As the carol goes, the weather outside is frightful – especially in winter in Toronto. It is cold and the snow comes often. La Nina will be creating conditions for lots of precipitation in much of Eastern Canada this winter. The weather network also reports that the active storm track will see Toronto getting snow often and late into March! However, as we all know, Toronto also experiences frequent warm days leading to melt-off and then freezing when it gets cold again. According to the forecasters, there is a “higher than normal uncertainty when it comes to the temperature forecast…”

For people who love the snow for skiing or other winter sports, this is good news. Children will love the extra snow and the possibility of time away from school! The question for homeowners, beyond how are you going to deal with shovelling all that snow, is whether or not your home’s foundation will be able to stay dry! The excess snow and melting will create the ideal conditions for foundations to crack and water seep into your basement.

Ideally, you will have checked that your basement is waterproofed before the snow has blanketed your property. During the fall months, you should have been able to do a visual inspection of the exterior of your home to check that there were no obvious signs of future problems. The gutters would have been cleaned allowing the water to be drawn off the roof edge and away from your home; the window wells would have been checked for cracks or faults; the landscaping cleared so that roots are not breaking through the masonry. If the soil is dried up and cracking, it would allow water to collect and freeze when the temperatures drop.

Inside you would have checked for any cracks in the walls or floor; looked for any staining that looked chalky; made sure the wall coverings had no bubbles; and verified that the door jambs and windows closed firmly; drainage systems are in place and not blocked; and that there was no musty smell in the basement. Any one of these situations should have triggered a call to the basement waterproofing professionals at City Wide Group. They have more than 50 years of experience in waterproofing basements in the Greater Toronto Area.

The well-trained professional technician would have given your home’s foundation a thorough inspection to see if there were any of the problems mentioned above. Then a basement waterproofing project was provided along with an estimate of cost. Homeowners can have either an interior or exterior waterproofing project carried out to give them the assurance that the basement will stay dry during the winter months and always.

Exterior waterproofing is highly recommended as it allows you to preserve the structural integrity of our foundation. It requires the ability to excavate around the perimeter of your home to the bottom of the footing level of the foundation. The weeping tiles are replaced along with a filter cloth, any cracks or voids in the masonry are repaired and then a rubber Bithuthene membrane is applied. Because it is rubber, it will expand should there be any shifting of the soil around the property. Window wells can be custom made if needed and then the area is backfilled back to its original level.

If your property is not accessible from the outside because of the weather, you may opt for interior waterproofing. The floor is broken along the perimeter of your foundation wall and a trench is dug out. A 4-inch perforated weeping tile with a filter screen will be laid in and connected to a drainage system. Gravel is placed on top of the filter and a membrane is installed before it is covered with a new layer of concrete that matches the level of the rest of the basement floor.

While having your basement waterproofed may seem like a costly proposition you need to consider the costs to having water damage your peace of mind along with your possessions, your finished basement, and the soundness of your home’s foundation. In addition, water or excess moisture may appear to dry up but leave behind unhealthy conditions as well such as mould or mildew. Your family’s health could be at risk especially if anyone already has a respiratory condition. Last, but not least, you will be protecting the future value of your home by being able to assure realtors and future buyers that you have a fully transferable lifetime warranty from City Wide Group that your home’s basement is water-tight and will stay dry.