Systèmes Sous-sol Québec Q&A

Are Plastic Sump Pumps Bad?

Plastic sump pumps are not inherently bad, but there are a few important factors to consider that you should be aware of before choosing between a plastic or cast-iron sump pump.

Pump Cost

Typically, a plastic sump pump will cost less than a cast-iron sump pump. However, if you look at it in terms of value, a cast-iron sump pump generally requires much less in terms of replacement and maintenance.

Pump Longevity

Cast-iron sump pumps are known for their ability to withstand wear and tear over time compared to their plastic counterparts. One of the most common causes of sump pump failure is a buildup of heat that causes the motor to break down. Cast-iron is better at withstanding heat compared to plastic that often melts. Plastic pumps are also more vulnerable to debris like rocks that can damage the pump.

Can I DIY my Basement Waterproofing?

Although some basement waterproofing tasks can be completed by a non-professional, it's important to recognize the hazards and complexities involved.

Here's a quick breakdown:

DIY-Friendly Tasks:

·         Gutter Maintenance: Keep gutters clean for proper water drainage.

·         Downspout Extensions: Extend downspouts away from the foundation to prevent water pooling.

·         Landscaping: Grade the area around your home to slope away from the foundation to prevent water from pooling.

Call a Professional for:

·         Foundation Repair: Professionals should assess the best solution for cracks or foundation damage.

·         Interior Waterproofing: Specialized knowledge and tools may be required; many DIY waterproofing jobs end up creating more problems than they solve.

·         Crawl Space Encapsulation: Expertise is essential for proper ventilation and moisture control.

It is also important to consider that professionals have a better understanding of local regulations and have the necessary permits to conduct these kinds of jobs. Furthermore, these companies often provide warranties to keep you assured that your basement will stay waterproof for years to come.

Can trees near my home cause foundation problems?

Yes, trees near your home can potentially cause problems with your foundation. The extent of the impact depends on various factors such as the type of tree, its size, and the soil conditions. Here are some ways in which trees can affect your home's foundations:

  1. Roots: The roots of large trees can extend far beyond the tree's canopy and may extract moisture from the soil. In clay soils, this can lead to soil shrinkage, causing the foundation to settle unevenly. On the other hand, in sandy soils, tree roots can cause soil erosion, leading to a loss of support for the foundation.
  2. Subsidence: The extraction of moisture by tree roots can cause the soil to shrink, leading to subsidence. Subsidence occurs when the soil beneath the foundation shrinks, causing the foundation to settle or sink. This can result in cracks in the walls and floors of your home.
  3. Foundation heave: In some cases, particularly with expansive clay soils, the roots of trees can contribute to an opposite problem called foundation heave. This occurs when the soil swells due to increased moisture content, pushing the foundation upward.
  4. Physical damage: The physical growth of tree roots can also exert pressure on the foundation, leading to cracks or structural damage over time.

If you already have mature trees near your home, it's a good idea to monitor for any signs of foundation issues, such as cracks in walls or uneven floors, and seek professional advice if needed.

Do insurance companies cover foundation repairs?

Coverage for foundation repairs depends on factors such as the cause of the damage, the type of insurance policy, and applicable restrictions or exclusions. Generally, sudden events such as pipe bursts or tree accidents may be covered, while gradual wear and tear may not be. Review your policy for details, including exclusions like flood damage, earthquakes, or soil settlement, coverage limits, or optional coverages. Regular maintenance can help prevent issues and improve eligibility for coverage, as insurance companies typically do not cover damage resulting from lack of maintenance or negligence.

How can I tell if my basement needs waterproofing?

Indications that your basement may need waterproofing include visible water leaks, damp or musty smells, mold or mildew growth, white powdery residue on walls (efflorescence), peeling paint, and water stains on floors and walls.

How do I repair my foundation wall that's failing, flipping upwards or sinking inwards from below?


If you have enough space outside your home, wall anchors are an effective, permanent and economical solution. The system is very simple. Our team digs a hole several feet away from your foundation and installs earth anchor. A steel rod is drilled through a 1 inch hole, thus connecting the wall plate installed inside your home to the earth anchor. Your wall is instantly stabilized and can be tightened over time during dry periods. Foundation Supportworks' GeoLock Wall Anchors are the best on the market for several reasons:

- The installations are made by experienced and certified contractors

- Several sizes are available to adapt to different situations

- All GeoLock anchors are installed with a tip that covers the stem inside the basement

- Hide-A-Way anchor covers conceal anchors to preserve the easthetic of your finished basement, but can be removed during maintenance and tightening.

