Leaky basements aren’t just a nuisance as they can also be unhealthy and lead to costly damage. Here in Toronto, leaking basements are somewhat common due to older homes, weather and lots of underground water. While stopping water from leaking into a basement can be done it’s usually better to find a permanent waterproofing solution to the problem rather than a temporary one.
The cost of hiring a water damage repair company in Toronto can be very expensive so it’s better to fix the problem early or else you’ll be paying for it later.
The smell and feel of a damp, moist basement can certainly be unpleasant but it can also have a negative effect on the value if your home. If not treated properly, the water could ruin the walls and floors as well as encourage the growth of unsightly and unhealthy mold.
There are several ways to help keep a basement dry and some of these are as simple as keeping your gutters clear and diverting rainwater water away from home’s foundation. However, if the water is coming from storm drains or seeping in through the ground you’ll likely need a more aggressive approach.
The following are some ways of helping keep water from invading your basement.
It’s highly recommended that you divert water from your downspouts at least five feet away from your home. To do this, you may need to install metal or plastic gutter extensions. This may help but it isn’t a permanent solution to underground seepage whereas an underground drain pipe would be a better option. An underground pipe can be installed in a sloping trench to carry the water further away. In addition, be sure your window wells are in good condition or install window well covers.
Plug Leaking Cracks
If water dribbles into the basement via gaps or cracks around the plumbing pipes these can often be plugged with polyurethane caulk or hydraulic cement. If the water is getting into the basement through the joint where the walls and floor meets or is coming through the floor then plugs won’t be the answer though since groundwater is the problem.
Restore the Slope
If your gutters are fine and any obvious holes have been filled but water still enters then surface water might still not be draining away from the home the way it should. Your home should sit on soil which slopes a minimum of six inches in all directions in the first 10 feet. Soil will settle around the foundation over the years but you can restore the slope with dirt and a shovel.
Create a Berm or Swale
A mound of dirt known as a berm or a shallow, wide ditch known as a swale could be installed to divert water before it gets to your home. A berm or swale can typically be handled by a landscape contractor.
Repairing Footing Drains
If the water is getting into your basement where the floor and walls meet or low down on the walls then it’s usually because hydrostatic pressure is pushing it up from the ground. If you have pipes installed under the ground to carry water away these are known as footing drains. These are generally installed when the house is constructed and they can become clogged. If that’s the case you may be able to flush them out with a hose or an augur.
If the home doesn’t have footing drains then a curtain drain can be installed to help divert underground water away from the house. This is a form of French drain (also called weeping tiles) and is a shallow trench which typically measures 1.5-feet across and two feet deep. It’s filled with perforated piping and gravel and is designed to intercept the water as it travels to your home and carry it away via a slope. If trees and/or shrubs are present in the area where the drain needs to pass through it may be better to use solid instead of perforated piping so the roots of the trees/shrubs wont clog it by growing into it.
Using a Pump
If subsurface water can’t be kept out it will need to be channeled from inside the home with an interior drainage system. To do this you need to cut a channel around floor’s perimeter, chip the concrete out and install perforated pipe. The piping takes the water and deposits it into a collection tank at the low spot of the basement where it’s taken away with a sump pump.
Exterior Drainage Systems
An interior drainage system is designed to take water from the home but it won’t waterproof your walls. To do that, you’ll need to have an exterior system installed such as a French drain. This will help reduce the hydrostatic pressure waterproof the foundation and home. Excavating will be required and it’s typically the most expensive but bet solution especially if you have a finished basement.