BEST BASEMENT LOWERING SERVICES IN TORONTO
Basement Lowering, Underpinning, Crawl Space, and Basement Walkout Contractors!
What is Basement Lowering?
Basement lowering is the process to increase your living space inside your home. There are multiple techniques that can be used to lower your basement in Toronto. Choosing the correct basement lowering technique is vital for maintaining the integrity of a home's foundation. At Nusite Contractors, we use a variety of guidelines to determine the safest basement-lowering method for the foundation of your Toronto home.
A few of the basement lowering guidelines that Nusite follows include:
The Structural Safety of your Home and its Foundation.
The Homeowners Basement Lowering Preference (Underpinning, Benching, Digging Crawl Space etc.).
The Homeowners Basement Lowering Budget.
The Overall Basement Lowering Goals (Height, Access, Waterproofing Methods, Foundation Repair, etc.).
Basement Lowering in Ontario (also called Underpinning or Benching) is a process that can significantly increase the value of your home. Underpinning and Benching adds functional living space to your basement.
Residential basement lowering is intended to lower your basement slab or crawl space slab and convert a 5ft, 6ft, or 7ft high basement into an area that clears 9ft.
Underpinning your home. Will Turn Your Basement into a Fun and Functional Space!
With the high property costs and the limited amount of real-estate in Toronto, basement lowering (Underpinning) becomes an attractive and cost-effective way to increase functional living space in your home. A key benefit to basement lowering is the minimal red tape compared to the expansion of a Toronto home.
Why does Basement Lowering, Underpinning or Benching have less "Red Tape"?
Underpinning has less red tape because basement lowering is considered an improvement to the existing structure, and not an addition to a home.
Nusite Contractors is Toronto's Basement Lowering Company!
BASEMENT LOWERING SERVICES
Bench Footings & Underpinning
DIGGING CRAWL SPACE SERVICES
Digging out a crawl space is another basement-lowering method that adds living space to your home. This is by far the most expensive underpinning in residential construction.
This underpinning process turns a small crawl space into a full-height basement.
The digging crawl space underpinning process involves the removal of your basement floor and the excavation to your new basement height.
Once the lowered space is clear of debris, your foundation walls will be extended and strengthend, creating a functional and livable basement.
crawl space is double or sometimes triple the amount of excavation and underpinning compared to the standard 2 feet underpinning.
BENCH FOOTING SERVICES
The bench footings basement lowering method is a great option when underpinning is not possible.
Bench footings are installed by digging down in from of the internal foundation wall until you land just above the existing foundation footings. (also called the 7/10) At that point, our team builds a "bench" between the foundation wall and the basement floor, creating foundation wall strength, as well as increased basement height.
Basement Lowering and bench footing methods can convert a 5ft, 6ft, or 7ft high basement into a space over 9ft.
Benching can take about 30 working days to produce from start to finish.
How long have you been in business?We have been in the construction industry since 1979, and have been waterproofing and repairing foundations since our inception. We are a family owned and operated business and not a franchise. We are lifelong residents of Toronto and are proud of our reputation in the industry. We have maintained a great record with our clients, and have proudly maintained a A+ BBB rating for the life of our business
Do you offer a warranty with your work?All of our customers receive a written and signed certificate before the job is complete outlining any outstanding issues (ie. Clean up, lay gravel etc.). This certificate will act as your warranty card and is fully transferable to any new homeowner. Most consumers focus on the length of the warranty (ie. 15 years, 25 years or even a lifetime!). What you need to know is what it actually guarantees. Most exterior building products, even the most expensive ones do not have a lifespan of more than 10 years so be careful when making a decision based on length of warranty. (think of roofing, what shingles last a lifetime?). Many lifetime and extended warranties on waterproofing will contain special clauses that will make it difficult for you to ever make an actual claim. Instead of asking how long the warranty is for, ask how many warranty calls you have had in the duration of your business. We operate on less than a 1% call back rate on over 1,700+ homes waterproofed since 2010. You should be asking about the materials, their quality and the processes that are used! This will ensure you do not compare our standard 15 year warranty to a lifetime warranty when the grades of “waterproofing” products can differ immensely. We only use Canadian made products from Bakor (Aquablock, Blueskin, and CM-100 Series materials). These systems are the best you can buy and come with a proven track record in the waterproofing industry.
