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BT - FAQ - Glossary of Terms

FAQ's - Glossary of Terms

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Browse through our extensive industry specific - glossary of terms pertaining to: Basement Waterproofing, Foundation Repair, Drain Repair, and Crack Injections.

Glossary of Terms:

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N |
O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

Above Grade

The area of a residential or commercial property which is above ground.


Two surfaces which need to adhere to each other through some sort of adhesive.

Ambient Temperature

The temperature of the air outside.

Application Rate

The volume of thickness of a material being applied per square foot.

ABS Pipe

ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) pipe is used for sump pump discharge systems and small plumbing work.

ABS Glue

ABS glue is the bonding agent used to glue two pieces of ABS pipe together.


An agent used to speed up the natural setting time for mortor.


Aggregate can be rock, stone, ¾" crushed stone, crushed lava rock.

Aqua-Bloc® Liquid Rubber

Refers to a black, water based, cold applied liquid rubber waterproofing that remains highly flexible when cured. Developed for both residential and commercial construction, it can be used on standard concrete or block foundations and also insulated concrete forms (ICF), wood, metal, polystyrene, etc. It comes ready to use with no need for priming or heating, and can easily be applied with a brush, roller or airless sprayer.

[View Manufacturer Info]


Backfilled Soil

This is the soil used to backfill a foundation wall after waterproofing or performing foundation repairs.

Backwater Valve

A back flow prevention system which prevents sewer backup into the basement.


Refers to a residential or commercial basement.

Basement De-watering

A term used within the industry referring to the act of de-watering a basement with an interior de-watering system.

Basement Finishing

Is when a homeowner or contractor finishes their basement walls with framing, insulation, vapour barrier and drywall for suitable living conditions.

Basement Flood

When a basement is flooded due to ground water coming through the foundation seams or when a basement is flooded due to sewer back-up from the city sewer lines.

Basement Floor Slab

The poured concrete layer which is poured up to 3" to 5" inches thick and acts as the base of the basement flooring system.

Basement Waterproofing

Refers to the act of waterproofing the home either on the exterior of the foundation or on the interior.

Battery Back Up

A system designed to provide consistent power to a sump pump in case of power outages.

Below Grade

The area of the foundation which is below the grade of native soil around the perimeter of the home.

Black Mold

Also referred as "Stachybotrys" which is a genus of molds which are reproducing due to certain conditions within a living space. Certain conditions may include, dark, damp, wet conditions.

Blue Skin

A product used to waterproof the exterior foundation walls. More information can be found by visiting our manufacturer - Blueskin® informational page.

Bobcat Skidsteer

A machine used primarily for backfilling a basement foundation after excavation. The Bobcat Skidsteer is used to push the native soil back into the excavated hole.

Bobcat Excavator

A machine used to excavate the basement foundation walls from the exterior of the home. Basement Technologies® operates a smaller sized Bobcat to ensure that we are able to excavate the foundation in tight spaces.

Building Department

Refers to your local city building department. In some cities, another name may be used as in the case within Hamilton, ON where the department is called, "Hamilton Building Services Division".


Check Valve

Used for sump pump systems, a check valve that stops the discharge water from re-entering the sump pump system.


A PVC pipe which is attached to the weeping tile system below ground to provide access for weeping tile maintenance, including flushing and video scopes.

Cold Joint

This refers to the joint of the intersection between the start of new concrete meeting up with the end of the old concrete floor or foundation.


Water and stone based material to pour concrete slabs, flooring, walkways, footings and all other uses for concrete.

Concrete Driveway

Refers to a residential or commercial driveway which has been poured with concrete. Some concrete driveways need to be jackhammered prior to waterproofing a basement.

Concrete Pour

The act of pouring concrete and waiting for it to set over a period of time for specific uses.


Condensation on basement windows usually occur when a vapour is cooled and/or compressed to its liquid state forming water crystals on certain surface areas.

Cracks in Foundation

Cracks occur in solid concrete poured foundations and which are caused by earth movement, poor quality concrete pouring or hydrostatic pressure.

Crack Injection

The act of injecting a crack found in a poured concrete wall or slab with an epoxy based system or a polyurethane based system.

Crack Repair

The act of repairing a crack in poured concrete.

Crawl Space

A small space between the soil and the basement floor which is typically no larger than 4 feet and is held up by cinder blocks. Crawl spaces typically don't have a fully functional basement.

Crawl Space Door

The doorway leading into the crawl space.

Crawl Space Encapsulation

This is a system which is used to encapsulate the crawl space floor with a type of vapour barrier to alleviate chronic humidity within the crawl space and help to dehumidify the space below.

Crawl Space Vent Cover

Is a simple "vent cover" to cover up the crawl space vents. Previous thinking was that air blowing in the crawl space would help to relieve the area in question of chronic humidity. This proved un-true and is now not being implemented.


Discharge Line

Refers to the ABS pipe discharge system attached to a sump pump which discharges any water being pumped away from the foundation of a home.


