Doug Lacey's Basement Systems Q&A

Can you fix a crack within a cement block (cinder block) basement foundation?

One of our trained System Design Specialists can meet you at your home for a free no obligation inspection of your property and provide you with a quote on the required work.  If a block wall has cracks running on a stair step pattern, or if there is movement in the wall, (tipping/shearing/leaning) we are looking at a structural repair.  If there is no concern with the structure and we are looking to prevent water infiltration, we have wall systems that can be fixed to the block walls and have the water seepage directed into your perimeter drain and away from your finished space.


Where does the sump pump water go?

If you didn't know, a sump pump works by installing a pump into a sump pit, which is a hole dug at the bottom of your basement or crawlspace. The sump basin collects extra groundwater or rainwater and the pump inside of the basin pumps the water out so that it doesn’t flood your home. But where does the water go after it’s been pumped out? 

The water that was once in the sump basin flows through a discharge line and then out of your home. It is usually directed far away from your foundation to prevent it from flooding your home. Once it is far away from your home, the water will find its way back into the water cycle!

Although we try to avoid it as much as possible, sometimes the discharge line that gets rid of the water must be placed in a spot that gets in the way or affects the curb appeal of the home. This is why we offer the opportunity to get a buried discharge line installed. This will be buried and stay underground. To avoid blockages from debris or ice, we also offer an IceGuard® attachment which will ensure your sump pump will continue to work if it freezes or there is a clog. 

Will I benefit from basement waterproofing?

In short, YES! Any individual experiencing moisture in their basement can benefit greatly from a basement waterproofing system. Whether it's just a leaking wall crack, or a big basement flood, installing a waterproofing product will protect your biggest investment and your family. 

Some tell-tale signs that you need basement waterproofing include:

- Musty smells

- Walls that feel damp

- Water intrusion during snowmelt or heavy rain

- Mold/mildew

- Dis-colored drywall

- Leaking wall or floor cracks

- Condensation on your walls and windows

Basement waterproofing will provide you with so many added benefits for many, many years to come! It will not only prevent water from getting into your home and ruining your belongings but it can also 

- Increase the value of your home 

- Protect your foundation

- Ensure you don't get mold/mildew 

- Increase your living space 

And arguably the most important aspect of all.... basement waterproofing will provide you with peace of mind! You will never have to worry when it starts to rain, or when springtime comes along because you will be protected! 

In conclusion, basement waterproofing can only benefit you and your family if it is necessary. If you are unsure whether your home requires waterproofing, you can easily schedule a FREE estimate with one of our professionals. They will determine what your problem is, the best solution for you, and all the benefits you will receive!

Call us: 403.720.0616

What is the best waterproofing system for basement walls?

The best way to waterproof the inside of your basement walls is to install a vapor barrier on the wall. A basement is naturally damp, so installing a vapor barrier is essential for keeping the room dry and airy. Our CleanSpace® Vapor Barrier is 100% waterproof. It is ideal for unfinished basement walls and comes with a 25-year wear and tear warranty. It is also durable and washable. The CleanSpace® has a built-in Anti-Microbial protection system called UltraFresh. The vapor barrier is mechanically attached to the basement walls using drilled-in plastic fasteners that will never fall off but can be easily removed. It can give your basement a bright and white look while keeping it dry and free of moisture.

If you suspect that your basement would benefit from a moisture barrier, contact us to schedule a FREE estimate

When is radon mitigation required?

Do you know your radon levels? 

If yes, keep reading

If not, you can purchase a radon detector from Amazon, or any of your local hardware stores, or you can contact us to schedule a radon inspection! This is the first step to determine when radon mitigation is required in your home. You have no idea if you are safe or if action needs to be taken without your radon levels. 

The answer to this question differs based on which guideline you want to follow. The Government of Canada says that mitigation should be done if your radon level is 200Bq/m3 or higher; The World Health Organization states that a reading under 100Bq/m3 is ideal, but nobody should ever let it go beyond 300Bq/m3; And the US Environmental Protection Agency states that if your reading is 100Bq/m3 or more, you should install a mitigation system. 

Based on all of these sources, here are our suggestions: 

  • A reading under 100Bq/m3, you are safe. 
  • A reading between 100Bq/m3 and 200Bq/m3, you should speak to a professional to become more informed and ensure you have a good understanding of what this means. No immediate action needs to be taken, but staying informed is important.  
  • A reading over 200Bq/m3, you should take action immediately and contact a certified C-NRPP contractor to install a mitigation system in your home.  

At the end of the day, any level of radon is unhealthy for you. Although you can never be fully protected from radon in your home, the higher your reading, the more at risk you are for health-related issues. Testing your radon levels and installing a radon mitigation in your home if necessary is the only way you can ensure your family is safe from the harmful effects of radon! 

