IMMIX Contracting Inc.

Foundation Waterproofing

Does your Basement have a Water Problem?

If you have standing water or damp places in your basement or crawl spaces, if you have seen mold growth or have foul smelling odours coming from your below grade spaces, then you may have a waterproofing problem.

Common symptoms include:
•  Wet or damp basement floor
•  Leaking or damp basement walls
•  Evidence of pooling or standing water
•  Crystalline deposits on concrete surfaces
•  Musty odours
•  Heavy condensation
•  Sump pump issues
•  Leaky basement windows
At Immix, we understand the importance of seeking out professional help to investigate root causes, to devise a plan of attack and to implement a quality solution that is both effective and affordable.  We are able to help.

Your damp or wet basement can lead to more than just a headache; these issues can create much larger problems including severe mold and mildew, wood rot, structural damage and can even lead to a variety of related health concerns.

If you are experiencing a wet basement for the first time, it is very important to determine if the water problems are going to reoccur or if it was merely a one-time event due to some unforeseen eventuality.  In the case of recurring instances, it is important to solve the question of where the water is coming from and more specifically,  if the basement walls or floor (or both) are leaking.  How you address the issue will depend to a large degree on how the water in getting into your basement in the first place.

Signs of Leakage: Basement Floors
• Obvious cracks and uneven sections in a cement floor.
• In colder climates such as Canada where there are harsh winters, repeated freezing and thawing cycles can cause damage from groundwater, underground streams, aquifers and seeps that are under the structure.
• If your basement has carpet, look for damp or stained areas which will often point to cracks in the concrete floor underneath.
• Rusty areas on carpets or floors are often strong indications of moisture problems including rusty carpet tacks and rusty feet on metal furniture.
Signs of Leakage: Basement Walls
• Any obvious cracks and uneven sections on masonry walls and cinder blocks.
• Evidence of a whitish mineral deposits (called efflorescence) along masonry walls and cinder blocks.
• Evidence of rust where you have nails in the walls or on metal surfaces such as electrical boxes, furnaces and water heaters.
• If you have paneling, woodwork or wood trim on basement walls, look for stains or darker areas that indicate water leakage behind the wood.
• Evidence of small water bugs that appear even when it is difficult to see water damage. These bugs tend to seek out water behind furniture, in corners and along the baseboards of your basement.
Exterior Foundation Waterproofing

Exterior foundation waterproofing is the preferred way to waterproof basement walls and prevent water from entering the basement from outside. There are many new products on the market which provide exterior sealing, but all begin with excavation around the entire perimeter of the building from 4 to 8 feet deep and 2-1/2 feet wide depending on the elevation of your property and the type of subsoil i.e. clay versus sand. Following excavation, a combination of the next steps generally include:
• Ensuring that a proper weeping tile system in in place. Weeping tile, sometime referred to as drain or perimeter tiles, is a porous pipe that extends around the foundation footing in order to collect and divert any water that accumulates around exterior foundation walls. The weeping tile is connected to either the exterior storm sewer system or an interior sump pit.
• If the existing weeping tile is damaged or blocked and cannot be repaired or flushed out, or if there is no weeping tile system at all, a new system will need to be installed.
• Foundation walls are cleaned and inspected for any damage or structural cracks. If found, they are chiseled out and repaired with non-shrink hydraulic cement which expands when applied into the cracks and crevices.
• A rubber membrane is applied to the foundation which serves as the primary component to waterproofing. It retains some elasticity which will allow it to expand with changes in temperature and to accommodate further settlement.
• A dimpled sheet of drainage membrane is then applied and fastened at the top with a termination bar which acts as a protection board and a drainage membrane.
• Once the waterproofing and membrane has been installed, a layer of 3/4" inch clear gravel is placed over the weeping tile to maximize drainage.
• If your home has windows that are below grade, window wells are installed. A 4" inch weeping tile is installed vertically down from the inside of the window well to the footings and filled with 3/4" clear stone to allow for drainage.
• The area is backfilled with native soil and compacted to grade, allowing for a natural slope from the side of the building to promote water diversion from the foundation.
With the completion of a well-executed system, you have fully waterproofed your foundation and will have no further issues with water penetrating through the walls of your basement.

Interior Foundation Waterproofing

Whereas exterior waterproofing requires excavation, interior waterproofing accomplishes the job from the inside. This tends to be less effective than excavation for repairing wall leakage, but sometimes it is the only option if excavation is not feasible i.e. not enough space for access, if cost is an issue, or if the proximity of other houses, gardens, pools, trees and other exterior variables make it impossbile. 

Interior waterproofing is especially effective in the case of leaking floors. If the source of water is coming up from underneath the house such as seeps, underground rivers or groundwater then interior waterproofing becomes a more viable option.

All interior waterproofing systems, often called closed systems, draw water and divert it into the basement sump pump so it can be expelled. Depending on the source of the water leakage, a variety of options are available but generally it involves:
• Breaking the floor around the perimeter approximately 6-10 inches from the foundation wall to create a series of trenches in the floor.
• The trenches are dug out to accommodate perforated weeping tile which is then connected to a discharge such as a sump pump or a floor drain.
• Any obvious cracks in the floor or walls are repaired and sealed with non-shrink hydraulic cement which expands when applied into the cracks and crevices.
• A dimpled sheet of drainage membrane is installed on the interior walls.
• A layer of 3/4" clear gravel is added over the weeping tile for maximum drainage.  A layer of concrete is then installed over the trench to finish the floor back to level and protect the weeping tile.
A further consideration with interior waterproofing is the sump pump itself.  In some cases, the sump pump may need to be upgraded or even relocated to a natural low point in the floor (or a newly made pit) to promote natural drainage by gravity.  There are also a wide variety of robust sump pumps on the market including dual systems and battery backups that allow for sump pumps to function even when the power goes out.  This can provide a lot of comfort for homeowners!

Whether interior or exterior, walls or floors, when it comes to foundation waterproofing we are able to help you. Give us a call for a free consultation and let us come in an discuss some options with you!
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© IMMIX Contracting 2018
© IMMIX Contracting 2018
Phone: 905-220-4377