The foundations ensure the stability and sustainability of a building. Sometimes the foundations can “move” as a result of various events such as a landslide, heavy flooding, a malfeasance at the time of the construction of the building, etc. The result is quickly visible: cracks and water infiltration appear on the walls or on the floor.
Two questions then arise: Should a crack be treated quickly? What are the solutions to stabilize foundations? It all depends on the type of crack. Your professional foundation expert answers below…
VOPAA Inc. Foundation repair specialist implements durable solutions to crack repairs
Different kinds of cracks.
To make the right decision with full knowledge of the facts, the building expert first makes an accurate diagnosis of the type of crack in your home. Not all cracks are the same. Therefore, they do not require the same emergency of intervention. It is possible to count two kinds of cracks that we will detail below.
- Surface cracks
These are small, thin lines that you see appearing on the partitions or on the flooring. Microfisures less than 0.2 mm wide generally do not pose a risk to building stability. Rehabilitation of the wall by a professional mason plasterer is sufficient to dig the damaged part of the wall and upgrade and clean up the surface of the wall.
- Serious cracks to be treated urgently
It is safe to say that if the width of a crack is greater than 1 mm, then it probably comes from a problem at the foundation level. The finding is all the more alarming if the crack passes through a partition or worse a supporting wall along the entire length. If the crack is more than 2 mm, there’s an emergency!
If you have noticed this problem of large cracks either on the exterior façade or inside a room, it is advisable to call in a building professional expert in foundations. A bricklayer does not have all the skills and know-how to deal with this type of problem.
Our team specializing in repairing foundation cracks and installing French drains travels quickly to Canada to make an accurate diagnosis. After this analysis, our expert offers you a suitable solution to repair the base of the building as soon as possible. We act in full compliance with the standards and regulations of the quebec building code and your municipality. We offer you a free and detailed submission in full transparency.
How do I treat a major crack?
Above all, the foundation expert will place a witness to check the evolution of the crack over time. This witness gives an indication of the instability of the building. If the evolution is rapid, the intervention will also have to be rapid in order to stop the progression of the crack. Adapted techniques such as the French drain allows water to be discharged at the base of a building. Stagnant water is a determining factor that causes capillarity infiltration into walls.
The French drain solution to repair cracks
When the soil is clay, as it often is in Quebec, the foundations must be impervious. To do this, installing a French drain around the perimeter of the dwelling is an excellent solution. This technique, also known as a “dispersal drain” prevents water from accumulating around the building and stagnating. The French drain waterproofs, drains water and sanitizes the foundations.
We work in safe conditions and with respect for the environment. All our waste and rubble are treated in waste disposal for recycling. We pay particular attention to the treatment of hazardous materials such as asbestos, pyrite or pyrrhotite so as not to expose the people who work on the site and visitors.
Excavation and replacement of your foundation
It is an urgent solution. The causes are various:
- A mischief in the construction of the building
- Significant water infiltration at the base of the building
- The presence of pyrite or pyrrhotite
- A strong pressure point on a slab
- A major movement of the basement
- Heavy flooding
Doing a foundation excavation and replacement is an important project. This work requires a competent, experienced team equipped with specific equipment and adapted machines. In this case, we are talking about a new construction. Building lifting is sometimes necessary to then sit on solid and stable foundations. This is a significant investment but is sometimes the only way to save your home!
Our company offers you a complete expertise as well as a detailed quote, unsurprisingly. Having already worked on many sometimes delicate projects, our engineers and building inspectors accompany you throughout the construction to explain the steps of the work and the progress.
For more information on foundation renovations, please contact our engineering technician.
Crack repair from the inside: Techniques and benefits
Over time, a foundation may crack. The consequences of this failure vary from one type to another depending on several factors. It is common for a foundation crack to be benign. A cracking of the plaster can also be confused with a solage crack. When you see a crack on the outside surface, check to see if it goes down lower than the outside. If there is a doubt, part of this coating can be removed to check the condition of the structure.
For a foundation crack, the opinion of an expert is always in order. There are different methods for repairing a crack. The blockage can be done via the interior of the building or from the outside.
Causes of cracking of the flooring
Even a foundation of impeccable quality will eventually crack over time. Although the different types of concrete are constantly changing, they are all susceptible to cracking. Even the largest bridges have cracks in their structure, but these are usually no-cut shrinks for the structure.
When a foundation slot is no more than 3mm wide or water does not seep in, there is no reason to worry. Concrete is a material composed of water. When it ripens, water evaporates and this sometimes causes shrinking cracks as the concrete loses volume. These are usually passive cracks that will no longer be moved after this ripening process. However, it is advisable to monitor them during their training to see that they will have no impact on the structure.
For larger cracks that allow water to seep in, there are several possible causes.
