Repairing Foundation Cracks from Interior

Should You Repair Foundation Cracks from the Interior or Exterior?

A concrete foundation can fail for several reasons. Before we delve into whether you should repair cracks from the inside or the outside, a quick word of caution–if a foundation crack repair is required, please make sure you’re contacting a professional basement waterproofing company rather than a handyperson or plumber. Saving a few dollars at the expense of structural integrity can be a costly mistake.

When executed correctly, sealing foundation cracks, either from the inside or the outside, are equally effective. If a deck or patio is in the way or the basement is unfinished, it would be best to seal cracks from the inside. The use of an external technique is recommended when there is drywall, paneling, or a furnace in the interior.

If you’re unsure how to approach it, leave the decision to the person repairing it. The crack location, type of crack, depth of the damage, and various other factors will influence this decision. You should make the final call only after a proper on-site examination by a specialist.

Interior Foundation Cracks Repair

Foundation Crack Repairs From Interior

In the past, sealing a crack meant “chipping it out and patching it.” Concrete was removed with a rotary chipping hammer, and hydraulic cement was applied. While these types of repairs were quick, they were not long-lasting. Since the fissure was not completely filled, it wasn’t solid. Furthermore, the hydraulic cement used for the task was not durable or strong. Epoxy resins were also popular in the past, but today they are viewed as more appropriate for structural problems.

The most common method of repairing internal foundation cracks today is a crack injection –either with epoxy or urethane. Epoxy injection seals the fracture’s interior face with epoxy paste and uses a resin (epoxy or urethane) to fill the crack inside out. According to most experts, urethanes are more effective for waterproofing because they retain flexibility.

Interior Foundation Crack Repair

When Interior Crack Repair is Preferred

If the crack is causing a damp basement, you’ll find specialists recommending that repair be done from the inside. There are quite a few reasons for this.

  • An internal repair can help pinpoint the issue. Any number of rod holes may be leaking from the outside. The only way to determine the precise cause of the leak is to examine the whole inner wall from the inside. 
  • Patching from the inside enables you to inject a polymer into the foundation wall fissure, which would fill the gaps all the way through. External restoration would only repair from the outside.
  • Restoring from the inside is not as cumbersome as exterior repairs requiring you to remove and replace the soil and take care of external drainage systems, decks, fences, landscaping, and utility lines. There is also a greater chance of damaging tiles, utility lines, and root systems.
  • Internal repairs are more cost-effective. Injecting into an internal fracture may cost a few hundred dollars, but the removal and replacement of soil and landscaping would cost several thousand. You also minimise extra expenses for repairing and replacing broken tiles, utilities, fences, decks, and landscaping.
  • Internal crack repairs can be done in any climate and only needs one person. In contrast, outside work must be planned during dry weather. 
  • Typically, exterior repairs utilise concrete patches which may fracture and leak. Inner polymers, on the other hand, are waterproof. They will expand and compress with temperature changes without affecting the structure’s integrity.
  • Internal repairs are also safer. Whenever workers excavate a hole outside a foundation wall, there is a greater chance that the earth will cave in or cause another accident at the excavation site.

Exterior Foundation Crack Repairs

It’s essential to watch out for foundation cracks, especially external fractures that increase the likelihood of water penetration and other difficulties. Walls and ceilings may have gaps, but foundation cracks are just as important to watch out for. Inside cracks are commonly produced by ground movement or concrete faults, whereas outer cracks are caused by weathering. Homes and dwellings are susceptible to this damage when the temperature changes throughout the year.

Many homeowners feel that the best approach to repair a break in a foundation wall is from the outside. The specialist may try removing a small section of the exterior foundation to check if the whole wall is damaged or simply the plaster. To seal a breach from the outside, excavate from the top of the wall to the footing. Fill it with granular clay to create an impenetrable water barrier.

Because outside fractures may be the consequence of inner fissures, you should thoroughly investigate the inside of your foundations. Specialists tailor their repair procedures to the kind of crack; therefore, you must perform thorough inspections before deciding on the best course of action.

Exterior Foundation Crack Repair

When Exterior Crack Repair is Preferred

Exterior repair may be more desirable and less expensive in a few of the following instances:

  • Cost and time are prohibitive for removing and replacing interior walls and fixtures, such as wood paneling, built-in bookshelves, or a brick fireplace.
  • Repairing a bent wall, adding or repairing exterior drainage systems, or correcting the composition, voids, or grading of the soil around the foundation all need excavation, which is best done from the outside.
  • Since a portion of your foundation is subterranean, the experts may need to use a mini-excavator to excavate the work area and access the issue region. In such a case, it makes sense to do the repairs from the outside.
  • Actual repairs begin with cleaning and opening the crack to create a V, followed by applying quick-setting cement and sealing with a high-performance polymer-based sealer. It must possess sufficient flexibility to withstand ground movement.

The Final Decision

Both interior and external crack repair alternatives are possible, and the final decision depends on the obstacles and specific circumstances. From a warranty viewpoint, it makes no difference whether the leak repair is performed from the inside or outside.

The competence of the contractor working on your foundation crack is of the utmost importance. They must be able to diagnose the issue accurately and fix the crack without cutting corners. Often, the best approach to choosing who will perform the job is to consider the contractor’s reputation via Google and personal recommendations. 

At Crackmasters, our team has over 18+ years of professional experience with cutting-edge basement waterproofing and foundation crack repair systems. A lifetime guarantee backs our foundation repair services. For a free estimate and inspection, contact us today.

Mold on the wall over a radiator

Top Six Wet Basement Problems in Canada and How to Fix Them

A common problem that we encounter in Canadian basements is moisture. In fact, many of us may have grown used to the idea that basements are “dark and damp” places. But did you know that with persistent moisture in your basement, there’s more at stake than musty odours? Not only can moisture cause structural damage and bring down the value of your property, but it can also lead to the development of mold that triggers respiratory allergies, asthma attacks and skin infections. 

