Everyone wants to get their Toronto basement renovation project underway so that they can begin to reap the benefits of having that rec room they’ve always wanted. One of the largest and most common mistakes they make by rushing however, is to overlook the need to waterproof the basement first. Failing to do so can, and often does, result in messy waterproofing retrofits that can cost nearly as much as the original renovation.
Basement Renovation Begins With Basement Waterproofing
No good can come of undertaking a basement renovation without first taking all necessary steps to waterproof your basement. Failing to do so is akin to not scraping off old paint before repainting your house. Here are a few common sense steps you can take yourself to determine if your basement is up to snuff in the waterproofing department.
- Check gutters and downspouts – Often times water that winds up seeping through the basement walls started as rainwater or snow melt that the downspouts dropped too close to the foundation. Make sure water is being diverted at least 10 feet from your foundation and that the pavement and soil slope away from the house.
- Check the grade of the yard – Is the ground nearest the foundation subsiding or angling downward toward the foundation wall? If it is it likely indicates water is collecting below the surface and causing the soil to compact. Eventually hydrostatic pressure will send that water through your foundation walls, if it isn’t doing so already.
- Check out the basement walls – Bring sufficient light to bear on the foundation walls in the basement and check for leaks and cracks. If the walls are cracked you’ll have water leaking in eventually even if you don’t right now. Even if there are no obvious leaks if there’s a lot of mold visible then water is seeping in from somewhere.
- Check around the basement windows – Water leaking down the wall under the window is a sign your window wells aren’t draining properly. While this is a common problem it will nonetheless have to be fixed before starting any basement renovation work.
- Check the sump pump – Is the sump pump running all the time? It shouldn’t be. If it is it’s a pretty clear sign you have a leakage problem that will need to be addressed before starting your basement renovation.
If your examination of the water-worthiness of your foundation has turned up trouble it’s time to get serious and call in the pros. Ignoring water problems and moving ahead with the renovation project will lead to rot in the walls and flooring, the growth of mold and mildew, the creation of a permanent musty air and potential health problems for everyone in the house. At some point you’ll likely be faced with a stark choice: either abandon the basement or rip out the walls and start again.
Any Renovation Project Worth Doing is Worth Doing Right
A basement renovation can increase the usable square footage of your home by 25% or more. It will also increase your home’s overall value and make it more attractive to potential buyers should you decide to put it on the market. An unsuccessful renovation, undermined by water seepage issues can have exactly the opposite effects.
At Karen Homes, Toronto we’ll get to the bottom of any water issues affecting your basement and implement permanent, comprehensive solutions before a single nail is driven in the basement renovation project. By doing so we’ll ensure your remodeled basement is all you want it to be and that your family gets to enjoy it for years to come.