How to Design a Flood-Proof Basement

Across North America, cities of all sizes are starting to feel the effects of climate change in real time.

Summers are getting hotter, seasonal storms are getting worse, and properties of all kinds are at greater risk from flooding. In large lake-side cities like Toronto, Buffalo, Milwaukee, and Chicago, many homeowners are looking for ways to make their houses more flood-resistant and better able to cope with heavy precipitation and municipal drainage systems that were not designed to handle such large quantities of water. 

To that end, if you want to ensure that your basement is as waterproof as possible, here are three flood-protection upgrades to consider.

1. Grading and Eavestrough Repair

Surprising as it may sound, protecting your basement starts with your roof. When it rains, water flows from the roof to the eavestroughs, which should channel it away from your foundation and toward sewers or patches of ground that can absorb it.

But if those eavestroughs get clogged, the water will simply overflow onto the ground under your eaves. If the soil or asphalt doesn’t to direct water away from the house, it will pool by your foundation and seep in over time.

Cleaning your eavestroughs regularly is important, but it is even more essential that you make sure your property is properly graded.

2. Interior Waterproofing

During heavy rains, some pooling is inevitable, so it is equally important to make sure that even if water does gets into your basement, your living area is protected. There are two main steps you need to take to ensure your interior waterproofing is up to standard:

  • Install an Interior Drainage System: Interior drainage systems channel water out of your basement and into a pit underneath, where a sump pump can pump the water that collects there away from your home.
  • Install a Vapor Barrier: Even a new foundation will be pervious to the external conditions in some ways, but installing a vapor barrier is a good way to make sure that moisture can’t get into the living area itself. In a situation where the earth around your house is saturated with water, a vapor barrier will provide essential protection.

If you want to explore your options for improving your interior drainage system or install a vapor barrier, get in touch with a basement waterproofing company that specializes in upgrades and repairs to book a consultation.

3. Filling Foundation Cracks

If you live in a colder region, your foundation undergoes stress every winter and spring as the ground around it freezes and thaws. This stress causes cracks to form over time, and these cracks can cause leaks during wet weather. In the case of heavy precipitation where the ground becomes saturated, these leaks can lead to serious basement flooding.

Fortunately, these cracks can be patched using a variety of different methods, one of the most popular of which involves injecting the cracks with polyurethane foam for a fast, easy way to seal your foundation to keep your basement dry. 

The latest climate projections suggest that even if significant changes are made to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, climate change is already here.Homeowners who want to protect their investments by making their properties more resilient should start taking concrete steps to do so now.

Because of the rising risk of flooding in large cities, waterproofing your basement is one of the first projects you should undertake. If you live on the GTA, get in touch with Toronto basement waterproofing contractors today to learn more about your options. 


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