We are always happy to answer any questions you may have regarding radon in your home. If you are worried about radon, want to know your levels, or need a radon mitigation system installed, you can contact us by calling: (403)-720-0616 

Where should I put my air purifier?

Air purifiers work to clean the air inside of your home by reducing pollutants by filtering the air. It draws air in, filters it, and then releases it back out. For this reason, the best areas in your home to place it include:

  • Bedroom
  • Living room
  • Kitchen
  • Office
  • Pet areas
  • Entry points

The most congested areas of your home or the place where you spend the most time are likely to have the highest concentrations of pollutants. We strongly recommend following the following guidelines when selecting an air purifier location:  

  • Your air purifier should be kept away from electronic devices. The wavelengths emitted by both electronics and air purifiers can interfere with one another, resulting in a decrease in performance and efficiency.
  • Keep it away from areas that produce high humidity. Places like your bathroom or musty basement will produce a lot of moisture, which will reduce the efficiency of the air purifier and cause your filter to be replaced much more often.
  • Keep your Air Purifier away from sources of heat or sunlight. The added heat will reduce the air purifier’s efficiency and may cause the air purifier to become overheated.
  • Place your Air Purifier in an open, spacious area. For your Air Purifier to effectively clean and treat your home’s air, it needs to be in an area that is free from obstructions such as couches, curtains, and tables.
  • Do not place it in a corner because corners have limited airflow.  

The air in your home can contain pollutants that cause allergies, asthma, and an increased risk of long-term illness. The Aspen Air Purifier is great for cleaning your air and battling against allergies, smoke, pet dander, mold, viruses, and more. If you are interested in learning more about our air purifier or have any questions regarding the placement of this system, feel free to reach out! We are always happy to help! 

Why is my Sump Pump not working?

There could be many reasons your sump pump has stopped working, such as a lack of electricity, a clogged motor or discharge line, a blocked intake screen, or a broken or worn-out check valve. Sump pumps have a lot of moving parts, and if not taken care of correctly, a lot can go wrong, leading to a flood in your home. 

The best thing to do when you discover that your sump pump is not working adequately is to contact us ASAP and schedule an appointment with one of our Service Technicians. We recommend this because they are trained professionals who know your sump pump like the back of their hands. Not only will they solve the problem at hand, but they can service your sump pump to prevent this from happening again. 

This is why we highly recommend an annual service appointment for your sump pump. It is hard to spot a problem until it's too late. By the time a homeowner notices that something is wrong with their sump pump, they already have water in their home. If you schedule an annual service appointment, our Service Technicians will ensure they find the problem before it finds you! 

Why is waterproofing my home necessary?

Have you ever felt defeated when a small basement leak turned into a flood during a heavy rain storm? It happened when you weren’t expecting it, and all the things you thought were safe in your basement were gone. If the answer to that question is ‘no’, then I’m sure you’re wondering, ‘Why do I need to waterproof my home?’ Well, waterproofing your home isn’t just about protecting your home from flooding. There are many other benefits to waterproofing your home.

Firstly, even the most minor leaks in your basement can cause damage to your home. Water seepage weakens the structural integrity of your home. This can lead to cracks, sagging floors, misaligned windows and doors, and in serious cases, your structure can give out. These minor leaks can also cause mold and mildew to build up in the space. Mold and mildew thrive in damp environments, which can make your home the perfect breeding ground if there is a leak. Mold and mildew not only create unpleasant smells, but they can also cause you and your family some serious health risks.

A waterproofed home isn't just about protection- it's a selling point. Potential buyers seek peace of mind with their new homes. By waterproofing your home, you are not only protecting your investment, but you are also increasing its market value. 

In conclusion, waterproofing your home not only preserves your home's structural integrity but also safeguards your investment. If you are concerned about a potential leak in your basement, don't hesitate to reach out! Our expert team is here to help. Schedule your free inspection now! 


Will a Sump Pump work without electricity?

No, your sump pump won’t work if you don’t have an adequate power supply. It relies solely on power to operate. It is essential to have a backup source of power to ensure your sump pump will protect you if the power goes out. 

That’s why we recommend that you install our UltraSump® battery backup system when you get a Sump Pump installed. On a full charge, this pump can pump out over 11, 500 gallons of water! That’s more than enough to make sure you’re covered in the event of a power outage!

We’ve noticed that most power outages in Alberta have been caused by large storms, which often bring heavy rain. When power goes out during these storms, your sump basin will fill up with water because it will stop pumping water out of your basement. Our UltraSump® not only gives you a backup, but it also has an alarm to let you know if there’s going to be a power outage. Furthermore, our service technicians will ensure that they check the power supply to your sump pump at every annual service appointment. This way, if there is a problem with your power, they will find it before it finds you! 


Can you waterproof a basement from the inside?

