Winter arrived early in Northeast Ohio-or so it seems anyway- the snow is staying, the below freezing temperatures as well. It is bitter cold, and the last thing you want to do is think about repairing or fixing your basement in the winter. Many people leave their basement problems till the spring or summer, when they believe it is easier to deal with those issues. But even though springtime is the worst time of the year for your leaky or wet basement, the winter months can be as bad. As the accumulated snow starts to melt, any crack around the foundation in your home can be an invitation for the water to leak into your basement.
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As a homeowner braving yet another Toronto winter, you may be tempted to leave your basement waterproofing to the spring. After all, it snows a ton in Toronto during the winter and the ground will be frozen for much of it – you can do it later, right?
Wrong. Putting off waterproofing can be a short-sighted mistake that can permanently damage the foundation of your home. Unfortunately, Toronto has the ideal conditions for water leaks: wet weather, aging home foundations, and even during the winter, we experience sudden bouts of snow melts and above-freezing temperatures that can come without a warning. Without a protected basement, all that water could end up leaking through your home’s foundations and cause a big headache upon discovery in the spring.
Canadian winters tend to have a freeze/thaw cycle, causing your house and the ground around your foundation to expand and contract at different magnitudes and rates, potentially making existing cracks larger and opening up joints where water flows through. Also, with the freezing weather comes ice jams in your pipes, troughs, downspouts, and on your roof. When your water drainage systems are clogged up, the water will have to find a different path. Typically, it flows to the ground directly beside your foundation, which is the most common place for foundation leaks.
Spring brings with it many pleasures: flowers, sunshine, and the return of baseball season, to name just a few. It also brings with it rain – sometimes lots of rain. All that rain unleashes the eroding power of water upon your house and yard, and can cause tremendous damage to your home and its value if left unchecked. Fortunately, a short amount of time spent in upkeep chores can help your home weather spring showers and summer storms. Here are five ways to waterproof your home in one weekend:
1) Rain gutter repairs
Nobody likes to clean or repair gutters. However, there are a few ways to make the job easier. First, for clogged downspouts, try using barbecue tongs to reach in and pull the leaves out. This doesn’t always work but considering the alternative — using a hose to flush the clog out, getting wet and covered with gutter goop — it’s worth a try.
Second, to repair loose gutter nails try replacing them with extra-long lag screws. The lag screws tend to be stronger, hold better and can easily be installed with a cordless drill equipped with a nut driver bit.
Water can enter your basement in any number of ways. But one common way basement water happens is as a result of cracks in the foundation that expand in cold weather. Smaller foundation cracks and basement floor cracks can become larger and expand during the cold weather. This is not necessarily a problem when the ground is dry and frozen. However, once the rain falls or the snow begins to melt, but the cracks are still enlarged because of the cold temperatures, water can enter your home. Water will always find the path of least resistance, so basement cracks can cause water infiltration.
Winter is on the way, so too is the wet snow and rain. While is still may be a few weeks before we get a hard frost and the ground becomes completely frozen, cracks can and will begin to expand as the temperature drops. Cold weather affects foundation and concrete floor cracks. Basement crack repair is essential before the freezing weather makes foundation and floor cracks even worse.