Water damage is every homeowner’s nightmare and the basement is the most common place to find water because it’s the lowest point in your home.
If the water’s not dealt with the right away, it can be very costly to both your health, in the form of mold and other infections and respiratory issues, and to your bank account. The key is to find, assess the damage, and fix the problem as quickly as possible.
Our job is to fix leaky basements in Calgary. Basement leaks can come from many different sources and all have their various fixes and price tags. In this article, we’ll discuss how to trace, assess and fix common water problems stemming from your foundation, eavestroughs, pipes, and sewers.
Foundation repair is inevitable. Especially in a climate like ours where the temperature goes from one extreme to the other. It doesn’t matter if your house is three months or a hundred years old, our annual frost cycle enables the concrete to expand and contract constantly and eventually will end up cracking as the concrete cures.
According to structural engineers, if the cracks are vertical or diagonal and are small and don’t show any signs of distress, the cracks aren’t critical and just need to be filled to keep moisture out. If the cracks are horizontal, however, this means that the foundation has failed and will need to be braced or redone completely. Learn how to better spot a failing foundation.
There are various ways to fix these cracks that can range from under a hundred dollars to well over a thousand. As long as the cracks don’t compromise the integrity of the foundation, we recommend using polyurethane and injecting it into the cracks. This technique fills the crack from the inside out, completely repairing the damage, ensuring the concrete is sealed so no water can penetrate the area.
If you’re unsure if the cracks in your foundation are serious, or what the best solution is to fixing the problem we suggest speaking to a professional about injecting polyurethane into the cracks.
One of the most common sources of water, and thankfully one of the easiest culprits to fix, are your eavestroughs and downspouts. Clogged downspouts cause your eavestroughs to back up and overflow down the side of your house, where it can penetrate the siding and flow directly into your home through small cracks in the foundation.
Luckily this is a really easy fix. Start by cleaning out your eavestroughs, then take a garden hose and run water through the downspouts. If the water can pass through easily without being obstructed, then your downspouts are clean. Also be sure that the water is discharged well away from your house to ensure that the water can’t seep down and penetrate the foundation. We wrote a great article last month on things you can do outside the home to prevents basement leaks.
Water pipes can and will leak eventually. Seals will wear out, fixtures will loosen, and toilets can shift off their gasket. When this happens, be sure to fix them right away and don’t push it off to a later date. Most of these fixes can be fixed easily on your own, however, if you’re not handy, be sure to call a local plumber.
Another common issue around water pipes is condensation. If you find that your cold water pipes are “sweating” this can be easily fixed by insulating them with a foam cover found at any hardware store.
A backed-up sewer is the worst cause of water damage. This usually occurs in older parts of a city where the sanitary and storm water sewers are joined. A hard rain can overwhelm the system and cause it to back up into your home.
If it’s not a storm that causes the backup then it’s some kind of blockage caused by debris, such as tree roots or damaged pipes. Where the blockage is will determine who pays for it. If it’s on your side of the property line then it’s up to you to pay for it.
No matter how the sewer backs up, the effects are the same. Raw toxic sewage backs up into your basement ruining anything it comes into contact with. The solution to a sewer that constantly backs up is a backwater valve. It’s essentially a one-way valve that allows waste water to leave your home but then closes shut the minute sewage tries to enter.
The valve is expensive to install because the floor drain and exit pipe have to be dug up, but it’s well worth the investment. Some cities offer incentive programs to help offset the cost of installation. Contact your city for more information and possible incentives for installing a backwater valve.
Water damage can be catastrophic, but not if your proactive and fix the problems as soon as you find them. If you’re unsure how to fix the issue, or need advice on how to tackle the problem, contact us anytime. Our job is to fix basement leaks in Calgary which means we will give you the advice you need as well as a free estimate on how much it will cost to professionally repair the problem.
Note – If you are going to pay a professional to fix the problem for you, we recommend contacting three professionals and getting three separate quotes. Then taking the best solution and working from there.