What is the iron bacteria?

The iron bacteria (sometimes called “iron-eating bacteria”) is a reddish, muddy deposit that occurs naturally in soil and groundwater. It stems from regular bacterial activity in iron. When it comes in contact with water, the iron found in soils oxidizes and turns into a viscous jelly consisting of 90% water. When it builds up, it can clog and block pipes and drains located in a building’s foundation, or prevents adequate water flows in a drainage system. This eventually causes water seepage. There can be two sources to this problem: bacterial activity in sandy soils or chemical activity in clay-rich or organic soils.

How can iron bacteria problems be identified?

The presence of iron bacteria is a detrimental occurrence and can cause serious damage to a building before the owner even has a chance to notice it. Some signs, however, can help you detect its presence :

  • Abnormally intense or excessive humidity in the basement
  • Water seepage
  • Muddy, orange deposits in the catchment area
  • Reddish marks on the basement concrete slab

The FABexcavation solution

Several measures can be taken to address the iron bacteria problem, the best of which depends on the exact location of the issue. For less severe cases, regular drain maintenance with a high pressure cleaning system can be a good option. However, in more serious, more pressing cases, a more involved solution is required. :

  • Unclogging (temporary solution) or replacing the French drain by a BNQ drain or an agricultural drain
  • Installing a draining system (BNQ drain) under the slab
  • When the surrounding soil is very concentrated in iron oxide, installing a rigid drain with ¾ inch openings to let sediments flow into the drain stop
  • Applying another layer of landfill consisting of ¾ rocks
  • Leveling the pitch of the lot
  • Installing a waterproof membrane
  • Applying, if need be, a waterproofing coating
  • Installing access and cleaning chimneys for easier maintenance

Our team will be able to assess which solution is required for the problem identified in your property, and will expertly execute the necessary repairs to eradicate the issue permanently.

Our Specialties

French drain

To make sure a French drain is working at top efficiency, a careful, high-quality installation is necessary. Water accumulation at the footing of foundations must be routed towards a drain, by gravity or by a pump.

Concrete crack repair

Repair methods vary according to the types of foundation problems they address. The best way to permanently repair a crack is still through an exterior repair, even if this requires some excavation.

Pyrite removal

To ensure a proper decontamination, the concrete slab must be removed to replace the landfill rocks and debris with DB-certified crushed stone, conform to interior foundation standards.

Water supply

As a homeowner, you are responsible for maintaining and repairing, when necessary, the water-supply system piping coming from your home up to the water inlet valve (also called the "service box").

Iron bacteria

The iron bacteria (sometimes called "iron-eating bacteria") is a reddish, muddy deposit that occurs naturally in soil and groundwater.