In this article, we’ll walk you through some of the typical tell-tale signs of wet basements, what causes them and how simple alterations can remedy the problem and help you save money down the road.

Mold on the wall over a radiator

Red Flags Indicating a Wet Basement

The warning signs of wet basements include:

  • Excessive condensation on windows
  • Paint and wallpaper peeling off the walls
  • Mold and mildew growth; efflorescence on floors and walls
  • Cold, damp or wet walls and floors with or without water trickling out
  • Damp patches at the base of the wall going upwards
  • Deteriorating carpet or woodwork
  • Rotting columns, headers, and joists
  • A stale and damp scent that lingers in the air

Causes of Dampness in Basements

From our years of experience working in Canadian basements, we have identified six common causes for basement moisture. After reading this article and ascertaining the cause of your wet basement, you may be able to resolve the situation yourself by making simple changes. However, some instances may need professional intervention and DIY solutions may worsen the problem.

1. Dried-out and Leaky Taps

Unused sinks, toilets, and tubs in the basement can cause basement flooding and moisture buildup. When the sewer or septic gets overwhelmed, water can seep out slowly, evaporate into the air and make the environment damper. There could be many sources of water leaks in the basement: a shower, a sink, a toilet, a washing machine, a dishwasher, a leaky pipe, and so on. 

A dry faucet can lead to the same pressure and flow problems as a leak or a dent. If your pipes are old, they could get clogged with lime and heavy metal deposits, corrosion, or rust. As a result of this sediment buildup, your pipes may not have enough water flow.

How to fix it

  • Leaky taps are the simplest to fix as it’s easy to identify the site by the telltale pool of water near the faulty line. Calling a plumber would be your most straightforward solution. 
  • If you suspect that a clogged pipe is causing moisture issues, have the clog cleared or replace the lines.
  • If your basement has unused taps, make it a point to seal off the water supply or allow the faucet to run occasionally. Use screw caps to seal off all unused connections and keep unwanted moisture out.
driedout and leaky taps

2. Foundation Cracks and Cracks in Basement Floor

A crack in the foundation can act as a conduit for moisture and water. Other causes of dampness include French drains, rain gutters, and sewage overflows. The floors and walls of the basement are often wet as a result of these issues. Foundation crack repair begins with identifying the cause of the crack.

How to fix it

  • If the crack was caused by hydrostatic pressure (water accumulating around the foundation), repairing the exterior drainage will resolve the problem. 
  • If the crack was caused by a structural issue, you will need to put proper footing and connections (straps or anchor bolts) into place to seal the gaps.
  • Waterproofing your foundation and injecting urethane into the cracks are also effective options.
foundation cracks and cracks in basement floor

3. Basement Laundry and Equipment

If you do laundry in your basement and use a dryer, the moisture from the clothes will be absorbed by your walls. As the water condenses, your walls will become damp. Showers, furnaces, ovens, humidifiers, other appliances, and newly-constructed concrete can also be sources of moisture. 

Two other factors leading to condensation are:

  • Ventilation-related condensation: Ventilation is an effective way to remove stale and musty odours. Opening the basement windows can therefore be helpful in ventilating the space. However, when you shut the windows, the humid outside air finds itself trapped in a cool basement, and it can condense on the walls and floors.
  • Temperature differences: There is a significant difference in temperature between the basement and the rest of the house. Cool air cannot hold as much moisture as the warm air in other rooms. When air from a warm upper room mixes with colder air from the basement, the warm air condenses on the basement walls.

How to fix it 

Basement condensation can be fixed in a few ways. Start by making sure that the dryer exhaust and central air conditioner are working correctly, as they can both release a surprising amount of moisture into the atmosphere. Below are some easy options to consider:

  • Install an exhaust fan: Steam from hot showers and cooking can condense and create moisture. Installing an exhaust fan is a quick and effective way to expel this damp air. 
  • Improve air circulation: If the condensation is minimal, increasing air circulation can resolve the issue. Leave the AC or fan switched on for a few hours every day, so the moisture gets dispersed or eliminated. You can also try clearing out the junk in your basement to allow air to flow more freely.
  • Invest in basement insulation: Insulating spots where condensation builds up will prevent warm air from coming in contact with the cool surfaces and reduce condensation.
basement laundry and equipment

4. Rain or Groundwater

If the grading is incorrect or the downspouts and gutters are not draining correctly, an inch of rain can bring in over 1000 gallons of water into your home. Ideally, the ground around your foundation should slope away from the house, not towards it. 

When water consistently drains in the wrong direction, the dirt will settle down, and the natural slope can change. The water that accumulates against the foundation will inevitably make its way inside. 

How to fix it 

  • You must compact the dirt around your foundation. Hire an architect and aim to create a slope away from the house. This should be a minimum of one inch per foot, for at least 6 feet. 
  • Gutter systems should be maintained regularly to ensure proper functioning. If there are no gutters, you might want to consider adding them.
  • Every 50 feet of the eave on the roof should have at least one downspout. All downspouts should have extenders to channel water at least 4 feet away from the foundation.
  • Another option is to dig a trench alongside your house where rainwater collects or create a barrier around your home with rocks to prevent groundwater from entering.
rain or groundwater

5. Moisture rising from the soil

Without waterproofing the basement, moisture could slowly seep into the foundation and reach the walls. You are more likely to face this problem if your home has been built with old and porous bricks. Moreover, many houses lack a functional subsurface drainage system that helps expel moisture.

How to fix it

  • Waterproofing the basement is one of the easiest ways to handle moisture coming in through the foundation. 
  • Problems with your subsurface drainage system will require digging up your flooring and adding a drain system. 
  • Alternatively, you can install an internal weeping tile system and a sump pump to expel moisture rising from the ground.
moisture rising from the soil

6. Basement Leaks Resulting from Cove Joint Seepage

Your basement wall meets your floor at the cove joint. It is a small gap between the floor and the walls, which is an essential part of structuring your foundation and ensuring alignment. However, under conditions like rain which causes the groundwater to rise, water will begin to flow into openings in your foundation due to hydrostatic pressure.

