Basement Waterproofing & Leak Repair
We provide quality wet basement leak repairs & waterproofing solutions in Toronto & GTA.
1: Joint Seepage
One of the most common types of water seepage is from JOINTS, where a ‘cold joint’ has been created when two concrete pours happened at different times (i.e. where the foundation wall meets the floor). This can create a situation where weakness in the seal can be compromised.
2: Step Wall Cracks
The natural expansion and contraction of cement in concrete block walls can often lead to step cracks that, if untreated, will lead to leakage. Always have step wall cracks inspected to determine the risk they present.
3: Hydrostatic Pressure
When the ground surrounding your home becomes saturated with water it will put pressure on your foundation walls and beneath your basement floor. Without proper drainage, this pressure can form cracks in your foundation that lead to water entry. This is why proper water drainage away from the foundation is essential.
4: Clogged Footing Drains
Clogged Footing Drains around your foundation, the Weeping Tile System, is a leading cause of water problems because it contributes to hydrostatic pressure. Without proper drainage, hydrostatic (water) pressure builds, creating leaks.
5: Window Wells
Ensure any window wells are clear of debris, such as sticks and leaves, so water drains properly away from the foundation. If you notice water pooling in your window wells, this is a sign that the drains are clogged.
6: Fireplace Leakage
Fireplaces can settle over time, possibly pulling away from the home and leaving cracks where water can enter. Have your basement fireplaces inspected if you suspect a problem or if they are very old.
Ensure your exterior piping has proper caulking and sealants because these seals can degrade over time and create an entry point for water.
8: Foundation Cracks
As foundations settle over time, you may notice horizontal or vertical cracks. These pose potential structural issues to the foundation, so they must be evaluated by a professional, like Stay Dry, to determine the level of risk.
9: Form Ties
Form ties are the steel rods that hold the foundation wall forms together during the concrete pour. The extra ends get broken off after the concrete has set. Water can leak through tie rods, creating small circle stains.
10: Top of Foundation
If ground water pools near the outside of the foundation wall, it can flow over the top edge. Groundwater can also run down the outside to the foundation wall and combine with below grade water to cause excessive leaking.
Causes of Wet & Leaky Basements
Wet basements are usually caused by excess water, often from heavy rain, flooding or melted snow that gets through your home’s foundation cracks or openings. If left untreated, water leaking into your basement can lead to structural damage of your foundation and basement walls.
Regardless of how you use your basement space, wet basements need to be addressed as soon as possible or a variety of problems can cause structural deterioration and possibly mold growth that will reduce the overall value of your home.
Start with a Detailed Water Penetration Inspection!
For the price of a loonie, that we provide, get your $250 inspection from the Stay Dry Pro’s.
Key Steps to Prevent a Wet Basement
- Seal any cracks in your foundation
- Apply a waterproofing membrane wrap around your foundation walls on the exterior
- Ensure your weeping tile systems are properly installed and draining away from the home
- Your roofing and attic must be dry and not leaking water
- Sump pumps must be properly installed and have battery backups in case of power outages
- Ensure downspouts are properly attached and free of debris
- Grading of the land around your home so that it slopes away from your foundation
What if Your Basement has Water Damage?
- Shut off any electrical and water supply in the home to protect your family and any workers who are coming to inspect the damage
- Organize an electrical inspection if the water damage is severe and may have affected your home’s electrical panel or wiring
- Remove all valuables from the basement and take photos for insurance purposes
- Wear protective clothing if working in flooded areas
- Conduct a structural inspection to assess any damage to your foundation, drywall and building materials
- Organize a waterproofing or water removal specialist to remove the water
- Access the best options for waterproofing with a professional
We Offer Two Main Methods of Waterproofing Leaky Basements
Exterior waterproofing is always the best place to start when looking at water issues in the home, implying that Interior waterproofing solutions are used in conjunction with exterior basement waterproofing solutions.