- Poor quality of concrete
- Poor ground lift
- The strength of the frost
- Normal aging
A very large crack can form when more than one of these causes impacts the foundation. For example, when it is made of poor quality concrete on unsyt their ground. The movement of the soil may cause a slit of the flooring since the sole will not have a stable support point. In a situation where the quality of concrete is poor, the fault will grow much more easily.
The Canadian climate is undoubtedly another factor that is detrimental to foundations. These are like roads, greatly affected, by the cycle of freezing and thawing. The installation of a French drain on the entire perimeter of a house or building is highly recommended. Water pipes are essential for the protection of a flooring. (Including storming rainwater)
Waterproofingis also very important. Because a foundation will have faults at some point, waterproofing significantly reduces the risk of water or moisture infiltration. VOPAA Inc. always installs 2 membranes, an elastic and draining membrane.
These protections will preventwater infiltration problems. These are effective ways to prevent soil repair, which can sometimes be quite expensive.
What are the techniques for repairing a foundation crack?
Whatever the technique, the foundation crack must be plugged. The product used may be concrete or an expandable clogging liquid. It depends on the technique chosen. A fault can be repaired from the outside or from the inside.
Crack repair from the inside
Plug a crack without excavating from the outside? Yes it is possible. We intervene through the interior façade of the foundation wall by making an injection. Two products are mainly used:
- The epoxy
Epoxy is a product injected at low pressure into the crack. When it dries, it becomes very solid. It is very appreciated for the beautiful finish it gives. However, its rigidity is also a weak point in the event that the foundation undergoes movements. The repair will give way very easily since this product has no elasticity.
It is mainly for this reason that it is not commonly used for concrete flooring repair. For a passive crack that is not likely to move, epoxy can still be an interesting choice.
Polyurethane has very different properties. Applied by injection, it expands into the slot to cover as much space as possible. The great strength of this sealant is its flexibility. Once mature, it is able to stretch to withstand movement and remain a waterproof protection.
Polyurethane can be applied at high pressure which is an advantage. This allows the product to penetrate deep to plug all empty spaces such as micro cracks.
Its aesthetic aspect is its only disadvantage. However, if you have an interior trim coating, this appearance will never be visible.
Polyurethane is preferred to epoxy for crack repair for all these reasons. Epoxy is more often used for structures where aesthetics are more important.
How to apply polyurethane?
Use VOPAA Inc. Gatineau and Montreal in the application of polyurethane. The success of this type of repair depends mainly on how it is done. We have the expertise and equipment for a well-made high-pressure application. Here are the steps:
- Cut the crack into “v”
- Drill holes at 45-degree angles to reach the slot
- Clean holes and crack
- Insert injection tips
- Clogging on the surface with epoxy
- Inject polyurethane with a high-pressure device
Before these steps, the finishing structures must be removed from the work area. It is common for our clients to do this on their own to reduce labour costs as there is no expertise required to perform this task.
Repair from the outside or inside? Which one to choose
This is the subject of endless debate among experts. Some would argue that repair from within is a short-term solution because the source of the problem is not directly addressed.
In our experience, an interior repair can be a long-term solution for a crack that undergoes little movement. For a major flaw, we recommend an outside intervention. There will be double protection with repair and membranes. The elastic membrane will ensure waterproofing as it has a 300% elongation capacity.
Repair from the inside
An interior repair offers two big advantages:
- Low cost
- Achievable at all times
For this type of repair, there is no excavation to be carried out and no membranes to be laid. This requires less manpower and equipment time. The price for the repair will therefore be lower. In addition, you will not be forced to redo landscaping work afterwards.
Because the repair is done from the inside, it can be done at any time. The frozen soil that makes excavation much more difficult in winter is not a problem for this type of intervention.
Repair from the outside
- Direct intervention at the source of the problem
- Complete waterproofing
- Inspection and maintenance of the French drain
The ideal is to solve the problem at the source and this is what allows a repair from the outside. Check out the crack repair page to see how it is done. With this method it is completely prevented the contact of the foundation with water. For a local problem, a mini-excavation over a distance of 8 to 10 feet is sufficient to correct the solage defect.
Following the repair, an elastic membrane is applied to allow for this additional waterproof protection.
Once the excavation is done, an inspection can also be done by camera of the French drain (if there is one). If the drainage system is functional, cleaning is recommended to increase its efficiency. Maintenance chimneys can then be installed for future checks and maintenance.
In short, this type of repair is the one we favour because its efficiency and durability are recognized. Not only are the flooring repaired, but the pipe is waterproofed and optimized with maintenance of the French drain.
VOPAA Inc. Residential and commercial foundation repair specialist will advise you on the type of repair to be done. As soon as a crack forms, call us, because water infiltration can cause very costly damage.
Free submission within a 30 km radius. Beyond this radius, the $120 fee for the bid is refunded if the client signs the contract for the completion of the work with us.