Toronto Star

Is your basement waterproofed?

Gone are the days when the humble basement was no more than a dimly lit space used for storage, laundry and dad’s workshop. For many households, the basement has become a fully appointed part of their living space. Oftentimes, it’s used for entertaining, as a media room or a home gym. That means that it is even more important to ensure that the area remains dry.

eieihome spoke with Tony Romanelli of RCC Waterproofing about what homeowners can do to prevent basement leaks.

According to Romanelli, now is the time for homeowners to take action against basement leaks.

“Spring is typically the wettest time of year, [and] also the time of year when the ground is most saturated from winter thaw,” Romanelli says. “This combination makes a basement that doesn’t have perfect drainage or sealed foundation walls prone to leakage.”

Fortunately, there are several things that homeowners can do to prevent leaks, both inside and outside of the home.

Outside of the home, make sure to keep eaves troughs clean, that the grading of property slopes water away from the home and ensure that no ice or snow buildup is blocking drainage of property.

Inside the home, owners can ensure that drains are clean and perform regular maintenance on sump pumps.

How likely is a leak?
When it comes to homes that are more or less likely to experience basements leakage, age is not always a factor. In fact, any home that has not been waterproofed can experience leakage.

“Most basements have [at best] only been damp proofed and never waterproofed, so it doesn’t matter [if they’re] old or new.”

Romanelli goes into further detail about waterproofing for new builds, stating that building codes only call for damp proofing and not waterproofing on new construction. However, that doesn’t mean that buyers need to roll the dice on a new house.

“If you have the chance to waterproof your new home during construction, do it,” Romanelli says. “It is such an inexpensive service when done during building, compared to after the house is finished and landscaping is in.”

Hiring a waterproofing professional
When hiring a waterproofing professional, it definitely pays to do your homework. The best bet is to hire contractors specialize only in waterproofing.

“Ask for references,” Romanelli says. “ [You should also visit] a job they are doing, or more importantly, go by their office and see their operation.”

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