Water leakage is serious, keeping water away from your exterior walls ensures it will not accumulate around your foundation. Below are key elements of exterior waterproofing.
- Ensure that the grade, or slope, of your exterior landscaping drains water away from the foundation and is not sloped towards the foundation
- Drainage pipes and downspouts should be attached on all sides of the house and sloped away from the home. Ensure these are properly attached and not blocked with leaves or debris
- Ensure that any added soil is sloped away from the home and not creating a downhill slope towards the exterior walls
- Downspouts are not always enough to ensure that the water coming out of your downspouts doesn’t stop and roll back towards the house. Consider downspout extenders or re-grading if this is the case.
Water leakage is serious and keeping water away from your exterior walls ensures it will not accumulate around your foundation. To the right are key elements for exterior waterproofing.
- Ensure that the grade, or slope, of your exterior landscaping, drains water away from the foundation and is not sloped towards the foundation.
- Soil close to the foundation must slope away from the home and not create a downhill slope towards the exterior foundation walls.
- Drainage pipes and downspouts should be attached on all sides of the house and slope away from your home. Ensure these are attached properly and not blocked with leaves or debris.
- Downspouts are not always enough on their own. Consider downspout extenders where needed.
After excavation (the foundation wall is exposed) our technicians clean and inspect for any cracks and deterioration, which are then sealed and covered with a waterproofing membrane, either Aqua Block or Blue Skin. A new drainage system is added (weeping tiles and dimple board) then tested for proper drainage. While this method will disturb the area around the exterior of your home during repair, it is the best solution for identifying cracks, deterioration on the foundation and any other source of exterior water penetration.
Professional Tip: Exterior waterproofing is the only method that will stop further foundation wall structural breakdown.
Interior systems can be part of the waterproofing solution if the home or building is prone to water seepage problems. This method of waterproofing is also recommended for homeowners who do not have access to their exterior foundation wall.
Working in tandem with exterior waterproofing systems, interior drainage systems keep water levels from rising above the basement floor. Sump wells are used to collect water that is pumped out and away from the home, keeping your basement dry. These interior systems can be installed along the perimeter of the interior walls of your home’s foundation. Interior drainage systems are perfect for homes that are surrounded by high water tables or have frequent basement water issues.
With the installation of materials such as drip moldings, wall vapor barriers, and retarders, the unwanted water is collected and then drained to a sump pump, which pumps the water out of the basement. A battery backup system is installed to provide coverage during any power outage situations.
Window Well Repairs
Window wells are vulnerable entry points for water into your basement because they are below ground level. Installing a window well drain is essential to keeping basements dry and properly protected. Without drains, your window wells can overflow with only one place for the water to go: into your basement. Proper window well maintenance is essential to avoid flooding in your basement. Make sure your window wells are free from sticks, debris, leaves and mud buildup in order to prevent water overflow issues.
Weeping Tile Systems
Weeping Tiles, also known as footing drains, are an efficient solution to collect water. These systems are installed on the exterior of your foundation, and sometimes along the interior of your basement walls. Both systems collect water and move it away from your home. Installing exterior weeping tile systems requires excavation around your home’s foundation. Interior weeping tile systems require cutting into your basement floor in order to drain excess water from your basement, usually to a sump pump pit.
Mold & Air Quality
Mold is an extremely common problem found in basements because the main ingredient is water or moisture. The presence of moisture means that the risk of mold growth is high. Mold is dangerous for all human respiratory systems because mold is a fungus that will release dangerous spores into the air that can affect lungs, skin and allergies. Mold can also cause damage to the structure of your home because it can eat through the surfaces it grows on, including basement walls, drywall and insulation.
If you find a white substance on your concrete basement floor or walls, it may be efflorescence, which forms when water on the opposite side of the wall or underside of the floor evaporates. It leaves behind minerals that form crystals or efflorescence. Finding this white substance in your basement usually indicates moisture. While not always a pressing issue, if the efflorescence is constantly appearing, it is wise to inspect the foundation walls or floor where it is present.