Renovating your basement can significantly increase the value of your Toronto home. Additionally, a basement renovation can also protect you from thousands of dollars of damage worth of winter water damage.
When you consider renovating your basement you tend to think of creating a more livable space which is true, of course but, you also need to be mindful of all the hidden ways that a renovation can make your home less susceptible to water damage such as flood or mould.
Read our blog: Inspiration for your Toronto basement Renovation.
When looking for a Toronto basement renovations expert make sure you consider a reputable renovator who will not only look at what needs to be done cosmetically but, also and most importantly will consider your property a valuable asset that needs protection. It has been estimated that basement flood insurance claims in Canada total $140 million a year. This approximates to around 35,000 incidents every year.
What Causes Winter Water Damage?
Neglected basements are typically prime targets for flooding and winter water damage. As a busy and stressed out homeowner, it’s easy to overlook issues that you don’t see every day – “out of sight, out of mind” but, you need to make sure that your whole home gets regular maintenance or you could end up with significant water damage in areas that haven’t been inspected in years. This is especially true if there’s a sudden snow melt that could result as a flood in your home. The following are some of the primary causes of winter water damage in basements.
Frozen pipes/pipe bursts.
The pipes in your house can be vulnerable to freezing and bursting in colder temperatures. Make sure that all your pipes are in heated or well insulated areas. If you have any pipes that may be exposed to cold air due to uninsulated exterior walls then, you have some work to do. Install an electrical heating cable around the pipe – this is a task you could do yourself however, pay close attention to the instructions to reduce the risk of fire. Secondly, you could insulate the exterior wall, only the exterior wall. Make sure you don’t insulate a wall that keeps the warm air from reaching the pipes – that would defeat the purpose of the insulation and would make the problem worse!
Additionally, if you’re away for an extended period, remember to turn off the water and drain your pipes. If, while your gone, we have a weather event, your pipes won’t have an opportunity to freeze and consequently burst.
In older Toronto properties or even poorly constructed new ones, it’s not uncommon to find cracks in the foundation. However, if the cracks are allowing water to seep into your home, that’s an issue that will require immediate attention. Properly waterproofing your basement could be a very expensive renovation but, you’ll wish you had spent the money when you’re faced with a flooded basement or a toxic mould situation that requires remediation.
Weeping tile systems are integrated into the foundation to assist in underground water drainage. If this system was not functioning properly, you would see evidence of water damage, such as a leak or a flood.
Sump pump failure
If you have sump pump in your basement, you are already on the ‘front lines’ of keeping water out of your home. Sump pumps are used where it’s necessary to collect and remove any water from your foundation keeping your basement dry. That water may come from your weeping tiles, eavestroughs or basement floor drains following melting snow and ice or falling rain. Check yearly that your sump pump is working by putting water into it directly or through one of its collection points. Otherwise, you may not know if it is working because the sump pump may rarely have anything to do if your property has natural drainage, the soil is sandy or the downspouts are disconnected already.
Blocked and overflowing eavestroughs
Check your eavestroughs, even in the winter. I know you made sure they were clean last fall but, check again and remove debris, such as leaves or small branches. Also, check that the downspouts aren’t broken or misaligned, they can overflow when the snow on your roof melts causing water to accumulate around your home's foundation, overwhelming your drain systems and cause flooding. Make sure your disconnected downspouts are draining away from your foundation, otherwise it’s a just a matter of time before your home will experience a flood.
Bryant Renovations: Your Toronto Basement Renovation Expert
We know that your house has issues that are unique to only your home, and your neighbourhood. We can assess the water repelling and drainage systems of your basement before we can realistically discuss your basement renovation. We promise to make any if necessary adjustments to assure you don’t become fall victim to a flooded basement. Bryant Renovations offers you 25 years of Toronto basement renovation experience and peace of mind knowing you are free from thousands of dollars worth of repairs and headaches.
Contact us today so we can turn your unprotected basement into a comfortable home theatre lounge, or recreation room. Don’t become a victim to winter water damage.