While sealing the cove joint may seem like the obvious solution and may seem to work in the short term, it will inevitably fail in the long term. This is because eventually the sealant will be forced off or penetrated by the water, just like the wall was, or, the hydrostatic pressure building up will cause cracks in the foundation. 

How to fix it

  • Exterior drain tile system
  • Interior drain tile system
  • Exterior waterproofing membrane

We provide all three solutions and will advise you on what will work best for your basement.

basement leaks resulting from cove joint seepage

Why Fix the Problem Professionally

As mentioned above, having your basement repaired by a professional can increase the value of your property. A clean and dry basement can be much more than “the dark, damp place.” It can be an opportunity to increase the living space of your house.

At Crackmasters Basement Waterproofing, our team has over 18+ years of professional experience with cutting-edge basement waterproofing and foundation crack repair systems. Our foundation repair services are backed by a lifetime guarantee. For a free estimate and inspection, contact us today.

why fix problem professionally
snow bank near home

How to Keep Your Basement Safe in the winter

It doesn’t matter if you use your basement as a recreational room or rarely visit this subterranean space and use it for storage. It’s crucial to keep your basement safe and dry to prevent foundational damage to your property. This is especially true in the winter. In Canada, the weather from November to April is very unpredictable, with temperatures often dropping below freezing. Ice freezes, then melts, snowbanks form and then dissolve. All of these changes can negatively impact your basement and lead to cracks, mildew, mould or flooding. When there are large volumes of precipitation such as snow or rain the hydrostatic pressure around the basement walls is increased. This added pressure drives moisture into your basement and can additionally create cracks. These cracks can lead to a cold, wet basement that can decrease the house’s overall temperate.

Here are some tips to keep your basement safe throughout the year but particularly in the winter.

snow bank near home

How to Monitor Your Basement

Before the temperatures drop, investigate the following places in and around the foundation of your home to ensure your basement remains safe and dry for the whole season.

Grading

Ensure the grading of the ground surrounding your basement slopes away from your property. The grade should descend at a minimum of 15 centimetres for the first 3 metres away from the foundation of your home. If this is the case, any water will flow away from your basement walls, and you should be safe.

Windows

Ensure you build wells around your basement’s windows on the exterior. These window wells will need to have proper drainage systems, so they don’t get clogged. As autumn comes to an end, we recommend cleaning these areas and ensuring they’re tightly sealed against your home’s foundation. This step can prevent basement leakage as well as insect infestations.

basement window

Gutters

Before winter begins, ensure all of your property’s gutters and downspouts and cleaned and functioning properly. The downspouts should drain at least 1.5 metres away from the foundation, so large amounts of water don’t collect near your basement’s walls.

downspout and gutter

Mould or Dampness

The sooner you notice mould or dampness in your basement, the better. If you keep an eye out for this issue, you can solve it before it turns into a bigger and costlier problem. Look for dark areas on your basement walls or floors. When you see signs of mould or dampness, call Crackmasters right away, and we will solve the problem with one of our effective basement waterproofing methods.

damp basement

Sump Pump

In some houses, it’s essential to have a sump pump in your basement to keep it safe and dry. You’ll want to make sure it’s operating adequately once the temperatures outside drop to below zero. It would be best if you also cleaned the device’s strainer screen. The water collected in sump pumps can freeze in the winter, so if yours is over five years old, we recommend replacing it. The basement waterproofing experts at Crackmasters can have a look at your sump pump and let you know whether it’s ready for winter. If not, we will install a new one for you.

sump pump

Supporting Beams and Columns

Keep an eye out for gaps between each individual beam and column in your basement as well as:

  • Unusual slanting
  • Cracks
  • Sloping or leaning
  • Moisture or damage
  • Insect infestations.

Fill in gaps or fix sloping or leaning with a thin piece of metal or hardwood. If you notice moisture, cracks or damage, contact Crackmasters promptly, and we’ll find a custom basement waterproofing solution for you before the problem worsens.

Radon

Always monitor the levels of radon gas in your basement. It is a naturally occurring, odourless and colourless radioactive gas that seeps into bedrock. Radon is linked to cancer cases, so to keep your family safe, you will need to watch out for the presence of this gas in your basement. As cracks form in your basement’s walls or floor, radon levels can increase, which should motivate you to keep an eye out for damage and moisture. A professional radon test will let you know that the radon levels in your basement are safe.

Crackmasters

If you’re unsure that your basement is going to be safe and dry this winter, contact Crackmasters, and we’ll have a look. We specialize in affordable services such as basement crack repair, basement waterproofing and foundation repair.  Rest assured, we will solve all of your wet basement issues rapidly and at cost-efficient prices!

basement mould

Everything You Need to Know About Basement Mould

With water damage typically comes mould. Basements are the most susceptible part of a structure to water damage; therefore, mould in basements is unfortunately prevalent. Fortunately, there are a plethora of solutions to the problem of basement mould.

Keep in mind, for mould to thrive, it only needs moisture and space to grow on. Once a room has been exposed to water, it takes about two days to mould to form. It’s crucial to rid dark and poorly ventilated areas of any moisture as soon as possible to avoid mould. There will always be mould spores present in a home; it’s impossible to eradicate them completely. The spores won’t turn into mould if they have nowhere to sit, and there is not a sufficient amount of moisture. When there is water and material to grow on, it will grow arms or hyphae and spread, destroying the material it’s on. It will be slimy to the touch and fuzzy in appearance. Here is everything you need to know about basement mould and how to avoid it:

basement mould

How Mould Affects Different Materials

It is essential to know what material(s) your basement is made up of in order to avoid and prevent mould. Here are some of the most common materials and how mould affects them:

Drywall

Drywall has wood particles and fibre particles, so it’s an excellent surface for mould to grow and feed on. The professionals at Crackmasters can drill a hole in your drywall and stick a tool through it to determine if mould is growing behind it. If there is mould, you may have to replace portions of the drywall replaced.

