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Waterproofers Blog

WHY DOES MY BASEMENT LEAK WHEN IT RAINS?

BASEMENT LEAKING WHEN IT RAINS?

interior waterproofed a Toronto home as it was leaking water into the basement when it rains
Many houses, especially older ones, have problems with basement leaks. You might see water stains along the walls, especially the lower wall, where it meets the floor. You might actually see puddles of water on the basement floor.

If left unchecked, that could lead to mould, and its nasty health side effects.
You need to tackle the problem at its source. Start by asking this question – why does my basement leak when it rains?

The main reason is something called “hydrostatic pressure” – basically the pressure on your home’s foundation created by all the water in the soil.

That pressure, building up against the walls of your home, increases the deeper you get from the surface. With the increase in the frequency and intensity of rainfall, the excess water that accumulates as the snow melts, the rise of water tables – all that means more pressure, and potentially more basement leaks into your home.

Water will always find its way through – concrete is a porous material. Water will leak in through cracks in the wall or floor. It will leak in at the spot where the poured concrete floor meets the wall. It will leak in through mortar joints between concrete blocks. It will leak in through improperly sealed pipes, or through the door of a walk-in basement, or a leaky window, and you may find your basement leaking when it rains.

The looser the soil, the more water it absorbs. This is a particular problem around newer homes, since the foundation of the home would have been more recently installed. Formerly hard-packed, settled soil would have been excavated, then poured back in.

There are other reasons why water builds up around the foundation of your home. Clogged gutters are a big factor. In the event of a big rainstorm, water will overflow if those gutters are clogged by dirt or leaves and will over-saturate the ground next to the foundation walls

That becomes an even worse issue if the downspout (at the end of the downpipe) is improperly placed too close to the foundation walls. Make sure it’s extended far enough so water drains away from the foundation. Set the downspout up so the water flows into a garden, for example.

Here is a good rule to follow – every fall and spring, clean all the dirt and leaves out of the gutters of your home. It’s not a lot of fun, but it’s very necessary.

Clogged window wells are another culprit. We remember an instance during a sudden, massive summer downpour a few years back, when a homeowner was faced with water pouring into their basement through two window wells.

If the drain installed with the window well is clogged or not installed properly the homeowner will have flooding issues as water builds up, as these people certainly did.
Fortunately they were home to jump on the clean up right away but the damage had been done. For weeks they had dehumidifiers pumping but eventually had to replace some of the basement floor – again, costly, and very unnecessary.

You would also be amazed at the positive impact landscaping can have on avoiding basement leaks.

Some of the more simple things can help keep the home dry. Sloping the ground away from the foundation, around six to 10 feet, is one. That way water will be directed away from your house rather than toward it.
Another recommendation – install a hard surface, like asphalt or patio stones, next to the home. And if there is a big snowfall, clear the snow away from the house.

The biggest part of waterproofing is keeping water away from the house. Basements leaking when it rains , especially there is more rainfall now and homes get old and wear down. Installing an external or internal waterproofing system – or both – is a way to guarantee you are protecting your property from water leaks into the basement.

A drainage system installed with the waterproofing solutions will carry water to a sump pump that will then pump the water to an outside location, away from the house.

Look at it as a protective blanket surrounding the home’s foundation – protecting your family and your most prized possessions from basement leaks. Contact Canada Waterproofers for a free estimate, for an accurate picture of basement waterproofing cost. If there is water seepage, the licensed pro will be able to get at the source of it, such as wall cracks.

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