What can I expect when I schedule an estimate?When you call our office you will be dispatched to one of the owners of the business. We handle each and every call personally. Our sales representatives are not assertive, we understand a leak is a sensitive issue and strive to educate you on your issue versus using “arm twisting” sales tactics. Once you have a free estimate and inspection booked, we will come to your home and make our assessment of your situation. Our representatives are professionals and will be dressed in Nusite attire on the day of the estimate. We will sit with you and educate you on the type of wall you have, and how certain solutions (ie. The drawbacks of a block or stone-wall versus concrete) should be chosen. Based on that information we will work together to create a plan that meets your budget and needs. We will walk you through the repair process and answer all the questions you may have. Through the use of technology, building code, and the building envelope theory we will explain why you are seeing the symptoms that prompted your call. Once we have confirmed why the water is entering your home, we will leave you with a comprehensive package including a written estimate, a detailed process sheet, and a sample warranty certificate. Once your project is completed and everything is to your liking, the job is signed off and your warranty is begins.
Can you provide references for your work?Yes we can! We have many online reviews you can read on Homestars.com. We also have many clients you can speak to upon request. We are always open to feedback as we strive to continually improve our process and customer service!
What are your certifications?We have educated ourselves through industry provided training courses and bring proper tools to scope the source of your water problems. We have developed an effective waterproofing system over the last 30 years ensure that the root cause of the leak is moved away from your home and disposed of. In other words, we fix the leak and make sure it doesn’t happen again! We are IICRC certified to use moisture meters, air humidity meters, weeping tile and drain cameras. These tools help us determine the cause(s) of water infiltration in each situation. We can show you how thermal imaging may or may not show you what you need to see and explain how improper Calibration can make anything look wet. So, make sure you speak with an expert! We are also proud members of: The Ontario and Canadian Home Builders Association The Toronto Construction Association The Infrastructure Health and Safety Association BILD – Building Industry and Land development Association Renomark Indoor Air Quality Association The Better Business Bureau
What's the difference between interior and exterior waterproofing?We provide both interior and exterior waterproofing solutions. Be aware that some companies only employ an interior solution, regardless of the actual problem. These aren’t true waterproofing companies. They may try and steer you towards a solution that they are selling rather than a solution that is best for you and your home. Reasons To Use Interior Waterproofing. This is not waterproofing, it's water management! The water still comes through the wall, and it does NOT protect from frost or erosion. Work will be done from the inside of your home if exterior excavation is not possible OR the landscaping/exterior utilities do not allow us to. It is recommended that when you lower your basement you should install an interior system. This is because your old system will not reach the floor of your newly heightend space. If you prefer an interior system and your wall can support the work, we can install it for you! Interior methods can be used when you have a small repair. We can use this method to temporarily manage small leaks. It is best used on concrete or structurally sound walls. Why Do We Work From The Exterior? Exterior work stops water from entering the home; protecting it from frost and foundation erosion. This method structurally ensures the life of the wall, and the building it supports. Basements are not origianly waterproofed! This is because the Ontario Building Code only calls for damp proofing.(waterproofing membranes are like sun-block, it stops 100% of the sun, while, damp proofing is like sun-screen, it does NOT protect 100% of the sun as it allows rays through). When doing exterior work, we are able to repair large voids, gaps and/or cracks, which, may be causing the problem. This is a better stratagy then putting up a membrane inside the home to manage water flow. When working on the exterior we have access to the wall to apply proper waterproofing coatings that stay flexible and move with the wall, preventing future leaks. Exterior work allows us to access your weeping tile. We can then replace the old weeping tile in the areas we work and camera the rest to ensure there are no surprises. By using this method we can detemine if your system is clear or clogged, and accurately give you a time frame to prepare a full perimeter system. If your wall is cinder-block, stone, brick or aging concrete work should be done from the exterior.
