What is Involved in Exterior Foundation Repair?


When a home’s foundation begins to crack, it is best to have it repaired sooner rather than later to prevent the problem from getting worse. In many cases, it makes the most sense to repair the crack from the inside using a pressurized resin injection. In other circumstances, however, the repair should be made from the exterior.

This article will explore what is involved in exterior foundation repair.

Exterior foundation repair should be done when:

  • The crack is located behind the furnace, hot water heater, electrical panel, etc.
  • When the homeowners do not want the finished basement walls opened up.
  • When there are other permanent features that prevent access to the crack from the inside.

What is involved in exterior foundation repair?

The first step in repairing a foundation from the outside is to locate hazards such as electrical and gas lines. Locating these lines is paramount for safety reasons, and it is also required by law. This step is done by technicians that work for the utilities companies. In Hamilton or Burlington, for example, you or your contractor would call Ontario One Call.

Once utility lines have been located and marked, the next step is to expose the crack in the foundation by excavating the area around it. It is important to expose the entire crack which means we must often dig right down to the footing of the foundation. If there are multiple cracks, excavation will have to be done in several places.

Next, the foundation wall must first be cleaned before it is waterproofed with a flexible membrane that bonds to the wall surface. Because the membrane is flexible, it will move when the foundation moves to help prevent further cracking.

Finally, an air-gap membrane is applied over the waterproofing membrane before the excavated area is backfilled.

What needs to be considered before an exterior foundation repair is made?

Because, this can be quite an extensive repair, there are a number of factors that must be taken into consideration before we begin making exterior foundation repairs. These include the following:

  • There needs to be enough room around the cracked area to properly excavate. If there are other buildings or obstacles that are too close to the home to make excavation possible, the repair will have to be made from inside.
  • The Ontario Health and Safety Act stipulates that if the excavation is more than four feet deep, shoring must be used. When having repairs made to your home’s foundation, you should only have the work done by a licensed and insured contractor.
  • When the excavation is backfilled, there will be a mound of earth which will need time to settle. Settling of the soil may happen very quickly, or it can take up to a year depending on weather and other conditions.
  • Excavation is weather dependent and conditions such as rain can delay your repairs.

Call the Conterra Team for all Your Foundation Repair Needs

If you require any kind of foundation repair whether it be exterior or interior, you can trust the team at Conterra Foundations to get it done efficiently and safely. Contact us today for a free consultation.