- Anchors can be installed with support console channels to provide additional reinforcement


If you have limited access or no outside access is available, some choices are available to you depending on your situation.

Carbon fiber straps are made of a high traction resistance material. They are placed vertically on the wall and are covered with carbon fiber epoxy resistant to sagging. The CarbonArmor wall reinforcement straps are the best.

- They are designed according to the code of the American Institute of Concrete.

- CarbonArmor is incredibly stronger than concrete and 10 times stronger than steel and is designed specifically for the basement.

- The CarbonArmor carbon fibers adhere firmly to the wall. It guarantees coverage and ultimate strength. Whatever the shape of the wall, this product is able to tighten firmly against the wall.

- The unobtrusive design of the CarbonArmor allows for installation in tight spaces as well as behind wall obstructions such as plumbing and electrical conduits, and strips can be concealed by paint and plaster.

- The strategic quantity of the epoxy layer allow us to control the quality of the installation.

The steel beams are installed along the affected height and are then connected to the joists of the wooden floor at the top of the wall and the concrete floor at the bottom. The PowerBrace device has several advantages that set our beam apart from others.

- Our clamping device is patented because it really improves the condition of the wall

- The beam and its components are covered with zinc, which makes the whole device resistant to corrosion, reduces abrasion and erosion and creates a non-toxic surface.

- We install the beams in a professional and non-random manner by properly joining the device to the joists to ensure the integrity of the wood floor joists.

How long does foundation repair take?

The duration depends on the extent of the damage and the type of repair required. Minor repairs may take a few days, while more significant projects could take up to several weeks. 


Always consult a qualified professional for a proper assessment of foundation settlement issues. 



How often do I need to empty the dehumidifier in my crawl space?


The frequency at which you should empty the dehumidifier in your crawl space is influenced by various factors, such as the dehumidifier's capacity, the humidity levels in your crawl space, and the specific moisture concerns you're addressing. Here are some general guidelines:

  1. Dehumidifier Capacity: Dehumidifiers with greater capacity typically extract more moisture before needing to be emptied. Verify the water collection tank's capacity and compare it to the moisture levels in your crawl space.
  2. Humidity Levels: If your crawl space has severe humidity issues, the dehumidifier will probably need to operate more intensively, collecting an increased amount of moisture. Consequently, you may find it necessary to empty the tank more frequently.
  3. Size of Crawl Space: The size of your crawl space also matters. Larger crawl spaces may require a more powerful dehumidifier or more frequent emptying.
  4. Continuous Drainage: Certain dehumidifiers, such as our Sanidry Sedona, provide the choice of continuous drainage, enabling the automatic pumping out of collected water. If your dehumidifier possesses this feature and you have a suitable drainage system, you may find less need for manual tank emptying.
  5. Monitoring: Regularly monitor the water collection tank. Most dehumidifiers have a built-in indicator that signals when the tank is full. Empty the tank promptly to ensure continuous operation.

As a general recommendation, you may need to empty the dehumidifier every 1 to 3 days, but this can vary based on the factors mentioned above. It's essential to check the manufacturer's guidelines for your specific dehumidifier model and adjust your maintenance routine accordingly. If your crawl space moisture issues persist, it's advisable to address the root cause and possibly consider additional moisture control measures.


How to fix foundation settlement?

There are a variety of options for fixing your foundations. Solutions that DON'T work: total foundation replacement, concrete underpinning and concrete piers. Solutions that DO work: Steep push piers and helical piers. Steel push piers are made of steel and driven deep into the soil to the bedrock. They can be installed on the inside or outside of your foundation. They lift your home back to their original position, closing cracks and improving the operation of doors and windows. First, we remove the soil from the area where the pier will be driven. Then, a heavy-duty steel bracket is installed below and against your foundation's footing. Steel pier sections are hydraulically driven through the bracket to the bedrock or another stable layer in the soil. This system allows the weight of the home to be transferred through the piers to the competent soil below, and a lift can be attempted to bring the home back toward its original position. Once the stabilization and lift are completed, the soil is backfilled and the home is permanently stabilized in its new position. Helical piers are another peering system that can be installed from the inside or outside and has the same advantages that the push pier system has. First, the soil is removed from the area where the helical pier will be installed until we reach proper depths and capacities. We position heavy-duty foundation brackets below the footing to transfer the wights of the home through the helical piers to deep and competent soils. This system also lifts the home towards its original position and solve other issues caused by settlement.

