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Waterproof your basement to prevent foundation leaks

In Canada, the change in season means the frozen ground begins to thaw and the last of the winter snow starts to melt. The thought of warmer weather may excite homeowners, but could make your home susceptible to foundation leaks. Chris Cavan, vice-president of City Wide Group, tells why this happens and how to spot the problem.

What causes foundation leaks?

How many times have you shoveled your driveway and piled the snow against the exterior walls of your home and up against windows? Cavan says he sees this quite often in the winter season and advises homeowners to avoid doing it. When the snow banks finally melt, the water seeps into the home’s foundation. “You have all that snow plowed against the house and it melts rapidly. There’s a surplus of water, plus the ground is still semi-frozen, meaning water doesn’t drain into the ground,” he says. Since it has nowhere to go, the water will find its way into the foundation. Cavan recommends keeping the snow away from your home’s exterior walls, downspouts and window wells. citywide1

I have a wet basement. How do I know it’s a foundation leak?

If water is slowly seeping into the foundation of your home, you’ll notice a wet basement within 24 hours of the snow melting, says Cavan. Not only that, but the leak will not be continuous, like a plumbing leak. “A waterproofing leak is over the course of time and more dependent on the rain and snow melting,” he says. If the snow hasn’t melted on your property yet, Cavan recommends clearing the banks right away and ensuring there is adequate surface drainage.

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It’s too late. Now what?

The snow is already melted and you see water in your basement. It’s time to have City Wide Group waterproof your basement. “Typically we’ll waterproof on the exterior side of the foundation, excavate the bottom of the basement foundation and install weeping tiles,” says Cavan. “This allows water to drain and flow properly. Then we can repair cracks in the foundation.” Basement waterproofing can take anywhere from two days to two weeks depending on the scope of work, but once it’s done, it solves the problem for good. “It will last for life. It’s warranted for life on the house.”

Do you think you basement needs waterproofing? Visit City Wide Group‘s profile on our website for images, videos and more information on waterproofing and basement leaks.

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