Basements are known to be havens for moisture. The primary reason for this is that the ground around them typically remains colder than the rest of the house in the Toronto area, and when the weather eventually warms, the difference in temperatures can cause condensation to form. This is why it is important to spend time in the basement and try to find any pooled water or damp walls so that you can find out where the water is coming from. Experienced plumbers like the Waterman group have hi-tech moisture-sensing equipment that can determine humidity levels and existing water in a foundation and under it as well. The cause of a leaky basement should be identified as soon as possible in order to prevent the growth of mold and mildew, along with destroying the foundation walls and home underpinnings.
Typical reasons you might have a leaky basement include:
Lack of sealant – Many times there is a gap that widens over time between the upper level of the home and the basement foundation. When this happens, the open space can allow weather to get into the basement. This gap also allows for the basement to be negatively affected by temperature changes that occur naturally between the below and above ground levels. Sealing this rim joist is of the utmost importance. Even if you live in an arid climate, it would be a good idea to avoid insects and vermin.
Broken pipes – Over time even the strongest materials break down and depending on the conditions, that can happen sooner than later. One such example is cast iron. It is a strong material that has been used for plumbing in years past but has given way to even longer lasting PVC in most cases. However all materials have their weaknesses and as metal breaks down over 30-40 years, plastic will also succumb to pressure, temperature and roots.
Cracked foundation – Foundations can crack over time due to the same culprits; temperature, pressure and exterior climate related forces can cause cracks in the floor and walls of your basement foundation, which can leave you susceptible to the ingress of moisture and space for further shifting. Plumbers can come in and correct any shifting by jacking up the home and filling any cracks with material to stop the process.
Improper home grading – Houses built on hills are always a risk of run-off, so it is important to direct and downhill water away from the foundation. Flooding outside of the home can erode the soil around the foundation, making it weak and easily broken.
All of these are general reasons why you might find water in your basement. After you have found the root cause, you should bring in a professional plumbing service like Waterman to dry the area, seal it properly, and provide waterproofing to prevent future water ingress. Savvy homeowners may consider investing in a dehumidifier that can be run a few hours a couple times a week to suck moisture out of the air during the colder, wetter months in Toronto and the surrounding area.