“We dig a hole in the ground, we call it a well – and we wish water would go into it. We dig another hole in the ground, almost as deep and much wider – we call it a basement, and we wish water wouldn’t go into it.”
April showers bring more than May flowers.
In recent years, springtime conditions often beginning as early as February lead to predictable basement wetting… and sometimes not so predictable. Basements which have not exhibited signs of wetting may suddenly become wet due to changes in terrain (ie: nearby construction) changes in the weather (yes, it’s really happening) and goodness knows what else occurs in, on or under the ground.
Controlling water ingress not only preserves living and storage space, it protects indoor air quality and maintains the value of your property.
Some preventive measures
Before you have to excavate or remove interior insulation and finishes:
Ensure exterior grades including driveways and walkways are sloped in manner which will drain storm water away from foundations. An exterior grade slope of 3 to 5 degrees is generally recommended.
Ensure window wells, basement walk-outs and other points of entry are protected from rain and storm run-off.
Ensure rain gutters are sized properly for the area and pitch of your roof, and you have a sufficient number of down spouts which direct water a minimum of 5 ft away from foundations.
Check and maintain your sump pump installation, and seriously consider a back-up sump pump system.
The Facts of Life
60 percent of Canadian homes have some degree of basement wetting.
There is a 90 percent chance a block basement will leak within 20 years of construction.
Almost all poured concrete foundations have some cracks and unsealed form-tie holes.
Not all new homes have adequate water sealing or drainage membranes.
Despite your best efforts, the question is not “if” your basement will get wet, but “when.”
If you continue to experience basement wetting, you may need to explore different options such as waterproofing, or a water management system depending on the age, type and location of your home.
Some indoor options
Floor edging allows moisture to drain from the perimeter to the drain tile
A drainage membrane separates the basement foundations walls from moisture sensitive materials
A perimeter drain tile directs moisture entry to a sump
Urethane, epoxy or other crack-filling
Some outdoor options
Waterproofing and drainage membranes
New exterior drain tile
Multi-level tile drains