I have been asked this question many times………
Why do I need waterproofing if I am getting core fill?
The two applications are not the same. Foundation waterproofing is exactly that: It is waterproofing for your basement. Core Fill is a type of structural repair for cement block foundations. They do two totally different things and are used for specific applications. Below are common questions asked by our customers:
- What is core fill?
Core Fill also known as cell fill, masonry block fill, mortar pumping or grout pumping.
- What is the purpose of Core Fill?
Core Fill is a calculated mixture of cementitious and aggregate material used to fill cinder blocks. It is used to provide stability to a block wall.
- When does a foundation wall need Core Fill?
Core Fill can be used in new block walls to add strength or can be used during a repair process to strengthen weak or compromised foundation walls.
- Why do foundation walls become compromised?
Many variables can contribute to a failing foundation wall including poor construction, poor drainage, lack of maintenance and so on.
- Why does poor drainage cause damage to foundation walls?
Water is life but water can also cause death. Water can be very destructive in nature and if we do not protect our property from the elements of nature our investment will eventually fail, and water will win. If water is pooling near or against basement walls, problems can and will persist over time.
Water issues are caused by several elements. One of the biggest problems we see is dysfunctional downspouts. If downspouts are nonexistent or directing water to the wrong area, then the water will eventually cause deterioration to the foundation wall.
Over time as the foundation begins to erode, it begins to weaken the structure. Cracks start to appear, and erosion of the foundation is well underway.
If repairs are not done as soon as issues arise the damage will increase in speed and repairs will become larger in scale. When diagnosing a foundation problem, we need to take into consideration why the foundation has failed so we can prescribe the proper method of repair.
Addressing the drainage is a must if the repair is to endure future elements. Repairing a foundation wall without fixing the drainage problem is a band-aid solution that may not last. It can be part of the repair, but it is not the entire solution to an existing damaged foundation wall.
- Core Fill is Not Waterproofing
Core fill is designed to add strength to a cement block wall. Core fill is poured into block voids to fill hollow holes in blocks to add needed strength to a foundation / block wall. Filling in the voids in block wall might help to reduce water but is not designed to be waterproofing. Cement is porous by nature and without added waterproofing, it can never be guaranteed that water will not penetrate.
- Should Waterproofing be done with Core Filling?
Each property is different, and every situation calls for its own diagnosis. Using core fill without waterproofing is a rare solution, especially in our climate. Winters in Canada are cold, and cold can cause plenty of damage to a foundation if it has variables working against it. If the fill (dirt) around the building is not permeable, then water will build up and pool against the foundation. When freezing temperatures hit the water-soaked soil around your house, frozen soil creates pressure against the foundation. This pressure, depending on the extent of the issue, will damage the foundation wall by causing cracks, heaving, and bowing of walls and will allow water to penetrate the building, causing a whole slew of additional problems.
Think of it this way…. If your roof were rotten and the plywood needed to be replaced, would you put plywood on without water shield / rubber membrane or shingles? Of course not, because the plywood would not last long, it is not waterproofed and needs to be protected from the elements, and the repair will not last long before it needs to be repaired again. Just because you cannot see what is going on underground it does not mean erosion is not happening.
- Are there times when core fill can be done without waterproofing or drainage repairs?
Sure, but this is not common. Failure of a block wall is often the result of poor drainage.
- Does the fill get removed and replaced when waterproofing?
When diagnosing problems that caused a bowing wall (for example); removing fill and replacing it is often part of the remedy. Poor drainage material is replaced with a mix of proper fill to provide good drainage. This is done along with an accurately installed waterproofing and weeping tile system.
- What does foundation waterproofing consist of?
Foundation / Basement Waterproofing consists of parging, waterproof membrane installed on the foundation walls and a weeping tile system to catch water and move it away from your buildings’ foundation.
- Our Waterproofing Recipe
Benji Dittrich Construction has developed a practice that is our very own; designed by following the experts and our professional experience performing foundation waterproofing for many years. Our years of experience has allowed us to see for ourselves what works and what does not. We provide a warranty that is backed by our guarantee that it will not leak.
Call us to get your prescription for your leaky basement.