Basement waterproofing is essential for the safety and stability of your home. This is due to large amounts of snow, ice, and cold temperatures, which can saturate or weaken foundations overtime, leading to a whole manner of severe problems down the line, which could turn your dream home into a nightmare.
Why Should I Waterproof My Basement?
Basement waterproofing is essential for anyone who wants to protect their home. By waterproofing your basement you are taking decisive preventative action against problems such as; water leaks, water damage, mould and damp, wall cracks, floor cracks, and weeping tiles. If left unremedied, issues such as these can lead to severe problems such as foundation wall damage, which will require costly foundation repair to ensure the safety of your home.
What are the Signs that my Basement Needs Waterproofing?
Signs of water damage are the main indicators that your basements’ waterproofing isn’t up to standard, and needs repair. There are a variety of noticeable features which will appear in your basement space to indicate this including:
1) Mould, Mildew, and Damp – One of the troubles most commonly thought of when thinking of water damage is the onset of mould, mildew, and damp. These growths upon your walls, floors, and ceilings are not only unsightly but can often indicate more severe issues such as wall damage and exterior waterproofing issues.
Mould and mildew are also dangerous to your health, particularly for those of us with asthma, respiratory issues, or allergies. A bad mould problem can even make living in your home unbearable and in highly extreme circumstances can land you in the ER!
2) Cracks in the Floors and Walls – Cracks in the walls or floors of your basement often indicate regular flooding of the basement structure. The cracks form when materials expand due to moisture, and then shrink when things start to dry. Cracks in the wall are far more serious than cracks in the floor, particularly if the wall is load bearing, as it can impact upon the structural integrity of your home, however, floor cracks should not be ignored, as they can be early warning signs of a much larger issue.
3) Hydrostatic Pressure – Also known as issues with the cove joint (where the wall and floor meet) this pressure can lead to bowing walls and water leaking through the cove joints. An issue such as this should not be ignored, as given enough time the pressure held in the wall will release, causing a total catastrophe for you and your home.
4) Drain Pipes – A waterlogged basement can also be caused by exterior main drain issues which will need to be assessed and remedied by a professional. You could also be having issues with clogged drains within your home after caused by a build-up of foreign objects, as well as hair or grease.
5) Sump Pump – Another common cause is a leaky sump pump pit. If you find your sump pump is working overtime, then there is probably an issue somewhere in the system, and you’ll need to hire a professional to assess the situation.
6) Windows – If your basement has windows, you might want to check the status of the window wells, as if these are blocked, water will overflow into your basement.
How Can I Ensure my Basement is Waterproof?
Apart from heeding warning signs of issues, good household maintenance, so long as you have the correct systems installed, is often all you need to ensure a water-free basement. However, if you are missing elements of the list below, then it’s best to call a professional immediately to help prevent damage. Water in your basement is no joke and can cost you some serious money if it goes unnoticed for any length of time.
1) Sump Pump – This is your strongest and the first line of defence when it comes to waterproofing. When faced with excess groundwater, such as from snow, the sump pump will redirect the excess water away from your home.
2) Foundation Wall Membrane – While a highly versatile building material, concrete is also very porous. If your basement has a typical concrete construction, then installing foundation wall membranes can form a vapour barrier, reducing and preventing the amount of moisture that can enter your basement.
3) Interior and Exterior Drainage Systems – You can protect your home inside and out by ensuring the correct drainage systems are installed. These systems use drains and pipes to ensure excess water is transferred to the sump pump for removal.