Waterproofing in Niagara: How Important is it Really???

February 27, 2019

As a homeowner, can you think of anything worse than finding water in a basement.  Do you creep into your basement with one eye open after a storm to see if there is ‘surprise’ waiting for you.  Finding water in your Niagara home sets in motion a series of panicked thoughts and scenarios which usually finds us dealing with worse case scenarios. I have good news….you do not have to sell your house.  Before complete panic sets in and sends you to your smart phone to find somebody to help you GET THE WATER OUT, remember that all Niagara waterproofing companies are NOT created equal. As with all things in life you get what you pay for.  Searching for waterproofing in Niagara can bring up many options and varying degrees of expertise. The important thing is to select the waterproofing Niagara option that is best for you and your home.

 

Don’t let a simple google search for waterproofing companies in Niagara leave you feeling completely overwhelmed?  This is not a one size fits all search so don’t accept a one size fits all approach. This type of work often needs to be tailored to your specific needs and situation. Some questions to ask the vendor as part of the vetting process are:  do we need to take an inside waterproofing approach? Do we take an outside waterproofing approach or does there need to be a combination of both methods to get the desired results? There are many types of products and systems on the market all designed with the same goal of eliminating water infiltration and directing water away from the foundation.  We can help you determine the best approach to waterproofing your Niagara home and identify the best products for your specific situation. To find the right solution, the first step is to determine the extent of the problem.

Is what you are dealing with a small leak or could it be a sign of a much larger problem or does it look like a huge issue that could be something relatively small?  A reputable company should be able to answer this for you and formulate a plan to fix the problem. Moisture in your basement can lead to invasive, costly and time-consuming repairs.  If the issue has been ongoing, you could be seeing anything from structural damage to toxic mold. No matter what way you look at it, water in your basement is more than just a nuisance, it is a serious problem.  

 

More often than not, keeping water out requires tweaking our home maintenance routine.  Sometimes it requires a complete re-evaluation of how we do things. So, what can we as homeowners do to keep our basements dry and prevent moisture from making its way in?  The list of potential reasons that water enters the home is extensive  Knowing what reason the water has entered your home is they key to waterproofing correctly and fixing your home.    You may have owned a home for 30 years and it has been completely dry. You may be in a newer home and have always had problems.  Every address presents a different set of circumstances. One bad storm could be the difference between a wet basement and a dry one.  The main reasons water tends to find its way into a structure is typically due to maintenance issues. The good news with that is these are generally the easiest to fix.  


 

The main culprits are:

 

Improper Grading and/or Improper Drainage Systems:

 

Surface water from rain or snow is part of living in Canada.  The key is for that water to be able to drain away from the foundation to keep your home safe and dry.  Grading of the area is absolutely essential for this to happen. If the ground slopes toward you home, the water will flow towards your home.  If the ground slopes away from your home, so will the water. Some things you can do to ensure the water doesn’t pool against the foundation are plant gardens and anything that requires watering away from the structure.  The things that add curb appeal and enhance the exterior of the home aren’t always best for the health of the interior of the home. Keep this in mind when planning your spring gardens and make sure they don’t invite water in the the very spot we don’t want it.  Water against the building can lead to hydrostatic pressure occurs when water accumulates around your foundation. This pressure water will force its way through any seams or cracks or even through the concrete itself into your home.

 

Poorly Installed and Maintained Gutters:

 

Visually inspect the exterior of your home.  Gutters or eavestroughs are sloped to keep the water flowing. By keeping the gutters or eavestrough clean you are ensuring they can continue to function properly while at the same time  minimizing wear and tear. Wet leaves are heavy and that extra weight can pull the gutters away from the home causing gaps at the roof line and compromise the way they work. Their function is to collect the water from precipitation off your roof and take it away from your foundation. If they are improperly sized,  improperly installed or too clogged to allow the water through they simply will not work properly. Improperly functioning eavestroughs will cause water to discharge too close to the home rather than drain away from it. Take a look at your home to assess the ‘gutter health’ to save you time and money down the road.  Some quick tips:

  1. Remove leaves routinely.  Leaf removal may vary from one homeowner to homeowner. A Niagara home in an area with

  2. Make sure the discharge on your downspout is functioning properly and that it is discharging as far from the dwelling as possible.  Assess the home and decide which downspout and discharge is right for your Niagara.

     

    ara home. A longer discharge is not helpful if it poses a trip hazard. These small steps along with the correct grading will encourage water to naturally flow away from the home.

With the spring thaw (hopefully) not far away, keep an eye on your basements.  If you find that dreaded water in your home, call us before you call the realtor. We are here to make sure it doesn’t happen again.  We can assess the extent of the problem and advise you on the best solution for waterproofing your Niagara home.

 

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