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Winter in Toronto is cold and wet. The thawing periods in between the freezing weather is where many basement starts to show signs of leaks. AS accumulated snow and ice start to melt, it makes it’s way into the earth, leading to basement leaks. Of course, It can come from a number of areas, including sources inside your home. Each problem has it’s own potential solution,
Almost every basement leaks from time to time, especially if it’s never been properly waterproofed from the exterior. It’s a natural phenomenon because building materials are porous unless treated properly, and structural cracks develop as the ground settles over time. This leaves important clues for anybody who knows what they are about. You just need to think logically about what causes dampness, and which of the following apply to you:
1- If your basement ceiling is moist then the water is likely coming from a drain or water pipe above, that could have sprung a leak. Alternatively, your problem could be the consequence of warmer air condensing on cooler pipes and dripping down. These are simple problems the average home handyman can probably fix themselves.
2- Surface water is a common cause of signs of damp on upper basement walls. It’s often caused by rain and flooding. If you allow water to pool on the surface, then the earth will absorb it because that’s what soil does. Where else do you think tree roots get their water from? It’s easy to figure out you need to lead storm water away from the walls of your house, especially near your basement location.
If the surface slopes towards your home then you need to re-grade it to a fall of one inch to one foot away from it. It will help greatly if you pave the immediate area too. This should deal effectively with damp showing in the upper parts of your basement walls. Don’t forget to clean out your window wells at the same time too.
- Ground water is usually the driver behind damp on lower basement walls and floors. This is moisture that travels through natural earth strata from elsewhere to your home. If your house is standing on a rise you shouldn’t have it. If it’s in a hollow then it’s inevitably there in winter. This is what causes damp on lower walls, and seepage through the joint between the walls and floor.
This is a tougher nut to crack, especially because problems behind walls and under floors that are hard to get to. If the leakage is radical you might have to excavate from outside and install the drainage systems builders call french drains and weeping tiles. If it’s minor, then a sump pump system might suffice.
It’s simpler when you understand the basics. However many of the cases we’ve dealt with had multiple causes that overlap. The best course of action is to look for the simple solutions and work your way back. If problems persist you’ll most likely want to call in a basement waterproofing company to conduct a full assessment of your water problems.
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