How to fix/seal a crack in the foundation wall?

A foundation crack shouldn't be fixed with any sealant, because the crack will most probably reopen or crumble down during the next movement in the soil or wall. Rigid sealants are band-aid solutions that don't fix the problem permanently. 

The FlexiSpan Wall System is the solution. FlexiSpan is used to seal cracks while adapting to the wall movements over time. Because this sealant transforms into a rubber and waterproof material once it is injected in the crack, it will not crumble or crack anymore but will instead adapt to the movements of the soil or the wall that risk widening the crack. And because it is made of an inorganic waterproof material, it blocks water infiltrations and vapors which prevent its deterioration over time. 

But if your crack is caused by a structural foundation issue, wall reinforcing systems such as CarbonArmor and PowerBrace will form a more appropriate solution that will fix the problem permanently by stabilizing your foundations once and for all. 

How to get rid of humidity and mold odors in my crawl space?

Air circulates upwards and brings the dam crawl space air to the upper floors. So, if the air is wet and infected with bacteria, you will breathe it.

Here is a non-exhaustive list of the effects of a wet crawl space:

- Mites (allergens)

- Wet carpets that release bad odors

- Condensation, rot, mold in your basement and attic

- Frost or condensation inside the windows

- An increase in heating and air conditioning costs

- A decrease in the life of shingles on your roof

- worsening of allergies and asthma

To solve moisture problems, we offer a complete encapsulation system for the crawl space. We start by fixing water infiltrations, then we isolate the earth and the concrete and insulate the wall with our CleanSpace vapor barrier membrane, we seal the vents and block other air infiltrations and we finish by dehumidifying the air of the crawl space thanks to to our SaniDry Sedona which is specially designed for this environment.

How to know if I have black mold in my home?

To identify black mold in your home, look for dark greenish-black, slimy, or fuzzy spots, especially in damp areas like bathrooms, basements, kitchens, or around leaky pipes and windows. Black mold often produces a strong, musty odor, which is especially noticeable in damp areas. Health symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, breathing difficulties, runny nose, red eyes, skin rashes, headaches, and fatigue can also indicate mold exposure. Physical signs include persistent dampness or water stains and peeling paint or bubbling wallpaper. You can use home test kits to detect mold spores, or hire a professional inspector for a definitive diagnosis. To prevent and remediate black mold, control indoor humidity levels below 60%, fix any leaks, ensure proper ventilation in damp areas, and regularly clean and disinfect areas prone to mold growth.

How to monitor home humidity levels?

Monitoring home humidity is crucial for maintaining comfort and preventing issues like mold growth. One method is to use a hygrometer, a device designed to accurately measure humidity levels, available in analog or digital formats for placement throughout the home. Alternatively, smart home sensors provide real-time data accessible via smartphone, often with alerts for specific thresholds. Some advanced thermostats also include humidity control features, displaying and allowing control of humidity levels alongside temperature. While less precise, weather websites and apps offer general outdoor humidity levels, which can impact indoor conditions. Additionally, paying attention to signs like condensation, musty odors, or dry skin can indicate when humidity levels need adjustment. Regular monitoring ensures a comfortable and healthy indoor environment.

Should a sagging foundation be completely replaced?

One of the main causes of foundation settlement is the change in the aspect of the soil beneath the house. In fact, when the soil becomes wet and weak, it can cause the house to sink into the ground.   

So, replacing the entire foundation won't solve the real problem, because we'll simply be building a new foundation on the same problematic soil.   

The proper solution is to stabilize the foundation permanently

Should I service my sump pump?

