5 Things You Wish You Knew Before Waterproofing Your Basement

5 Things You Wish You Knew Before Waterproofing Your Basement aluneed ltd
July 9, 2021

5 Things You Wish You Knew Before Waterproofing Your Basement

Why is it so important to waterproof your basement?

Here are just a few key reasons:

  • Protect your property’s structure
  • Prevent floods that can cause major damage and be expensive to put right
  • Reduce the risk of mold formation and pests
  • Make your home more energy-efficient and get more value from your indoor heating
  • Keep goods stored in your basement (e.g., old clothing, treasured keepsakes, etc.) safe

But as experts in basement waterproofing in Toronto, we know that it’s common for homeowners to assume they can handle such a complex task themselves.

You may watch a YouTube tutorial, invest in some equipment, and try to waterproof your basement without professional assistance — but you could make mistakes that still leave your basement vulnerable to water-related damage.

Or maybe you’ve already waterproofed your basement and want to know how you can fix those frustrating issues.

Whatever your situation, we’re here to help.

Our team has reinforced countless properties with our basement waterproofing solutions, so join us as we explore five things you wish you knew before you tried it yourself.

You need to fill gaps in pipes to effectively reduce leakage

It’s easy to miss gaps in plumbing pipes — but not so easy to fix water damage they may cause over time.

This is particularly problematic if you rarely venture down into your basement. You may assume your own waterproofing job has been a success until you find a moist area forming beneath a leaking pipe months later.

And moisture can lead to mold formation if left unaddressed for too long. This could compromise your property’s structural integrity and even pose a health risk to anyone with asthma or allergies.

If you spot a leaking pipe in your basement, fix it as soon as possible, no matter how minor it might appear. It’s best to call in a professional to handle this if you have no idea how to fix a leaky basement: this will help you save money on potential repairs down the line.

Gutter extensions can help to move water further from your home

Good drainage systems are paramount to defend your property against water damage. But you might not pay much attention to your gutters and downspouts until they stop working as they should.

That’s why you should consider setting up gutter downspout extensions as part of your basement waterproofing project. They’ll help prevent water from seeping back into your property and creating mold or flooding risks.

Extensions are a fantastic option if your current downspouts channel water closer to your home than you’d prefer, possibly within a few feet. You can also fit extensions to prevent too much water draining to the same spot and creating an overflow hazard.

Two main types of gutter downspout extensions are available:

  • Rigid: Rigid metallic gutter extensions direct water from your home in a straight line
  • Flexible: Flexible gutter extensions can be adjusted to channel water around corners and help you create the ideal setup for your property

Draining channels beneath the floor help to waterproof your basement

We’ve encountered various problems with footing drains and underground pipes while providing basement waterproofing in Toronto (and the wider area). These occur when pipes installed when a property was built become clogged or develop a leak.

You can identify whether or not you have underground pipes by looking for a drain or manhole in the floor of your basement, or an opening on the bottom of a wall. These pipes can protect your basement against floods when they function properly. But if not, water can easily pool and create overflows.

Take the time to check whether you have footing drains before you waterproof your basement. If not, installing them can help fix your leaky basement.

Paint should be removed before you apply sealer

Applying sealer to your basement walls is a terrific way to stop water soaking through and creating potential flood or mold risks. You can apply this to your walls like standard paint with a roller or brush. The sealant will bond to the walls and keep moisture on the outside.

However, the sealant is designed to adhere to exposed masonry only, so remove paint from the walls first. This may be frustrating if you or a previous owner has painted the basement well, but it’s essential to defend against leaks.

But be careful that you don’t damage the walls when you remove paint, especially if the walls appear fairly weak. Take your time and use the right equipment for the best results.

Leaky basement windows are easily overlooked

You’re likely to focus on the walls and flooring when waterproofing your basement — but don’t forget about potential leaky windows.

Loose or weathered frames could allow moisture to seep through and run down walls over time. A steady trickle of moisture can create a fertile environment for mold, cause cosmetic damage, and affect your property’s integrity.

One simple way to stop this is to install window wells, which drain water from the window area. They tend to be made of robust plastic or metal, and are fairly easy to find from reputable suppliers.

But check your wells regularly to keep them free of dirt, leaves, or other debris that could cause blockages. This is especially important during periods of wet weather.

You may also opt to install new windows entirely along with window wells if your current set allows moisture into your basement. This can seem like a big undertaking to help fix a leaky basement, but it’s worthwhile to avoid the expense of pumping or repairs in the future.

The right way to waterproof your basement

If you want to waterproof your basement, your best option is to call the professionals.

Our expert team has years of hands-on experience of basement waterproofing in Toronto. No matter how big your basement, no matter how many times it may have flooded in the past, we’ll waterproof it effectively for your total peace of mind.

Want to know more? Contact our specialists today!

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