< Choosing a Foundation Contractor - 5 Misconceptions
Five Misconceptions About Foundation Repairs
Inside Concrete Basement Repairs vs. Outside
When dealing with leaking foundation walls (basements), it is always best to seal the basement walls and repair or install a drainage system (weeping tile) on the exterior. The main advantage is to save your basement from deterioration by preventing or minimizing mould, fungus, mildew and radon gas.
Repairs that are done from the inside usually cause moisture to be trapped inside the concrete walls. This moisture will create sulphates that cause the concrete to weaken and crumble. As winter approaches and the temperature drops, the moisture will freeze, expand and cause cracking.
One of the keys to waterproofing is to transport the water from A to B. With this in mind it is very important to make sure your weeping tile is working properly.
We Have Water In Our Basement, So We Must Have a Weeping Tile Problem
Many homeowners assume that their weeping tile system is faulty because they get water in their basements after it rains. In some cases, this is the problem. However, more often, the problem is not the drainage system. Before the water can get to the weeping tile, the water may be entering the basement through a flaw in the concrete wall. This flaw could be a crack in the concrete wall that develops as the soil changes its moisture content, honeycombing (concrete not mixed properly) or even a snap tie (steel rod that holds a form when pouring concrete walls).
Rubber Membranes
When having to repair your basement from the exterior, most people are under the impression that the best method is to install a sheeted rubberized membrane. There are many different types, but they do not adhere very well to an existing concrete wall. This is comparable to trying to get a band-aid to stick to dirty skin. We have found once these membranes are on for a short time period they start to peel off or wrinkle and allow the water to penetrate into the basement again. There is usually more water leakage into your basement than before as the water gets trapped between the concrete and the membrane. If your basement is new and perfectly smooth these products may be the answer (watch for form ties and any ridges created by the wooden forms).
All Basements Leak
In the Winnipeg area, we have notorious soil. The type of clay we have goes through great volume changes as the moisture fluctuates. This causes many basements to crack and leak. However, not all basements leak. Many Winnipeg homeowners have finished basements and enjoy a dry extra living space all year long. In some cases, a leak in a finished basement occurs over time. These leaks should be repaired to avoid damage to furnishings, carpeting etc. and to prevent the development of moulds. All basements do not leak, but, if they do, they should be repaired immediately.
All Contractors Are Con Artists
Everyone has heard about someone getting "ripped off" by a home renovator, so be careful. There are lots of untrustworthy contractors, but there are also many hard working, reliable and trustworthy companies. The homeowner has to carefully choose the right one.
REMEMBER to avoid any of the "deadly mistakes" when choosing a contractor.
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Seven Deadly Mistakes Homeowners Make    How to Avoid Basement Repair Rip-Offs
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