Basements are our speciality!
Basements are our speciality!
The soil in Regina shifts often. With the moisture levels fluctuating, the soil puts hydrostatic pressure on basement walls and foundations, eventually leading to failure. There is very little preventative maintenance that can be done and it is likely that every home in the area will eventually need to have foundation repairs done. That’s where we come in.
As the soil exerts pressure on the basement wall, the wall can push in at the top, bottom, or middle. This can be identified by houses shifting off the foundation wall, bowing basement walls, or cracks appearing in exposed concrete. When a home needs wall bracing, an engineer is brought in to inspect the extent of the damage and draw plans to correct the problem or prevent further damage. The repair involves the installation of several steel beams installed vertically against the wall, anchored to the floor joists by large anchor bolts and to the concrete floor by mortar. The beam is then mortared in place and any cracks are sealed with a polyurethane caulking. The final product is inspected by an engineer and the city to ensure that the completed work complies with the permit.
Basements in older homes were often built with stones, brick or cindercrete blocks; because of the number of joints in the construction, this type of basement can not be braced in the same way as a poured concrete basement. Instead, a Pony Wall or Knee wall is installed. This wall is a poured concrete wall on the inside of the existing basement wall that braces the old wall and helps to support the home.
Moisture control is extremely important when it comes to basement repairs. Some homeowners are lucky enough to catch small problems that are easily corrected, others will have problems so severe that additional moisture control measures must be taken to prevent even more problems down the road. In each instance, the solution is often an exterior dig-out. A dig-out involves removing the soil from around the perimeter of a house (or side of a house) down to the foundation. The wall is then repaired, sealed, and covered in a water proof membrane. Then, weeping tile drains into a centralized pit and the water is pumped outside to a designated drainage area. Finally, the excavation is filled with sand to improve the drainage of water and reduce the influence of hydrostatic pressure on the walls. Top soil and proper grading and landscaping complete the job.
Teleposts are a common fixture in most basements. These steel posts are attached to foundation pads under the basement floor and to beams, joists, or flooring above. Over time, the foundation of a home can shift, leading to uneven floors and cracking drywall. Our experts can adjust the teleposts in your home to ensure that everything is level and solid, preventing costly repairs down the road.
Sometimes, the basement wall has shifted so far that it becomes unsafe and it must be straightened as well as braced. In this case, the a combination of items must be performed to bring the structure back into shape. First a dig-out must be performed to give the wall the flexibility to be moved and to allow the wall to be repaired and waterproofed. Then, braces are installed inside the wall to prevent further damage. Next, pressure is applied to the walls via the structural steel braces to accurately reposition the wall into the correct spot.
Underpinning is done when a building has settled to an undesirable slope and can’t be ignored any further. We excavate to be footing and install either bored concrete piles or screw piles. We then install a bracket that lifts the footing up. This is done simultaneously on each pile, so everything lifts together. Once we are at the desired level determined by the laser level we can tighten our bracket assembly and the foundation is now sitting on piles.
A screw pile is a screw-in piling and anchor. It consists of a hollow pipe and a helix or helixes. The piling shaft transfers the structures load into the pile. Screw piles can be installed in one day and you could build on that same day. Concrete piles need curing time, which is why screw piles have a huge advantage. This in addition to less ground disturbance. Screw piles are ideal for underpinning, as well as new construction in houses, decks and additions.
Regina has some of the most difficult soil and weather conditions in the country. Deep frosts coupled with extremely heavy gumbo soil is, and certainly can be a recipe for disaster. Canadian and regional codes are now followed when new concrete basements are installed. Correct placement of rebar, thickness and size of footings as well as proper drainage and elevations are an absolute. Very few existing concrete foundations; more specifically in the 40-50 year old range are even close to this standard. Many will have to be brought up to certain standards otherwise occupancy may be in question.