When you start to see the signs of a water leak along the walls or the floors of your basement, the last thing you want to do is ignore the problem.
Houses, even newer homes, will settle over time, leading to wall cracks in the foundation. Seepage left unaddressed can cause big problems. Consistent basements leaks lead to mildew and mould. Moisture spares no part of any home – bricks, timber, floors, block structures, not to mention a finished basement. Then there are the nasty health concerns around mould and sewage bacteria.
Mildew is typically white or gray, is powdery and grows on top of moist areas. Mould is black or green, and is a larger, more serious problem. Mould usually grows beneath the surface of a moist area.
Mould spores can travel anywhere in the home, leading to throat and eye irritation, coughing, headaches, fatigue, fever, skin problems, nasal congestion, and nose bleeds. It can cause allergies. There are types of mould that are more toxic and more dangerous to your health. It is important to get rid of it as soon as you see it.
CHECK FOR THE SOURCE OF A LEAKY BASEMENT
Waterproofing your basement walls must become a priority, then. Start with a really good dehumidifier to help keep moisture out of the air. It’s always a good rule to check for cracks along the basement walls and floor at least twice per year. If you see water seeping, head to the Home Depot and buy some hydraulic cement, then follow the instructions and apply it. It will expand as it cures and fill any cracks.
An important point to remember – wall cracks, cracks in the floor, or in the joint between where the poured concrete floor and walls meet, is just one source of basement leaks. Water could also be leaking in through the window wells, through the stairwell door, or via pipes that aren’t properly sealed. Find the source of the basement leak first.
If it’s the basement walls, make sure you don’t use tar to cover up the cracks. After applying hydraulic cement to any cracks, apply a coat of sealant, which goes on like a coat of paint. That’s another product you can pick up from Home Depot or Canadian Tire that will keep moisture from making its way through. (However don’t apply sealant over a wall that has been painted – blast off the paint first.)
The best way to counter a leaky basement is to install either an exterior or interior home waterproofing system. Using hydraulic cement to fix cracks in the wall is good, but you’ll have to stay on it, because the water pressure pounding up against the foundation walls of your home is relentless. That becomes even more of an issue with more rainfall – which absorbs more into the loose soil around your home, pushing its way through the basement cracks. It’s almost a “finger in the dike” scenario.
Interior waterproofing involves a number of steps that re-directs water away from your home’s foundation – in turn reducing the water pressure on the basement walls. Licensed home waterproofing professionals will install a drainage system along the inside of the wall, featuring a four-inch weeping tile that connects to a sump pump pit, that then pumps water out to the exterior of your home. It also includes installing a drainage membrane along the walls of the basement.
BASEMENT WATERPROOFING IS THE BEST WAY TO KEEP YOUR HOME DRY
Water that seeps through the wall will drop down to the drainage system. It’s a tried-and-true, effective way of keeping the basement dry.
Exterior waterproofing is a more extensive, but very effective, method of protecting your home from water seepage, even floods. Exterior waterproofing involves excavation work from the ground’s surface all the way down to the footing level of the home – seven to eight feet. Workers will clean the wall, repair wall cracks by grinding them into a “v” and repairing them with hydraulic cement, apply foundation aqua block, fiber mesh along the walls, then another coat of aqua block. Delta MS drainage membrane is also installed along the walls, and workers will install a new weeping tile to drain the water away from your basement.
Whichever way you go, in the end the priority is protecting your home from a leaky basement. Call Canada Waterproofers for a free, no-nonsense assessment and quote.