Yes!  The patented products that Basement Systems use are designed to be installed on the interior of your basement.  The key advantage with working from the inside is we are away from the soils that can cause an exterior drainage system to clog and fail.  When we install our patented WaterGuard system around your basement and drain to one of our sump systems your basement will carry a lifetime warranty against groundwater seepage that is fully transferable should you decide to sell your home.

How do you properly fix a foundation crack and seal from the outside of a basement in Canada?

We typically work from the inside of the home to repair cracks. We use our patented Flexispan repair method or inject the cracks. Both of these repairs carry a lifetime warranty against seepage. There are cases where an interior fix is not possible (cabinetry or other built-ins against the wall, shower wall, tile etc) in this case we can excavate to expose the foundation wall. The process then is to grind/clean the wall and apply a waterproof membrane material over the crack. We then install a protection board and backfill. Exterior repairs carry a 5 year warranty.

How to fix basement wall cracks, drill into the wall?

Polyurethane Injection is a repair process in which a resin is injected into a foundation crack, hole, joint or another opening in the concrete. The resin reacts with water to form an effective flexible waterproof seal within the wall. In order to inject the resin, holes are drilled into the wall at an angle to intersect the crack halfway within the wall. High pressure injection ports are then securely installed into the wall. Next the polyurethane resin is pumped through the ports into the crack.

How to fix concrete basement walls?

As with all homes we visit we look at what the issue is and the cause. From there we can look at options for repair. For leaking poured concrete walls the options for repair would be one of our internal wall systems draining into our patented WaterGuard system and pumped away from the home. This option would provide a lifetime warranty against further seepage into the home. The other options out there would be to excavate around the entire foundation and apply a new damp/waterproofing membrane and weeping tile all draining to a sump location. This option would have a limited warranty and will typically cost quite a bit more, not to mention the rebuild of any exterior stairs, steps, landscaping, patios, driveways etc.

How to get moisture out of basement?

The SaniDry Sedona offers giant performance in a small package. It's the world's most efficient, high-performance dehumidifier, without a bulky heat exchange core. The Sedona easily fits in small crawl spaces and basements, yet has a powerful blower to effectively dry large areas. The Sedona keeps the relative humidity below 55%.

How to resurface an old foundation?

First off, we love old homes and the foundations that they rest on. The character of an old home is hard to beat. Depending on the quality of the concrete and what the customer is hoping to achieve, there are a couple options on the market. One option that we do here at Basement Systems Calgary is to build an internal Preserved Wood Foundation inside of the existing structure. This allows us to protect the old walls with a waterproofing system and erect a new, structurally sound foundation wall. Another option is a system called Shotcrete. Essentially concrete is sprayed onto the surface of the foundation walls and reinforced with steel mesh or rebar.

How to seal concrete block walls?

As with all homes we visit we look at what the issue is and the cause. From there we can look at options for repair. For leaking concrete block walls the options for repair would be one of our internal wall systems draining into our patented WaterGuard system and pumped away from the home. This option would provide a lifetime warranty against further seepage into the home. The other options out there would be to excavate around the entire foundation and apply a new damp/waterproofing membrane and weeping tile all draining to a sump location. This option would have a limited warranty and will typically cost quite a bit more, not to mention the rebuild of any exterior stairs, steps, landscaping, patios, driveways etc.

What is a vapor barrier?

Vapor barriers are a thin layer of membrane that prevents moisture from entering your home. They are commonly used in building construction and are not always installed when a home is built. However, some homes may need a vapor barrier to prevent mold growth and leaks. Mold growth and leaks can be detrimental to your health, so it is important to have a reliable vapor barrier installed in your home. We offer a quality vapor barrier, called CleanSpace®. CleanSpace is 100% waterproof, durable, washable, and has an anti-microbial built into it called UltraFresh. It also comes with a 25-year wear and tear warranty. CleanSpace® is fast, easy to install, and provides a great clean look for your basement walls.

If this quality product sounds like the perfect solution to your damp basement, give Doug Lacey’s Basement Systems a call today! We offer free estimates for all our work in southern Alberta!

What is radon?

Radon is a radioactive gas found naturally in the environment. It is produced by the decay of uranium found in soil, rock or water. Radon is invisible, odorless and tasteless and emits ionizing radiation. As a gas, radon can move freely through the soil enabling it to escape to the atmosphere or seep into buildings. Testing for radon in your home is easy, and inexpensive to do. If need, a radon remediation system can be installed in your home relatively easily within a few hours.

What is the solution for water seeping in basement floor?

By stopping water at the point where it enters the structure.  Since most basements flood from the wall-floor joint, one of the most common ways to stop the flooding is to install a perimeter drainage system along the edge of the basement floor. This would collect the water and direct it to a sump pump, which would then discharge it out of your home.

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Doug Lacey's Basement Systems
5711 80 Ave SE
Calgary, AB T2C 4S6
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