Regular servicing of your sump pump system is essential to prevent malfunctions and extend its lifespan, reducing the risk of basement flooding. Consider hiring a reputable company to perform the following maintenance tasks:

  1. Cleaning the pump and pit to prevent clogs.
  2. Checking the float switch for proper operation.
  3. Testing the pump by pouring water into the pit.
  4. Inspecting the discharge line for blockages.
  5. Testing backup systems, like battery backups.
  6. Replacing batteries as needed.
  7. Inspecting the check valve to prevent backflow.
  8. Checking electrical connections for corrosion and security.

Having these tasks performed regularly by professionals ensures your sump pump is ready to handle water effectively and helps prevent potential water damage in your basement.

Waterproofing: Do I need a sump pump system?

If you have water in your basement that is not caused by a plumbing leak, you most probably need a sump pump system. Efficient sump pump systems protect your basement by evacuating water that comes in through the ground, the foundation walls or any other source of water intrusion. 

We have different types of sump pumps that can protect your basement under different conditions: normal flow, rapid flow, high volume, electricity cut. No more worries! Your basement is protected once and for all! 

Waterproofing: How does the TripleSafe sump pump system work?

Basement Systems TripleSafe sump pump system is the most advanced protection in the world and addresses the following three problems that are common in other sump pump systems: the pump has failed, the pump can't keep up with the amount of water or the power goes out. The TripleSafe system has three, high-quality efficient pumps.

First, a primary pump that is set at the lowest level handles the pumping under normal circumstances. 

A second pump set a bit higher in the TripleSafe system will take over and pump the water out in the event that this first pump fails. If the first pump cannot keep up with the flow of water from a very heavy rain, then both the primary and secondary pumps will operate at the same time pumping double the amount of water for the time necessary.

In the event that the power fails, the water will rise to the third pumping system, an UltraSump battery operated backup pumping system that will operate off the battery power supply and charging system included. This system will pump the water out while an alarm tells you that this third pump is operating. 

The TripleSafe has world-class features that make this system the best of its kind. The TripleSafe has an attractive two-piece airtight lid designed for easy access while keeping moisture, odors, and insects out of your basement and preventing objects from falling into the sump hole. It also has a specially designed floor drain to drain water from any plumbing leaks in your home, which lets water down but blocks damp air from coming up into your basement. Finally, a water watch alarm system will sound off like a smoke detector before your floor gets wet in the highly unlikely event the water rises above all pump operating ranges. 

Waterproofing: How to install a WaterGuard interior drain system?

The patented WaterGuard interior drain system is engineering specifically for the basement space. Our specialists start by digging a one-foot wide trench on the perimeter of your basement floor. Then the WaterGuard is carefully set in place and backfilled with stones. If a drainage matting is required, it can be installed. A membrane is then installed over the drain and cement is poured to restore your floor. This interior drain sits on top of the footing instead of outside drains that are installed on dirt. This way, it doesn't disrupt the structure of your foundations, and it will never clog.

This drainage system has a built-in 3/8-inch gap between the floor and the wall to drain wall leaks.

The WaterGuard interior drain is also installed in a way that you can connect your sump pumps and dehumidifier to eject the water away from your house while being able to inspect it every year through the inspection ports. 

Waterproofing: How to waterproof a basement?

Waterproofing procedures for a basement depend upon numerous factors: the source of the water infiltrations, how much water is coming in, what is the composition of the soil, how deep is the water table, what are the building materials of your foundation walls, and many more. In many cases, the most efficient solution is to install an interior WaterGuard drain system on the footing of the foundation. Moreover, a sump pump system is very often necessary. This is the most standard solution for general groundwater seepage problems, but other other factors can influence the waterproofing process in order to keep the basement dry all the time. During the free inspection with one of our specialists, everything will be explained for you one step at a time, from where is the source of the problem to what is the complete recommended solution. 

Waterproofing: Is an interior drain as good as an exterior french drain?

In many cases, an interior drain that is installed on top of the footing is much more effective than an exterior drain for the following reasons:

- The drain is almost never clogged because it is never installed on dirt soil like a French drain.

- It intercepts water coming not only from the accumulation of water around your foundation or from below your floor, but also from wall cracks, something that exterior French drains don't do.

- Our interior footing drain (WaterGuard) comes with a guarantee for the life of the house whereas French drains are guaranteed on average 15 years, and sometimes less than that.

