Understanding Leaks and where they come from
Nestled in the heart of Canada, Ontario stands as a testament to the country’s incredible diversity. With the bustling metropolis of Toronto, the tranquil lakeside towns, and the sweeping agricultural landscapes, homes here bear the brunt of varying climatic conditions. But Ontario is just one facet of the Canadian homeownership experience. Each region, from the craggy coastlines of British Columbia, the lush forests of Quebec, to the windswept plains of Manitoba, faces its own distinct challenges.
In the verdant expanses of Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia, the sea-sprayed air carries potential moisture damage to homes. Meanwhile, the frigid, snowy winters of Alberta and Saskatchewan demand robust insulation and waterproofing measures to keep the cold and damp at bay. In the stark yet striking terrains of Newfoundland and Labrador, homes stand defiant against the bracing winds and relentless rains, the battle against water damage a constant one.
Even in the territories of Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut, where the population is sparse, the need for waterproofing cannot be overstated. The varying climatic conditions of these regions, from the humid summers to the bone-chilling winters, add layers of complexity to the homeowner’s quest for robust waterproofing solutions.
To the east, New Brunswick’s maritime climate brings significant rainfall, while homes in the west in British Columbia have to withstand the moisture-laden winds from the Pacific.
This article aims to guide homeowners across the nation, highlighting the unique waterproofing needs for each province and territory. From basements to roofs, and everything in between, we will explore waterproofing techniques specifically designed for the climatic demands of your locale. Waterproofing, an essential yet often overlooked aspect of homeownership, ensures that your Canadian home stands tall amidst any storm.
Basement Leak Sources
Just as Canada’s diverse provinces each present unique conditions, so too do different parts of your home. One area that often bears the brunt of water intrusion is the basement. But where exactly do these leaks come from?
- Groundwater Pressure: The most common culprit behind basement leaks across provinces from Ontario to Nova Scotia is hydrostatic pressure. This occurs when excess water in the soil surrounding your basement creates pressure against the walls and floor, forcing water into any available openings. This phenomenon is exacerbated during periods of heavy rainfall or snowmelt — conditions not uncommon in provinces like British Columbia and New Brunswick.
- Cracks in the Foundation: Changes in temperature can cause your home’s foundation to expand and contract, leading to cracks. These cracks serve as entry points for water. This is a particularly relevant issue in provinces with dramatic temperature shifts, like Alberta and Saskatchewan.
- Window Well Leakage: Window wells can let natural light into your basement but they can also collect water if not correctly installed or maintained. Should this occur, water can seep into your basement, causing damage. This is especially problematic in provinces with significant rainfall like Newfoundland and Labrador.
- Poor Drainage: Inefficient drainage systems can lead to water accumulation around your foundation. Whether it’s from an improperly installed gutter system or landscaping that slopes towards your house instead of away from it, water can easily find its way into your basement. In regions such as Quebec and Manitoba, where heavy snowfall can lead to significant water accumulation come spring, this is a common concern.
- Plumbing Issues: Internal factors such as leaking pipes, a faulty water heater, or a leaky washing machine hose can also cause basement leaks. While not tied to specific provinces, this is an issue relevant to homeowners across Canada.
Understanding the source of basement leaks is the first step in tackling them effectively. Regardless of where your home is situated in Canada, being aware of these potential problems can empower you to proactively address them and protect your home from water damage. The next part of this article will delve into various waterproofing solutions suited to different regions and situations.
Some of the main sources which cause leaky basements are as follows:
Basement Hydrostatic Pressure
During heavy rainfall or flood, water seeps in through the soil around the house. As the soil expands, water creates pressure against the foundation of the building. This is known as basement hydrostatic pressure. If there are any cracks or pores, water will leak into the basement.
Basement Foundation Cracks on walls and floor
Cracks on floors and walls are one of the most common causes of basement leakage. As hydrostatic pressure is formed around the foundation, water will force its way through these cracks into the basement.
Window wells are important for the basements which are below ground level because they allow sunlight to enter. Without them, basements would be darker. Window wells are supposed to protect basement windows. But if they are left unattended, they start collecting debris, leaves, dirt etc. As the natural drainage gets clogged by the debris, the water falling into the window well gets trapped and has nowhere to go but through the window seams into the basement.
Basement Water Table levels
The formation of the water table depends on a number of factors like the amount of rainfall, snow melting into the ground etc. A high water table is a cause for concern as it leads to water seeping into the basement. One thing home owners should consider is if the water table is at a much lower level than the basement or not.
Water that is found below the earth’s surface in the porous spaces in soils and rocks is called groundwater. Groundwater settles in the water table. The level of groundwater is affected by the topography of the place. If the house is near a body of water, the water table is generally high. This is due to the ground soaking in that water from the nearby source. A rise in the water table can affect the foundation beneath the house.
Basement Waterproofing Solutions
If you’re a homeowner with a basement, you know that water damage is a common concern. A damp or wet basement not only looks and smells unpleasant, but it can also lead to costly repairs and even pose a danger to your family’s health. That’s why investing in basement waterproofing solutions is so important.
There are several 24-hour same-day emergency waterproofing solutions as well as scheduled basement waterproofing solutions available, each with its own set of benefits. Here are a few options to consider:
Exterior waterproofing: This involves waterproofing the outside of your foundation to prevent water from seeping into your basement. This can be an effective solution, but it can be costly and disruptive to your landscaping.
Interior waterproofing: This involves installing a moisture barrier on the inside of your basement walls to prevent water from entering your home. This is a less expensive option, but it may not address the root cause of the water issue.
Sump pump: A sump pump is a device that pumps water out of your basement to prevent flooding. This can be an effective solution, but it’s important to regularly maintain and test your sump pump to ensure it’s working properly.
Drainage systems: Installing a drainage system can help to redirect water away from your foundation and prevent it from seeping into your basement. This can include installing french drains or surface drains around the perimeter of your home.
No matter which waterproofing solution you choose, it’s important to work with a professional Waterproofing Company to ensure the job is done properly. Don’t let a wet or damp basement become a bigger problem – invest in a waterproofing solution to protect your home and family.
The Benefits of Basement Waterproofing
Here are just a few of the benefits of waterproofing your basement:
Protect your home: Water damage can lead to costly repairs, including replacing drywall, flooring, and even structural damage. Waterproofing your basement can help to prevent water damage and protect the value of your home.
Prevent mould growth: A damp or wet basement is the perfect breeding ground for mould, which can be dangerous to your family’s health. Waterproofing your basement can help to prevent mould growth and protect your family’s health.
Increase your home’s value: A dry, usable basement is a desirable feature for many homebuyers. Waterproofing your basement can increase the value of your home and make it more attractive to potential buyers.
Increase your living space: If your basement is currently unusable due to water damage, waterproofing it can give you additional living space. This can be especially valuable in areas where real estate is at a premium.
Investing in basement waterproofing is a smart move for any homeowner. Not only can it protect your home and family, but it can also increase the value of your home and provide additional living space. Don’t let a wet or damp basement become a bigger problem – consider waterproofing as a solution.