Driving from Squamish to Vancouver today, the dozens of previously frozen roadside waterfalls cascaded with a beautiful sound, reminding me that spring is around the corner. They were also a good reminder that the snow packs are thawing, and it’s time to ensure our basements are protected from the influx in ground water.
As the soil becomes more saturated, and snow fall turns to rainfall, drainage issues cause problems for basements. So what can you do?
- Ensure your gutters are clear, and do not leak or spill over the edges.
- The water drainage system from the gutters should be a minimum of two meters from the outside walls, and should be collected properly or drain away from the house.
- Ensure the street drainage is clear of debris. If not, do not attempt to clear it yourself, as you may cause damage or further blockage to the system. Instead, call your local Public Works Department to address the issue.
If you already have a leak:
- The first call you should make is to a reputable waterproofing contractor, as during this time of year, there may be a few days before you can get an appointment.
- In the meantime, move everything susceptible to damage out of the basement, or in watertight, protective containers.
- Attempt to control, or dry the water as soon as possible, and ensure the basement can be properly ventilated to prevent mold damage.
- Attempt to locate the source of the leak. Take photographs and measurements to document how quickly the leak is spreading.
- Check the grade on the outside of the leak location. You can provide temporary relief to the water infiltration by grading the ground away from the leaking area, or covering the area with a material that slopes away from the foundation (eg. Plywood, plastic sheeting, ect.)
If the leak is coming from a crack or joint in the concrete foundation, ensure the contractor uses a permanent waterproofing solution to protect this vulnerable area.
The Krystol Crack Repair System is a permanent solution for waterproofing and repairing tie holes, pipe penetrations, cracks and defective concrete. When added or applied to concrete, Krystol chemicals create a reaction that causes long, narrow crystals to form, filling the pores, capillaries and hairline cracks of the concrete mass. As long as moisture remains present, crystals continue to grow throughout the concrete, reaching lengths of many inches over time.
These products are designed to work especially well under hydrostatic pressure, which makes them ideal for use in below-grade foundations and basements. Recently, this system was featured on an episode of This Old House to permanently waterproof a fieldstone foundation basement built in 1872.
With over 50 distributors worldwide, click here to find a distributor of Krystol Products near you!