A clay pipe used in older home construction to connect to the existing evesthrough above in order to drain rain water into the ground. These systems are no longer implemented due to the fact that water is forced onto the foundation creating water build up at the foundation base.

Downspout Disconnect

The act of disconnecting downspouts from underground, plugging the downspout and discharging the water away from the home to prevent water build up at the base of the foundation.

Downspout Extension

A piece added to the downspout to discharge rain water from the evesthroughs away from the foundation of the home.

Drain Tile

Also referred to as "Weeping Tile" which is installed at the base of the foundation footing to alleviate the foundation wall from rain water or from high ground water to some type of discharge system.

Drain Track

A term used to describe the type of piping used for an interior de-watering system which is installed at the base of the footing from inside in order to drain water out of the basement to either a sump pump or house drain system.


A material used also known as gypsum board which refers to panels used to board up the framing within a home to create the outer layer of a finished wall. This product is made up of gypsum plaster pressed between two thick sheets of paper.

Dry Well

An area which has been backfilled with 3/4" clean stone to help alleviate drainage water and allow the water to properly drain.

Dust Mites

Refers to a household guest "bug" which feeds off of human flakes of human skin and are a common cause of asthma and allergic symptoms.



Efflorescence is caused by the crystallization of water which has been dried up by solvated salt to the atmosphere on exposure to air. Efflorescence is commonly found on foundation walls after water has leaked and dried up over time.

Egress Window Well

Refers to a larger than normal sized window well for the purpose of egress or escape.

Epoxy Paste and Crack Filler

This substance is developed as a bonding agent involving two chemicals mixed and injected within a cracked foundation wall to harden and stop water from seeping in. View the Emecole product info page.


The wearing down of soft materials such as soil or metals due to exposure to wind and water.

Exterior Excavation (Dig)

Refers to the act of excavating the native soil around a foundation wall with a Bobcat excavation machine in order to perform foundation repairs, replacement and/or foundation waterproofing.


A machine used to excavate soil, rocks or other materials outdoors for the purpose of performing repairs, replacement and other needs outdoors.

External Crack Repair

The act of excavating or hand digging to first expose an exterior crack in the foundation wall and then to waterproof the cracked area to prevent more water from seeping in.


Fire Escape Window Well

See "Egress Window Well" above.

FloodChek Hoses

A type of hose used to connect washing machines in a residential basement. These hoses are reinforced to aid in preventing bursting and flooding.

Floor Crack

Small hairline cracks which open up over time within the basement floor concrete slab due to hydrostatic pressure or earth movement sometimes caused by heavy equipment construction within the area.

Floor Drain

A part of a residential drain system. Floor drains are typically placed in the center of a basement so that any water on the floor can drain into the drain.


Refers to the foundation walls of a residential home or commercial building typically made of concrete slabs, cinder blocks or old stone boulders.

Foundation Replacement

Refers to the act of replacing a foundation due to crumbling, bowing or collapsing.

Foundation Repair

The act of repairing a foundation. Some foundation repairs include; crack repair, parging, cinder block replacement, and wall pushes.


The concrete slab, typically 21” wide, which is poured to serve as a base for the foundation walls.

French Drain

A system which is used to discharge water underneath the ground away from the foundation of a home. A French drain is also referred to as a drain tile, perimeter drain or land drain which is basically a trench covered with gravel which redirects surface and groundwater away to another point.


Ground Water

Ground water is water that has been pushed up below ground through soil, rocks until it reaches a point which it cannot pass. Ground water is typically caused by high water tables underneath the foundation.


Hydrostatic Pressure

This is caused to due to the gravity and pressure which is increasingly pressurizing the soil around the foundation of a home and helps to push water through the foundation walls and/or underneath the floor slab. Due to Canadian weather conditions, every time the ground thaws it expands and creates pressure points on the foundation. The more the ground is saturated with pressure, the more water may be pushed through cracks or joints in the foundation.

Hygrometer (Electronic)

Hygrometers are instruments used for measuring relative humidity and are used in basements to detect unwanted moisture which may lead to mold or mildew growth.


Interior Waterproofing

Refers to the act of waterproofing a basement foundation from the inside, not outside utilizing a de-watering system including; a drain track, sump pump + discharge and dimpled sheeting.

Interior De-Watering System

Interior de-watering is a term used within the waterproofing industry to describe the act of waterproofing from the interior. Please see "interior waterproofing" for more details.


Liquid Rubber

Is a tar-like substance which is applied to the foundation wall in order to waterproof and prevent water from penetrating through the foundation. Please refer back to "Aqua-Bloc® Liquid Rubber".



Refers to certain kinds of molds or fungus which occurs from water seeping through the foundation walls.


An organism which grows on materials feeding on the materials that is wet or damp. Mold growth is harmful to humans causing many different health problems. Mold should never be left to grow over time and a certified mold removal company should be hired to properly dispose of the moldy materials within a home.

Monolithic Foundation

This term is used to describe the unusually large foundations.

