The High and Dry Blog
Toronto’s structural clarity in a sea of confusion.
Waterproofing and Underpinning in the Winter?
November 05, 2019
Winter is here. The temperature has dropped, the days have gotten shorter, and the snow has blanketed the Greater Toronto Area. The changes in temperature can mean bad news for the structure of your home and your basement as a whole!
Many people believe that leaks and foundation issues can only occur in the warmer months, when there is excess rain, but that is not true. Our weather thesedays is volatile which means you can experience leaks in the winter (during extreme temperatures), or during a thaw which can leave your home susceptible to leaks in the spring! Often times, during a winter thaw, your foundation can develop new cracks, or pre-existing cracks can become larger. This is because when the weather gets warmer and the snow melts, the cracks will fill with water. If this water remains in the cracks, it will freeze when the temperature drop, causing accelerated damage to your foundation walls.
Many homeowners avoid contacting a team of basement foundation repair experts during the winter months because they simply don’t know whether the job can be completed in the cold or not. The answer: it can!
Basement waterproofing and underpinning can be completed at any time of year. Keep reading to find out more about basement waterproofing and underpinning in the Winter!
What is Basement Waterproofing?
Basement waterproofing is required when there is a crack in your foundation wall. This crack will create an entrance to your home from the outside. This will allow water to seep into your basement leaving you with a mess to deal with. Basement waterproofing can fix the crack and keep your basement moisture free!
Does My Basement Need Waterproofing?
The first sign that your basement requires waterproofing is when you see signs of water damage. If you notice puddles, damp spots, cracks, bowing, peeling paint, or warped paneling in your basement, this is usually a sign that water has already entered your home.
Want to get ahead of a foundation crack that is causing a leak? A great way to determine if your home has a crack or a leak is to regularly inspect your foundation. This doesn’t mean that you have to inspect your foundation everyday. We suggest checking monthly and after a hard rain or a change in the temperature outside. This may be more difficult if you have a finished basement. You can still check for moisture if you have a finished basement by lifting up carpet or pulling back paneling! If you discover moisture when you are examining your basement, contact the experts at GJ MacRae.
What is Basement Underpinning?
Are you looking to add more square footage to your home without adding an expensive addition? Basement Underpinning is a method that foundation repair specialists use to increase the depth of a foundation. This method is completed by constructing new footings that are beneath the footings that already exist. Many people opt for underpinning if they want to reinforce the existing footings of their home or if they are looking to add another entrance to the home that is below grade.
How Can Basement Repairs be Completed in the Winter?
The winter in Toronto may be cold, but the frost doesn’t penetrate too deep into the ground soil. In the Greater Toronto Area, the frost often penetrates just over a foot or so into the ground soil. Your home is also heated which means that the warmers temperature can transfer out into the ground soil, making it possible for snow and ice to melt, and for water to enter the home. The good news? This lack of ground soil freezing 1ft below grade means that basement repairs can be completed in the winter by an experienced and prepared team.
How Does the Weather Impact Basement Waterproofing or Basement Underpinning?
Many people wonder how the weather will impact their basement waterproofing or underpinning requests. The winter is very similar to the summer when it comes to the impact of weather. If it is freezing rain, or below 40 degrees outside, the crew working on your basement may have to postpone the job due to trenching safety reasons. This is the same as in the summer when there are rain storms or days where the temperature is above 40 degrees. On the other hand, interior underpinning is fully isolated from exterior weather conditions and can be completed anytime regardless of outside weather conditions.
What Are The Benefits to Waterproofing or Underpinning in the Winter Months?
Basement repairs are quite similar throughout the year, no matter the season. There is one significant benefit to choosing to undergo a basement waterproofing or underpinning project during the winter months however. There is generally less of a wait! Many people don’t know that they can have their basement waterproofing or underpinning needs met during the cold winter months. This means that while everyone else is waiting for the spring thaw to arrive to line up for their basement repair needs, you can beat the rush and plan the repairs around your schedule!
Why Choose GJ MacRae?
When GJ MacRae opened in the 1970’s, many people only used basements for coal and storage. The team at GJ MacRae were one of the first contractors that saw the full potential of a dry and usable basement. Many people even say that GJ MacRae was one of the first companies in the Greater Toronto Area to use the term Foundation Repair! The team quickly began to specialize in below-grade concrete waterproofing. In the early 2000’s, GJ MacRae officially became a full service foundation repair company. They still offered specialization in basement waterproofing, structural repairs, and underpinning, but could also perform many other tasks.
GJ MacRae offers something that other companies cannot. We offer our clients many years of consistent projects, repairs, and service. We have completed over 10,000+ projects, and we can guarantee that there’s not another company in the Greater Toronto Area that can provide you with the quality of work that we can! If you’re looking for a team of experts to complete your basement waterproofing or basement underpinning project this winter, contact the team at GJ MacRae!