Owning a home can be a lot of work. In the winter you have to shovel the driveway and salt the sidewalks and in the summer you have to cut the grass and plant flowers. This is just the requirements for keeping the outside of your home looking like it is in tip shop shape! The inside of the house requires updating, renovations, new furniture, painting, and the list goes on and on! But what about all the things we can’t see in our home? What about the furnace, the electrical, and even the foundation of our home? How do we keep what we can’t see up to standards and safe?
We get several calls, no matter the time of year, with desperate homeowners screaming, “Help! My Foundation is cracked!! What do I do??” We always tell them that they’ve already got the first step right, they’ve contacted the experts! Our team has been repairing cracked and crumbling concrete foundations in the Greater Toronto Area for decades! We are homeowners too so we understand the importance of ensuring that your home is safe and ready for you and your family to make memories in.
If you have a cracked foundation, our team will step up to the plate and ensure it is fixed quickly and properly, the first time. This blog will dive into the reasons behind cracked foundations, how to repair them, and more!
Why Do Foundation Cracks Occur?
Foundation cracks are a pain for everyone involved. Many people know what a foundation crack is, but they do not understand how they occur. Over time, foundations that are constructed out of concrete begin to settle. This settling causes them to move and as a result they can fracture or crack. This occurs across most of the northern hemisphere, mostly due to the change in temperatures and extreme weather we face. Concrete is very sturdy, but it also offers little room for flexibility. Therefore when the temperatures change and the ground responds, settlement and movement occurs. Over 85% of the homes that are built in Canada do not have any waterproofing or rubberized membrane applications on the foundation walls. This does not fare well for the concrete in the changing conditions. Even if your home is equipped with a functioning weeping tile system, your basement and its concrete walls are not safe from water penetration. This means that without a fully below-grade rubberized membrane to accompany a weeping tile system, foundation cracks can occur.
Exterior Crack Repair
When a concrete foundation cracks, the crack normally originates on the exterior of the foundation wall. When you contact the experts at GJ MacRae, we will first expose the damaged area. This way we will have full access to assess and repair the damage. We will first locate below-grade utilities like gas lines, hydro services and telephone/data lines. We will then begin to excavate the area by hand. Hand-excavation is less aggressive and will allow you to keep all the hard work that you’ve done to the exterior of your home! Once we have arrived at the footing, we will inspect the weeping tile system and determine if it needs to be replaced. We then clean the foundation wall with a wire brush and grind out all cracks, voids, and tie-rod holes. We fill the gaps with expansive hydraulic cement. We will then prime the footing so that the rubberized membrane and fiberglass mesh can proper adhere. After these steps another layer of rubberized membrane is applied and then a layer of Platon drainage board. These steps will ensure water stays away from your foundation!
As the backfilling process begins, the soil is power tamped every 6″-12″ inches. This ensures:
- Drainage is consistent
- Rubberized membrane and waterproofing system is locked into place
- Restoration of the original grade within the repaired areas
- Little to no settlement after completion
By following the steps outlined above by the experts, you can ensure that your basement will stay dry and crack free!
The GJ MacRae 6 Step Repair Process
Once you have determined that you have a cracked foundation, the next step is to repair it! At GJ MacRae, we have a 6 step repair process that is sure to have your home operational and safe in no time!
Step One: Determine Origin of Leak
The first step in our 6 step repair process is to determine the moisture or water entry location. This helps us determine the origin of the leak into your basement and then we can begin to determine how to fix it.
Step Two: Choose the Right Technique
The second step in our repair process is to choose the right technique. It is important to beware of interior injections and exotic repair methods. Trust the solutions that have truly stood the test of time.
Step Three: Underground Services
The third step in our process is underground services. If excavation and repairs are taking place on the exterior of home, it is important to be sure that all underground services are marked prior to breaking ground.
Step Four: Remedy for the Future
The fourth step is to prepare for the future. If a foundation has cracked before, just repairing the crack is merely a band aid solution. Basement waterproofing is also one of the most expensive repairs a homeowner can undertake and oftentimes there is only one chance to get it right. Choose the experts at GJ MacRae to get your foundation repair right the first time!
Step Five: Cost Vs Workmanship
The fifth step is cost vs workmanship. With dozens of contractors out there, and so many fly by night organizations, it is important to be sure that you are getting what you pay for.
Step Six: Drainage!
The sixth and final step of this process is drainage. You must ensure that you maintain your eavestroughs and downspouts year round, and ensure your grade is positive pitched away from foundation walls. This means no water around your foundation and no foundation cracks and leaks in the future!
The GJ MacRae Difference
As the years go on, more and more “foundation repair companies” surface. It seems as if everyone has their “own” way of repairing below-grade concrete structures. Fly by night organizations pop up all the time and claim to offer better solutions at rock bottom prices. Some of these exotic methods include crack injections, custom proprietary interior “trough systems”, foam gravel beds, and more. These options are simply not enough to fix your foundation or keep your home safe and dry in the future.
At GJ MacRae we trust our experience from decades of foundation repair projects. We follow our foundation repair process to the letter and use the most robust materials available to ensure that our repair will last, just like our company!
If you’re looking to have your foundation repaired, contact the experts at GJ MacRae today! Our team will be happy to assist you and bring you comfort in the guarantee of a dry home!