Wood

There is likely a significant amount of wood in your basement, whether it’s framing, flooring, furniture or items you’re storing. This material has pathways in it for mould to grow within, so it is very vulnerable in a wet basement. Mould can break down wood and cause structural problems to the framing and flooring and impact the entire house.

If you notice any moisture in your basement, move all wood furniture and items to a better-ventilated space where they can dry faster. Seal items in plastic bags to stop the spread of mould to the new area.

Fabrics

Fabrics in the basement, such as on furniture and stored items, are porous, so they are just as vulnerable to mould growth as wood. Like wood, items remove any fabric items in plastic bags and dry in a ventilated area. If possible, you can place anything like towels and clothing in the washer and dryer to prevent mould’s growth and spread.

Carpeting

We never recommend having carpeting in a basement as it is porous like fabric and is highly susceptible to mould growth from cracks in the house’s foundation. If flooding or wetness occurs in a carpeted basement, it will need to be professionally cleaned but, more likely, taken out and replaced.

carpet in basement

HVAC

If you have an HVAC duct running through your basement, check and clean the drip pan regularly to ensure there is no basement mould forming inside it. Due to its condensation and lack of ventilation, an HVAC duct can become a breeding ground for basement mould.

Drains, Pipes and Faucets

Basements typically house most of the drain, pipes and faucets for the systems in your home. Monitor these spots for leaks as they are likely to provide an excellent home for mould.

pipe moild in basement

Health Risks of Basement Mould

Mould in your basement can be detrimental to all the patrons of a home’s health, especially children, older people and anyone with a compromised immune system. If ingested, inhaled or touched, mould can cause the following issues:

  • Irritated eyes
  • Blurry vision
  • Sore throat
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Rash or skin irritation
  • Coughing, wheezing or other respiratory issues
  • Neurological issues
  • Heart issues

cough

Types of Basement Mould

It’s important to be able to identify the different types of mould that can be found in your basement. Here are some of the most common:

White Mould

If you’ve ever seen food go bad, it is white mould forming on it. It can also be found on water-damaged materials.

Green Mould

Green mould is also frequently found on food that is rotting. It can easily travel in the air throughout your home and cause allergic reactions or asthma attacks.

Black Mould

Black mould is one of the most common basement moulds you can find in a basement. When it grows, it sometimes releases toxic mycotoxins that can cause some of the above health risks if ingested. This type of basement mould is typically found on walls, carpets and wood framing in a basement.

Crackmasters

If you notice ANY mould in your basement, contact Crackmasters immediately, and we will get clean it up immediately and prevent any health risks for you and your family members. To avoid basement mould, we offer basement waterproofing in Mississauga, Oakville, Brampton, Etobicoke, Burlington, Acton, Milton and Georgetown. However, if it’s too late and mould has formed in your basement, we will repair it promptly, professionally and economically. Contact us or get a free quote for all of your basement waterproofing and basement crack repair needs!

crack in basement

How to Keep Your Basement Waterproof

If you own or rent a multi-level property, you need to understand the importance of a waterproof basement. You may think a subtle drip or minuscule puddle is no big, but these signs can cause much more significant issues down the line. A wet basement can lead to dangerous moulds and damage throughout your property. If you ignore a damp basement, it can lead to expensive and prolonged repairs later on. It’s crucial to either identify the problem in its earliest stages or avoid this issue altogether by keeping your basement waterproof.

crack in basement

How Does A Basement Get Wet?                     

First, let’s discuss what causes basement moisture so you will know what to look out for. Basements are given the name basement because they act as the base of the house. The position/construction of this part of the house, unfortunately, create a unique proneness to wetness. Below are some of the fundamental ways your basement can get wet:

Soil Erosion and Inadequate Drainage Systems:

The most frequent occurrence that causes moisture to form in a basement is improper soil and drainage systems. If external rainwater or groundwater are not drained away from your property, it will have nowhere to go but around the basement and eventually inside the basement.

Inferior Gutters:

Similar to drainage systems, if gutters are not correctly installed or maintained, water will accumulate around the foundation of your property instead of draining it at a safe distance.

Roof Eavestrough

Irregular Slope:

If your property was built at an improper angle, water will run towards your basement when it should run away from it.

Fluid Pressure:

Hydrostatic pressure is the pressure exerted when enough water accumulates on the outside of your basement due to any of the above circumstances. This pressure can be so forceful it can create cracks in your basement’s walls, floors and around windows and doors.

Condensation:

Basements are often moist to begin with because of their position in a property. This pre-existing condensation can lead to mildew, mould and potentially, damage.

wet basement

How to Keep Your Basement Waterproof

Here are the best ways to prevent basement moisture:

Interior waterproofing

This is the most cost-efficient and straightforward method to keep your basement waterproof. It involves sealing all of the cracks and holes in your basement walls, floors and around windows and doors and ensuring these areas are watertight. You can try to solve this problem at home by purchasing a special waterproof sealant. However, if you improperly apply this sealant or purchase an ineffective product, it can be a temporary fix for a more significant problem that may arise again in the future. In general, interior waterproofing may not solve the exterior issues that are causing the cracks and holes in your basement in the first place. At Crackmasters, we have a seven-step basement crack repair process. We use polyurethane resin injections that will permanently repair all basement cracks. We can additionally waterproof your basement from the inside out with our internal weeping tile waterproofing system. Our talented team can also expertly identify what is causing your basement moisture and determine which solution is right for you.

fixing a crack

Exterior waterproofing

By now, you likely understand that exterior problems lead to wet basements. The best way to waterproof your basement is to do it from the outside in.

At Crackmasters, we offer the following external basement waterproofing systems:

  • Sump Pump and Pit Installation
  • Battery Back-Up Systems
  • External Excavation

We’ll investigate your basement issues and determine which method works best for your property.

