A poured concrete wall is generally a single slab of concrete made from pouring a premixed mixture of cement, gravel, sand and water. This mixture has traditionally been poured between two forms that are held together by ties. These ties are used as spacers to keep the form constrained to a specific width.
Poured Concrete Problems
A crack in your poured concrete foundation can be a serious problem. A horizontal crack indicates lower tensile strength than is required to support that wall. This is a structural issue so we recommend that you jump to heading Bowed or Buckling. A vertical crack can be a structural problem if it has significantly changed in size. A non-structural crack, will still have slight movement due to changing soil conditions and thermal changes in the wall itself. This is why a crack injection on its own will often fail. Our Exterior Crack Repair page will explain the benefits of an outside repair while our Crack Stitching page will extoll the benefits of our permanent inside repair. While personal preference is a factor, site conditions as determined by our Estimator will bear on the decision of which repair is appropriate for you. Both of these solutions for curing a wet basement qualify for our industry leading Lifetime Transferrable Warranty.
2. Bowed or Buckling
If you see visible horizontal cracks in your foundation, they are the result of soil pressure against a wall with inadequate tensile strength. It may be that lateral loading from construction vehicles driving to close to the house, frost pressure due to lack of heat or excess insulation or both, or another undetermined problem. The fact is, once the process starts, it will not self-heal, it is better to address it immediately. The longer the process continues the bigger the job it will be to correct it. Please continue to our Foundation Stabilization page.
Poured Concrete History
The word concrete comes from the Latin word "concretus" which means compact or condensed. Concrete in its earliest forms was used in ancient Egypt, Babylon and Assyria and extensively in the Roman Empire. Scientists at MIT are studying if the concrete may have been used in the making blocks for the pyramids. Modern concrete had its start when in 1756, British engineer, John Smeaton made the first modern concrete (hydraulic cement) by adding pebbles as a coarse aggregate and mixing powered brick into the cement. Burnt lime was introduced in 1824 and was called Portland Cement. Recipes varied between individual contractors and the quality of the resulting pours varied as well.
3. Weeping Tile
Depending on the age of your house and the type of soil around your house, you will likely find weeping or drain tile around you house. For an explanation and history of weeping tile, please read our BLOG. Over time, weeping tile will become plugged with soil or roots. As a temporary measure, it may be possible to flush out the tile and allow it to pass water until sediment blocks it up again. Root obstructions may be able to be removed using a sewer machine but this also is a temporary fix. Trees need water and the weeping tile around your house is an excellent source. There are really two options, replace the weeping tile or abandon the weeping tile.
Replacing your existing tile is done by an Exterior Excavation which as its name implies, is done from the outside. Abandoning the tile does not mean ignoring it and letting it leak, or filling in the basement with concrete. It means installing a new weeping tile system inside your home. Hence the name Internal Breakout.
4. Snap Ties or Rod HolesWhen a poured foundation is constructed, rods or ties are used to hold the forms together and provide proper spacing when the concrete is poured between them. While there are many actual types of tie rods, they fall into two categories, permanent and removable. Removable rods leave a hole through the foundation which is often plugged with cork and hydraulic cement. Permanent ties are snapped of after the forms are removed and a remnant piece of steel is left inside the wall. In the early days of pouring concrete they would often use a small block of wood and twisted wire. The problem with wood is obvious, it rots, metal can rust, and holes can just leak. With newer styles of permanent ties that are snapped off (called snap ties), contractors will hit the tie with a hammer to snap them off, If this done too early, the tie will become loose in the concrete and when the tar that is applied to the outside fails, the tie will leak. If there is sufficient quantity or access is limited, an Exterior Excavation may be recommended. In some cases, we can inject the tie or rod hole with epoxy or urethane. Your DryBasements.com Estimator will show the best solution for your home.
5. Window WellsAny time a window, air vent, or chimney etc, are located below grade a well of some sort is required. A window well is a shaped piece of corrugated galvanized steel, built on-site wood or concrete or a custom prefab designer well. A basic galvanized well may seem like a simple item with simple installation. If that were true, fixing window wells would not feature so prominently in DryBasements.com Ltd.'s business. Improper sizing, placement, installation, drain structure are some of the problems remedied on a regular basis by DryBasements.com. Visit our Window Well page for more information.
6. Sewer Backup
Whether connected to the municipal sanitary sewer alone or to both storm and sanitary sewers, your home could be susceptible to a backup. With today's weather being so unpredictable and extreme weather events being regular news items, it makes sense to ensure that your home is protected. Checkout our Basement Isolation Program.
Residents of London and Stratford may qualify for municipal subsidies for the installation of a Backwater Valve on the sanitary drain and/or sump pit and sump pump connected to your drain tile. Your Estimator can give you complete details.