- The interior drain does not require major excavation work such as the French drain, which makes the installation cheaper in many cases. Excavating to install a French drain sometimes requires removing and replacing everything around your home such as balconies, driveways, sidewalks, landscaping, air conditioning units, stairs etc. Then, when the work is done, you would have to put the soil back to fill the trench. 

- It is possible to install an interior drain partially to protect a specific region of the basement, which is not possible with a French drain since you must do the full perimeter for it to work properly.

A french drain is designed to intercept coming from the surface and redirects it around the house, which is okay for stopping erosion but not good for stoping groundwater seepage. 

Waterproofing: Why fix my basement?

You should fix your wet basement for many reasons! Exterior footing drains can fail and clog with time. Water seepage in a basement can destroy your stored items and valuables. Wet basements also cause mold growth which is bad for your health and the health of your home. Basements that have humidity, water and mold have a lot of liabilities and no one wants that. 

Moreover, if you plan on selling the house, water problems scare potential buyer. They won't consider buying your house and if they do, they will offer 10 to 30% less than the market value, which is often a bigger cut than what it would have cost you to waterproof your basement. Waterproofing projects stop water and vapor infiltrations and add usable square footage to your home, which adds value. Waterproofing systems that include interior drains, sump pump systems, dehumidifier systems and other accessories are an investment that saves you money in the long run. 

Plus, if you consider finishing your basement to use it as a living space for your family, you will want inorganic products. Why? Because inorganic finishing products are waterproof and will resist all water infiltrations that might occur from failing plumbing systems. This way, you won't have to redo your basement every time.  

What are the signs I need my crawl space repaired?

Signs that your crawl space needs repair include standing water, mold, mildew, wood rot, and sagging floors. Look for cracks in walls, pest infestations, deteriorating insulation, musty odors, increased allergy symptoms, high indoor humidity, and rising energy bills. Prompt repairs can prevent further damage and maintain a healthy home.

What are the steps to correctly encapsulate and insulate a crawl space?

There are 5 steps to complete in order to perfectly encapsulate your crawl space to transform it into a dry and healthy environment. 

1) Solve the groundwater seepage problem by installing a drainage and sump pump system.

2) Insulate the crawl space to preserve the energy inside. The SilverGlo insulation has graphite particles that reflect the heat towards the inside and increases the R-value to 11. 

3) Install a vapor-barrier that is thick and durable and that seals all joists and spaces where there might be air infiltrations. The CleanSpace membrane is made up of 7 different layers and has an antibacterial additive injected inside to block the proliferation of bacterias. 

4) Seal crawl space vents. Ventilation is a myth! Let our specialists tell you why a complete encapsulation is more efficient than ventilation. 

5) Dehumidifying the crawl space by installing dehumidifiers specifically designed for this purpose and the crawl space environment. This will control the humidity level and eliminate bacterias that are infecting your air. 

What causes musty smells in basements and crawl spaces?

Mold and mildew, common fungi that thrive in moist settings, are the primary cause of mustiness in basements and crawl spaces.

The primary causes for humidity that promotes the growth of mold and mildew are as follows:

·         Foundation cracks

·         Poor weather stripping around doors & windows

·         Pipe leaks

·         Flooding

·         Poor exhaust ventilation

·         Dirt crawl space floors

·         Leaky roofs

·         Wet clothes left in the basement

Mold can develop anywhere and can release toxic spores in the shapes of white, green, or black mold. An early stage of mold, known as mildew, has a powdery look and grows on exposed surfaces and ruins materials. Because they are damp and dark spaces, basements and crawl spaces are perfect for the growth of mold, which spreads quickly in the correct conditions when it finds a food source (wood, drywall, etc...). Mold and mildew can have serious detrimental effects to your health and your home, it is important to address these issues quickly.

What causes sagging floors?

There are three main causes of sagging floors:  

Existing columns are spaced too far apart: If the columns installed in the crawl space are far apart, the beam can become overloaded and sag between the columns.   


Floor joists and girders have weakened: Since crawl spaces are often unsealed from the earth, excess moisture will leave floor joists and girders moldy and less solid.  


Existing columns have settled: Weak soil beneath the house can cause existing columns to sink or settle, often creating a gap between the top of the column and the bottom of the girder it was supporting 

What does relative humidity (RH) mean?

