The High and Dry Blog
Toronto’s structural clarity in a sea of confusion.
Single Crack Repair: Step by Step
February 06, 2020
Many homeowners have a single crack that needs to be repaired. Although there may only be one crack in this foundation, this crack can lead to devastating damage to your home. During fluctuation in temperature, the crack can fill with water and freeze, causing it to rapidly expand or grow. After this the crack may allow water to enter your home which can lead to damage. It is important to keep your home crack free to avoid any unnecessary damage! This blog will look at a step by step guide of how we repair these cracks with tight access excavation!
Most cracks typically originate at the exterior of the foundation wall. Our team must expose these cracks carefully in order to assess and decide how to fully repair the damaged area. Our team will assess the area to find below-grade utilities such as gas lines, hydro services, and telephone lines so that they are marked prior to the start of hand-excavation. Our team will also move items such as air conditioning units, interlocking stones, decking, removal of concrete pads and other items that will become obstacles during the process.
The first step in the process of tight access projects is to excavate the area. At GJ MacRae, we know how important the appearance of your home is. That’s why we use hand excavation wherever possible. Hand excavation means that our team will manually dig the area that we need to access. This means no heavy machinery in your yard and less damage to your landscaping!
The next step is to identify the existing footings. Our team will inspect the footings as well as the weeping tile system. If anything is damaged, replacement is our first priority! When you hire our time, we always replace everything that needs to be replaced so that you won’t need to call us again.
Remove Drainage Board
The next step in the process is to remove the existing drainage board and all existing low grade materials. When you choose GJ MacRae for your single crack repair, you’re choosing a team that does it right the first time.
The next step in the process is for all of the exposed foundation wall to be cleaned with a wire brush. We will then grind out all cracks, voids, and tie-rod holes and then fill them with expansive hydraulic cement. This masonry patch will, once cured, will expand and fill the holes. The wall will then be ready to be primed from the footing to the grade! This primer is designed to prepare your wall for the next step. It acts as an adhesive to allow the rubberized membrane to stick to the concrete foundation itself.
Once the above mentioned primer is dried, our team will begin applying the first layer of rubberized membrane to the foundation, by hand. We will alternate using this membrane with using the next step of fiberglass mesh. We will then add another layer of rubberized membrane.
As mentioned above, the fiberglass mesh is used together with the rubberized membrane to form a thick, rubberized waterproof barrier. Using these two products in alternating layers allows for the fiberglass and the rubberized membrane to merge together and form a thick, flexible waterproofing layer. This fiberglass also gives the patch increased flexibility which is great during the shifting Canadian seasons and the potential of your home settling with age.
After the rubberized membrane and the fiberglass layers have been applied, a layer of sheeting plastic will be applied to the wall. This sheeting plastic provides the foundation wall with increased durability. This means a more complete, robust repair and less headaches for you in the future!
High Grade Platon
After the rubberized membrane, fiberglass, and sheeting plastic has been placed, Platon drainage board is then installed. We use Platon drainage board because it allows for a greatly promoted drainage profile and decreased levels of hydrostatic pressure to form against your foundation walls. Hydrostatic pressure is a build up of water that can actually push on your foundation walls which can lead to new cracks or the expansion of already formed cracks. This Platon drainage board will enable large volumes of water to drain vertically towards the weeping tile system and away from your foundation walls.
Clear Gravel Bed
Our team will then place ¾” clear gravel bed in the excavation area. This refreshed gravel bed will greatly promote the drainage profile of the weeping tile system.
The next step is to begin the hand backfill. This precision excavation allows for our team to ensure there is very low impact on the exterior of your home. This technique allows for a near perfect restoration, unlike when other companies use heavy machinery.
As our team is backfilling the area, we will powertamp the native soil every 6” to 12”. We do this to ensure that the drainage remains consistent, the rubberized membrane and waterproofing system is locked into place, the restoration of the original grade within the area, and to ensure little to no settlement after we complete the project.
Once the backfill and the powertamp have been completed, we will install a termination strip to the top of the Platon drainage board. We always put the termination strip on after the backfill because our changing weather in the GTA can result in below grade movement. By installing this after the backfill, the drainage board and the termination strip won’t separate.
Once the area has been filled, we will then begin the final powertamp. We do this to ensure minimal settlement after we’ve completed the project!
Once we have completed the repair, we will begin the final cleanup. We do this to minimize the footprint where we repaired the crack. We work hard to make the area look the same, or better, than when we arrived.
We take care of your property with every job that we do. We know that you take pride in the look and landscaping of your home. That’s why we opt for hand excavation
The GJ MacRae Difference
If you have a single crack that you need repaired, contact the experts at GJ MacRae! Our team works with you to ensure that you and your home are safe by the time we’ve completed the repair.