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5 Essential Foundation Savers for Winter in Ontario

icy downspout by foundation

Whether you have a brand-new home or you live in an older home with uncertain maintenance history, one thing remains the same: your foundation is going to need some help from you to get through the winter.

Winter in Canada is hard on even the most solidly laid foundation! One minute it is super-dry, and the next it is sopping wet. Ice can form and snow can settle in the most inconvenient places and turn into mush.

In this timely post, learn about five essential preventative foundation savers for winter, sent with warm wishes from our family to yours.

Get the Ice Out of Your Gutters and Downspouts ASAP

All those picturesque stalactites of glittering ice on your gutters and downspouts can look oh-so-sentimental on a holiday postcard. But the picture changes as that heavy ice buildup dislodges gutters and downspouts and even your shingles.

For this, there truly is no better preventative aid than de-icing cables. If you don’t have these installed in your existing gutter and downspout system, you can do it at the next thaw. It will help you avoid having to hack apart ice sculptures for the rest of the winter – the cables will literally do the work for you.

If time or budget does not permit the installation of de-icing cables now, your only other option is manual labor. But this is still better and much cheaper than watching your gutter and downspout system come crashing down and having to pay to repair or replace it.

3 Reasons to Keep Vents Clear of Snow and Ice

There are three key reasons you want to be vigilant about clearing away ice and snow that may be blocking your home’s exterior exhaust vents.

1. Avoid a home fire risk

Home fires can occur when the exhaust vents get covered by ice and snow and cannot do their jobs.

2. Guard against mould and mildew

Mould loves moisture and will readily colonize damp vents and spread from there into your home and basement.

3. Keep moisture from making its way into your basement

As ice and snow thaw, moisture often pools at the base of your foundation and enters your basement (more about this in the next section).

Shovel All That Snow AWAY From Your Home’s Foundation

Many homeowners don't realize just how heavy snowfall can be. As winter drags on and more snow accumulates, it is not uncommon to see the weight actually changing the grading around homes!

No one really likes to shovel snow. But your home’s foundation will not thank you for taking this approach. Sooner or later that built-up snow will start to melt and form its own kind of dangerous moat around your home. Before too long, the trapped water will find its own exit, which can send it into your crawl space or basement.

The best way to guard against those melting rivulets running down into your crawl space or basement is actually a multiphase approach.

4 Steps to Full Foundation Protection

While climate change has definitely made winter less predictable than in past decades, we can still count on receiving lots of rain, ice, snow and cold weather.

This makes protecting your home’s foundation a project that will begin to pay off the moment you complete it. These four steps offer instant foundation protection.

1. Enhanced exterior landscape grading

For most homeowners, the first order of business will likely be giving some long-overdue attention to your home’s exterior grading.

If landscaping causes water to pool around your home’s foundation, it is only a matter of time before exterior pooled water becomes interior pooled water.

2. Extended downspouts and gutter guards

As soon as the weather permits, it is smart to check the length of your existing downspouts and extend them to further route melting snow and ice away from your home’s foundation.

In addition to the de-icing cables mentioned here earlier, adding gutter guards can help to keep leaf litter, twigs and other clog-making debris out of your gutters.

3. Crawl space encapsulation

If your home is equipped with a crawl space, you are lucky enough to have easy access to many of your home’s utilities when maintenance is required. But those same utilities also need protection from moisture.

Crawl space encapsulation places a permanent barrier in between incoming moisture and water and the interior workings of your home’s pipes, plumbing, appliances and HVAC system.

4. Interior basement waterproofing

If your home is equipped with a basement, there is a 98 percent likelihood it will take on water in the future. This statistic comes straight from the North American homeowners insurance industry, not from us!

Many homeowners think basement waterproofing requires extensive landscape replacement and expensive upgrades. But interior basement waterproofing requires none of this and takes only a day or two to complete.

Basement waterproofing starts with finding and repairing any existing detectable leaks. It continues with the application of a permanent waterproofing treatment that transforms your basement into a livable space.

Best of all, affordable basement waterproofing can be easily done whether your basement is finished or not.

Get in Touch

Are you concerned about your leaking, creaking, sagging, sloping foundation? We can help! Our fast, free EasyQuote system will deliver your quote asap!

Contact us online or give us a call at 1-866-875-6664.

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