Repair, recovery, excavation and more
The dramatic temperature variations characteristic of Quebec’s climate can often cause concrete to warp. This is why building foundations may start to develop slight imperfections several months, or even a full year, after the concrete was put in place.
Water, one of the main ingredients in concrete, is used to make wet cement more malleable and the end result, more durable. As the concrete dries and hardens, water evaporation leads to a decrease in volume that can alter the appearance of the finished product. This explains why foundation cracks tend to develop during and following the hardening process, which can take as long as 15 months to complete.
Concrete foundation cracks don’t systematically cause problems; some are completely benign. They typically appear near the lower corners of windows and slowly make their way to the base of the foundation. This phenomenon usually isn’t cause for concern, as long as the cracks remain less than 1/8 of an inch (three millimetres) wide. The same rule of thumb applies to cracks in basement floor slabs. That being said, it’s always best to repair cracks before they become problematic.
To fix common concrete fissures, we use specialized equipment—which can generate up to 8,000 lbs. of pressure—to fill the cracks with polyurethane. Indoor repairs can be performed 12 months a year, but temperatures above -5 °C are required to carry out similar work outdoors.
For exterior repairs, we start by excavating the foundation perimeter to reach the footing. We then inject polyurethane into the cracks using the same method employed for indoor repairs. A waterproofing and/or drainage membrane can be installed once the cracks have been filled to keep repel moisture away from the repairs.
Once the issue is fixed, we backfill the excavated area and level the ground to create a two-metre slope around the foundation. This is done to prevent future water infiltration by ensuring all water is efficiently carried away from the property.
We employ a similar method to fill structural cracks using epoxy instead of polyurethane.
We can also fill gaps in foundations by means of a process called cold jointing.
We guarantee our indoor repairs for 10 years and our exterior repairs for 15. This coverage is transferrable to new owners in the event of the property’s sale.
Freeze/thaw cycles, poor drainage and waterlogged grey clay can all damage a concrete foundation and cause sections, or even the entire wall, to buckle and shift. Restoring the foundation to its original position is crucial to avoid further damage and eliminate the risk of collapse.
To correct this type of problem, we use hydraulic or manual cylinders to support and stabilize the house while we bring the affected wall back into position. Block walls are reinforced with steel rods and injected with concrete, whereas cracks in concrete walls are filled with epoxy. The perimeter of the foundation must then be thoroughly drained to prevent other corners or walls from shifting.
To repair stone foundations, we fill in the gaps between stones and apply two coats of sprayed waterproofing membrane as well as a drainage membrane. The perimeter of the foundation must then be thoroughly drained to prevent other corners or walls from shifting.
A wet basement caused by water seepage at the base of the foundation usually points to a drainage problem. In cases like this, camera inspection is recommended to assess the state of the affected drain.
We also recommend having your French drain inspected with a camera before you begin any major landscaping project in the drain’s vicinity (e.g. putting in a pool or hot tub, paving a walkway or laying decorative stonework). This way, any eventual problem can be repaired right away without the added cost of digging everything up.
To carry out the inspection, we simply insert a special camera inside the French drain. However, the area surrounding the drain must be excavated first.OUR WORK CONTACT
M. L’expert en Fissures Inc. is also equipped to install wash stations and drain clearing units.
Our wash stations can help minimize resin and iron ochre buildup in your drains.
Installing window wells around basement windows is necessary to prevent water infiltration, especially if the windows are close to the ground.
We have the expertise and equipment necessary to see to all of your excavation needs, no matter how big or small the project.
Common symptoms of a drain problem include water seepage, musky or mouldy odours and the presence of white stains on the interior foundation. In all of these scenarios, camera inspection is recommended in order to assess the state of your drainage system.
If your current drain is ineffective (or simply non-existent), the suggested course of action is a complete overhaul of the system.
This process involves the following:
- - Excavating the home’s perimeter to reach the foundation’s footing
- - Pressure washing the foundation
- - Filling cracks with polyurethane, if necessary
- - Installing a gasket (yellow jacket) between the foundation and the footing
- - Applying a waterproofing membrane to the foundation and formwork
To achieve optimal drainage, we can either install two 4-inch drains or a single 6-inch drain at the base of the foundation’s footing. Next, we backfill the drain with 2 to 3 feet of 3/4 in. crushed stone and cover the site with a geotextile membrane. Finally, we use compacting sand to level the ground and create a two-metre slope around the worksite.
Our drainage work is covered by a 15-year guarantee that’s transferrable to new owners in the event of the property’s sale.
Foundation cracks are often associated with water infiltration, but they aren’t the only possible cause.
Indeed, infiltration can also occur when the ground adjacent to the foundation is raised. The aboveground portion of a building’s foundation is protected by a layer of plaster that isn’t completely waterproof. Consequently, raising the ground level—to accommodate flowerbeds, for example—may lead to rainwater accumulation and, eventually, infiltration through the casing fasteners. Covering the foundation with a waterproofing membrane can solve this problem.
This type of project involves coating the foundation with a membrane that counters the porosity of concrete to create a barrier against humidity and water. The membranes we use to waterproof foundations are water-based and safe for the environment.
A drainage membrane can also be added on top of the waterproofing membrane to help carry water to the French drain as efficiently as possible.
Membranes are covered by a 15-year warranty that can be transferred to new owners in the event of the property’s sale.