The fall rains are about to hit the GTA and if you haven’t already, it is time to seriously start thinking about the status of your basement. If you are not confident with the waterproofing mechanisms currently in place, now is the time to act on them. A musty scent, leaks around the windows, dampness and water on the floors are tell-tale signs that your basement needs attention. If left unaddressed, these issues will result in a damaged and unlivable basement.
If this is your first rodeo with basement waterproofing, today’s article will provide you five very important tips that all homeowners should keep in mind.
- Skip the quick fixes: There are many jobs around the house that are ideal for do-it-yourselfers, but basement waterproofing probably isn’t one of them. Many homeowners are tempted by the cheap and easy DIY paint kits that are marketed for basement waterproofing. Unfortunately, these products are short term “band-aid” solutions and will almost inevitably lead to long term pain and greater expense. Long story short, leave it to the professionals because a proper and thorough waterproofing job is a lot of work that requires a great deal of technical expertise to carry out properly. With that being said, there are some things you can do yourself to get the process started.
- Manage exterior water: If you do not already, you should ensure you have gutters installed on your roof with downspouts that lead water away from the foundation of your home ( at least 2-3 metres away). This will help ensure water does not collect near the foundation of your home, where it could potentially penetrate into your basement.
- Look at land grading: You want and need the land/soil outside of your home to be sloping away from your home’s foundation, not towards it. Regardless of what waterproofing actions are taken, if this issue is not addressed you are more likely to face a recurrence of the problem in future.
- Consider purchasing a dehumidifier: Even in the presence of sound water proofing mechanisms, some condensation may persist in your basement. Obviously, this is more likely to occur when waterproofing has not been addressed at all. In either case, a dehumidifier can provide a valuable solution that will remove moisture from the air and help deter mould growth.
- Seal small cracks in your foundation: If you have large cracks in your foundation, you need to call a professional to address them. However, smaller concrete cracks can still contribute to water entry into the home and may be effectively addressed by DIY concrete sealing products.
Following these five steps will lead you in the right direction when it comes to waterproofing your home. Remember that if you home is particularly vulnerable to water penetration; you will likely need to seek out the help of an expert to remedy the problem. Even so, following the advice listed here will pay dividends in both the short and long-term.