Relative humidity (RH) measures the water vapor in the air relative to its maximum capacity at a specific temperature, expressed as a percentage. It's affected by both the air's moisture content and temperature; warmer air holds more moisture. When air reaches 100% RH, it's saturated. RH impacts human comfort, health, and natural processes. High RH can make air feel warmer, promote mold growth, while low RH can cause dryness, respiratory issues, and damage to furniture and instruments.

What is a water table?

The water table is like an invisible line underground where the soil is soaked with water. It shows the top layer of groundwater in an area and can go up or down depending on things like rain, drainage networks in the area, and things like groundwater pumping for drinking water, agriculture, and industrial use, as well as human-made structures like dams, reservoirs, and canals that divert water from certain areas.

In hydrogeology, which is about how water moves underground, understanding the water table is key. In places with lots of rain or where water is added to the soil, the water table can rise and come closer to the surface. But in dry times or when people use a lot of water from the ground, the water table might drop.

How deep the water table is can affect things like how much water is available for wells, how healthy ecosystems are, and how sturdy buildings are. It's essential for planning how land is used and taking care of the environment, because changes in the water table can affect both natural and human-made systems, like causing water infiltrations in the basement and foundation problems. If you’re having water troubles in your basement or crawl space, or foundation issues, call us at (514) 334-7824 for a free inspection and estimate, or click here.

What is efflorescence?

Efflorescence is a white, powdery substance that appears on the surface of concrete, brick, or stone. It occurs when water moves through these materials, carrying soluble salts to the surface. As the water evaporates, it leaves behind the salt deposits. While efflorescence itself is not harmful, it is a sign of moisture infiltration, which can indicate underlying water issues that may need to be addressed, such as waterproofing in basements or other areas.

What is peering and how do steel push piers work?

What is it?

Peering is known as a solution to repair a foundation settlement problem. The supporting (or push) pillars are made of steel and are driven deep in the earth to the bedrock or other stable soil layer. Installed from the inside or outside of your home, these push piers pillars bring the house back to its original position, closing cracks and problems with caulking, doors and windows.

How does it work?

First, our team removes the soil where the pillars will be installed, then heavy-duty steel piers are installed underneath and against the footing of the foundation. Brackets allow steel peer sections to be driven through stable layers of soil. Thus, the peers now support the weight of the house that has been transferred and we can then attempt to move the house back to its original position.

Choosing this option is the least risky if you do not know the soil characteristics on which your home was constructed. It is also a good choice if you plan to move the house back to its original position, restore the value of the property and solve the problem quickly, permanently and with the least possible disruption.

Foundation Supportworks' Push Pier System feature a patented outer sleeve that reinforces the abutment directly below the support, where it is most critical. It prevents twisting, deformation and rotation.

What is the ideal crawl space humidity level?


You might be asking yourself, I never go down into my crawl space, so why does it matter if it’s humid or not? The answer is that your home's interior conditions are directly impacted by your crawl space. If your crawl space is too humid, it can cause serious problems like rotting floorboards and support beams, uneven floors above, and cause dangerous mold spores to rise into your living space.

That being said, the government of Canada recommends maintaining relative humidity levels (RH) between 30% and 50%.

You can measure relative humidity by purchasing a hygrometer, a device which measures how much water vapor the air contains. You can also request a free inspection, and we will come measure the humidity using our advanced tools and give you a free estimate for our solutions.


What provokes foundation settlement and what are the indicators?

Settlement is the movement of the house when the ground on which it rests can no longer support it. Soils change; they dry up, shrink up, get wet and soften or the soil is poorly backfilled. Droughts, floods, poor drainage, and house construction are all factors that affect the soil under your house.

To find out if your house's foundations are sagging, here are some clues to look for. 


- Stair-step cracking around your bricks

- Chimneys separating away from the rest of your home

- Cracks extending from the corners of doors and windows 

- The separation of a door or a window from its frame or exterior finishing

- Doors and windows out of square

- Caulking recently applied around doors and windows


- Cracks in the form of stairs in the concrete wall

- Vertical cracks in a poured concrete wall

- Cracks in your concrete slab

- Crack in the drywall upstairs

To fix this issue, it is imperative to install a solution that will last for the lifetime of the house and that will adapt to the changes of the soil on which your home rests, because the soil will move wheter you like it or not. Our push piers system will solve this issue and will get you the peace of mind you are looking for. 