Mortar Joint

The joint filled with mortar which secures one cinder block to another in a foundation wall.


Native Soil

Refers to the original soil in place around the foundation wall before excavation.


Organic Matter

This is organic material that has come from once-living organisms. Concerning basements, organisms such as mold growth can and will leave organic matter which can cause health problems.


Project Manager

Refers to the individual in charge of organizing all projects for Basement Technologies®. Project managers work with crew members and clients to help with all job requirements and timelines.

PVC Pipe

Is a white plastic "PVC" (Polyvinyl chloride) pipe used for house drains, plumbing, etc.

PVC Perforated Pipe

Refers to the type of drain track used in an interior waterproofing system. PCV pipe is perforated to allow water to enter and flow freely to a sump pump or drain connection.


Relative Humidity

Is a term used to describe the amount of water vapour that exists in a gaseous mixture of air and water vapour.



Refers to a type of window well developed for the means of egress from a basement. This product is created by Bilco.


Soil particles which are smaller than sand, but larger than clay which is formed from different types of soil properties.


Refers to the native soil around the perimeter of a basement foundation.

Soil Mechanics

Refers to the type of native soil used to backfill the foundation of a basement depending on the type of soil which is native to that specific area. Different soil mechanics include; sand, stone, silt, clay, rock, etc.

Sump Liner

Refers to the product used as a catch basin for the sump pump which is typically perforated to allow ground water to collect within the line for the sump pump to pump out the water into a discharge pipe.

Sump Pit

Refers to the pit which is dug with a jackhammer and shovel in order to insert the sump liner into position when installing a sump pump system.

Sump Pump

Refers to the actual sump pump which is designed to pump out any water collected from weeping tile or drain tracks in order to pump out the collected water into a discharge pipe going outdoors. Basement Technologies utilizes 2-seperate sump pump systems: 1) Liberty Sump Pump (240), and 2) Liberty Sump Pump (PC-SERIES) with battery back-up.

Sump Pump Discharge Pipe

Refers to the ABS pipe attached to the sump pump in order to discharge the water collected by the system to a point through the foundation outdoors.



Is a small plastic piece which is fastened to a foundation wall and serves as an injection point when performing a crack repair on concrete foundations.

Termination Bar

Refers to a small rubber strip which is added to the top of dimpled sheet in order to hold up and fasten the dimpled sheet to the foundation and exterior waterproofing system.

Trench Drain

Refers to the area of soil or rubble which is removed in order to install a drain track for waterproofing or water discharge systems.


A substance (Emecole 302 Surface Bond) used for crack injections and repairs in order to seal the crack from the outside and to help fasten t-ports on the crack for the process of injecting the crack. Thixopaste hardens after a short period of time and will contain the epoxy which is injected in the t-ports.


Vapour Barrier

Refers to a plastic material used to prevent moisture from building on insulation and to help prevent heat from escaping. It acts as a seal between base outer walls of a home and internal finishing’s.


Wall Crack

A small thin line (crack) in the foundation wall caused by either; poor workmanship while pouring the concrete or by hydrostatic pressure pushing on the foundation wall causing it to crack over time.

Water Leakage

Refers to the leaking of water through a crack or joint within the foundation of a home. Water leaking can also occur in windows that haven't been properly sealed or installed.


Refers to the act of waterproofing the foundation of a home or commercial building.

Waterproofing Membrane

Refers to a product also known as "air-gap dimpled membrane" which is fastened to the foundation wall in order to create an access point for water to flow and drain. Waterproofing membrane's also help to protect the foundation walls by preventing rocks and rubble from creating more damage to the walls.

Water Seepage

Refers to water that is seeping through access points in a basement including floor joints, cracks, etc.

Weeping Tile

Refers to the act of disconnecting weeping tile from the internal drain system of a house. It is usually then connected instead to a sump pump system.

Weeping Tile Disconnect

Refers to the act of disconnecting weeping tile that is damaged of full of debris.

Weeping Tile Flushing

Refers to the act of flushing existing weeping tile in order to remove any debris to unclog the weeping tile to allow for proper drainage through the waterproofing system. This is usually done by using a high-pressure machine designed for this purpose.

Weeping Tile Scoping

Refers to the act of using a video camera to view the weeping tile and determine if it is clogged, broken, or non-existent at some point.

Weeping Tile Sock

Refers to a protective filter fabric which protects the weeping tile from rocks, silt and other clogging properties.

Window Wells

Refers to a commonly used metal base which protects basement windows from filling up with water during rain by draining the rain water into the window well drainage system below.

Wood Sub Floor

Refers to wood sheeting which has been installed over top of the basement floor in order to finish the floor using various products on the market.


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Crew leader was very knowledgeable and confident. He was good at explaining in detail. The crew members were very courteous and competent.

RATING 10/10 ~ Mr. & Mrs. Westlake (Brampton, ON)

Extra work was easily arranged at excellent value.

RATING 10/10 ~ Mr. Siewertsen (Waterdown, ON)

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