Glossary of commonly used terms:


Foundation – The entire support system for a structure that touches the ground. This includes the footer and any walls, basement or crawlspace, that comes in contact with the soil.

Footer – The lowest point of a foundation. Footers are typically concrete, but can be brick, sandstone, or just the bottom of the foundation wall.

French Drain – An underground perforated pipe surrounded by stone. Designed to allow underground, or excessive surface, water to collect in the pipe and channel it to a different and desired location. Most French drains are shallow, and used out in a yard, or other area with poor surface drainage. French drains are not a replacement for correct surface drainage. They are an option when correct drainage is difficult, or unachievable.

Foundation Drain – An underground perforated pipe surrounded by stone. Designed to collect underground water into the pipe and channel it away from your foundation. Foundation drains are installed along the foundation of the home at footer level. Foundation or Footer Drains are often confused with French drains. Although similar in design and function, they do have different applications.

Repair – Correcting the source of the problem. If the source is not addressed, then it is not a repair.

Expansive Soil – A soil type that expands and contracts based on its moisture content. The most recognizable type of expansive soil is clay. These soils can cause pressure on a foundation when over saturated or frozen. They can also cause a footer to settle in dry seasons due to shrinkage.

Seepage – Leak. The amount of water entering your basement or crawlspace can vary. If it is seepage, wet, flooding, or water trapped in the block, it still is a leak. A lot of terms can be used to describe the amount of water, but the solutions are the same.

Waterproofing – Make impervious to water. This is the most common used term in basement or crawlspace leaks. It is often used wrong. True waterproofing would prevent water from entering a wall all together. An interior foundation drain, or diversion and collection system, is better classified as moisture proofing.

Freeze Pressure – Over saturation of soil along a foundation wall can freeze in winter months and put excessive pressure on a basement wall. This is more typical in colder climates, but can present a problem in any area that has deep freeze periods.