Homes in Toronto will have water problems in their basement at one time or another. Due to the age of the homes in Toronto and the extreme weather conditions, water leaking into the basement is a fact of life for many Toronto home owners.
When water does leak into the basement, the questions that come up are, “where is the leak coming from?” and “How does it get fixed?”
Exterior vs Interior Basement Waterproofing
Although you can attempt to waterproof a basement from the inside the only true way to achieve success is to do it from the outside using exterior waterproofing solutions. If you try the concrete crack injection or repair method you’re not really achieving much other than temporarily plugging the leak. It’s also usually a more temporary solution as water is still fighting to get into your basement and will eventually either defeat the epoxy you injected or find another way into your basement. Water will find the path of least resistance. A crack in the concrete can result in water damage to the interior of your home and it can also corrode steel reinforcements and erode the concrete over time.
Epoxy injection is sometimes used to help restore the integrity and strength of cracked concrete. The cracks are filled with adhesive epoxy from the inside but it’s a relatively ineffective method of waterproofing since water can often seep through the substance. This is basically a hit and miss waterproofing method and it’s difficult for it to be 100 per cent effective since the epoxy can also eventually crack. This could be a solution or situations where you have very light and occasional leaks, but would not be suggested if you have a finished basement.
Waterproofing Paints and Coatings
There are also several types of waterproof paints and coatings on the market but many of them quickly blister and flake off the basement walls. All leaks should be properly repaired before you apply any type of waterproof paint, tar or other coating to them. Most waterproofing paints are just a covering and they aren’t able to penetrate deep enough to be effective and are just temporary solutions which typically last between six months to two years at the most.
Interior Weeping Tile Systems
If an exterior waterproofing solution can’t be used (Due to cost, exterior access, etc) then an interior weeping tile system is the best option but it doesn’t technically waterproof a basement. Instead, it will effectively channel away water which enters the basement. A drainage system made of plastic pipe with holes punched in it is installed outside the bottom of your basement walls. Dirt is kept out as the pipe is wrapped by a water-permeable sock or sheet. However, the tiles may eventually become clogged and water may still find its way into the basement and will need to be continuously pumped out so it’s important to have a backup sumo pump system installed.
The Preferred Basement Waterproofing Solution
The best solution for waterproofing a basement is to install an exterior weeping tile system on the outside of the building’s foundation along with applying a waterproofing membrane to the exterior of your foundation walls. This method will remove water buildup from the outside of the structure and safely carry it away before it can cause damage. The exterior weeping tile method is somewhat similar to the interior weeping tile system but the water is carried away before is seeps into the foundation walls. An exterior weeping tile system is a pretty big task since the building’s foundation needs to be dug out.
The “weeping tile” is actually 4” diameter plastic pipe with holes punched into it. The water finds its way into the pipe through these holes and is discharged naturally through the graded system or pumped away with a sump pump. When properly installed, exterior weeping tile systems generally work effectively for several years.
About Nusite Waterproofing
Nusite Waterproofing has been providing basement waterproofing services in Toronto and the GTA for over 35 years. We are a family owned business and provide free in-home estimates and consultations for basement waterproofing and foundation repairs. Contact us today for a free estimate.