How To Properly Grade Your Yard

Summer in Victoria is long gone and it is time to store the patio furniture, barbeque and garden tools. Though before you pack those away there is one last project that might need your attention. Are you aware of the impact that poor grading (the level of the ground around your home) can have on where stormwater will flow? 

Positive and Negative Grading

The difference is as basic as it sounds: positive grading is good and negative could have unfortunate results if not corrected. When properly done, positive grading directs stormwater away from your home, while with negative grading stormwater is directed towards your house. Water that consistently pools and collects over time can only result in damage to your foundation. What better reason to take some time to inspect the grade around the perimeter of your home. 

How to Tell if the Grade is Positive or Negative

Having a home inspection prior to purchasing a home is accepted as standard procedure in order to avoid hidden surprises down the road. While a check for proper grading should be of the items on the inspector’s list, it only reveals any issues at the time of his inspection. If conditions are dry it may not reveal what happens to stormwater during heavy rainfall. After moving in many homeowners often perform home maintenance, and gutters, downspouts and grading after heavy rainfall should be a priority. Be aware that well over 95% of water penetration problems in Victoria happen below the grade areas of homes and is due to failure of the perimeter drain.

Fixing Negative Grading 

Correcting negative grading is as easy as shoveling soil away from your foundation or bringing in soil from other parts of your property to increase grade. Be careful not to cover up siding as you fix the grade around your foundation

If taking the above measure doesn’t fix your seepage issues, it may be time to call a perimeter drain contractor in Victoria BC. Give us a call today to help find a solution for your surface water problem.

How to Detect a Basement Water Leak

For many Victoria BC homeowners, a home with a basement is a bonus that provides versatile added square footage. Some envision a home workshop, a playroom, guest bedroom, “man cave” or simply extra storage. Nothing can spoil your enjoyment of this space like stepping onto a squishy carpet one day or noticing a puddle forming at the foot of the stairs. Finding a leak in an unfinished basement is much easier than in your finished basement, where it could be hidden behind drywall or resilient flooring.

Finding a leak in a finished basement

The spot where you discovered water accumulation is likely nowhere near the place where the water entered the basement. With a poured concrete basement the most common crack site will be in a non structural wall. The following pointers will help you look for cracks:

  • Take note of where the water was first spotted
  • Inspect that part of the home’s foundation that is visible on exterior walls
  • If the top is buried, remove soil to get a better look (you may want to consider landscaping)
  • Any cracks should be visible from the outside, run vertical and be narrow (less than ⅛ inch)
  • Don’t assume you only have one crack, so continue with your thorough inspection
  • Don’t mistake the vertical form lines which are molded into the concrete with the wooden forms used when the concrete was poured.

Should your inspection fail to turn up any obvious reason for water in your basement, you may want to call in a perimeter drain contractor. The source of your leak could be the exterior drain tile, water proof membrane, or something else. Wet Coast Drainage Solutions has the experience in Victoria to get to the bottom of your wet basement. Don’t delay, call us today!

5 Questions to Ask a Victoria Basement Waterproofing Contractor

Hiring a waterproofing contractor in Victoria BC can be difficult. Here are 5 questions you can ask them to ensure you’re making a sound decision.

#1 May I see your license and insurance certificate

As with anyone you allow into your home to do work, always ask to see their info. If they don’t have insurance, you’re liable for injuries. A license, although it doesn’t ensure they’ll do a great job,  is a factor to making sure they are accredited.

#2 How much experience do you have waterproofing in Victoria BC?

And yes, get specific about the location! We have such a moist climate- someone who has been waterproofing in Edmonton isn’t going to have the same knowledge as a contractor who has thirty years in Victoria.

#3 May I have a few references?

Get references and call them. Important to note is when the work was done. Especially with waterproofing in Victoria. If the work was done a couple months ago it doesn’t really give an indication of how long it will last. Look for references that are at least a few years old.

#4 What repair solution do you propose and why will it fix my moisture problems?

This step requires you to do a little homework. Research waterproofing and perimeter drains Victoria and see what answers you come up with. If your contractor proposes a different solution be sure to discuss it with them. Make sure you understand the issue and proposed solution before going ahead with any work.

#5 Describe the Work in Detail

Get a really good idea of what they will be doing. Ask for specifics and details. For example, if they’re digging ask how deep, how wide and how long. What type of materials will they be using and how does that fit with the research you’ve done. What quality are the materials? With most things, you get what you pay for. If your contractor cheaps out on product and then charges you top dollar, it could make for a disaster.

We offer waterproofing and drainage solutions in Victoria BC. Contact us to learn more about our services.

The importance of Drain Inspections

Poor drainage can be catastrophic for a home and family. Cracked foundations, rotting wood, black mold leading to asthma and breathing issues are just a few of the potential problems. The cost to repair these drainage and moisture problems can end up being an enormous amount of money. It’s important to have all the information to make an educated decision.

Professional drainage inspections Victoria BC are vital to preventing major problems, due to such a high amount of precipitation here. Whether you’re building a house, deciding which house to purchase or doing a major renovation project it is important to  assess the potential for drainage problems, so you know ahead of time what you will need to deal with.

Foregoing a drainage inspection and doing it yourself means you could miss the signs to look for. There is more to the inspection than looking for standing ground water or assessing for foundation leaks. The best thing about a professional drainage inspection is that they will be able to see the problems before they cause damage and suggest solutions or repairs. A knowledgeable and experienced drainage inspector in Victoria will know what repairs and products work in our west coast climate, because the years of assessing what doesn’t work here.

For those who already have a moisture problems getting an inspection is the best way to assess what the cause of the problem is, rather than just hiring a contractor and hoping their work will alleviate the problem. A drainage inspector can assess where the actual problem is, rather than guessing. The inspector can test whether the perimeter drain is working properly or whether the problem is the house itself. Knowing this is imperative to having the correct work done.

Do not ignore moisture problems.

The longer moisture and drainage problems are left to fester the higher the cost to repair them. Instead give us a call to help with your Victoria waterproofing solutions.

Mike Holmes: How to Keep Your Basements Dry

Mike Holmes (From HGTV’s “Holmes on Homes”) explains why your basement is a critical part in your homes overall health. He explains the steps, and measures you can take if you suspect that your homes basement may have symptoms of excessive moisture buildup.

Re-printed with Permission from Mike Holmes. Download large version for easy reading.