Background

Frequently Asked Questions

Please take some time to read through our most commonly asked questions and answers. If you have a question about anything not discussed here, do not hesitate to contact us!

What causes horizontal or vertical cracks in my foundation walls?
  1. If the cracks are horizontal, it will typically lead to a stair-step crack. This is a sign that your wall may be bowing or leaning. This is often caused by hydrostatic pressure in the soil surrounding your home. Whenever you have a home that is built in clay-rich dirt, it is going to be incredibly absorbent whenever it rains, or there is melting snow on the lawn. This moisture causes the dirt to swell up, putting a lot of pressure on your basement walls. This pressure is known as hydrostatic pressure. The longer you wait to get this problem taken care of, the more likely the wall will actually collapse in on itself!
  2. What is the solution?
    1. SafeBase Wall Anchoring System
    2. SafeBase Waler System
What causes vertical cracks in my foundation walls?
  1. This is a common structural problem seen on homes all over the area and is one of our most common foundation repair services performed. Typically, it will be caused by poor soil compaction around a home, creating voids beneath the property that the home will eventually sink. It can also be caused by bad construction materials or techniques used during the time the home was built. However, this is not as common as problems with the earth.
  2. When you have a settlement problem, you will likely notice the following issues inside and outside of your home:
    1. Windows and doors do not open or close like normal.
    2. Cracks begin to form inside and outside on the foundation walls.
    3. Cracks form on the corners of window and door frames.
    4. One or more sides of the home are visibly sinking into the earth.
  3. What is the solution?
    1. SafeBase Push Piers
    2. SafeBase Helical Piers
How important is it to fix the crack in your foundation?
  1. Well, that is a tough one to answer. I wish it were just a simple "fix them all."
  2. Once you have a crack, the chances of that crack getting bigger is just a matter of time.
  3. If you have a crack and water finds its way to it, it will find it again. Water will find a way!
  4. Would you not rather have someone look at it and let you know one way or the other?
Some of the common problems with cement and concrete that we do not handle.
  1. We do not patch or replace broken cement blocks in a wall.
  2. We do not repair or work with stucco or skim-coating.
  3. We do not pour new concrete floors.
  4. We do not lay new block foundations.
  5. We do not install poured foundation walls.
What can cause my cement block foundation to crumble or flake?
  1. Moisture is the real cause.
  2. Cement is porous by nature and absorbs water.
    1. During the initial build, the cement may have been mixed with too much water.
    2. Through the years, the block will absorb moisture.
    3. During winter months, water will freeze, which expands. When it melts, it contracts. This process will cause the block to flake and crumble.
Do you handle landscaping or regrading?
No, we do not. It is best to call a highly-reviewed landscaping company.
My egress window is leaking, can you help?
  1. We do not repair or install egress windows. It is best to call a highly reviewed window company.
  2. A few things to look for before you call a window company:
    1. Is the window closed and latched tightly?
    2. Check to make sure the weather-stripping is in good shape.
    3. Sometimes an egress window is installed with a central drain. Check the drain to make sure it is operating correctly.
    4. Check to make sure you have proper positive grade sloping away from your home.
    5. Do you have an egress cover, and is it the correct size?
How can we keep water from entering our home?
  1. The number one thing to address is the proper positive grade away from your home.
    1. It is recommended to have a 5% positive grade.
    2. This works out to be a 6 to 8-inch drop for the first 10 feet away from the structure.
    3. Depending on where you live, you may need a permit. You may need to call a professional landscaper.
  2. Gutters are the 2nd thing to address.
    1. Inspect your gutter system to make sure it is working properly.
    2. Clear all debris from your gutters regularly.
    3. Check downspouts and make sure they are attached. Make sure they are directing the water away from the home.
    4. The further away you can direct the water, the better.
  3. Check your water softener.
    1. Where does it drain?
    2. Is that drain working properly?
What kind of waterproofing do you install?
  1. We install our proprietary SafeBasements interior drain tile system. Our system will drain water from the walls, lowers the water table below the floor. It is a clog-resistant, erosion-control, semi-sealed system that improves indoor air quality. It is also Radon compatible. Click here for more information.
  2. We do not paint "water sealer" on your walls. Sealing the moisture in your walls will cause higher humidity levels and could possibly deteriorate the cement block over time.
  3. We do not build French drains in your yard.
Do you install insulation?
  1. We do install rim joist insulation.
  2. We do not install Batt or Blow-in insulation.
Why is there a stream of water leaking out of my new discharge pipe?
  1. What you are seeing is the pre-drilled weep hole.
    1. The weep hole helps reduce the pressure by evacuating the trapped air. This allows water to flow into the sump pump.
  2. If the air is not released, it will cause the pump to become air locked.
Do I need a down payment?
  1. We require a 10% down payment for permit fees and material costs.
  2. We do not add permit fees or any other hidden fees to our bids.
  3. We do have to pay for permit fees and engineering fees when the city needs them.
Do I have to be present when the project is complete?
  1. Yes, we would like it if you are present when the project is complete.
    1. Your technician will go over your project and the paperwork that goes with it.
    2. They will complete a walkthrough of your project with you and answer any questions you may have.
    3. They will also go over the warranty information.
When is the remaining balance due?
The remaining balance is due upon completion of your project.
Are financing options available?
  1. We do have financing options available.
    1. Low monthly investment options. Fixed rates.
    2. 12-month no interest, no payment.
    3. All of our finance options are unsecured and through a third party.
Why are your consultations Monday through Friday from 8 am to 4 pm?
  1. SafeBasements of North Dakota values your time and the time of our consultants.
  2. We have families as well and would like to spend time with them in the evening and see how their day went.
  3. During the winter, it gets darker sooner, and accidents seem to happen more after the sun goes down, just trying to be safe.
  4. We will make an exception and schedule consultations in the evening or Saturdays for special circumstances. You may have to be patient and work with us on our schedule.
How long are the consultations?
  1. The consultations are typically 1 to 1 ½-hours.
  2. Our consultants will perform a multi-point inspection of your foundation to determine what is causing the issue you are experiencing and present a solution.
  3. Our goal is to give you information on how we can solve your foundation issues.
  4. We at SafeBasements of North Dakota feel that the best consumers are educated consumers.
  5. We want you to have all the information you need to make the most informed decision for you and your home.
Why is my basement wet after a rainstorm?

If the puddles form during or very shortly after the heavy rain started, there may be a grading problem around your foundation, combined with hydrostatic pressure that finds weaknesses in your concrete floor, perhaps in the form of cracks.

How can I fix the bowed walls in my basement?

We recommend having SafeBase™ Wall Anchors installed on your bowing walls. It makes use of proven engineering methods to stabilize and strengthen your failing basement wall(s). It doesn't matter what type of foundation you have - concrete, tile, or cinder block - this system will work with any material. The anchors can be installed quickly and they will be put deep in the earth in stable, load-bearing strata.

Another solution we recommend is having Rhino's Carbon Fiber wall supports installed on the bowed walls. Rhino's carbon fiber straps will permanently repair cracked or bowing foundation walls without steel I-beams or tie-backs, leaving your walls with no unsightly obstructions and ready to paint.

How should I fix cracks on my basement walls?

Wall cracks can be repaired by injecting the crack with liquid urethane material. Once dry, it can be painted to match your surrounding basement walls.

What is that white powder on my basement wall?

Efflorescence is a common problem in concrete and masonry block foundations. The white fuzzy stuff you see along the inside and outside of your basement wall is efflorescence. Efflorescence is simply salt and can be easily removed.

However, if you see efflorescence it means you have a moisture problem and if gone untreated can cause deterioration to the basement walls.