While experiencing water leaking into basement areas after heavy rain is a common occurrence, it is certainly not a normal thing. It is essential that you address leaky basement issues immediately, as they may be a sign of serious, permanent foundation damage. If you have ever discovered water in your basement after rainfall, let’s discuss steps you can take to mitigate risk.
Why is there water in your basement?
It is important to determine why you have water in your basement in the first place. The very fact that your basement is dug into the ground and surrounded by soil makes it more susceptible to water infiltration. As groundwater levels rise during periods of heavy rainfall, so do the chances that your basement may face water damage. There are a few different ways that water can make its way into your basement.
- Hydro Static and Lateral Pressure
Issues with hydro static and lateral pressure are some of the most common when it comes to leaky basements. With heavy rainfalls in particular, the soil around your basement becomes saturated with water. This puts a lot of additional pressure on your basement foundation. This pressure must go somewhere, and since concrete is a porous material, it also begins to soak up the excess water, eventually saturating your basement floor and potentially damaging your household furnishes and belongings. Additionally, the intense pressure can lead to cracking of your foundation, compromising the structural integrity of your entire house.
- Window Wells
Improperly sealed window wells are another common source of water leaking into basements after heavy rainfall. The water rapidly accumulates in the window wells and drains through gaps or cracks around the window frame. You may notice water stains around your window frames and down the walls.
- Previously Existing Cracks in the Foundation
You may remember from high school science class that water generally takes the path of least resistance. If you have any cracks or gaps in your basement foundation, the excess water from a heavy rainfall will inevitably flow into your basement through them. With each round of precipitation, the cracks get bigger and the likelihood of flooding increases.
What should you do about it?
It seems obvious that one of your first steps after discovering water leaking into your basement should be to clean the water up. However, you can clean until your heart’s content…but if you do not do anything to address the source of your leaky basement, you are going to face the same problem again the next time it rains.
Making sure that your gutters and downspouts are free from clogs is one of the easiest and effective ways to prevent water from accumulating in your basement. The purpose of gutters and downspouts is to redirect water away from your home during periods of precipitation. If they are not doing their job, that water will pool around the base of your home, seeping into the soil and creating the hydro static and lateral pressure issues that were mentioned before.
Seal Window Wells
If your window wells are leaking, the logical course of action is to repair the compromised window seals to prevent future water leaking into basement issues. There are a variety of products available that can be used to seal window frames. If the damage to your window or window frame is irreparable, you may want to consider complete window replacement.
Establish Interior Drainage System
If severe basement flooding is a persistent problem your property faces, installing an interior drainage system is a good idea. Sump pump systems are extremely effective at relieving hydro static pressure on your foundation by directing water that is pooled under and around the foundation to the sump pump pit (before it even has a chance to reach your basement floor) and then pumping it out and away from your home.
Invest In Exterior Basement Waterproofing
Exterior basement waterproofing is the ultimate solution to leaky basement problems. Where interior waterproofing methods serve to protect against damage from water that has already made its way through your foundation, exterior waterproofing ensure that the water never makes it inside to begin with. The process begins with the soil around the foundation of your home being completely excavated. A waterproof vapour barrier is installed and then the soil is replaced. Additionally, the grade of the soil is adjusted to provide optimal water drainage away from the foundation. Exterior basement waterproofing is a significant investment, but the peace of mind that your basement is permanently protected against water damage is worth every penny (especially when you consider the increase in property value because of high-quality waterproofing).
It is apparent that water leaking into your basement is a serious issue that needs to be dealt with. Left unaddressed, leaky basements can lead to serious foundational damage that compromises the structural stability of your entire home. By finding the source of water leaking into your basement and taking the appropriate steps to eliminate it, you will have a drier and safer basement for your family to use and enjoy.
If you are suffering with a leaky basement, give the professionals at Waterproofing PD a call today for a free consultation and estimate for your Toronto home. Our team of basement waterproofing specialists have the skill and experience to deal with any wet, leaky Toronto basement.