Spring in Canada is a bit of a tease. We get warm temperatures and a lot of melting followed by freak ice or snow storms. It plays havoc with commuting and, of course, preparing our homes for the lazy days of summer. The thaw-freeze weather can cause what were small cracks in the foundation masonry to get a lot bigger. The next thing you know you have water in the basement. Water finds the easiest path to flow and if the ice and snow around your foundation is melting unevenly it can be creating an easy route to gather around the base of your home.
Homeowners have a big responsibility to maintain their properties to both preserve their investment and to keep their families safe and comfortable. Along with regular maintenance checks, a property owner will want to keep a close eye on keeping their basements dry. At the first signs of trouble or to avoid trouble at all, homeowners should consider getting their basements waterproofed.
What does a waterproofing project involve?
A professional technician comes in to inspect the basement thoroughly. Signs of water problems now or in the future include:
At some point during the early months of the year, Canadians experience a couple of days or weeks of warm weather despite being it being winter. The warmer temperatures seem like a bit of a tease but are generally welcomed unless they result in water damage. A winter thaw can produce snow and ice melt-off water around the base of your home and if your basement is not waterproofed, it may very well find a way inside.
You found water in your basement. It’s not the first time but this time, there’s serious damage. What to do? You called a friend. They said, call the professionals, this isn’t something you can do yourself. You called the professionals and they are coming out but you didn’t quite understand what they meant by weeping tiles, sump pump, or storm drains. Here’s a primer.
When you discover that your basement needs to be repaired and waterproofed to protect it against further damage, you have a number of considerations. Where is the water getting into the basement — are there cracks or crumbles masonry? What access can be given to the contractors to conduct their work? Budget? And, of course, how to select the best company to do the work.
The fall is a time for new beginnings for many people. They start new activities, create new to-do lists, and look to home maintenance projects. As a property owner, one of those projects should be making sure your home is ready for the winter. Cooler temperatures are not just a time for turning up the thermostat. You should start your fall preparations by creating a checklist of items to complete before the snow flies. Remember if you need structural work, do it sooner than later! Your basement is a key element of your home’s design.
The first thing you might notice is a small hairline crack in your basement floor or wall. Winter comes and winter goes and that crack grows just a little, and then that happens again and again. If there is a crack or other fissure, water will fill it and when the temperature drops, as it invariably does in winter, the crack will grow. Now that crack has grown to a point where the spring melt off or excess water from a rain storm has found a path into your basement.
Most people want to know that their home is running smoothly, especially when the basics are in question. The foundation of your home – the basement is where you keep all the instruments to keep your home comfortable. The furnace is there, air-conditioning, electrical power boxes, and often the laundry facilities. In addition, you probably store stuff there like photographs, books, and boxes with personal items. Many people also have finished basement with entertainment, office space or extra bedrooms in mind.
Spring weather is a joy after a long, cold winter unless the warmer temperatures has meant water is flowing into your basement. Melting snow and heavy spring rains often result in an excess amount of water gathering around the foundation of your home. If there is a crack or fissure in the masonry of the basement, the water will find its way in there. Once the water has made its way in, you are always going to have moisture issues in your basement unless you take steps to have the necessary repairs and then undertake waterproofing.
Many people look to finish their basement after they have addressed all the décor needs in the rest of their home. It is often used to store the work bench, laundry facilities and the furnace. You store stuff down there that doesn’t have a home in the rest of the house. However, you can make the basement an extension of your entertainment or living space by renovating or finishing the basement. You have to create a checklist of tasks before you undertake any work.
The weather and your basement are more closely related than you might expect. The relationship is most easily seen, however, in the hot, humid, thunderstorm-driven days of summer. The dominant element linking basements and weather is water.
If you’re planning to renovate your home here’s something to think about. Converting your basement from a dank, musty cellar into attractive, useful living space is a good alternative to buying a larger home. It can also make you money when you do decide to sell. And, you get to enjoy the added space while living there.
The Appraisal Institute of Canada again ranked basement conversion or finishing among the top ten payback renovation values. Even if future value return is not your primary priority, think about all the possibilities of that extra space.
When the ground freezes and rain turns to snow it may be easy to think that your waterproofing problems can be relegated to the spring to do list. It is human nature to ignore an inactive problem but such short-sightedness can be a damaging mistake. If you have had a foundation leak in the past, you still have it and it is probably getting worse.
The water doesn’t have to be flowing for the professional inspectors at the City Wide Group to pinpoint areas in your basement where the foundation leaks. Signs of dampness and foundation leakage can be as obvious as staining, rusting, dry rot, soggy drywall or mould and mildew. To many people the smell of mould assails them as soon as the door is opened. Efflorescence is also a sure sign of the presence of water leakage for water must evaporate to leave the flaky slats behind on your concrete floors or walls.
It’s a sure sign of spring.
Is basement dandruff a problem in your home? Are there fine white lines, flaking crystal deposits, or heavy chalky build-ups on your exposed basement walls or floor? These are EFFLORESCENCE, and are sure indications of a basement water problem. In some cases, the height of the indications of efflorescence may indicate the height of water build-up and infiltration along the exterior foundation.