Foundation Repair

Crackmasters can additionally resolve issues like irregular slope that may eventually lead to flooded basements, mould/mildew or other costly and detrimental problems. This method will waterproof your basement before it’s too late. We will solve your foundation problems with the following twelve steps:

  1. Waterproofing Membranes
  2. Waterproofing / Excavation
  3. Window Well Excavation
  4. Window Well Installation
  5. Weeping Tile Systems
  6. Interior Water Control
  7. Sump Pits / Pumps
  8. Urethane Injection
  9. Consulting / Inspections
  10. Stone / Brick / Block Repair
  11. Retaining Walls
  12. Block Wall Repair / Construction

foundation repair

These processes may sound confusing and complicated to you, which is why we always recommend hiring professionals to waterproof your basement instead of attempting it yourself. Buying or renting property is likely your most significant investment, so it’s essential to take care of it from top to bottom. Make sure your basement and, therefore, the rest of your property is safe and secure by contacting Crackmasters today or requesting a free quote today!

Basement waterproofing

Why You Should Avoid DIY Basement Waterproofing at All Costs

Moisture in your basement can present a complicated and a potentially expensive problem. If you ignore it for too long, it can devalue your home and present a hazard to your family’s health. A wet basement not only encourages mold growth, but it can also ruin floors and walls throughout your home. At Crackmasters, we know how important it is to protect the value of your home and your family’s health. That’s why we offer comprehensive basement waterproofing and basement crack restoration. We also know how important it is that you get the job done right, which is why we’re here to discuss the necessity of professional basement waterproofing.

LONG-TERM COST

Basement waterproof cost

Many property owners in Southern Ontario find the DIY route appealing due to the lure of apparent reduced cost. By purchasing their own materials and performing the labour themselves, many Canadians feel they can save a significant amount of money. Unfortunately, that rarely ends up being the case. While the initial cost of the project may be lower, the long-term costs of DIY basement waterproofing exceed that of a professionally done job. Do-it-yourself jobs often lead to subpar waterproofing, which frequently leads to basement leaks and much more costly repairs. By hiring an experienced basement waterproofing company like Crackmasters to get the job done right the first time and early on, property owners can save a substantial amount over the long-term.

PROFESSIONAL WATERPROOFING QUALITY

Basement waterproofing mississauga

Sure, you can easily watch a video online about how to waterproof your basement — but what quality of workmanship will result? It may seem like a fairly easy process, but unfortunately, you probably don’t have experience on your side. Professional, quality waterproofing done by Crackmasters, however, is performed by experienced technicians with decades of experience. Not only do our wet basement-waterproofing experts use professional grade materials and equipment, but they have also performed thousands of successful basement crack repair and waterproofing jobs in Mississauga, Milton, Burlington, Brampton, Georgetown, Acton and all over the Greater Toronto Area, to prove their workmanship. Going the DIY route may save you some cash in the beginning, if you are lucky, but it often leads to leaks and costly home damage. Take into account cheap materials and uncommon property challenges, and you have a recipe for disaster down the road.

SAFETY CONCERNS

Safety basement waterproofing equipment

Waterproofing your basement can be a labor-intensive job that presents significant safety concerns. To perform the job correctly, digging a trench around your basement walls may be necessary which can be dangerous in the event of a collapse. Digging will also require a permit, which can be difficult and costly to obtain. And finally, the job itself involves a considerable amount of excavation and expertise. The perimeter of your concrete floor may need to be demolished and temporarily removed, requiring professional tools and materials. Not to mention, the endeavor generates a substantial amount of concrete dust that is hazardous to your lungs.

TIME COMMITMENT

Basement waterproofing requires a considerable amount of time and effort. Whether you’re performing the job from the inside, outside, or both sides, substantial excavation and physical labour is necessary. Take a moment to consider your other life obligations — do you truly have the time to commit to such an undertaking? You should also take into consideration the climate where you reside. If your area is prone to precipitation, like most of Southern Ontario is, you run the risk of project stalls and setbacks due to water damage or freezing. Fortunately, when you hire the professionals at Crackmasters to perform your waterproofing and wet basement repair, they can get the entire job done properly in just a few days.

INDUSTRY KNOWLEDGE AND TECHNOLOGY

When you hire professionals to waterproof your basement, you’re getting the latest in industry knowledge and technology. Our trained and experienced technicians stay abreast of the latest developments and techniques in the foundation repair and basement waterproofing industry. When you perform the job yourself, you rely on materials and products that are readily available to the public. Not only are these materials generally cheap and subpar, but they wear much more quickly over time. You may spend a substantial amount on your DIY project only to find out that the materials and methods you’re using are outdated. There’s a reason new technology is constantly in development, and that’s to provide you with the best protection possible.

DIAGNOSING THE ISSUE

Professional-basement-inspection

When you opt for the DIY route, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to diagnose the problem correctly. You’re also less likely to select the appropriate solution based on the construction of your home. Experienced professionals are trained to inspect and diagnose even the most complicated of issues. To ensure that your basement waterproofing or repair will last, you need knowledge and expertise on your side. Professional basement waterproofing experts at Crackmasters can easily diagnose your issue and provide you with a comprehensive quote or refer you to another professional in case your problem is outside of our scope. This process allows you to budget for your repair and can save you the frustration of purchasing ineffective and expensive materials and causing more damage to your home.

BASEMENT WATERPROOFING IN THE MISSISSAUGA METRO AREA

When you need to protect your most valuable investment, Crackmasters is here to help. We offer basement waterproofing, foundation repair, and basement leak repair throughout the Mississauga metro area as well as in surrounding cities of Etobicoke, Brampton, Oakville, Burlington, Georgetown, Milton and Acton. We understand how important it is to protect your home and family, which is why we’re dedicated to quality workmanship and superior customer service. If you have any questions about our services or would like to schedule an estimate, give us a call. You can reach us at (905) 855-3500, or fill out our easy, no-obligation online price request.

Foundation crack repair knowledge

WHEN TO START WORRYING ABOUT FOUNDATION CRACKS

Big foundation crackBecoming a homeowner is a huge milestone, and having a place to call your own comes with a great feeling of pride. However, it also comes with heavy responsibilities.

