Best Waterproofing Methods for the Basement in Your New Custom Home or Renovation and Addition!
Over the years we have designed and built hundreds of unique custom homes across the GTA and as a result we have interacted with a wealth of below grade soil and water conditions. As a result of this extensive experience, we have learned that ground water management is the most important function of the home next to structural stability and a water tight building envelope. As a result, we utilize a range of water management solutions to our clients that include the following:
- Sump Pump Backups: Typically sump pumps rely on a constant power feed. But if the municipal power is down, the result could be a basement flood. To avoid this we have learned that the installation of a sump pump backup system that utilizes pressure from the municipal water feeds is the best solution. Of course, the typical deep cycle battery backup with a secondary cast-iron pump is still a great step to take to buy you 4-6 hours of run time in the case of a power outage.
- Cast Iron Sump Pumps: The use of a cast-iron pump has been proven in our experience to offer a far longer and more consistent service life than big box store plastic pumps. Speak to your builder or plumbing professional for access to this product as they are usually only sold at speciality suppliers.
- Exterior Waterproofing: As is standard in Ontario for new construction homes, tar spraying the exterior face of a new concrete foundation and wrapping it in Deltawrap is the best way to waterproof a foundation. With that said, there are a few specific details that we like to ensure are in place when seeing this process through including utilizing solid weeping tiles within unexcavated garages along with a full Deltawrap application within this space as well. The use of 5 feet returns around interior walls to avoid wicking. The use of exterior top strips and dynamonic caulking to prevent debris from getting behind the waterproofing wrap. And lastly, the exclusion of gravel within window well weeping tiles to avoid future clogging. A simple plastic cap with perforated holes will do the trick!
- Interior Waterproofing and Weeping Tile: This is a trick that certainly does not get enough credit in the industry. We learned this trick when doing large scale restoration projects in tight neighborhoods in downtown Toronto such as Kensington Market. The use of an interior waterproofing system provides the same reliability and functionality of an exterior waterproofing system when used on the interior of the home only in theory. But when possible, we use this on both the interior and exterior of the home and often on newly built custom homes. This method of waterproofing will ensure that no interior wicking takes place and ensures that your basement is warm and dry for years to come even if the exterior weeping tile system becomes overwhelmed.
- Upgraded Backfill Material: The use of Granular A soil or recycled concrete are both great options to increase the drainage capabilities of the below grade conditions surrounding your home. Increased drainage allows water to be funneled into the weeping tile system and pumped away from the footings and foundation walls as quickly as possible. You will also find that this material does not cause settling that often ruins exterior landscaping finishes due to water saturation.
- Eavestrough and Weeping Tile Placement: When designing the roof of your home, its is important to have a vision for water management. The design for the eavestrough placement must be completed alongside the landscape design. The purpose of this is to ensure that you can properly utilize solid below-grade PVC weeping tiles to carry the water collected from the roof to a French Drain or soaker pit in a desired location. The design for this will depend on the grading conditions, soil conditions, and the eavestrough and downspout locations. An integrated approach between architectural and landscape design is always the best approach to achieving this end result.
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