the existing and potential impact to your home.

Once you know what is wrong, you can make decisions about next steps. We can talk through options for repairs, including leak patches and waterproofing options.

Fix Your Foundation Leak from the Inside with Waterproofing

If you are an experienced homeowner, you may have heard about different types of foundation waterproofing services. There are two main foundation waterproofing methods: exterior waterproofing and interior waterproofing.

Exterior waterproofing can be a great option as a preventative treatment for new construction or during a major renovation.

At other times, interior waterproofing is generally regarded as the better option. Interior waterproofing doesn’t require displacement of surrounding soil, lawn and landscaping, and it can typically be done in such a way to preserve a basement space (if applicable) as a useable part of your home.

Plus (and this is the part most homeowners like the best!) interior foundation waterproofing is cheaper than exterior waterproofing.

Foundation waterproofing can fix a foundation leak from the inside either as a standalone solution or in conjunction with other repairs that may be needed (for example, mould or moisture remediation, bowed or cracked walls, walls separating, foundation settling).

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Contact us online or give us a call at 1-866-875-6664 if you suspect your foundation may have a leak! We can help.

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