Calgary has experienced a small amount of snow fall this year… just ask any skier! To spite the low snowfall, Spring’s arrival still brings concerns about water in our basements. And it should.
Nobody can blame us for reacting very quickly when water creeps into our home, but according to Mark Hawkins of ConCrack, it might not be as bad as we think. We had a chance to ask him about every homeowner’s nightmare.
How does water get into our homes?
There are a number of ways that water can enter our home and the first priority, other than moving furniture and rugs out of harms way, is to find out how this is happening.
Most often, water is entering through a crack in the concrete. This crack may or may not be visible to the homeowner. This problem is not as big of a deal as one might think. In other cases, water may be entering because of a high water table in the ground or because a source of water is flowing through the soil. In these rare instances, the solution is a little more complicated.
A proper analysis of the problem is imperative to prevent undergoing any unnecessary repairs and incurring huge costs. This is the time you should be contacting ConCrack to help you determine the cause and scope of repair as well as future prevention techniques.
What causes the basement concrete to crack?
For many homeowners a basement crack can be frightening and confusing. Is the foundation of my house compromised? Is there unseen damage that will affect the resale value? Will I have costly repairs that I can’t afford? Usually none of these fears are true and usually the repair is not too expensive. However some unscrupulous contractors prey on these fears to recommend basement systems or repairs that are many times more expensive than are necessary.
Modern concrete foundations in Calgary are very well designed to support our houses and almost always will last hundreds of years with little or no service. Concrete shrinks when it dries and some cracking often occurs. Many houses have vertical cracks that go unnoticed. A narrow vertical foundation crack that never leaks is not structural at all and may not need to be repaired.
What do I do if I find a crack in my basement foundation?
Usually a crack that leaks can be successfully repaired for under $1000. It is common that rain water and spring melt is draining toward the house and running up against the crack. If this is the case, landscaping and eaves trough changes combined with a crack repair will solve the problem. The crack repair is done with high pressure flexible urethane and is a permanent solution. Very rarely, a long horizontal crack is structural, in which case it needs to be injected with structural epoxy.
What are the solutions for more complicated causes?
When there is no foundation crack and re-sloping the ground around the house doesn’t help, a more expensive solution is required. Some houses are impacted by underground water flow or surface water that can’t be diverted. Most often, a sump pump will do the trick if the water is coming up from under the house. A sump pump can be installed for about $2000. Occasionally water is impacting the side of the house and is coming in under the wall before it reaches the gravel under the floor. This water comes up on the floor and never reaches the sump pump. This is called hydraulic pressure. If the source is water that can’t be stopped by landscaping changes, or doesn’t reach a sump pump, then a basement system is recommended. These are expensive and can cost up to $20,000 plus possible repair to a basement development. We strongly recommend that a proper analysis and cheaper options should be investigated to see if they are feasible before implementing such a major system.
What can I do to minimize the risks of water in my basement this Spring?
- Ensure that down spouts are extended far away from the foundation of your home. Surprisingly, this is a detail that is often overlooked
- Clean eave troughs so that they are draining properly and not dumping water by your foundation. Check out our listings to find Calgary companies to help you with this chore
- Ensure that your landscaping allows for drainage of water away from your foundation. Consult Calgary landscaping companies to assess this for you
ConCrack is a Calgary company specializing in an advanced polyurethane injection technique to permanently seal cracks in basements. This method of repair is relatively inexpensive, requires no exterior excavation and comes with a 20 year guarantee. ConCrack will provide an honest analysis of what is causing the water leak and what action should be taken. Visit ConCrack’s Profile on Who to Call for more information about the company.