Noticing cracks within the foundation of your home or basement is likely to cause you stress. Though it’s important to be aware of any noticeable cracks, it isn’t always necessary to jump to the worst conclusion right away.

So when exactly is it appropriate to start taking cracks seriously? Jim Lucas owner of Crackmasters Basement Waterproofing says, “If a foundation crack can fit your credit card, call an expert.”

At Crackmasters, we often get asked by homeowners about different types of cracks and what they mean. We’ve put together a list of a few specific types of cracks you can look out for that will help you identify the harmless ones from the damaging ones that require immediate professional repair.

HAIRLINE CRACKS

Foundation hairline cracks

Concrete floors in your garage or basement may develop hairline cracks from time to time. These are usually not something to be concerned about, though we recommend monitoring closely for any changes.

According to Popular Mechanics, “A crack doesn’t have to create structural troubles for it to be a problem. Cracks are ugly, suspicious things that aren’t easy to fix, and even one that’s no more than a hairline could grow and create all kinds of difficulties.”

One way to determine if the crack is getting bigger over time is to take a photo of the crack with a ruler placed over it. Make sure the ruler is in millimetres so you can measure it accurately and take the photo from the same angle.

STAIR-STEP CRACKS

Stair step foundation cracks

Unlike hairline cracks, stair-step cracks are a bigger cause for concern. They can be seen through brick walls or through the mortar joints. Here are a few ways you can tell if the problem is escalating:

  • Bulging wall
  • Cracks becoming greater than a quarter of an inch
  • Separation around windows and doors
  • Brick pulling away from the window frame
  • Stair step foundation cracks

If you come across gaps between your bricks and windows or doors, this can be a sign that your foundation is shifting and requires professional assistance.

If the Stair-Step crack is located along your garage this is a much smaller problem than if the crack is located across the rest of the house. However in either case it’s worth getting it inspected.

VERTICAL WALL CRACKS

Vertical wall cracks

Vertical cracks are extremely common, both in older homes and newly constructed ones. Though they hardly ever cause a harsh structural problem, if a vertical wall crack reaches the full length of your foundation wall it can become a portal for water entry.

If you notice cracks that uniform in width, they can be referred to as vertical wall cracks.

HORIZONTAL WALL CRACKS

The good news is that in many cases, only large cracks indicate signs of structural trouble. The bad news is horizontal wall cracks can likely lead to that.

Horizontal cracks throughout your basement wall are known to be the most serious. These cracks tend to be more severe as they can cause your walls to bow inward due to hydrostatic pressure.

If you notice horizontal wall cracks, please call a professional immediately so we can evaluate your home.

STAIR-STEP CRACKS

Wall shrinkage cracks

Though wall shrinkage cracks generally appear horizontally, they can also form in a V-shape. As V-shape cracks travel vertically across your wall, they tend to be wider towards to the top and get smaller as they continue.

Wall shrinkage cracks can appear in:

  • Bulging wall
  • Cracks becoming greater than a quarter of an inch
  • Separation around windows and doors
  • Brick pulling away from the window frame
  • Wall shrinkage cracksk

In terms of being repaired, shrinkage cracks can be sealed. This will help prevent any type of additional chipping or water entry. This is typically done with:

  • Polyurethane Foam
  • Epoxy
  • Masonry Patching Compound
  • Other sealants

Thankfully, shrinkage cracks don’t usually require any structural monitoring in brick or poured concrete walls. However, if any of bond courses seem to be broken, you should take caution as this could lead to a wall collapse. If this is something you have noticed, we recommend reaching out to a professional immediately.

NEED PROFESSIONALS?

basement waterproofing mississauga

Fixing foundation cracks is no DIY project. The job requires precision and expertise in order to be carried out effectively. Here at Crackmasters Basement Waterproofing, our team has over 18+ years of professional experience with state of the art basement waterproofing and foundation crack repair systems.

To top it off, all of our foundation repair services are completely backed up by a lifetime guarantee. For a free estimate and inspection, contact us today.

Causes of foundation cracks

CAUSES OF FOUNDATION CRACKS

As a homeowner, it can be worrisome to come across any type of damage in your living space. Especially when that damage includes cracks in your foundation. The foundation of your home is what holds it together to help it stand strong. Without a sturdy foundation, many severe issues can arise.

We know how frustrating it can be to see damages throughout the home that you worked hard to maintain. If you’ve noticed cracks within the foundation of your home, you might be wondering what exactly caused them.

At Crackmasters, we’ve dealt with thousands of different foundation crack repairs. We’ve put together a list of possible causes that may lead to most home foundation cracks. We hope this list will help you in preventing further cracks.

CONCRETE CURING

Foundation cracks concrete curing

According to the Portland Cement Association, “Concrete curing plays an important role in strength development and durability of concrete. Curing takes place immediately after concrete placing and finishing, and involves maintenance of desired moisture and temperature conditions, both at depth and near the surface, for extended periods of time.“

To be more specific, wall shrinkage cracks mainly occur during the process of concrete curing. While curing causes internal stress, shrinkage cracks form to relieve the stress. In some cases, these types of cracks can even be caused from the original construction.

Depending on what type of foundation walls your home has, the size, shape and cause of shrinkage cracks can vary. For example:

  • Block Foundation Walls

    Wall shrinkage cracks typically form from the centre of a blockfoundation wall. This can be a result of the curing process and various temperature changes.

  • Poured Concrete Foundation Walls

    Shrinkage cracks can also be caused by rapid curing, poor mix and steel reinforcement. With consistent temperature swings and seasonal weather changes, concrete can expand and cause shrinkage cracks.

  • Brick Walls

    Though present-day foundations don’t use bricks, many older buildings still have structural brickwalls in order to support the first floor. Normally, brick walls don’t shrink. However, they can continue to expand forever.

PLUMBING LEAKS

Foundation cracks plumbing leaks

For many homeowners, leaking pipes or failed plumbing is a horrible nightmare. One faulty pipe can be difficult to track down and find, which means that the leaking water is able to drip its way down to the soil underneath your home’s foundation.

