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9 Reasons Why You Might Have a Leaky Basement

Leaky Basement in TorontoWater in the basement is a major hassle that undermines the integrity of your foundation, affects the quality of the air that circulates through the house, promotes the growth of dangerous molds and can cost a bundle when it destroys things you had stored downstairs. Sometimes the hardest part of solving the wet basement problem is figuring out how the water got there in the first place.

Getting to the Bottom of a Leaky Basement in Toronto

Here are 9 factors that can contribute to a leaky basement in Toronto.

  1. Melt caused by basement heat – During the winter moisture in the ground around the house freezes. Except for right around the foundation, where the slightly warmer basement keeps the ground moisture in liquid form. This water gets trapped against the foundation.
  2. Improperly located downspouts – All the water that comes off the roof should be deposited at least 4 feet from the foundation by the downspouts. If it’s not it enters the ground around the house and causes excessive pressure against the foundation and, ultimately, leaks.
  3. Hydrostatic pressure – Water is able to cause trouble because of a force known as hydrostatic pressure. The more moisture in the ground around your house the greater the hydrostatic pressure and the more likely that water will find its way through tiny cracks in the foundation.
  4. The slope around the house – The land around the house should slope away from the house. Sometimes however, the ground slopes toward the house. Water then rides this improper angle and is delivered right up against the foundation.
  5. Malfunctioning sump pump – If the sump pump is malfunctioning your basement could be a sitting duck for flooding during and after extreme weather events or during the spring snow melt. Have your sump pump checked regularly.
  6. The wrong soil – Whereas the right type of soil aids in proper drainage the wrong type of soil can trap water and create the above mentioned hydrostatic pressure. If you have a leaky basement it may pay to have a landscaper in to check your soil.
  7. Foundation cracks – The easiest way for water to get into the basement is also (surprise!) the most common way: cracks in the foundation. If you have cracks in your foundation you need to get them fixed ASAP.
  8. Window wells – Those wells that extend down into the soil around the house in order to let more light into the basement are also a common source of basement water. If they’re not properly sealed when they’re built they invariably turn into leak machines.
  9. A clogged drain – While you may not give much thought to that slow moving drain in the kitchen the fact is that clogged drains can cause water backup in your pipes. In time if the backup becomes significant enough water can spill into the basement.

Now that you have a better idea what might be causing your leaky basement in Toronto you can make sure none of these problems is allowed to fester and undermine the value or safety of your home.