Frequently Asked Questions

What causes a basement to leak?

There are several reasons why a basement may take in water. Shoddy construction, deterioration of the foundation due to age, changes in landscape, and gradual foundation shifts are a few of the more common causes. Aging pipes, joints, window frames, and severe weather conditions are other reasons.


Where should I look to find out if I have a water problem in my basement?

Check the area where the ceiling meets the top of the walls, and work your way down the walls, paying close attention to the areas surrounding window frames. Next, carefully examine the area where the wall meets the floor. Continue by looking over the entire basement floor. Then check out our Diagnose Your Problem website feature and click on your problem area for a more detailed explanation of the problem and possible solutions.


How can I tell if I have a moisture problem?

It’s important to examine your basement thoroughly to check for signs of water intrusion. Common signs of moisture problems are wetness or dampness on the floor and/or walls, water-stained concrete, appearance of mold or mildew, white powdery residue, cracks in plaster walls or masonry, wall paint peeling, movement in walls, warped paneling, and lifted or re-positioned floor tiles.


Aside from visual inspection, are there any other signs that I might have a moisture problem?

A musty smell is often a good indication that moisture is present, and it is usually caused by the presence of mold and fungus spores in the air. Not only is this smell unpleasant, but it can contribute to allergy and asthma problems, as well as other health issues.


When should I have a moisture problem fixed?

In order to maintain the value of your home, protect your foundation, and safeguard your family against illnesses caused by excess moisture, any water or moisture problems should be remedied as soon as possible after detection. Call Strata-Tek LLC for a Mold and Remediation technician to discuss a free in home inspection.


What causes cracking in walls and floors?

Homes often shift and settle with age. This movement can cause cracks to develop in foundation walls and floors, especially near windows and around the top and bottom corners of the foundation. Cracks can also result from excessive amounts of water buildup under and around the foundation.


If I have a leak in my basement, is it possible to fix it myself?

Depending on the circumstance, there are many do-it-yourself home remedies for leaky basements. In our experience, most offer only temporary solutions to long term problems. It is best to have your basement examined by a trained inspector who can advise you of the magnitude of the problem. If he or she feels the problem is minimal, ask for tips on how you can fix it yourself. But if the inspector indicates that the problem is major, contact a professional waterproofing company for an estimate.


How costly is basement waterproofing?

Costs vary depending on the size of the problem and the methods and materials that will be required to remedy it. Contact Strata-Tek LLC today for a free estimate.


What solutions do you have for leaks?

Strata-Tek LLC carefully analyzes each prospective client’s situation to determine the best custom solution. We offer several different certified methods and systems for solving moisture problems, including grout injection, ground re-grading, drainage systems, sump pumps, drywells, and window well restoration.


Foundation Cracks

Why do so many waterproofing companies recommend digging from the outside and painting the crack with tar?

The reason that many companies utilize this repair method is because it is a simple method that requires little training, skill and equipment. The method of trying to fix leaky cracks by digging them up and painting tar on them has been around for a long time, but much like the dot matrix printer you may have bought in the 1980’s, while it still may print, that method of repair is now very much obsolete.


Why isn’t digging from the outside and painting a crack with tar a reliable repair method?

For starters, the tar that most contractors use is meant for use on roofs -- not your concrete foundation. Your foundation is as old as your home and has been under the earth for as many years. When concrete ages, the outer layers become soft and flaky, therefore any coating that is applied over that surface will not adhere to the concrete properly. Water is one of the only elements in nature that expands when it freezes and any water that gets through the tar coating will form blisters that become larger and larger with every freeze/thaw cycle. Because the repair is done on the outside, the contractor has no way of water testing the crack to see if the repair was a success. By digging up earth that has not been disturbed since your home was built, a sink hole can occur in that area causing a low spot in the soil that will collect even more water. Essentially this will put more stress on an already vulnerable area.


Why is urethane injection the best repair method for cracks?

Urethane injection has been around for many years. One of the first groups to employ this process was the Army Corps. Of Engineers, at which time it was used to stop leaking cracks in dams and other water treatment facilities. This method has become very successful for stopping leaks in some of the world’s most extreme water control conditions and has become the method of choice among premier commercial and residential waterproofing companies. Urethane injection is noninvasive and is done from the inside of the home, leaving the soil outside of the home undisturbed. Sink holes will not be created with this method.


Explain to me the crack injection process?

Urethane or epoxy is injected into the wall filling the crack from inside the house all the way to where the concrete wall meets the dirt on the outside of your house. Upon contact with water or even moisture in the crack urethane expands to form a flexible and watertight seal.

Because urethane cures so quickly upon contact with water (5-10 minutes) the contractor can water test the crack with a probe from the outside of the home to ensure that 100% of the water has been stopped.


How long does crack injection last?

Crack injection, when it is properly installed, should last the life of the structure.


In repairing cracks, when should epoxy be used and when should urethane be used?

Both urethane and epoxy can be used to stop water. Urethane has the advantage of expansion making it easier to install. Expansion prevents the product from leaking out of the crack before it cures and fills more thoroughly. Epoxy gives the crack structural strength.


Why can't a surface repair such as hydraulic cement or urethane caulk be used to correct cracks?

These types of repairs typically fail in a few short years. Expansion and contraction of the wall, though minimal, cause service repairs to shadow crack and leak again. With urethane or epoxy injection this phenomenon will not occur.