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How Do I Keep My Basement Dry During the Spring Thaw?

Many homeowners throughout Toronto welcome spring weather with open arms. After our long and cold winter seasons, there is nothing better than getting outside and enjoying the sun. Like many other homeowners, we start our spring with some garden work and property cleaning, however, as waterproofing experts, we ensure we complete these 5 tasks to reduce the chances of a basement leak. These prevention techniques can stop melting snow and ice from making their way through your foundation cracks.


Nusite Contractors Ltd. has been a homeowner recommended waterproofing company for over 30 years. The Nusite team has completed over 50 million square feet of waterproofing throughout central Ontario and is a multi-year HomeStars, Accredited Business, BILD network award winner.


This blog is here to help Toronto homeowners protect their homes from leaky basements, foundation cracks, and other residential concrete issues. If you are experiencing any home waterproofing, foundation crack, or concrete issues, contact Nusite today! We provide Free, No-Obligation Estimates!


What work should I do around my home this spring?


Here are the 5 most important spring tasks to avoid a wet basement and foundation leak.


1. Clean Your Rain Gutters and Eavestroughs

We recommend that Toronto homeowners clean their rain gutters and eavestroughs at least twice a year. Your first gutter cleaning should be done prior to, or at the beginning of spring. This to confirm your system is clear of debris and ready to perform. Your gutter and eavestroughs second cleaning should be done at the end of fall after the leaves have fallen. By doing so you will prevent clogs, overflows, and ice buildups during Toronto's freezing and snowy winter months.


How do I clean my home's gutters and eavestroughs?


Cleaning your gutters and eavestroughs is a lot easier than you think. The main purpose is to remove any debris that sits within or on top of your roofing system. By getting your eyes above the level of your gutters, you can quickly scan your home to see any build-ups of leaves or dirt. If you don't see anything then you have completed step one. If you do see some build-ups, you can simply reach over and pull out the "gunk". Once you have removed all of the leaves, dirt, and build-ups, you can move to step two.


If you are concerned with the amount of debris within your gutters, you can install gutter guards. Gutter guards stop debris and leaves while still allowing the water to flow.


The second step of the gutter and eavestroughs cleaning process is to ensure all your gutter connection points are tight. If water is dripping or escaping your gutter system it means there is a puncture, a loose connection, or a clog. Since we have already cleared all debris, we know this issue is not "gunk" related.


Dripping and overflowing gutter water is one of the main causes of basement leaks. Yes, you heard that right, if water is constantly dripping and overflowing near your foundation, it will significantly increase the chances of a seeping foundation wall.


The majority of homeowners experience basement leaks because of the consistent external water pressure that is pushing against their foundation walls. Pooling water at the base of your foundation adds to that pressure and slowly finds its way through the foundation's cracks.


By creating solid and tight gutter connections you can avoid dripping and pooling water; significantly decreasing the chances of a basement foundation leak.


2. Clean and Extend your Downspouts

Similar to your eavestroughs, we recommend cleaning and extending the downspouts on your home. Downspouts should be aimed 10 to 20 feet away from the foundation of your home and should be perpendicular to your exterior walls.


The best practice of aiming a downspout is by directing the water to an area that slopes away from your home. If your current downspout is not long enough an extension piece can always be purchased.


If you do buy a downspout extension, try not to bury or to connect them to a dry well. Drywells can only retain a certain amount of water before they start to back up, which can cause your gutters to split dropping the water close to your home. If you decide to run the extension pipes below the ground be sure to consistently check they are clear and function.


How do I check if my downspouts are clogged?


To check if your downspouts are clogged, you should place a bucket at its base (The end that is on the floor and away from your home). Once your bucket is set up you can pour water through your downspout from its connection along your gutters/ eavestroughs. If the water ends up in your bucket, then you know your downspouts are clear. If the water takes a long time to get to the bucket, or it comes out very dirty, you may have some buildup. If It doesn't get better over a few tests, you may want to contact a gutter/ downspout professional.


3. Landscaping

If your property slopes towards your home; surface water will naturally run towards your foundation. If this is the case you may want to improve your landscaping to direct that water away.


Similar to an overflowing gutter, water build-up near your home's foundation significantly increase the chance of a basement leak. As exterior water sits and seeps into the ground it adds hydrostatic pressure and makes its way through your foundation wall cracks, gaps, and holes.


If you are having issues with the slop of your land a good landscaper should be able to help you out.


Nusite Contractors Winter Tip for Toronto Homeowners


Hopefully, we are a few months away from our next Toronto snowfall, however, this is a tip for the future. Our team recommends piling snow away from your home. With limited property space, we all tend to pile snow wherever we can, however, the closer it is to your foundation the more problems can occur. By piling snow near your foundation you increase the chances of a basement leak during the following spring thaw.


4. Use a Dehumidifier


A dehumidifier is designed to control the level of humidity in a room. By placing a dehumidifier in the basement of your home you will help stop excess moisture from creating musty odours, sweating pipes, mould, rust, and more.


We also recommend keeping your basement windows and doors closed since the humidity can creep in when opened. When warm, humid air comes in contact with cold floors and walls it will create condensation, which can lead to moisture-related issues.


5. Check your Pipes

It is always important to check that your home's plumbing system is working. It is very common to see frozen pipes and burst after a cold winter, especially if they weren't turned off last fall. A thorough spring inspection is very important as a previously frozen pipe can result in leaks and water damage. It is always a good idea to contact a professional waterproofing contractor to inspect your basement. They will check your home's waterproofing system and recommend any updates, or fixes (if needed).


Many homeowners ignore the signs of a basement foundation leak because they don't want to spend money on a repair. That is a hard philosophy to break, however, we try to remind homeowners that by preventing and fixing waterproofing issues early on they will save a ton in the future. Foundation leaks don't only cause wet floors and walls, they can cause mould, toxic air, and a shifting foundation.


Nusite Contractors Ltd has been proudly serving GTA homeowners for over 30 years! Our services include interior waterproofing, exterior waterpoofing, foundation repair, basement lowering, french drain installation, sump pump services, basement drain services, window well services, and more. Contact us today for a Free, No-Obligation Estimate!


About Nusite


Nusite Contractors Ltd. has been proudly serving GTA homeowners for over 30 years! We are a family business and take pride in customer service and professional work. You can contact us here to schedule a free consultation and written estimate! We would be happy to help!


Looking for waterproofing services in your area? Click here to see if Nusite provides services in your city!

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Email: info@nusitegroup.com

Tel: (416) 622-7000