Waterproofing in Winter

It is often asked if basement waterproofing can be done in Winter? Some may be tempted to leave their waterproofing for Spring considering the harsh Canadian winters. But putting of waterproofing until later on, in hindsight may not be such a good idea as it can cause more damage to the foundation of your home.

During the winter, we experience sudden bouts of snow melts and above-freezing temperatures that can come without a warning. Without a protected basement, all that water could end up leaking through your home’s foundations and cause greater problems when Spring arrives.

Trench being excavated for waterproofing

Canadian winters tend to have a freeze/thaw cycle, causing your home and the ground around your foundation to expand and contract at different magnitudes and rates. This tends to make existing cracks larger and open up joints where water flows through. Also, with the freezing weather comes ice blockage in pipes, troughs, downspouts, and on the roof. When your water drainage systems are clogged up, the water will have to find an alternate path. Predictably, it flows to the ground directly beside your foundation, which is the most common place for foundation leaks.

Basement waterproofing can be done in Winter but it depends on the basement systems being used. Exterior basement waterproofing involves excavating the perimeter of the home to the bottom of the footer usually by hand or machine.  This type of work is complex and more suited to better weather conditions. However, it can still be performed during winter months as long as the weather is fairly dry.

Other methods of basement waterproofing are performed year-round with very little to no exceptions.  Interior basement waterproofing involves removing a small area of the perimeter of the floor to allow access to the footer from inside the foundation.  Interior footer drains or weeping tiles are then installed to collect and direct ground water to a sump pump system that keeps the foundation dry.

Some basement systems include a combination of both interior and exterior basement waterproofing methods and can be done all year round. Actually, Winter months can be the ideal time to have your basement waterproofed, as it prepares your foundation to stay dry during the wet Spring rains.