There are many benefits that owning a home brings; you’re building equity, your children have a safe home to come to, you get to add to it or repair it without consulting a landlord. Having or maintaining a home can be rewarding, but unless you have a new home, the problems that arise with older homes can be numerous. One of the many problems can be a wet or leaky basement, and having a wet or leaky basement should be a concern for families. Not only could the foundation be jeopardized with a wet basement, but the health risks associated with it can be detrimental to your health.
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When new homes are built, the decision is made whether to use a basement, crawl or slab foundation.
Even if you don’t finish rooms in a basement right away, the opportunity will always be there as your family grows and changes. Plus, when the time comes to sell your home, the basement can offer one of the greatest returns on your investment – as long as it’s dry.
However, everyone knows basements are vulnerable to water seepage. In fact, water intrusion through the foundation is typically the single biggest complaint homeowners have about their basements.
“A waterproofed basement allows you to confidently claim more livable space, prevents any harmful effects from mold or mildew issues on your family and can even help your house sell faster and for more money,” Jim Burke of Illiana Basement Waterproofing said. “Plus, if you are thinking of selling, the current law requires you to disclose any knowledge of seepage on a disclosure form to protect the buyer.”
Moisture and Mold Prevention and Control Tips
- When water leaks or spills occur indoors – ACT QUICKLY. If wet or damp materials or areas are dried 24-48 hours after a leak or spill happens, in most cases mold will not grow.
- Clean and repair roof gutters regularly.
- Make sure the ground slopes away from the building foundation, so that water does not enter or collect around the foundation.
- Keep air conditioning drip pans clean and the drain lines unobstructed and flowing properly.
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.