Toronto Sun

Protect your basement from winter water damage

Ensuring your basement is warm, dry and comfortable in the spring means taking some steps outside your home to protect your basement from water damage.

eieihome spoke with Tony Romanelli of RCC Waterproofing, a company that has been fixing damp basements and foundation cracks in homes in Toronto, Hamilton, Kitchener, London and Oshawa since 1920, about how to waterproof your basement.

Inspect your eaves and downspouts. “A lot of time when people are moving snow, they’ll disconnect (the downpipe) and that can cause a big flood in the basement when the first rain comes,” says Romanelli. Check your downspouts to make sure they’re connected and facing the right way: away from your home.

Shovel smart. Make sure you’re shovelling snow away from your home’s foundation. If snow is piled up against your house, it can cause damage in the spring when it melts. “Water needs somewhere to go,” says Romanelli. “If you don’t give it anywhere to go, it’s going to end up in your basement.” Shovel snow away from your home and make sure you leave a path for the water to go in the springtime.

Get rid of ice. Ice can build up in your downspouts, creating backup when the first rainfall of the season comes. “The ice won’t melt as fast as the first rain comes,” says Romanelli. Check your downspouts regularly, making sure to break off chunks of ice.

Check your sump pump. Your sump pump plays a key role in protecting your basement from a flood. Make sure your sump pump is functioning properly before the first rainfall of the season. Often, the sump pump doesn’t get used all winter and you only find out it isn’t working in the spring when you need it. To check your sump pump, move the float up and down in a pumping fashion or contact a professional to inspect it.

Inspect basement walls for water damage. Water damage that occurred during the fall or winter months may start to show up in the spring and can cause mould to build up. Inspect walls for staining caused by water leaking into your home. Spring is also a great time to make sure your windows are sealed properly as water can seep into your home through these openings.

Ensure your basement is ready for the spring season ahead. Contact RCC Waterproofing.

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