What is the white powdery stuff on my walls?What you see there is efflorescence. It often occurs on masonry construction, particularly brick and cement blocks. This occurs when water moves through or is being driven from the wall or structure. As the water evaporates, it leaves the salt behind, which forms a white, fluffy deposit, that can normally be brushed off. In this situation the resulting white deposits are referred to as “efflorescence”.
Where are cracks found?A crack in your foundation can be from a number of reasons, that’s why it’s important to have it properly inspected by a trained professional. If your foundation has a horizontal crack, it could signify something structurally wrong and may need proper attention from a structural professional. Vertical Foundation cracks are the most common cause of leaks in your basement. They are generally a result of structural shifting or something causing pressure on the wall from the exterior (like a tree, improper rebar installation, poor concrete mix, and/or bad weather when pouring concrete, etc.). Cracks are most common in the bottom corner of basement windows and are formed into the concrete after all the material settle (usually between 2 years after building).
Can I fix my foundation crack by injecting it with exopy, urethane, or other compounds?"Of all the types of walls; concrete walls are the only type of wall that can be injected to stop water. That being said, there are many drawbacks to installing this type of system. When it comes to injecting your foundation with any sort of resin/epoxy or urethane kit, you should understand a few things: You cannot inject any wall other than a concrete. You cannot inject stone, block or brick. Injecting without proper personal protection can be very harmful. Make sure your installers are taking the proper precautions! Mixing resins or using certain products on the interior of your home can produce harmful fumes. Epoxy is a mix between a resin and a hardener, which, can lead to a few issues: This liquid, if not hardened fast enough, can seep into surrounding areas and leave voids in the crack being repaired (especially at the top of a crack as like anything, gravity will play its course). It can lead to an irregular application causing reoccuring problems even if it looks perfect from the inside. Re-injecting a previously injected crack is borderline impossible. This is because the voids, gaps, cracks, and pockets in the previous resin may not have been properly filled. If the crack is actively leaking during the application period the product may not work to its full extent (Similar to how we can't apply waterproofing materials to wet walls). The foundation shift can cause the crack to move further. More often than not a crack created within injection. This is the most common reason for it to fail. Most products can only handle a gap no greater than 1/16th of an inch. If the crack expands after injection, a proper exterior solution becomes the only solution to fix it. This is because it's flexible and will move with the wall, keeping the seamless membrane in tact (ie. The Aqublock and Yellow-Jacket process we use). No product can guarantee 100% success, even if you are the best polyurethane polymer compounds. Most injection companies will up sell a secondary barrier that channels water under the floor. This is just “in-case” the injection fails. Since we live in Canada our foundations have to resist extreme weather. If the product you are using doesn't have frost and snow protection it is bound to fail. Everything in your home envelope NEEDS frost protection! Everything in construction is frost protected! Yes, even the exterior waterproofing system has a drainage board giving the ground some room to freeze. This protects the wall and keeps the system in place!
I got a quote to use blueskin, is it the right application for my wall?"Blueskin is a great product that is used throughout the commercial and residential construction industry. We use Blueskin WP 200 on very smooth or perfect concrete walls. It can also be used as an underground waterproofing membrane. That being said there are better solutions offered by the same company. Since we usually never see a perfectly smooth serface a trowel or spray applied coating (ie. Aquablock 720-38 for example) provides a better application and adhesion to an irregular wall.
What membranes do you use?The membrane Nusite uses is either from the Henry, or DMX company line of waterproofing products. The most common product we apply is Aquablock series membranes, DMX weeping tiles, and DMX drain boards. We have no vested interest in the materials we use so we source the best products we can to use on your home.
Did you know the City of Toronto Offers a Basement Flooding Protection SubsidyThe City offers owners of single-family, duplex and triplex residential homes a subsidy of up to $3,400 per property to install flood protection devices. Eligible work includes: Installation of a backwater valve. Installation of a sump pump. Severance and capping of a home’s storm sewer or external weeping tile connection. Disconnecting the downspouts from your property’s eavestrough system is not eligible for a subsidy. Click Here for The City of Toronto's Waterproofing Subsidy Program