Before you know it, this can cause cracks within the foundation.

SOIL BENEATH FOUNDATION

Foundation cracks soil issues

According to Jim Lucas owner of Crackmasters, it can be nearly impossible to tell what causes certain foundation cracks if you’re not an expert in engineering and foundation repair. However, there are common root problems that can be damaging enough to cause your home’s foundation to pull apart or shift. Many of these problems can be traced back to soil moisture.

Though it may not seem important what type of soil the foundation of your home sits on, it can make a dramatic difference in the stability of your home. If your soil is settling, you can likely blame your homebuilder, as it is the result of poorly tamped footers. Settling soil can also be a cause of loose fill-dirt used to level out the ground beneath your foundation.

Another example is expansive soil, which can lead to changes in moisture over time, causing the above foundation to crack. Similarly, dry soil can also cause foundation cracks due to soil shrinkage.

NEED PROFESSIONAL BASEMENT WATERPROOFING SERVICES?

If you’re unsure about the severity of your houses foundational cracks, we’re more than happy to inspect your home for free and provide details on potential causes of the damage. Many other homeowners have likely had experiences similar to your cracked foundation problems,which is why we’ve listed the most common causes and their solutions.

Unfortunately, not just anyone can fix foundation cracks with ease. The job requires precision and expertise in order to be carried out effectively.Here at Crackmasters, our team has 18+ years of professional experience with state of the art waterproofing systems.

Our expertise goes beyond educating homeowners on the causes of foundation cracks. Our services also include basement waterproofing, foundation repair and basement crack repairs. Serving the GTA and surrounding cities, we can assure you that your home is in good hands.

Furthermore, if you’d like to become familiar with foundation terminology, we’ve got you covered. Educating yourself and your family about the causes of foundation cracks is a great step towards knowing more about how your home could be affected. Thankfully, all of our foundation repair services are completely backed up by a lifetime guarantee. For a free estimate and inspection, contact us today.

Web basement repair mississauga

CAUSES AND SOLUTIONS TO WET BASEMENTS

A variety of avoidable factors can cause wet basement issues. In this article we will explain some of these factors and we will give you advice on what you can do as a house owner to minimize the damage to your house due to wet basement problems and in effect this will increase the longevity of your home, and decrease your costs of repairing unnecessary damage.

EXCAVATION WAS DONE IMPROPERLY

When a house is being built one of the first steps is to excavate (remove) all the rock and dirt, deep enough, not only for the foundation to be properly laid out, but also to create enough space for the construction workers that will be working on the foundation of the house to conduct their work. An important part of the excavation process is to locate the point at which water forms below the ground. The reason being is that if the foundation is poured below the point at which water forms under ground, this may very likely result in wet basement problems in the future, since the basement is surrounded with water for decades, essentially penetrating through the foundation and into the basement.

Another important step of excavation is to properly determine the depth of the foundation so that the top of the foundation (where the wooden footing goes) is below the point at which frost forms. If the top of the foundation is above the point at which frost forms, what happens in winter is that the ground freezes, which makes the ground harden and expand creating pressure on the foundation. When spring comes and the frost melts, the ground around the foundation contracts and loosens. This creates a hole in-between the foundation and the ground, causing water to leak downwards and eventually over the span of several years, this movement of dirt, water, ice and essentially the foundation may cause the foundation to crack, resulting in wet basement problems. Therefore, it is essential for the excavation process to be done properly by experienced professionals if a house it to withstand the seasonal nature of the Canadian climate.

AGE OF HOUSE

Even if excavation was done properly when the house was built, age plays a major role in the health of the house. Just like humans, houses get old too and as they do new problems arise. After a decade or two, the dirt under the house, which was stable and firm when the house was built, will inevitably shift causing the foundation and the house to shift with it as well. These shifts and movements in the ground and essentially the house cause added strains to the foundation, and eventually cracks form causing leakages and wet basement problems. Most of the time a crack repair professional can effectively and efficiently seal the foundation crack, preventing further water leakage and wet basement problems. When choosing a basement crack repair professional in your area look for someone with experience and a reputation. An online search on Google is a great start to research your options. Simply Google “basement crack repair” in your city to get a list of local basement crack repair companies near you. Our crack repair professionals at Crackmasters have successfully repaired thousands of foundation cracks and saved our customers thousands of dollars in possible damage. So if you are located in Oakville, Mississauga, Milton or the greater Toronto area, check us out, we guarantee professional work, and we have extensive experience in basement crack repair. However, sometimes the damage to the foundation is too severe and excavation must be performed in order to fix the problem which is much more expensive and time consuming then doing a basement crack repair.

IMPROPER MAINTENANCE

A large number of wet basement issue that home owners in Ontario are experiencing can be avoided, or at least minimized, by properly maintaining your house. Due to our seasonal climate in Ontario, houses experience added strains on the foundation throughout the year. In winter the land freezes, causing it to expand, and harden. This adds pressure on the foundation of the house, weakening the foundation, especially if excavation was done improperly. When spring comes and the snow melts the ground softens and contracts causing a gap in-between the foundation and the land surrounding it. To make matters worse, all the snow surrounding the house melts and the water finds its way downwards and into your basement. This water may soften your foundation over time, making it more susceptible to crack especially if excavation was done improperly when your house was built.

So you may ask, what can I do to minimize the chances of having a wet basement? First thing that you can do to help reduce wet basement issues is, when winter comes, shovel all the snow away from the walls of your house, especially when the snow is about to start melting (just prior to spring). This will reduce the amount of water flowing along your foundation and therefore the damage from water will be reduced drastically.

Another important and fairly inexpensive method to reduce wet basement issues is to keep your gutters clean and functioning properly. Your gutters lead water away from your house, but many times we see damaged gutters which result in water falling directly along the foundation of the house, and not away from it. This water finds its way downwards towards your basement and wakens your foundation, in effect resulting in wet basement issues.

