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Frequently Asked Questions

General Foundation Crack Repairs

When you have a crack in your foundation, it can be difficult to know exactly where the water is coming from and what to do about it. The following is a list of Q&A’s related to how we assess each repair.

Where is the water coming from?
Typically the leak is coming from one of two areas. Either the water is leaking in from a crack in the foundation, or the water is coming up from underneath the foundation (this is called hydrostatic pressure).
Does it have to be repaired from the outside?
No, the injectable technology that we use to repair cracks from the inside works extremely well in most situations and allows us to repair a crack that is currently leaking. Under certain circumstances we will recommend repairing the crack from the outside, but this is usually due to access issues within the home or if the foundation has suffered accelerated deterioration due to ongoing moisture leakage. Ultimately the decision will be dependant on which technique the customer is more comfortable with.
Why has it never leaked before but is leaking now?
Many factors may trigger a crack and subsequent water leakage. Some obvious conditions include a large rainfall in a short period of time, a fast spring thaw, water trapped on top of frost and landscaping changes that impede or block drainage.
I can’t find the leak in my finished basement. What do I do now?
Initially, we conduct a physical inspection to locate the source of the water in a finished basement. With our level of experience, we can almost always locate the source without removing any drywall. Please note, once drywall gets wet, mold will be produced very quickly and needs to be taken seriously. A general rule of thumb is that if the drywall is wet, it must be replaced.
Inside repair or outside repair – is one better than the other?
Each method has certain advantages depending on the application/issue but both are equally effective when implemented using the best possible products available. Our warranties cover either inside or outside repairs.
Do I have to do anything before you arrive?
Not typically. If the water is coming in, it doesn’t hurt to use a shop vac to clean up any water plus a dehumidifier to take the moisture from the air.
How much does it cost?
With every crack presenting differently, we typically need more information from the homeowner to provide an accurate estimate. Inspecting and evaluating a foundation repair takes a professional eye to see the damage and assess the repair best suited for the homeowner. Estimates can be given over the phone but we feel in most cases, it is in our customers’ best interest to have a Crack Specialists representative come and provide a formal, written estimate.
If I have more than one crack, does it affect the pricing?
Yes, there is a sliding scale when there is more than one crack requiring repair.
How much time does it take to repair a crack?
An injectable repair from the inside usually takes approximately three hours to complete.
What do you use to fix the crack from the inside?
Two basic products are used for injection repair. One is an epoxy (i.e. glue), which is used in structural applications. The second is a polyurethane or flexible resin as it is sometimes referred to. When the main concern is water leakage and not structural, polyurethane is a superior solution.
If you cut the drywall down to repair the crack, will you put it up again?
We stay focused on the foundation repair aspect of our business, but will happily provide you with a referral to a qualified contractor who can help you refinish your basement.
Can you fix previously repaired cracks?
Absolutely! In fact, 10-20% of our service calls are to repair cracks that have been previously ‘fixed’ by homeowners and/or a handyman. Some leaking cracks have been repaired many years ago while some are more recent. Since it’s a more labour intensive process, it usually takes slightly longer to repair these cracks.
Are cracks in basement floors a problem?
They tend to only be a problem when moisture is coming up from underneath, which indicates a much larger problem needing to be addressed.

French Drain, Interior Repairs

French Drains are something that most people are unfamiliar with, but can frequently be used to repair foundation leaks from the inside, rather than excavating outside.

The following section includes some FAQ’s that will outline some indoor repairs and help explain how French drains can be used to repair them.

I have water in the middle of the floor but the walls are all dry. What’s happening?
The water is coming in up through the floor or the perimeter of the floor where it meets the wall. It is called hydrostatic water pressure
What is a French Drain?
A French Drain is an internal water management system that can be put in place without excavating the outside of the home.
What is involved with this system?
We break open the concrete floor 10′′ from the base of the wall, along the affected area. Once the floor is removed, the area is trenched and sloped to a sump pit that may or may not be already in place. A 4′′ weeping tile is placed in the base of the trench. A membrane is hung on the wall from above grading down into the trench. Then the concrete floor is refinished over the trench. This system works very well in century homes and block foundation homes because it addresses two problems: first, the hydrostatic pressure from under the home and second, the moisture that may be coming through the block or foundation wall.
How long does it take to install a French Drain?
Every job varies in length, but most installations last between two and five days.
How much does it cost?
Many factors are involved when quoting these jobs. An onsite inspection by a member of our team is absolutely required and a detailed estimate will be provided.

Exterior Repairs

Foundation waterproofing is performed on the outside of your home to seal water and moisture away from the foundation. The following section includes some FAQ’s that will help explain when this is necessary and what is involved in the process.

What is foundation waterproofing?
Foundation waterproofing is work that is completed from the outside. It seals water and moisture away from the foundation using a double membrane (unlike a French Drain, which is a water management system).
When is waterproofing necessary?
It’s necessary when over a number of years the foundation has suffered accelerated deterioration due to ongoing moisture/leakage. Most of the work we do from the outside is done on homes constructed on cinderblock or on homes in excess of 60 years of age.
I have a deck/driveway blocking access to the work area. Does it have to be removed?
We require a minimum of 12 feet of clearance from the wall to prepare for excavating. In most cases, if it’s in the way, it’s got to go. This may include decks, driveways, shrubs, etc. Homeowners need to carefully consider incremental projects costs when reviewing our crack repair estimate. This may include costs associated with the removal of materials blocking access, rebuilding or replacing any removed materials, landscaping, etc. This reflects the “true total costs” and overall expenses for completing all components of a crack repair. We are happy to recommend other service providers for the incremental work if you don’t already have a trusted resource.

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