All the changes in our climate are causing more flooding in many areas. It is important to understand that the basement windows in your home are a weak point where moisture can enter. This is extremely costly, particularly if the lower level of your home is finished.
If you already have window wells that protect windows at ground level or below, water will take the path of least resistance and pool in the wells. Often when there is a severe storm, water runs off the home, floods the window wells and large quantities of water then pour into your basement. Fortunately, there are ways to remedy this problem.
Installing a Dry Well
One of the simplest and most effective methods is to install dry wells around any windows that are flooding. A dry well works by improving the drainage around the window and routing water away from the foundation. Before you start the installation process, be sure that your gutters and downspouts are directed away from your existing window wells. Water should be directed to the lower side of your property if it is not already.
Check your local code requirements and be sure to purchase a dry well kit that is code appropriate for your area. The installation process is not too difficult, but very labour intensive and may require renting some heavy machinery. Homeowners often rent a bobcat or backhoe if they want to do it themselves. To avoid damage to your property, you may want to consider hiring a waterproofing contractor that has experience with these types of installations.
Options For Channeling Water Away From Your Foundation
There are two basic choices for diverting the water. The first involves digging a long trench far away from your home and directing the excess water into a perforated 50 gallon plastic barrel buried there. The water then slowly leaches into the soil instead of your basement. The second option is to pipe the water towards a sump pump which pumps the water away from the foundation. The first option is something that a more hands on person (DIY Type) might want to tackle, but hooking into a sump pump is best left to the professionals as a special valve is needed to prevent backflow.
If you decide to try the barrel solution, you will need to dig a big enough hole for the well and a trench leading at least 10 feet away from your home. Make sure that the trench slopes away from your house. The plastic barrel can be perforated with a drill and it will need to be sunk lower than the pipe, so there is some serious earth moving involved.
Follow the instructions for installing the well itself. They are normally anchored to the wall, fitted with a drain, a cover and piping and then filled with pea gravel. Once everything is connected and tested, lay weeping tile along the trench and around the barrel and fill these areas with pea gravel.
The area around the dry well will need to be backfilled and replanted if necessary, but once completed it should be an attractive and effective solution to your water problem. Having a dry well is also a safer option in your home. Windows fitted with a dry well can be used as an alternative escape route if there are problems.
Installing a Proper Dry Well
If you are not sure if you are up for the challenge of a job this big or you think that you may have additional moisture problems, contact a professional waterproofing company. Nusite Group offers a free inspection and estimate on any waterproofing jobs and serve Toronto and the surrounding GTA. We have over 35 years of experience and the equipment to do the job right the first time.