Another important maintenance measure you can take to minimize wet basement problems is to inspect your basement windows annually. The sealant that seals the gaps between your windows and the foundation of your house may weaken and crack over time, and this may result in water leaking into your basement, further weakening your foundation and accelerating the inevitable deterioration of your foundation. Therefore, if you inspect your windows regularly, checking for any cracks, or signs of water leakage, you can spot the problem on time, and take the necessary measures to prevent further damage to your house. If you see any cracks or water leakage around your basement windows contact your windows company so that they can fix the issue before it’s too late.

Finally, if your basement windows are partially under ground with wells around them, you want to make sure that the well has a drainage system in place which leads any trapped water away from your house. If there is no drainage installed, then any trapped water will not be able to escape and this may very likely result in wet basement problems. So, make sure that objects such as leaves, dirt, flowers, weeds, rocks, etc… do not get trapped in your basement window well. This will help minimize the likelihood of the well drainage being clogged, and will in effect minimize wet basement issues.

Foundation crack information

Are Cracks in the Foundation Wall Dangerous?

Are foundation cracks dangerous

Cracks seen in the foundation walls can be either of minimal significance or can turn out to be a worrisome structural defect. If it is the latter, then it can turn out to be very expensive to rectify. A thorough evaluation is very much needed to find out if any crack repair work is required or not.

Foundation wall cracks generally occur within a few years post the construction of the house. However, there can be exceptions, like the presence of tree roots. Many owners do not note the cracks until a number of years have gone by after the initial formation. A foundation crack can turn out to be an important issue if it was discovered prior to an inspection made for the sole purpose of purchase. If you notice any cracks in your basement, don’t wait until the problem escalates, call Crackmasters Today.

TYPE OF CRACKS

Cracks are usually considered to be diagonal, horizontal or vertical. However, most of the cracked foundation walls display all the three categories. The vertical and narrow cracks develop frequently due to normal shrinkage or minor settlement. The wide and vertical cracks which exceeds 3mm in their width could be caused due to major settlement problems which may need comprehensive evaluation and engineering inspection.

Foundation wall diagonal crackFoundation wall horizontal crackFoundation wall vertical crack

HORIZONTAL CRACKS

Compared to vertical cracks, horizontal cracks are of much bigger concern. This is specially true in case of block foundation walls.

horizontal cracks foundation walls

These cracks, if not looked into, may lead to the complete failure of the foundation walls. Cracking can also affect brick walls. Crumbling mortar is also another danger factor in this type of crack.

The grading of soil along with poor drainage surrounding a structure may result in the water to slowly drain away. The ground surrounding foundation walls will be saturated with this water. This will elevate the water or hydrostatic pressure. As combined force of the soils’ natural weight and hydrostatic pressure surrounding the foundation crushes down, it may exceed the walls’ pre-determined capacity of bearing the weight, thus resulting in shear, crack or bow.

When a home is constructed with clay soil which, when in touch with water, undergoes noticeable expansion and contraction, the soil may do a lot more damage. Lateral pressure against such walls could be a staggering few tons for every square foot.

HOW TO SPOT THE FAILURE OF A FOUNDATION WALL

It can be very difficult to spot the cracking or bowing of the foundation walls in the early stages. This is because the visual difference could be very marginal. However, there are a number of red flags which you can be cognizant of, like:

  • The foundation cracks are usually broader at the top than bottom
  • Foundation walls are of unequal level
  • Windows, doors and cabinets are not shutting as they should be
  • Cracking appears in drywalls, plaster and walls
  • A dime can be placed in the wall crack

Unequal wall foundation failure

One of the surest damage signs is a floor that is not even. Such floors will make popping or cracking sounds when someone walks over them. With the widening of the crack in the foundation, the floor is likely to sag and it will become very dangerous to stand on that surface. In most cases of foundation damage, the floors have to be replaced completely.

Door cracks foundation failure

The list of other signs include windows and doors. They will not close or open as smoothly as first when they did before. With the worsening of the cracked foundation, the doors and windows will be very difficult to close or open. The widening gaps will enable insects or rodents to enter your home. Air-conditioned air will escape through such openings.

Problems with plumbing may also occur due to a cracked foundation. With increased decay, the pipes which run under and through the house foundation may break or get damaged. The basement could suffer water flooding or sewage.

If there is a bulge in the foundation walls, caused due to the flooding of the area, it is imperative that you call a foundation contractor and do the foundation repair as soon as possible. The foundation could collapse any time. Another sign of immediate repair is when you can fit a coin into the crack. A number of solutions are available when it comes to fixing the bowed walls, like foundation anchors, reinforcement and braces which can repair the wall. It adds strength to the wall, and stops the inward improvement. It also redistributes weight on the basement wall.

THE FOUNDATION ANCHORS

There are a number of techniques by which a foundation wall can be repaired. The best method so far is to install the foundation anchors. Compared to reinforcement and the braces which simply stabilize the foundation, the foundation anchors will also provide the opportunity to straighten up the walls over a period of time.

The foundation wall anchors offer a cost-efficient technique for repairing the foundation wall. This can be done without replacing or disrupting the original foundation. It is possible to complete this installation in one day and such installation could be done round the year.

During installation, a tiny area of the lawn is taken away, and the space beneath it is dug out. After that, a robust earth anchor is positioned in the hole. A rod made of steel is pushed through a small hole in the foundation wall and it is pushed so that it is fixed to the earth anchor located within the yard. Subsequently a wall plate is tightened and attached to a steel rod inside the foundation wall and the wall is then tightened. A periodic retightening over time will pull that specific wall to the original position. When the installation is completed, that hole is filled and the portion of the lawn which was removed is returned. Only an experienced and licensed professional must work with the foundation anchors.

FOUNDATION PIERS

If your residence is suffering from vertical or settling movement, then foundation anchors are not a solution. The settling foundation will need adequate support under the ground, where the house’ weight is buckling the strata. This can be an extremely serious foundation issue. Such repairs must be done exclusively by professionals.