How to Keep Your Basement Dry This Spring

clogged rain gutters in toronto

Keeping your basement dry during a rainy Spring can be a challenge, especially here in Toronto.  But here are a few things you can do.

The water entering your basement usually comes in the form of rain. And under normal circumstances, Mother Nature distributes this evenly and there are few problems in your basement. The problem is that a house creates huge catchment areas we call roofs, which discharge concentrated water through downpipes. If you do not manage what happens next, water can flow and settle around your foundation, into the earth and eventual cause leaks in your basement.

The problem often peaks in March and April as Toronto emerges from a frozen winter to face a combination of melting snow and heavy rain showers. Poorly graded gardens become soggy graveyards for lawns and plants. Water pools everywhere, finding its way downwards into your basement where it inflicts more damage. Fortunately, all these problems are avoidable.

Start With the Gutters

Your initial step is to make sure that all the rainwater enters the gutters and flows down through the downpipes. That is because having it splash down over them merely moves the problem. Clean out your eaves troughs thoroughly. If they still overflow, you probably need deeper ones for more capacity.

Lead the Water Away

Now you have the roof water under control, it is time to manage it when it hits the ground. The trick is to lead it away in a controlled fashion. If you are fortunate, the ground may slope naturally and lead to a drain to take it away. If that is the case, adjust the gradient for at least ten feet away from the house so it falls by a total of six inches without any hollows.

Lay rows of concrete leaders from the downpipes to the bottom of the slope. This should do the trick and your basement should stay dry. However if the ground remains waterlogged pave the uppermost three feet. As an added bonus, you will now have a pathway beneath the eaves where you can stay dry.

If You Can’t Get That Right

If the layout of your land does not permit a natural run-off, then your next best option is to lay an underground sewer and connect the downpipes directly to it (check with your local municipality before doing so). In this instance, take care to minimize the risk of blockages by:

  • Fitting leaf-guards on the gutters


  • Selecting an over-sized sewer pipe


  • Installing several rodding points


  • Monitoring the system regularly

If There Are No Gutters

Some houses are built without gutters. In some instances, retrofitting is impossible. In that event, the solution is to dig a v-shaped trench directly beneath the eaves, lay a gently sloping perforated pipe in it, cover this with landscape fabric and fill over with medium gravel chip.

The roof water will filter down into the pipe and flow to the lower end from where you can channel it away to an appropriate discharge point. If the landscape fabric clogs, it is a relatively straightforward matter to replace it.

Between them, the above solutions should keep rainwater away from your basement. If not then you have a more serious groundwater problem and may need to repair or install a exterior weeping tile system along the perimeter of your home. It is always best to consult a basement water-proofer first, to avoid tackling the problem from the wrong end.  If you have questions about waterproofing your basement, you can contact us here.


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NuSite Group is a Toronto based basement waterproofing and foundation repair company that specializes in Basement Waterproofing, Basement Lowering, and Foundation Repairs. Call us today at 416-622-7000 or 905-731-1228 for a free in-home estimate and inspection.

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Mark Lipton - Homestars Review

Basement Waterproofing

Our basement leaked! Of course . . . we bought a 100 year old house! But my office needed to be in the basement permanently. I interviewed 10 different companies until we decided on the Steinbergs and their crew at Nu-Site! They are professional, reliable, courteous, honest, and they really make an effort to communicate with the client about every step of the process.

Sara Jack - Homestars Review

Foundation and Waterproofing Repairs

After several years of chronic leaks, we decided to have our basement waterproofed once and for all. The team over at Nusite was professional, answered my questions during the project and stayed within their quoted price....which is always a concern for me when working with contractors. Great job overall

Joshua Persaud - Yellowpages Review

Basement Waterproofing

Had several cracks in my basement wall and they would leak whenever we had a heavy rain. It started about a year and a half ago and seems to have gotten worse over the past 6 months. I tried having my neighbor seal it, but it started leaking again within a few weeks. Called several waterproofing companies and got several quotes. Finally went with Nusite contractors for the job. They gave a reasonable quote and I liked the guy that came by for the estimate. They stayed within budget and cleaned up before they left. It's been almost 3 months now and it seems to be working great.