Leaky Basement Repair on 4 Different Types of Foundation Walls

Waterproofing Foundation Walls – 4 Types of Foundation Walls Repair

No matter what your foundation walls are made out of, it has most likely never been waterproofed. Building codes throughout Ontario have never called for waterproofing when a house is built. Only in the last 60 years was damp proofing introduced. But that’s not waterproofing. Unless your house was custom built, and your builder or owner decided they wanted to waterproof and protect the foundation then your foundation is not protected. 

Without waterproofing, the foundation has a life span. Meaning at some point an unprotected foundation will just fall apart. This is why you see some houses with sagging floors or houses on an angle. In the past, Ontario homes never had to worry about this because Ontario homes, in general, were not that old. But now the time has come where 60+ year old homes are in abundance and these are ending their life cycle unless protected. The age of your home determines the foundation type of your home, which you will learn more about below.

There are many different types of ways foundation walls. Leaky basements often happen to these basement foundations when older waterproofing systems are not replaced or upgraded over time, or they were not properly installed at the time of new construction. We are going to take a look at 4 different types of foundation walls you will find in your home and will tell you how our crews at RCC will apply our waterproofing solutions to your specific basement foundation repair. It’s important to identify what type of basement foundation you have in your home to prevent any impending basement leaks from happening.


Waterproofing Poured Concrete Foundation Walls

Poured concrete foundation walls are most commonly found in newly built new construction homes and moderately older homes up to 50 years old. Very common in places like Mississauga, Vaughan, Markham, and anywhere with new subdivisions. Poured concrete foundations make for easier fixes as there are no mortar joints to worry about and it’s easy to open up the foundation cracks and place hydraulic cement when the spots with water leaks have been identified. Poured concrete foundations tend to be stronger structurally and less prone to basement leak issues when the house is shifting or settling.

Our waterproofing crews will uncover the foundation wall by digging down to the footing and uncover the foundation cracks causing the leak. They are then chiseled out to open the cracks up and hydraulic cement is applied to seal the cracks and prevent any more water from penetrating the cracks. Next, the first layer of Hydro Guard rubberized membrane is applied over the wall, and the reinforcement mesh is placed over the waterproofing material. A second coat of Hydro Guard is then applied and an air gap drainage membrane is rolled over the wall, nailed in using concrete nails and washers. We also recommend homeowners install a proper drainage system that includes drainage tiles, ¾ inch gravel, and window wells to cover your basement windows.


Waterproofing Cinder Block Walls

Cinder block foundation walls are the most common type of foundation in older homes  Many homes were built using cinder block foundations with rebar used to reinforce the foundation walls. If you own an older house in Toronto, Hamilton, or anywhere with older subdivisions in Southern Ontario, chances are your house was built Cinder Block walls are also the most susceptible to foundation cracks thanks to house shifting, and mortar joints that were not properly sealed. 

cinder block foundation wall

The waterproofing process is very similar to poured concrete foundations except extra attention is taken by our crews when they are parging the mortar joints. You apply two coats of Hydro Guard bonded together with a layer of reinforcement mesh and then the layer of dimpled drainage membrane is nailed on top. A proper drainage system is very important for these waterproofing solutions to work properly and chances are the drainage tiles underneath your foundation walls are old clay pipes. This system is no longer good enough to provide proper drainage around your basement foundation and is prone to clogging, leading to more leaky basement issues.


Waterproofing Stone Foundation Walls

Stone foundation walls or cobblestone foundations as they are sometimes referred to are commonly found in homes that are 100 years old or older as back in that time, stone was the most common material used to build foundations for homes. When these homes experience basement leaks, it is usually caused by faults in the mortar joints made between the stones and your home starts to shift with the earth beneath it.

cobble stone foundation wall


Waterproofing is trickier than other basement foundation repairs as the stone foundation walls are always built unevenly. The layer of parging cement is applied to the existing mortar joints where the wall is leaking to cover up the spots where water is leaking into your basement. From there, our team can add Hydro Guard membrane to the foundation wall, being careful to evenly coat the water with enough rubberized waterproofing material. Then the wall is wrapped with drainage membrane where extra care is taken by our waterproofing team to secure the membrane onto the uneven stone foundation wall. 

Unless recently waterproofed, it’s guaranteed that the drainage tile at the footings will need to be installed or replaced. The old clay tile system is not good enough in this day and age to divert water away from your property efficiently. While waterproofing crews are performing the foundation crack repair, it’s a good idea to install new drainage tiles to help prevent future water leaks.


Waterproofing ICF Foundations

ICF Foundations or “Insulated Concrete Form” Foundations are a relatively new way of building newer homes in new construction. ICF foundation leaks are uncommon in our line of waterproofing work as they are usually waterproofed at the time when the house is being built. RCC crews have worked on waterproofing ICF foundation projects and have been contracted by home building companies to apply our waterproofing services to their job site.

icf foundation walls

It is very easy to waterproof these types of walls and the waterproofing process is very similar to how you waterproof a poured concrete foundation. You apply the two layers of Hydro Guard waterproofing membrane to the walls to create the waterproof seal between the wall and the elements. Then the dimpled waterproofing membrane is applied soon after so that moisture can be caught and properly directed away from the foundation walls. With new construction, it’s much easier for RCC to install a drainage system as the earth is already dug up to the foundation footings and the surrounding space is wide open and accessible.

Now that you know more about the different types of foundation walls, we hope you can take the necessary steps to make sure your house is water leak free. RCC Waterproofing is here to answer any questions you have, and we will provide a free consultation and quote if you think you need to have waterproofing services done on your home. Proper drainage is the key to prevent having to do a leaky basement repair. 

On top of having a functioning water drainage system, there are a bunch of other ways you can redirect water around your property and you can find out how to do this in our other blog post: 5 Ways You Can Save the Cost of Waterproofing

RCC Waterproofing and Foundation Repairs has been servicing Ontario customers for over 100 years. Their repairs have outlived lifetime warranties by at least two times. The company provides professionally trained sales representatives to view, assess and quote on repairs. The installers are employees of RCC and most have long term working relationships. RCC carries full insurance including WSIB coverage and HST registration.

RCC Waterproofing offers:
  • A Lifetime Waterproofing Guarantee!
  • 24-hour emergency services for Ontario residences
  • Fully trained technical sales representatives to view, assess and quote the repair
  • Over 100 years of third-generation family success both in products and services and superb warranty
  • Full-service options, providing either exterior or interior repairs depending on issues, location, and structure
  • A successful record of servicing over 75,000 customers

To learn more, contact RCC Waterproofing at 416-747-1920 or Toll-Free 1-888-766-2071 or Contact RCC for a Free Inspection