If you live in the Regina area, wet basements are just one of the things a homeowner has to deal with. With that said, basements with water damage are a BIG problem to deal with in this area. It can be overwhelming to come home and find a flooded basement. Not only can this lead to toxic and dangerous mold, it also damages the home and can ruin your belongings. Why are leaky basements and cracked foundations so common in the greater Regina area? Well the answer is pretty simple; it’s the ground we live on.
At the end of the last Ice Age, a huge lake covered areas of present-day Saskatchewan, including Regina. When that lake drained away, it left behind deposits of clay that contain a mineral called sodium bentonite. Sodium bentonite turns soil into a giant sponge, allowing for the absorption of large amounts of water. The more water the soil absorbs, the more the ground expands. The more it expands, the more pressure it puts on your foundation. Hydrostatic pressure builds up and causes cracks and fissures, which eventually leads to water issues in your basement or even worse – structural collapse.
Many older basements were not designed to withstand such pressure. Whether builders failed to fully understand the complexities of the “Regina gumbo” or they just took short cuts to reduce costs, the result is a widespread problem in the Regina area. A flooded basement can damage electrical wiring, heating systems and household appliances like washers and dryers. This only increases the out-of-pocket costs homeowners will ultimately have to pay to repair the damage. This leaves many homeowners wondering, “How are we going to fix all of this and how much is it going to cost?”
One of the best solutions is to build an engineered knee wall. An engineered knee wall (sometimes called a pony wall) is a poured concrete wall that is installed on the interior side of a foundation in a basement or cellar, in effect making the wall of the foundation twice as thick. Saturated soil expands and puts pressure on the foundation walls of a home, causing them to become unstable. Knee walls reinforce the original foundation after cracks and fissures form and adds extra support which prevents further structural damage. Knee walls also help close those cracks that have formed, which seals the basement, stopping more water from entering the home. The result is a clean and dry basement, a sealed building envelope and a more stable foundation.
Once you can understand why cracked foundation walls and wet basements occur in the region, you will be better prepared to pick the right contractor to make the necessary repairs. You will be able to ask the right questions and be more equipped to identify those who know what they are doing from those who are ill-prepared to solve your basement issues.
JS Basement Works has been Regina’s go-to team of specialists for the successful prevention and correction of foundation problems for over 10 years. Installing engineered knee walls is one of the most common things we do to help strengthen foundations and keep basements dry.
For a free, no obligation estimate, give us a call anytime at 306-337-1850 or fill out the form and we will get in touch as soon as possible.