Avoiding a wet basement due to leaky windows

Now with spring here, you might be thinking about replacing your windows if they’re older or if you’ve experienced leakage issues during the winter months. If the leak has been continuing for some time, the frame around the window is likely damaged and/or rotted which if that’s the case; it will also need to be replaced. Many older homes in Toronto and the rest of the GTA weren’t designed and constructed to have livable basements. Frequently moisture and some degree of water leakage is the norm in many basements, which is predominantly because basement windows wear out and can eventually have trouble keeping out the elements. Basement window leaks may start off as a minor nagging problem but if left unresolved, can ultimately result in major damage to your home’s interior and put you at risk of mold growth which carries serious health consequences. If you have noticed a leaky window in your basement, here are some tips for dealing with it to avoid a wet basement:

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Caulking your leaky basement window is a great way to prevent further unwanted water penetration. The caulking agent provides a great barrier to moisture problems from rain and melting snow. Separate interior and exterior caulking agents should be used accordingly and now with spring here, exterior caulking application you might have been putting off can now be done. Caulking just the interior will not suffice since water penetration can still gather and deteriorate your window and surrounding structure, creating another potential entry point for water to enter and result in a wet basement. For this reason, both interior and exterior caulking should be applied to prevent your basement windows from leaking.

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Many basement windows that are below grade will have window wells built-in which are designed to block moisture and draw water away from the window. Sometimes however window wells can become clogged with leaves, dirt, ice or snow which can contribute to excess water pooling and leaking into the basement. If your basement windows have wells, it’s a good idea to purchase window well covers, which act to avoid debris buildup and water pooling. It’s also critical that these window wells have working vertical drains, which serve to carry water down to the weeping tile level. Be sure to consult a basement waterproofing professional who can accurately assess your needs and install these vertical drains as part as your overall basement waterproofing solution.

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In most cases, water can be entering your basement in more than one way or location so don’t be surprised if fixing the leaking window still results in leaks or moisture in some other area of your basement. Only a professional basement waterproofing company can fully assist you in tackling all the potential water entry points, helping you avoid basement leaks and ensuring a dry basement.