Water leaking into basements is a common problem here in Toronto. Due to the weather, aging structures and lots of ground water under Toronto, most homes will have water issues at some point in time. Also, most older homes were never properly waterproofed during the construction process.
If your basement is is constantly wet or damp you may be able to solve the problem by waterproofing your basement walls. One way to tell if the moisture is originating from the outside or inside of the basement is to attach a square-foot piece of aluminum/tin foil to the inside of one of the walls and leave it for 24 hours. If condensation builds on the outside of foil then it means the moisture is being formed on the inside of the basement due to high humidity. The best solution for this is to install a dehumidifier in the room.
However, if there is condensation on the inside section of the foil facing the wall then you may want to consider waterproofing the walls since the moisture is coming from the outside. This could be the result of poor drainage of the soil or damp soil because the water table is high. In some instances you may be able to solve the issue by waterproofing the interior walls but it’s more effective to waterproof the exterior walls although it’s a costlier solution.
Options For Waterproofing Basement Walls
One way to waterproof the walls is to apply a thick concrete coating. This is a hydraulic cement-like coating which can be used on masonry and concrete walls. The coating is made by adding water to a dry mix and is simply applied with a brush. However, it can’t be applied to painted walls.
You can also apply a silicate-based sealant which are often referred to as densifier. These are also used on walls which haven’t previously been sealed or painted. The sealant soaks into the walls and reacts chemically with the brick or concrete, which in turn creates a firm waterproof surface.
Since these sealants penetrate into the walls they won’t peel or flake off and in most cases you’ll be able to paint over top of them. These silicate-based sealants can be applied relatively easy with a brush, sprayer or roller but it’s recommended to apply a minimum of two coats.
Another option is to apply waterproofing paint. This is made with an acrylic formula and it’s generally thicker than ordinary paint. You can apply it on painted walls and also paint over it when the walls have dried if you like.
Please be aware that you need to seal any gaps and cracks in the basement walls before applying sealants to them. In general, if a crack is 1/8 of an inch wide or smaller you should be able to seal it with polyurethane caulking which is designed for made for masonry. If the cracks are larger than 1/8 of an inch you should seal them with an epoxy filler. These putty-like sealants can be r\pressed in the cracks with your fingers or a putty knife.
The Best Options For Waterproofing Your Basement Walls
If you’re looking for the most effective way of waterproofing your basement the best bet is to seal your basement walls from the exterior with waterproofing membrane along with a perforated drain system, also known as a weeping tile system. This will mean the area around the house will be excavated down to the foundation walls. Waterproofing membrane or coating is then installed along the outside of the walls with drainage panels. These panels will carry the water down to a French drain located at the bottom of the foundation. The water is then removed with a sump pump or by gravity away from the home’s foundation or removed through a storm drain.
An interior weeping tile drainage system or internal perimeter system could be the best solution in some instances as there’s no excavating involved. This consists of installing a drainage channel under the floor on the inside of the basement. This system is somewhat similar to the exterior drainage method except it’s installed on the inside. Once the drain is installed new walls are constructed on the inside of it making the original walls invisible to the eye. When the system has been inserted you’ll have new walls and any water which seeps through the original walls ends up in the drainage channel and can then be removed by a pump.
Waterproof Your Basement Walls Today
Nusite Waterproofing has been providing advanced waterproofing systems in Toronto for over 30 years. We are a family run business focused on customer service and excellent work. We serve Toronto the GTA. Contact us today for a free on-site estimate.