When should you consider repairing the foundation of your house?
A foundation repair situation is not necessarily caused by a construction defect. It may be a deterioration over time or caused by weather, such as an accumulation of water on the foundation. Depending on the work to be done (foundation repair, foundation replacement, decontamination or basement finishing), it should be understood that any repairs require professional intervention to ensure that the problem and its cause are resolved for good. It is therefore essential to correct any foundation problem before thinking about renovating your home to optimize your renovation investments. The preservation and durability of the structure of your home and especially its foundation must, therefore, precede any aesthetic renovation project.
In case of visible signs such as swelling of the floors, visible cracks inside and/or outside, deformation of door frames, water infiltration or other, it is essential to seek the advice of a professional to assess the severity of the situation and to determine the nature of the work to be done on the foundation, walls, floors, supports and framing of your home. Normally, the most common foundation problems are:
- The presence of pyrite, radon or iron ochre
However, even in the absence of such symptoms, a thorough examination of the foundation of your home should be carried out and should take into account the different structural elements (partitions, roofs, openings, etc.) before you invest in a renovation project.
Advantages of repairing foundation cracks
It is imperative to utilize the services of a professional and/or companies specializing in several situations. A foundation contractor will be able to:
- Repair/re-construct the foundation
- Lower the basement floor
- Adjust the structural elements
- Correct an uplift problem of the concrete due to water infiltration
Damage due to water infiltration
Several symptoms which may lead you to realize you have a crack in your foundation. Unfortunately, if your basement has been finished and closed with walls, you may only notice the crack once it's too late. This means that your basement could have been deteriorating for some time due to unseen water infiltration. Your walls and floor may have suffered considerable damage and you may have to do some work to decontaminate and re-create the space affected by the infiltration. It is possible that your insurance will cover the damage, repairs and/or the cause of infiltration. It is important to contact them first to find out if, in fact, you are covered. In this situation they may ask you to find quotes from contractors to carry out the evaluation before the renovation. This is when you can contact us!
It is possible that your insurance company may offer you their contractors to do the work. However, you have to remember that if the insurance company is to pay for all the work, they will not want to take up the high-end service but rather look to save costs in the payout. This could leave you short-changed with the quality of work that results. Always ask your insurer for the option to compare with outside contractors that we can find you. You have nothing to lose, since our services are free of charge!
For more information on renovations due to water infiltration, we invite you to visit our disaster renovation page.
Due to water infiltration, mold may have formed in the tight spaces between the concrete of your foundation and your walls or between the floor and the concrete slab. The removal of the infected elements and the decontamination of the concrete must be done before renovating and refurbishing. Without decontamination, contaminants and mildew will remain present and can attack new materials as well as putting your immune system at risk if you approach it too frequently and breathe in the contaminated air.
For more details on decontamination, we invite you to visit our decontamination and mold removal page.
Replacement of a section of the foundation or concrete slab
If you encounter a significant foundation crack in your home, it is possible that a simple foundation repair won't be an adequate solution. Therefore, it will be necessary to replace the section of the foundation. If your basement is finished, this implies that a section of your basement will have to stripped. The contractor's team will need to demolish and remove the affected section to replace the cracked foundation. This involves mixing new concrete that will be applied to the existing concrete. If the problem has been attributed to a water infiltration that has come up through the ground, and it is the concrete slab that is problematic and/or deteriorating, it is quite possible that a change of the concrete slab is necessary to ensure it's integrity and that of your basement.
We have several foundation and concrete slab experts who could help you correct the problem and help you finish your basement successfully!
Is it a problem with your French drain or with your waterproof membrane?
It is important to repair cracks in your foundation. However, it is much more important to isolate the root cause of the crack(s) in your foundation. With age and weather conditions, the structure may become fragile. It may be a movement of the soil over time or roots of trees that grow into the foundation and force it to crack. In most cases the culprit is an accumulation of water on the foundation.
When the water does not adequately drain to the city sewage system, and sticks to the house, the water applies pressure to the foundation. As it seeks to find a way out it can, eventually, succeed in seeping through the foundation by creating a crack, until it penetrates your home. To prevent the accumulation of water on the foundation walls, it is advisable to install a French drain system. In some areas, this system is mandatory for new construction. You should verify your local municipality building codes to ensure that you know if your home requires one. The average French drain has a lifespan of approximately 25 years. If your French drain is no longer effective or blocked by branches, earth, or other materials that are preventing it from performing its job, it may be the cause of a crack in your foundation. In addition to the drain, a contractor can also affix a waterproof membrane all around the exterior of your foundation, which will give you extra protection from water infiltration.
If you do not remedy the situation, the problem will undoubtedly get worse and more costly to fix.
For more details on French drains, please visit our French drains.
General foundation problem? Think Home Lifting
Has your home been affected by a big flood that has deteriorated your entire foundation? If it's necessary to replace it completely, it will most likely require a house lifting to be able to put your house back on a new, solid foundation and ensure a long life for your home. It is an important investment but is well worth it if it allows you to keep your home in good condition and save it from suffering from an irreparable foundation in the future.
If you think you need a house lift to solve your foundation problem, we invite you to visit our house lifting page for more information.
How to protect yourself in the future?
Talk to one of our renovation advisors about everything you may need to define the symptoms, determine the cause, fix the problem, and to make sure your home does not suffer any more of the same kind of damage for years to come. As part of the a thorough overall assessment, the contractor will:
- Verify the condition of the French drain
- Verify the slopes of your property in relation to your home
- Verify the condition of the foundation
- Verify where the water recovery points are leading the water, such as gutters
Get up to 3 contractors in competition for your foundation repair job
Regardless of the specialization required for your project, we have a network of more than eight-hundred 360° Verified contractors whom we can refer to you for your renovation projects. Your own renovation advisor assigned to your project will send up to three specialized contractors to compete for the job and will help you understand the quotes to effectively compare.
The best part of our service is it's free to use and there's no obligation, so you have nothing to lose.