What type of mold is dangerous?

There are several types of mold that can be dangerous to human health. The most frequently discussed harmful molds belong to the Stachybotrys family, often referred to as “black mold”. Stachybotrys chartarum is a specific species of this genus.

Black mold is known for its production of mycotoxins, toxic substances that can cause health problems in humans. Exposure to these mycotoxins can lead to respiratory problems, allergic reactions, skin irritations and other health problems. However, it's important to note that not all black-looking molds are necessarily Stachybotrys, and not all molds that produce mycotoxins are black.

Other types of mold, such as Aspergillus, Penicillium and Cladosporium, can also be potentially harmful, especially to allergy sufferers, asthmatics or those with weakened immune systems. The severity of health risks can vary depending on factors such as the type and quantity of mold present, the duration of exposure and individual sensitivity.

If you suspect mold is present in your home, it's essential to deal with the problem right away. Professional assessment and treatment may be necessary, especially if mold growth is extensive or if it's a potentially dangerous type of mold. Always consult specialists to ensure a safe and effective solution.

When should I repair my foundation?

When one or more signs of foundation settling arise in a house, it's important to react promptly by seeking the expertise of a qualified professional. Warning signs can vary from: Visible cracks in interior or exterior walls, Doors and windows not closing properly, Sagging floors, Detached chimneys... 


Taking action quickly helps limit the extent of current damage and prevents further deterioration of the house's structure, which could necessitate more complex and costly interventions. 

Why is the sump pump not stopping?

- Constant water infiltrations in the basement/crawl space.  

- High water level in the sump pit due to heavy rain, snow melting, or drainage issues. 

- A defective float switch, which may cause pump malfunction. 

- Drainage system failure (blocked, damaged, or poorly designed). 

- An improperly sized sump pump for the specific needs of the basement/crawl space.  


It is very important to understand why the pump is running continuously to solve the underlying problem. 

Why is the sump pump not working?

Several reasons can lead to a sump pump failure: 

- Power outages or electrical supply fluctuations. 

- Excessive use of the pump after large water infiltrations. 

- Blockages or obstructions, preventing the pump from functioning properly. 

- Inadequate maintenance of the pump, which can shorten its lifespan. 

Why is there water in the basement?

Infiltrated water in the basement has several sources:  

- Rain seeping into the soil surrounding the foundation of the house, which can worsen with soil made of clay. 

- A house located at the bottom of a slope may face more basement infiltrations through foundation cracks. 

- Leaks from water pipes or drainage systems. 

- Condensation on the walls or basement floor if humidity is high due to inadequate ventilation. 

- An underperforming sump pump due to its inadequate size relative to the basement area or blockages in the pump-related pipes. 


It's essential to ensure a waterproof foundation, proper-functioning drainage systems, and repair any plumbing leaks. Additionally, implementing basement waterproofing systems is always important. 

Why should I fix my crawlspace?

A lot of people don't realize that it is important to fix their crawl space because they rarely go in it. There are many reasons why you should fix it: 

- A vented dirt crawl space costs 15% in heating and cooling energy bills. 

- Mold on the floor joists and subfloor are expensive to get rid of. 

- Mold discourage prospective buyers if you plan on selling the house. 

- Humidity is dangerous for your health.

- Floor joists, girders and sill plates are rotted and need to be replaced. 

- A humid crawl space often has rodents, termites, and other pests.

- You need more storage place. 

Overall, if you consider all of these factors, not fixing your crawl space costs more than fixing it. Installing a CleanSpace system is an investment that will pay off in the future by making your environment healthier, more valuable, more useful and that will cost less in the energy consumption. 

Why should I fix my foundation?

Foundation problems are frustrating and they worsen with time. Fixing a failing foundation permanently enhances your property value, your quality of life and brings you peace of mind. Band-aid solutions like patching over drywall or tuckpointing cracks and mortar joints are not efficient because they hide the damages but don't fix it at its source. And you have to redo the patching work over and over so you lose time and money, and the fixes become ugly and don't last long. Because of that, houses that have foundation problems are often discounted when it comes to selling them. So it becomes more expensive not fixing than fixing. 

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Systèmes Sous-sol Québec
1620 boul Saint-Elzéar O
Laval, QC H7L 3N2