Archive for Frequently Asked Questions

What Can I do About Sinking Concrete?

If your concrete surface is sinking into the ground, more than likely your sub grade was prepared improperly. It is possible that loose dirt was used used and this will settle as a result of  water erosion. It is also possible that the  concrete may have been subjected to heavy weight, which caused the sinkage. 
Slabjacking is an alternative method of to replacing the sunken floor. This sunken concrete repair  could save you a lot of money. Slab jacking where a concrete repair professional drills small holes in the concrete surface, and pumps a mixture of sand, ash, and other materials into the soil below the surface. This process “floats” the floor back up to its proper level. The entire process may take a few hours and will probably be a lot less expensive than the cost of a full replacement.

Wet Basement Repair Vancouver – Waterproofing VS Damp-Proofing!

When you are looking for wet basement repair or wanting to prevent a leaky basement or future wet basement repair it becomes important to understand the difference between waterproofing and damp-proofing. The average consumer does not understand the difference between waterproofing and damp-proofing and they certainly should because they are not the same.

Damp-proofing uses a mixture that is mostly tar based. It covers the foundation and protects it from moisture. Waterproofing uses a material that contains rubber and is capable of stretching to cover cracks as your house settles.

Damp-proofing only slows the penetration of soil moisture through the concrete and it has no resistance against water under hydrostatic pressure. Damp-proofing products can become brittle when dry and can be easily broken down by groundwater. In addition to this damp-proofing does not have the ability to span cracks, this means when the concrete cracks, so do the damp proofing, consequently, it will not provide protection against water intrusion.

On the other hand waterproofing, your foundation is done by spraying an elastomeric membrane onto the exterior of the foundation. This membrane stops water from penetrating the concrete, even under hydrostatic pressure. The elastomeric membrane stop water because it will span foundation shrinkage cracks, ensuring your basement is completely protected.

When the average consumer truly understands the best fix for their wet basement repair waterproofing becomes the first choice.

Listen to Phil Rusell of CrackMaster Concrete talk about this in his Question and answer series.

What are some common causes of clogged drains?

• Drains may block because they are in poor physical condition and normal contents are not being cleared.
• They may be in satisfactory condition but have been abused by flushing away disposable nappies or other items such as plastic bags that should never be placed into the sewerage system. Quite often a build up of hair, food, sediment and grime may also be the problem
• Excessive disposal of cooking fats and oils, along with other domestic products, can cause blockage .
• Tree roots entering a broken drain can also be a problem

Your First Approach to the problem might be:

Remove the drain stopper or strain entirely to access and clean away any build-up. If this is not done fairly regularly, a drain stopper can accumulate enough debris such as hair to completely clog it. The drain stopper in your bathroom tub is quite frequently a problem with this issue.

Try a cleaning solution of vinegar, baking soda, and boiling water. If your drain draining slowly, pour 1 cup of baking soda followed by water and 1 cup of vinegar, down the drain to dissolve at the clogging substance.

Use a plunger. Try stopping other drains to the same pipe, and apply petroleum jelly to the rim of the plunger, you can apply suctional force to loosen whatever substance is clogging your pipes. You can follow up with hot water, or the solution of vinegar, baking soda and boiling water.

Try a drain snake. Remove the drain stopper or strain and use the snake to find the clog, now you can loosen, and break up the clog.

If you are not successful with the above and you feel the need to call an experienced company to scope the problem call Phil at 604-614-2615

There is a white stain on my concrete.. What is it?

The Meaning of efflorescence on your concrete wall

Stains are evidence of dampness in that area of the wall the acidic residue that you see is also called efflorescence. You will recognize efflorescence as it will be white and may even be fuzzy in appearance or to the touch.

Efflorescence forms when water infiltrates a concrete wall and dissolves minerals. As the water evaporates from the surface of the wall the mineral deposits are left behind. Usually, efflorescence is a visual problem, sometimes the efflorescence crystals grow inside the surface of the wall, and it causes spalling. Spalling is when the surface peels, or flakes off. The salt is pushing from the inside out and may be the cause of crumbling and deterioration.

In this video, you will see a lot of examples of efflorescence appearing. The setting is an underground parkade of a fairly new apartment. The situation is a commercial application but the principle is the same for residential and commercial. You may find in a residential house setting the process could be a little different depending on access and the types of foundation crack repair needed to do the repair.

If you see efflorescence you could have a moisture problem and if gone untreated it can cause deterioration.

If the efflorescence is removed, and then returns, it is a sign that water is entering the wall and forcing the salts out. If the efflorescence does not return, then it was probably caused by initial moisture and salts from when the concrete was placed.

If you are concerned about efflorescence on your concrete walls or if you are experiencing a leaky basement and are in need of wet basement repair of some time call an expert.

Phil Russell of CrackMaster Concrete is easy to talk to and is a Master in dry basements.

Call Phil 604 -614-2615 for all of your concrete foundation needs.

Phil Talks about the Misconception of Repairing a Concrete Crack That is Leaking!

Listen to an interview with Phil Russell as he answers the question …can a basement crack be fixed when it is leaking?   From the Question and answer series.
This video series will also be discussing wet basement repair and the water management systems designed to keep your house dry.

Phil talks about one of the most common misconceptions in wet basement repair.

Phil is owner operator of CrackMaster concrete. CrackMaster concrete has been in business since 1994 and is a master in dry basements.

Phil can be contacted at 604-614-2615

What are Some of The Visible Signs of Foundation Settlement?

On the interior of the home look for:

  1. Floors that slope or are uneven
  2. Sticky doors and windows
  3. Drywall cracks
  4. Cracks in Corners
  5. Cracks in concrete floors greater than 1/16th of an inch
  6. Cracks above doors
  7. Cracks above or under windows

On the exterior of the home look for:

  1. Concrete driveway, patio or sidewaks that are seperating from the foundation
  2. A chimney thate is leaning
  3. Wood trim that seperates at joints in corners
  4. Stair step cracks in brick walls
  5. A variation of width in brick or mortor joints
  6. A roof-line that buckles

Any of the above signs may indicate settling of the foundation. Some settling is normal and can be expected. If however if you feel there could be a future problem with a leaky basement and you may be in need of foundation repair or basement repair call an expert and get some advice.

CrackMaster Concrete has been in business since 1994 and is a master in dry basements. They can be reached at 604-614-2615.

I Am Finishing my Basement-I Have a Crack That doesn’t Leak. What Should I Do?

Call  CrackMaster and we will do an assessment for you. Generally speaking if you are wanting to protect your investments the crack probably should be repaired before you end up with a leaky basement. Hairline cracks can expand overtime as a result of freeze/thaw cycles.  You are better off being safe than sorry. The best thing you can do is call CrackMaster and let us discuss your options.

Chances are the cost of repair will be less than you think and for sure far less than trying to repair a flooded basement that has been finished.

CrackMaster is a master at wet basement repair and we are  more than pleased to make an assessement for your. Call Phil today at 604-614-2615  for a FREE no hassle quote.